PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – If you’ve decided to turn your basement into livable space and think you can save some cash by managing the project on your own, don’t.
Ventilation problems, safety issues and work not done to code are just a few of the reasons homeowners often regret that decision.
Angie’s List has some advice for how to finish your basement for maximum enjoyment.
When a sump pump failure soaked Shannon Roberts’ already finished basement, she decided to remodel the space for her growing family. But, she quickly realized it was more than she and her husband could handle on their own.
“When I saw the level of detail that would be required to properly and safely finish my basement, since I have little kiddos running around, it was something that was not on my schedule for sure,” Roberts said.
“A remodeling job can be complicated because you’re likely going to have a number of jobs that are subcontractors from electrical to plumbing to painting, and coordinating them can be difficult, so hiring a general contractor can take some of that headache away,” Angie’s List Founder, Angie Hicks, said.
A couple other big mistakes people make are failing to pull permits and not following proper building codes.
“When you realize the safety issues of the insulation and the drywall and what it could mean five years from now, ten years from now, it just made sense to make sure it was done right the first time,” Roberts said.
“We know what to look for and we know when something’s not right, and we know when to make changes to the space. We may discover mold and need to alert the clients to that…different things to look out for that our industry knowledge has trained us to do,” remodeling contractor Melissa Guy said.
A contractor knows how to remedy many unforeseen issues, most of which can be avoided with proper planning.
“The forethought in creating a great project is the most important part of the project and you don’t want to rush through that,” Guy said.
“Finishing your basement is a great way to add extra living space to your home for your family to enjoy, and also can turn into a great selling point and can be the difference between a buyer buying your house and skipping it,” Hicks said.
Hicks said to get quotes from at least three contractors on your project before you hire. She also said to be leery of anyone who says they won’t pull permits or whose bid is significantly lower than the rest.
Also, don’t stop at calling their references. Ask if you can visit a home where they’ve already completed the work.