A finished basement is a desirable feature for homebuyers, and can add to the value of a home. In addition, it expands the livable space of a home by adding room for children to play, an extra bedroom and/or a recreation area for all ages. While finishing your basement sounds like a great idea, not all basements lend themselves to a remodel.
The first things to consider are the requirements laid out by the International Residential Code (IRC). Specifically, a basement living space must have a clear, floor-to-ceiling height of at least 7 feet (6 feet for bathrooms). There is also a requirement that the staircase leading from the home’s main level to the basement include a handrail and stairs with proper width, tread and riser dimensions. Lastly, there must be at least two means of egress from the basement via doors or windows for exits in an emergency.
If your home does not meet these requirements, it may still be possible to finish the basement; however, it will involve added expenses. For example, if the ceiling is not high enough, it is possible to raise your house and build up the foundation around it, or lower the floor, to gain the ceiling height you need. If the stairway isn’t wide enough or the steps aren’t to code, the staircase may need to be rebuilt.
Other considerations to make a basement a usable living space include heating and cooling, as well as controlling moisture. A contractor can tap into the existing HVAC system and then add vents or upgrade the system as necessary to comply with building codes. Any moisture problems can be solved by waterproofing walls and floors, grading the yard so water falls away from the foundation and/or installing a sump pump or drains around the foundation.
Wallingford PA Real Estate – Wallingford, PA 19086