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Convert a basement into a separate living quarters

How to convert your basement into an extra room or separate living quarters

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Turning the lower portion of your home into basement living quarters is a decision many people around the country consider every day. Turning your basement into a separate living space can be very beneficial in many ways. You could use the extra space to house overflow guests, create an in-law suite or build a separate apartment that can be used for rental income. If you're thinking of converting your basement, you should keep the following tips in mind:

basement bedroom additionBefore you lift a hammer, you'll need to speak with a structural engineer and/or a remodeling consultant, so they can help you figure out what needs to be done and how much needs to be spent. If the basement is in good shape and has been built to code, you'll be able to move quickly through the renovation process.

If you have serious structural issues or conditions like mold and faulty wiring, you'll have a list of things that will need to be taken care of before you can have someone living down there.

Some of the items that homeowners would have to take care of immediately include the following:

  • Low ceilings that make it difficult for people to move around safely
  • Mold, which could signal the presence of a serious leak
  • Pest infestations, including rodents and bugs
  • Termite damage, which could jeopardize the safety and stability of the entire home
  • Leaks and dampness
  • Lack of emergency exits
  • Too few windows
  • Faulty plumbing and/or electrical wiring

Next, you'll need to set a budget. Find out if you're going to need to make major structural changes or if you'll be able to get by with mostly cosmetic ones. Structural changes can be very expensive, but they may need to be taken care of if you have a space that isn't really configured for comfortable and safe living. Once you have a set budget, plan on sticking to it. If you do, you'll know exactly how to divide your money between the things you have to do and the things you'd like to do.

Get references for and interview contractors. One of the most common complaints that homeowners have about the renovation process is having to depend on an unreliable contractor. Check references thoroughly, and make sure that all licenses are in order before handing over your deposit. Once you hire your contractor, make sure that you both obtain all of the necessary building and construction permits that you need prior to starting work.

Making over a basement can be a great move on your part, helping you increase the living space in your home while increasing its value. Make sure that before you turn that extra space into basement living quarters that you set out a plan of action and review the Reply! website. You want to make sure that you stick to a budget while creating the safe, beautiful living space you deserve.

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