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Know These Basement Finishing Mistakes Before Building Your Basement DIY ideas



Before you decide on any basement DIY ideas or go make your own man-cave, here are some of the things you need to know about what not to do when you’re finishing your basement.

DIY Ideas To Avoid Basement Finishing Fails

If you’re here, you’re probably already thinking or even planning on finishing your basement. That’d be all well and good until you realize too late that your basement still feels clammy and eerily uninviting – like my friend did once after he renovated his own basement. He spent a few thousand dollars and still, in the end, his basement did not feel like home. There are some things you need to know first before you take your time and resources on bringing your DIY basement ideas to life. Most of these mistakes are very easy to miss, so to make it smooth sailing for you, here they are:

1. Insulation On The Walls

Insulation On The Walls | Know These Basement Finishing Mistakes Before Building Your Basement DIY IdeasInsulation On The Walls | Know These Basement Finishing Mistakes Before Building Your Basement DIY Ideas
image via This Old House

Typically, I’d choose a warm and comfy basement rather than a damp and drafty one. Does your basement keep dry all year round? Have you lived long enough in your house to know about the current state of your basement? These simple questions answer whether or not you need to add insulation on the walls to help fend off moisture.

Waterproof materials are more likely to withstand the test of time as basement walls rather than wood. For example, molds form when it gets damp from time to time. Concrete bears moisture, as well. To fix this problem, I add foam as it will reduce the likelihood of a damp and moist basement.

2. Materials For Finishing

Materials For Finishing | Know These Basement Finishing Mistakes Before Building Your Basement DIY IdeasMaterials For Finishing | Know These Basement Finishing Mistakes Before Building Your Basement DIY Ideas
image via Express Flooring

I picked out my materials for finishing my basement with the possibility of leakages and floods. Hardwood flooring or laminate flooring, for example, may be ruined in the event of flooding or in spring thaw when everything gets damp and humid. In this case, it’s best to choose materials that aren’t natural such as vinyl. Adding foam may be another way, as I said in the previous item, as it would prevent your basement from getting ruined during wet days.

3. Drainage And Electronics

Drainage And Electronics | Know These Basement Finishing Mistakes Before Building Your Basement DIY IdeasDrainage And Electronics | Know These Basement Finishing Mistakes Before Building Your Basement DIY Ideas
image via Basement Systems

Again, if and when the basement floods or something with copious amounts of water spills (like a tank), water must be able to flow out. Planning for these unlikely events may save your basement. Forgetting to add a drainage system to your basement is a common mistake for many basement finishers.

On the other hand, electronics should be taken into consideration in basement finishing. Wiring the right way, with minimal exposure to any possible source of leaks, will prevent any problems of electrocution.

Interested in getting more visual cues for common basement finishing mistakes? Check out this 4-part video by John Turner!

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All these mistakes are easy to make, especially when you get just as excited as I do in giving my basement a makeover. So, don’t go crazy with any basement finishes and use these simple tips to avoid unwanted expenses.

Do you have more basement finishing or DIY ideas in mind? Or maybe, questions? Let us know in the comments section below.

Up Next: Low Basement Ceiling Ideas | Basement Makeover

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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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