Lots of people want to improve their home as a means of boosting its value; the questions they often ask are: what should I do, and it what order? When it comes to a basement that’s unfinished, there are a number of steps you can take to slowly and easily improve it.
First, as most basements are below ground, ground water is an issue. So, you want to try and dry the place out initially. The simplest way to do that is be buying some moisture sealant at a local hardware store and apply it to the walls and floor like paint. This will make them all waterproof. Now, if you find that you still have a problem with the floor, if the water table is very high, an easy way to fix that is by digging a sump hole in the lowest point of the basement.
If the floor is solid concrete everywhere, you’ll need to break out a section to create the sump. The easiest way to do that is with a saw fitted with a blade to cut concrete. Most large hardware stores rent such saws by the hour or day, and you can get the job done in just a few hours. Once the area is cut, break up the concrete with a sledge hammer – be sure to wear goggles and a face mask.
After that, the next step is warming the basement up. In general, keeping it cool is never a problem; so you’ll want to install some space heaters to warm the place up. All of these steps are fairly cheap and easy to do by yourself. The next steps will cost more, and you’ll probably have to hire someone to do some of the tasks.
The next thing to do is put down a decent floor. Depending on the condition of the basement floor, you may need to create a levelling course to get it flat and even, and fill in any cracks or holes. After that, lay down a vapour barrier and then install some kind of flooring: tiles, hardwood, linoleum etc.
Once the flooring is done, the walls are next. While a waterproof sealant is fine for a simple barrier, like the floor, a vapour barrier is best. Tack it up to the walls, put on some insulation, and then attach studs to the exterior walls. After that, you can add drywalls to create a nice finished surface.
At this point, you’ll have a nicely finished basement that is ready to be used for just about anything. To get beyond this point to something specific, you’ll need decide exactly what sort of use you intend: playroom, craft room, workshop, and so on, and then tailor the basement to that use. By following these simple steps, you can at least create a nice living space that will add value to your home.