Basement renovation in Toronto can be a very daunting task, especially when you face that dark, probably musty and cold basement for the first time. However, renovating and finishing your basement is not as complicated as it sounds.
We admit that the entire basement renovation process can be a little long and tasking. However, knowing the steps you need to take will make the task easier for you. It will also ensure that you spend as little as possible and waste fewer resources in getting your finished basement in Toronto.
In this blog post, we are going to be discussing the concept of basement renovation and what it entails. Furthermore, we are also going to provide you with all the details about the steps and processes involved in finishing your basement.
Depending on your level of skill with tools, your adventurous spirit and a will to finish, you may decide to go for DIY basement renovation in Toronto. On the flip side, it is far better to contract all or part of the job to basement renovation professionals.
Whichever the case may be, knowing the processes and steps involved in the transformational process will go a long way to helping you. But, before we go into all the fine details about the procedures of finishing your basement, let us first look at what a renovated basement is.
What Is Basement Renovation?
Basement renovation in Toronto is the term that is used to describe all the processes involved in converting an unused basement into living quarters with all the essential amenities. A basement can only be considered to be renovated or finished when its aesthetics are similar to the living areas upstairs.
It must also be equipped with certain features, including electricity, heating and cooling system and plumbing. Now that you know what a renovated business is let us proceed to look at the vital strips that you must take as part of basement renovation.
Essential Elements of Basement Renovation
During basement renovation, there are certain elements that you must put in place for your basement to be considered truly finished. Keep reading to find out what components you need for a renovated basement in Toronto.
Since a basement is an underground space, you must put adequate light sources in place. And not just lamps, but built-in lamps. You can also choose to channel natural light into your finished basement, but it may not be enough.
Light fixtures need to be installed to ensure proper visibility in your finished basement. There are different types of lighting fixtures you can install in your basement. You can choose to install track lighting, but recessed lighting is usually best for finished basements in Toronto.
Even if you install light fixtures, your finished basement may still look dark and overly constricted. Therefore, you must install at least an egress window or two during your basement renovation. This is essential not only to allow the entry of natural light but also per city building codes.
The importance of insulation in your renovated basement cannot be overemphasized. Proper insulation will allow for better temperature control, minimized water damage, and better energy-efficiency.
Depending on whether or not you want to have a functional kitchen, bathroom or laundry room in your renovated basement, you may have to add plumbing. Adding plumbing can be complicated, and you will most likely have to hire a professional.
Home statistics have shown that 98% of basements at one point or the other will experience some form of water damage. Therefore, you need to carry out waterproofing in your finished basement. This way, you can avoid future damage.
Although most homes already have a functional HVAC system. In most cases, it is not connected to the basement. Therefore, during the renovation of your basement in Toronto, you will need to install HVAC utilities in your home. This will control the extreme temperatures and ventilation problems associated with basements.
Flooring and Ceiling
Having a concrete floor basement will mean that your renovation is only half done. The same thing applies to the ceiling. Aside from the fact that concrete floors are usually too cold, the whole level of your basement must be identical to the upper quarters for your basement to qualify as finished. You also need to install a proper ceiling to seal off your basement renovation in Toronto.
Steps Involved In Basement Renovation
Now that you know the various amenities and fixtures that you will have to finish your basement renovation in Toronto, let us now look at how you go about it.
This is, perhaps, the most critical step. You need to think about and plan how you want your basement to look after it is completely renovated. Your plans will depend on what use you want to put your renovated basement too.
Do you need walls? What purpose will each area serve? All these are questions you need to answer and document before you start the renovation process at all. Your creative thinking is essential in this planning stage.
Get the building permits you need
Now not every basement renovation project in Toronto requires you to obtain a permit. However, you must consult the building regulatory body in your area before you start. Although the requirements for permits vary from place to place, it is generally not a complicated process.
In most cases, you need to be armed with your basement renovation plans, at the very least, when you apply for your permit. A building permit will help you avoid problems with the authorities.
Also, if you choose to sell your home in the future, you will have a valid permit, which will ensure that you get the best value for your home.
Inspect and test your basement
For this step, you will most likely have to secure professional basement renovation services. It is essential that you carefully inspect your basement for any sign of water damage before you start renovating. If there is a water problem, then you may need to repair that area before you waterproof it.
Also, you need to check for signs of mould before you start building. Mould is something you definitely do not want in your basement. Also, harmful gases such as Radon is another thing you want to look out for in your basement. Hiring an inspector will help you avoid these unwanted scenarios.
Once you have finished inspecting your basement and you have the green light, the next thing you want to do is start waterproofing your basement. Waterproofing is not negotiable if you’re going to enjoy your finished basement.
Frame the walls
With wall frames, you have two options. You can either build the wall frame offsite and then install them. In the same vein, you can build them in place directly.
However, if you are renovating your basement yourself, your best option may be to build it in place. This way, you don’t have to deal with the task of bringing the frames in. While framing your walls, ensure that you take accurate measurements.
Plumbing can be tricky. Therefore, if you feel the need to, do not hesitate to call in a professional. If you are doing it yourself, you first have to put the rough-in plumbing in place. This may be easier if you designed the layout of your basement around the pipes you already have in place.
If this is not the case, not to worry. You will first have to lay in the rough-in plumbing below the floor. Also, you will have to break up the concrete floor with a jackhammer to lay your pipes. Once you have these in place, you can extend your sink, shower, toilet and laundry outlets.
Electricity and lighting
Once again, ringing up a professional basement finishing expert to help you install electricity is the best option. Installing electricity and lighting fixtures is the next step on your basement renovation journey in Toronto.
You will have to install a basement subpanel to take care of your electricity needs in your finished basement. This is also the time to put all your sockets, switches and outlets in place. Note that wiring errors can be hazardous, so ensure that all safety measures are followed.
If you don’t already have a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in place, you may need to install one. There are several options for finished basement heating, so you can explore and pick the one that is most suited for your needs. The same thing applies to the cooling system and ventilation.
Finish the walls
Once you have all the electrical and lighting works down, the next step is your wall finishing. To convert your wall frames to walls, you can choose to go with the drywall option, which is the most common choice.
Drywall will take your time and must be done accurately. Therefore, ensure that you get the proper knowledge and skill that is required. Once you have completed the drywall, the next step is usually a finishing option of either paint, wallpaper or panels.
Ceiling and flooring
This is usually the final step for basement renovation in Toronto. For your ceiling, you have two options. You may either use a drywall ceiling or a drop ceiling.
While the drywall generally looks better, the advantage of the drop ceiling is that it allows you to access any plumbing or wire that may be in the ceiling. In terms of flooring, we don’t advise you to leave the existing concrete floor untouched. However, if you want to, you can either stain or paint it. Otherwise, you can opt for carpets, tiles, hardwood or vinyl flooring.
Basement renovation in Toronto is not a day’s job. However, the long term benefits of a beautifully finished basement in Toronto are well worth the effort.
With the above steps outlined above, we are sure that you understand what a finished basement entails. We hope that we have been able to answer your questions about the steps you need to take when finishing your basement.
However, if you have further questions about basement renovation in Toronto, please reach out to us. We are home to experts with years of experience finishing basements in different styles. Contact us today!