Basement renovation: meeting with a contractor
Last modified: 2017/08/22 | 3 mins
RenoQuotes.com followed home renovation contractor Ali Nazar on the job at the site of a basement renovation project in Montreal. Check out this interview to know more about the subject of basement renovations.
What are the most important things to keep in mind when renovating a basement?
The most important element pertaining to basement renovation projects is the floor: you have to be careful about its state and its structure. For example, if the concrete slab shows cracks, you have to repair them because they are a big source of humidity. On this particular renovation site, we have installed layers of engineered wood on top of a layer of tar paper, above the concrete slab, with at least 3 inches between the concrete slab and the tar paper.
This system allows air to flow, thus decreasing the level of humidity in the room. Engineered wood is different than other floating floors. Since it is flexible and durable (at least 15 years), it is a very suitable material for basement floors. Other materials like linoleum or ceramic tiles are also good alternatives. Hardwood should never be used in this case: it won’t resist more than 5 years due to the basement's humidity .
Before: concrete slab
After: Engineered wood
Basement walls, usually made of concrete, should also be well isolated. The same insulation materials that are used in the rest of the house can be used in the basement. Like what was done for the floors, we have left an empty space between the insulating material and the wall (at least 2 feet) to allow proper air flow. For everything else, renovating a basement is quite similar to renovating any other part of the house.
How much does a basement renovation cost?The price can vary a lot depending on the size of the basement, the materials that are chosen and the type of renovations you plan to do. It can cost anywhere between $10 000 and $35 000. For this project, we charged about $20 000$ (including the materials and the cost of labour).
How much time does it take to renovate a basement?It all depends on the magnitude of the project. For this site, it has taken us about 10 days to finish everything.
What are the pros of a basement renovation?One of the major advantages is that you’ll have less humidity in your basement. Since humidity can cause severe damage to the house's structure, especially for old constructions that tend to be less resistant to humidity, most people who want to renovate their basement ask us to improve that aspect first. Also, if you renovate your basement, you’ll gain more space in your house. It can become a playroom for children and grown ups, or even a bedroom or a rental unit.
What are the cons of a basement renovation?
The only drawback I could see is the price! Indeed, like most of the other rooms in a house, basement renovations can cost a lot. Therefore, you should plan a realistic budget if you want to renovate your basement.
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