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If you want to improve the quality of your basement, you’ll probably hear different terms thrown around. Basement remodeling and basement finishing are unique terms, and if you are unfamiliar with them, you might be left wondering if they have a difference. It is important to know that there’s a difference between these terms so that you can hire a contractor who best suits your needs. This post will highlight the difference between a basement remodel and a finished basement.

What is a Finished Basement?

This question often comes up for a lot of people because a property’s value increases when the basement is finished. In this case, a basement is considered finished if the space is livable or habitable. That means the entire level is complete and similar to the upstairs living areas. A finished basement includes finished floors, an electrical heating system, level ceilings, finished walls, and an accessible entrance. If there’s a bedroom designated in the space, it should be equipped with a closet and windows to count as a bedroom.

Things that Define a Finished Basement

You can most likely identify a finished basement just by looking at it. However, it’s not always the case. The following are things that define a finished basement.

  • Utilities: A finished basement must have the same utilities as the floor above. For instance, it should be heated and cooled with the same system as the rest of the house. It should have a permanently installed heating and cooling system with a consistent power source. A finished basement also shares plumbing with the floor above.
  • Similarity with the Rest of the House: If the basement has different walls and floors from the rest of the house, it is considered unfinished. A finished basement’s floor is completely covered while the walls and ceiling are properly painted like the rest of the house. A finished basement must also have drywall.
  • Accessibility: A finished basement is directly accessible and attached to the rest of the house. For instance, the stairs must lead to the basement and should be permanent. The stairs should also be built to code with proper clearances. It’s also vital to have stairs that lead from the basement to the outside as long as there are also permanent stairs inside the house that lead to the basement.

What is a Basement Remodel?

A finished basement is move-in ready, as it is as complete as the rest of the house. However, a homeowner can decide to modify and reorganize the space over time. That’s what is called a basement remodel. A basement remodel involves renovating a previously finished basement. This can include converting it into several rooms with different uses or improving its curb appeal.

Signs it’s time for a basement remodel

Most homeowners often neglect the basement because it’s not one of the most visible parts of the home. However, it’s also an integral part that deserves to look as good as the rest of the home. It can have many uses, especially for a growing family that needs more space. This section shares apparent signs of a basement remodel.

  • Structural Damages: It’s vital to enlist basement remodeling services in case of any structural damages in the area. It could be the walls, flooring, ceiling, or pillars. Such damages make the basement unsightly and pose adverse risks to the rest of the house.

  • Waterproofing signs: Water sports are a clear sign that there’s a leakage in the basement. It’s an indication that something must be fixed immediately to avoid further problems in the future. A musty and damp smell is also a clear indication that water has entered the floors or the walls. It could lead to mold growth; that’s why you should consult with a basement remodeling expert before the problem worsens.
  • Outdated Materials: If you have an older house, it’s highly possible that your basement was built using outdated materials. The materials might be of low quality or contain harmful chemicals. A basement remodel allows you to use the most advanced materials that are more durable and energy-efficient.
  • Need for More Space: One of the best reasons for a basement remodel is when you have no more space upstairs. This is especially true if your family is still growing. You can remodel the basement to include more bedrooms and a living room to create space for everyone.
  • Unusable Basement: Perhaps there’s significant damage that makes your basement unusable. In this case, a complete makeover is the best bet. It makes the basement more livable and safer. A professional basement remodeler can help you make the transitions that turn the area into a comfortable and usable space.
  • Entertainment Space: If you fancy hosting guests and parties at your home, a basement remodel will do you a big favor. A qualified remodeler will help you include all the elements that will make your guests comfortable and enjoy your living space. For instance, they can add a bathroom and a small kitchen for an ideal entertainment spot.

Things to Consider During a Basement Remodel

If your basement is unfinished or requires an upgrade, it’s vital to have a plan. First, you must have a budget to know how much you are comfortable spending on the project. You should also include unexpected costs to avoid inconveniences during the project. It’s also crucial to consider the purpose of the remodel so that your contractor can tailor the best solutions to meet your needs. In addition, you have to choose a highly qualified basement remodeler. The contractor should be well-versed with the remodeling project and equipped with the tools to handle the task.

In Summary

 A basement remodel, and a finished basement might sound similar, but the two are quite different. A finished basement is a livable space with all utilities, including plumbing, an HVAC unit, and electricity. However, basement remodeling is a larger project that involves upgrading the area. It is a basement overhaul that includes significant changes. It requires more skills and experience, so only professionals like All In One Design should handle it.