4 Tips For Remodeling Your Basement

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - by Jay Bell, president, Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga

A finished basement can be a valuable addition to your home. It can be a playroom for your kids, a place for family to stay during visits, a media room the whole family can use, or even a space to rent out for some extra income.

However, depending on the current condition of your basement, it can also be a pretty daunting project to take on. Here are four tips to help you feel comfortable jumping in and transforming your basement into your home’s newest feature.


Deal with Health, Safety, and Legal Concerns First

Before you start renovations, do some research into any laws and building codes that might affect your project. Codes can change depending on your locality, so make sure you’re reading the right ones. Make note of any egress requirements, and plan for adequate windows and fire exits.

Then, get a professional to come in and check for any health and safety concerns that need to be addressed. Basements can often hide things like mold, asbestos, and radon, so make sure that if anything is lurking, you’re taking care of it before starting renovations.

Decide on Your Master Plan

Will you primarily be using your extra space for guests? A playroom? A family movie room?

If you plan on renting the space, consider if a small kitchen will fit comfortably in your budget.

A bathroom can go a long way toward making a space comfortable for guests, and if there’s not room for a full tub and shower, a half bath will still add value to the space.

Set a Realistic Budget and Stick to it

Basement remodels can be one of the most expensive home renovation projects, so it’s a good idea to sit down with a professional remodeler and set a realistic budget. Allow for some wiggle room in case unexpected problems arise, and don’t be stingy when it comes to dealing with things like leaks and water damage.

Have a professional check out the foundation, and put some money toward solving any potential water problems first and foremost. Remember that you can always put more money toward finessing the decor later on when your budget allows. Put the bulk of your budget into making sure it’s a safe, comfortable, functional space before splitting hairs over furnishings or small decorative touches. 

Think about Ways to Eliminate that Basement Feel

Basements are often not built with everyday use in mind, but there are a lot of creative ways to liven up the space and take away that underground basement feel.

Start with good insulation to control both temperature and sound. You don’t want your footsteps echoing loudly in your guests ears, and you also don’t need unwanted noise floating up into the main part of the house.

For decor, think about using warm color and gentle lighting. Add softness with curtains or carpet. Basements will often have low ceilings that can make the space feel a bit unwelcoming, so think creatively and see if a professional can reroute the ductwork, wiring, or piping so you can free up some space to allow for higher ceilings.

To find professionals to help you get started on your basement remodel, contact the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at 423-624-9992 or hbagc.net. 



CDOT Announces Extended Road Closure On W 3rd Street

The closure on W 3rd Street between Market Street and Broad Street has been extended until Aug.15 due to weather delays. W 3rd will be closed daily between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. until Aug 15 for storm drain pipe installations. View CDOT's map of event and road closures for full details of projects underway in the public space.   (click for more)

Red Bank Apartment Complex Sold For Almost $21 Million

A Red Bank apartment complex has sold for  $20,950,000. The Ridgemont Apartments is at 20 Mason Dr. It has 226 units. The sale was t o Ridgemont Apartments Llc from Ecg Mountain Ridge Llc (click for more)

NAACP Wants Answers On Snafu That Caused 43 Ballots Not To Be Counted In Recent Hamilton County Election

Officials of the NAACP said they have "grave concerns" about an election snafu in Hamilton County that left the ballots of 43 voters uncounted in the Aug. 2 election. The group said there has been little information given on the complex problem involving an earlier shift in voter lines. They have written a letter to Mark Goins, state election coordinator, and Kerry Steelman, ... (click for more)

Hearing Delay On Suit Brought By State Democrats To Keep Robin Smith Off Ballot

A hearing has been delayed on a lawsuit brought by the Tennessee Democratic Party seeking to keep Republican Robin Smith off the ballot in House District 26. Ms. Smith was the only candidate after longtime Rep. Gerald McCormick abruptly announced he was leaving his post to move to Nashville. Chancellor Jeff Atherton on Monday afternoon said he could not take the case until ... (click for more)

Make One Of The Proposed Surplus City Buildings Into A Local History Museum - And Response

The city of Chattanooga currently has no history center or museum. That is because several years ago it was conveyed to the public, in the blinking of an eye, that $9 million that had been raised mysteriously vanished for reasons unexplainable to this date. In the meantime, valuable artifacts and collections are sitting in cellars, basements and storage facilities instead of being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: No Cell Phones Allowed

There was a time, not so long ago, when school-aged children would learn lessons from a prescribed text, such as a textbook. Today texting is far, far different and, as any of our teachers will tell us, cell phones have become the scourge of education. In almost every classroom, kids will silently text in the shadow of the desk in front of them rather than focus on the lesson. Yet ... (click for more)