Creating the room of your dreams can be challenging downstairs. While a Northern Virginia basement remodeling project adds valuable living space, privacy and extra storage, you may need to overcome a few headaches first. Consider these common problems Virginia homeowners face when finishing a basement.
Is Your Plumbing Set Up for a Basement Bathroom?
Many people want a bathroom installed on the basement level, providing an extra shower or finishing off the guest room area. But your plumbing system may not be set up for this addition, and planning to add a basement bathroom will take a bit more work.
Ask your contractor or builder about the main drain pipe for your home. Depending on grading and other issues, this drain may run below-grade or above-grade. Pipes that run below-grade allow for the connection of an additional bathroom on the basement level. Those running above-grade do not, although a basement bathroom equipped with special plumbing fixtures will work just fine.
If the drain pipe is a problem, budget for a grinder and pump in the plumbing. This equipment allows for a toilet and shower in the basement, but requires extra space behind the wall.
Are the Windows Large Enough to Cast Natural Light and Meet Building Code?
Many Northern Virginia homes have small windows in the basement level. Although those on a walkout lot have patio doors or taller windows, others make do with shallow frames that let in minimum light. Local building codes and insurance requirements may also present a problem with smaller windows, especially if you plan to include bedrooms in the floor plan.
Install larger egress windows to solve this problem, but remember to design them well for longevity and maintenance. Window wells require a drain at the bottom to direct water away from your home and reduce the risk of basement flooding. High quality windows will also keep your energy bills down and security measures may be required if you’re worried about burglary.
Talk to your contractor about the best location for these larger windows, and design your Northern Virginia basement remodeling project to take advantage of window placement.
How Will You Treat the Ceiling in Your Finished Basement?
Drywall ceilings look attractive in a finished basement, but they can be a hassle when water problems arise and repairs create a massive mess in the basement living space. Drop ceilings are a good solution, although many Northern Virginia homeowners find the look less appealing. How can you find a happy medium between the beauty of drywall ceilings and the practicality of drop ceilings?
Have a look at some of the unique building materials available for basement ceilings, including acoustical ceiling tiles and textured or oddly shaped tiles that provide the convenience of a drop ceiling without the industrial look. Some homeowners even opt to paint out the basement ceiling with a bright white paint, allowing full access while creating a uniform color. This works especially well for casual
spaces like a games room or play room.
Consider the location of duct work and plumbing in the basement ceiling. Can you effectively group these mechanical systems to minimize access points? Bulkheads must be installed to go around larger pipes, often cutting off natural light and lowering the ceiling height. Grouping the ductwork should minimize that issue as well.
The best way to handle the challenges of a Northern Virginia basement remodeling project is by enlisting the help of a professional contractor. They will have the expertise and skills to get past issues like plumbing, windows and ceiling design, as well as any other challenges that come your way. Trust their experience and utilize their talents to create an incredible living space downstairs.