Living space is gold! Particularly in this time of staying home to stay safe, having room for all your family’s activities is essential. The most obvious location to add living space to your home is the basement. But before you go hanging drywall and shopping for a wet bar, be sure you understand what is involved. While there is much to be gained from adding living space to your home, there are prerequisites and challenges to be aware of. 


The benefits of finishing a basement cannot be understated. Few of us have the luxury of feeling as if we have “too much” living space in our home. Creating an additional space that can serve as a family room, game room, home office, even a ‘bedroom’ is a benefit to the average person or family. Not sure what to use a finished basement for? That’s okay! It is easily the most versatile space in your home. Start off with a family room, then later turn it into that home office you’ll need when you start your own business. The possibilities are limited only by your needs and imagination!


Before your dreams get too big, you do need to look at the space objectively. What is it used for now? If your unfinished basement is essentially a giant closet for storage, where will you move all of those things to? Finishing a basement is a great opportunity to downsize your ‘hoard’ with a yard sale or some Facebook Marketplace listings. If you still find yourself in need of storage space, consider adding a shed to your property or a loft in the garage.


There are some important factors about the space that can ultimately determine how much this type of project will cost and even if it is practical at all. The first of these is moisture. Any moisture in your basement must be 100% controlled and/or eliminated. This is a common problem and, depending on the source, can be conquered by foundation repair, extending downspouts, sump pumps, or a subfloor drainage system.


Clearance is another major issue. The minimum clearance for a finished basement is generally 7’. Keep in mind that if you plan to add a drop ceiling to hide the plumbing, wiring, and joists under the floor above, that will reduce the current clearance. Most basements built in the 1950’s and later have either poured concrete foundation walls or cinder blocks. Both generally provide ample clearance for a remodel. But older homes with stone foundations may not provide enough room. Clearance can be added to most basements by excavating the floor but this can be a costly addition to your project.


Any project requires that building permits are pulled, codes are adhered to, and inspections are performed by your municipality’s building inspector. These ensure that all construction results in a safe structure and allows for proper access by emergency crews in the event of a fire. Failure to do this can lead to serious issues, particularly when you go to sell your home.


The value that additional living space can add to your home will off-set some of the costs associated with the project. At Distinct Construction of Northern Kentucky, we are ready to help you get started. Visit our website or give us a call today to start planning and turn that old space into a new space!