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Improve Don’t Move By Fixing Up the Basement


Why Do Canadians Have Basements? What Conditions Must A Basement Meet Before It Can Be Renovated? Basement Humidity. Water Stains And Leaks. Tell You Insurance Provider. Check The Contractor Undertaking The Work Has Appropriate Licenses. Check All Contractors Have Sufficient Liability Insurance. What Liability Insurance Should They Hold? Your Insurance Premiums Will Go Up. Understand The Cost? What Do You Get For A Turn-key Solution? Some Tips For A Basement Renovation. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Improve Don’t Move By Fixing Up the Basement

Improve Dont Move By Fixing Up the Basement
  • Canadians seem to just love home renovation and
    transforming their basement into additional
    living space is second only to bathroom refits.
    This improve dont move trend had sparked a
    massive surge in home improvements and what they
    call the reno market. Astonishingly more money
    is spent on home renovations around 67 billion
    per year than is spend on building new
    residential homes. One of the reasons for this
    spending is that renovation of basement areas
    adds a lot to the value of the property. Whats
    more it instantly adds more living space for a
    man cave, a recreational area, a gym or a play
    area for the children. Indeed the use that a
    basement renovation can be put to is only limited
    by the space available and the owners
    imagination. Just take a browse on the internet
    it is awash with examples of stunning basement
    renovations that were transformed into gourmet
    kitchens, living rooms, home offices, even a
    cinema and a bowling alley. But before we get too
    carried away there are a few things you rush into
    planning to renovate that dark cold basement.

Table of Contents
  • Why Do Canadians Have Basements?
  • What Conditions Must A Basement Meet Before It
    Can Be Renovated?
  • Basement Humidity.
  • Water Stains And Leaks.
  • Tell You Insurance Provider.
  • Check The Contractor Undertaking The Work Has
    Appropriate Licenses.
  • Check All Contractors Have Sufficient Liability

  • What Liability Insurance Should They Hold?
  • Your Insurance Premiums Will Go Up.
  • Understand The Cost?
  • What Do You Get For A Turn-key Solution?
  • Some Tips For A Basement Renovation.

Why do Canadians have basements?
  • Canadians are lucky to have basements as part of
    their home. In many countries basements simply do
    not exist as they are not needed as a part of the
    structural foundation and in wet climatesthey are
    prone to flooding so more problem that they are
    worth. However in continental climates such as in
    canada having a basement in the home is
    essential.A basement provides a concrete
    foundation based below the frost line which
    supports the home against movement during the
    freeze-thaw cycle. Typically,if the area where
    you live is more susceptible to these extreme hot
    summers and freezing cold winters then you are
    more likely to have a large basement. These deep
    lying basements are part of the concrete
    foundation but also serve a secondary purpose as
    ideal space for storage for things like bicycles,
    skisas well as locating out of site functional
    utilities such as electrical circuit boxes, water
    heaters and telephone, television and internet
    termination boxes. However if certain conditions
    are right they can be transformed into luxurious
    additional living space.

What conditions must a basement meet before it
can be renovated?
  • As we have seen a basement serves a structural
    purpose and is buried below the frost line to
    provide primarily stability to the property.
    Because of this they are often highly susceptible
    to humidity and even water penetration. Therefore
    before you attempt to renovate you must
    diligently check the humidity levels and look for
    any sign of damp. This isnt something you should
    shirk as high levels of damp and humidity will
    destroy any renovation work that you attempt.

Basement Humidity
  • All basements will have higher humidity that the
    rest of the house, so dont worry that is
    perfectly natural. The easiest and best way to
    find out if your home is too humid is to invest
    in an affordable humidistat to measure your
    indoor humidity level. Ideally, the humidity of
    the basement should be between 45 to 55RH and
    should always be maintained between 40 to 60RH.
    The problems that will need addressing are when
    the humidity levels are above 70RH. At this high
    level there will be problems with a renovation as
    these conditions are known to be optimum for dust
    mites, mildew and mould to grow. You may also do
    a visual check of the walls, corners, ceiling and
    look for little back spots as these are mold
    spots and evidence of an existing problem.

  • Another clear sign of existing mould and mildew
    is if you can detect a musty smell when you first
    enter the basement. Mould produce gasses called
    microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC) and
    if you can smell the tell-tale musky scent then
    you are probably already inhaling the mould
    spores. Whatever you do dont try to cover up the
    smell with air fresher that will just disguise
    the smell and these toxic pores will still be in
    the air.Mould spores can bring on migraines,
    breathing conditions and other ailments so the
    presence of mould has to be removed before you
    proceed with any renovation work.

Water Stains and Leaks
  • Another important thing to look out for is water
    stains and any evidence of leaks or damp.
    Detecting and correcting water leaks can be
    difficult and hard to correct. But they must be
    eliminated before you proceed with the renovation

Tell you insurance provider
  • You must let your insurance company know before
    you start renovation work this is to make sure
    that the insurance will cover you in the event
    something goes horribly wrong. Depending on the
    scale of the renovations they will let you know
    whether your existing policy will cover you or
    whether you may have to take out a property under
    renovation policy or even a builder risk policy.
    This is especially important in the circumstances
    where you are underpinning the basement, drilling
    though the concrete slab foundation or will not
    be residing in the property at the time.
  • Another important factor that needs to be checked
    with the insurance company is whether you have
    cover for any work that you may wish to do
    yourself. For example many insurance companies
    are very concerned about DIY plumbing and
    electrical work. So if you are intending fitting
    a bathroom you will need to let them know and
    almost certainly get the work done by licensed
    professionals who can provide certification for
    the work done. Any electrical work will also
    require permits and inspection along with a
    certification report but that might not be enough
    if your home insurance policy forbids DIY
    electrical work so make sure you check with them

Check the contractor undertaking the work has
appropriate licenses
  • Many smaller companies specialize in bathroom and
    basement renovations as one-stop-shops that will
    provide a turn-key basement renovation. They can
    do this in areas where the houses are largely the
    same i.E. They have the same foundations and
    basement layout. Because the layout is identical
    they can design and build a vast array of
    different scenarios and uses. They will have
    turn-key designs for a self-contained bed-sitting
    room apartment complete with kitchen and bathroom
    ready for renting out to a tenant. But these
    require a multitude of skills so you must run
    past the insurance company what are the
    requirements they need to cover for electrical
    and plumbing work being carried out by these
    companies. Almost certainly they will need to be
    licensed in the appropriate discipline.
  • After all these are just common-sense precautions
    but you dont want to steam ahead with a basement
    renovation until you know you are covered by
    insurance. Its best to find out now rather than
    when your home subsides, floods or burns down.

Check all contractors have sufficient liability
  • This is something that many homeowners overlook
    especially when contracting unlicensed or
    freelance tradesmen to undertake work on the
    cheap. However should someone be unfortunate
    enough to be injured or even killed during the
    renovation the homeowner could be held
    legallyliable. The homeowners insurance will
    almost certainly not cover third party injury
    under such conditions so the contractor must have
    their own. You must check this or you could end
    up paying the injured parties health bills and
    lost wages out of your own pocket.

What liability insurance should they hold?
  • The canadian home builders association recommends
    you check the contractors undertaking work on the
    renovation for proof of liability insurance to
    ensure it includes
  • General liability insurance
  • A liability coverage of 1 million minimum
  • Includes adequate insurance that covers damage to
    your home or your neighbours properties as a
    result of any renovation activity
  • Includes third partycoverage for bodily injury
  • That the policy is still valid by checking the
    expiry date

Your insurance premiums will go up
  • During the renovation it is likely that the
    insurance premiums will rise to cover the
    additional risk associated with the ongoing work.
    However after the renovation work is complete the
    premiums may well be adjusted to cover the
    addition value of the property. After all, the
    insurance company will now have to fund the
    replacement of a more valuable and larger
    property. Therefore you can expect the premiums
    to rise depending on the extra value that has
    been added to the property.

Understand the cost?
  • Basement renovations are so popular in canada
    because utilizing that largeunderused part of the
    house is by far the cheapest way to add
    additional casual living space. Renovating a
    basement is cheaper than building an extension to
    the home as you are taking advantage of the
    original walls and floor. Consequently, basement
    renovations are relatively cheap at around 35 to
    70 per square foot.

What do you get for a turn-key solution?
  • Many specialist basement renovators have
    portfolios of basement designs but in typical
    turn-key solution they would be offering a basic
    general purpose design. The turn-key solution
    will typically include stripping down the
    existing basement then putting up and insulating
    new walls and a gypsum ceiling then painting
    everything. This is likely to cost 20,000 to
    24,000. If you want to add a bathroom then you
    will be looking from anywhere between 8,000 and
    15,000. It will be cheaper if you already have
    the water pipes fitted as a large part of the
    cost will be breaking through the concrete
    foundation to run the pipes to the basement.

Some tips for a basement renovation
  • The basement is the coldest and most humid part
    of the house an easy remedy for this is to get a
    fireplace or heating installed. It is best to
    heat your basement 3 seasons a year in order to
    dry out the air in your space and as heat rises
    it will not be wasted as it will heat the lower
    floors of the house lowering the overall hearing
  • When renovating your basement and installing a
    gypsum ceiling it may be an idea to consider
    soundproofing or insulation if the basement is to
    be self-contained and rented out space.
  • Adding a bathroom in the basement is expensive
    but essential if you intend renting out the extra
    living area. If not it always adds convenience
    and significant value so recouping the costs and
    getting a return on the investment is highly

  • Typically even in Canadian basements the
    available height might be constraints to design
    so make sure to install architectural lighting or
    pot lighting rather than hanging lights as they
    will give the impression of a larger more
    spacious room.
  • For the same reason plan for compact and hidden
    storage as the less clutter like cupboard the
    better as it increases visible and available
    floor space.
  • So now that you know what to look for and the
    type of changes that you can make to the living
    space and value of your house, what are you
    waiting for? The only thing now is to pick a
    local reliable, honest and professional
    renovation contractor.
  • How to choose a suitable basement renovator
  • Probably the first thing that you want to do is
    find a few basement renovators in your local area
    and view their portfolios and references. Once
    your happy and have selected three renovators you
    have confidence in then select 3 if possible and
    ask for quotations for the design that you have

  • As an example of a professional basement
    renovator that covers all types of home
    renovation such as kitchens, bathrooms and of
    course basements and has location across all of
    Canada we can look to the Basement Finishing
    Company. They have a mission to apply their own
    personalized and tailored approach to each job to
    ensure the best possible result while at the same
    time remaining true to the customers budget,
    plan and schedule. To manage all the specialist
    contractors involved in a basement renovation the
    basement finishing company has experienced
    project managers that oversee all the
    multi-disciplined work going on within the
    renovation to ensure flawless adherence to the
    customers goals and the highest possible quality
    of construction.
  • Visit - https//