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Pre-Planning Guide to a Basement Remodel

When considering a basement conversion you need plenty of prior planning and enough research to discover how best to proceed with the project.

basement planning

A good first resource is a renovator who can demonstrate prior work of a similar nature as along with building up basement renovations are not a project for well-intentioned amateurs. Sometimes another good initial resource is a neighbour who has undertaken a similar project - amble on over and take a look at their project, ask questions, and get the low-down. Pretty soon your neighbour will be cracking the top of a cold bottle of and in a gesture of male bonding you’ll toast to the success of your own project.


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Here are some factors to mull over in planning for a basement remodel:


If you live in an older home, your basement was built for cool storage and lacks an appropriate drainage system and exterior waterproofing. In this case, you may need the services of a professional excavation contractor to achieve and maintain dryness in the space.

Access / Safety:

Make sure stairway access either inside or outside is compliant with current building codes, dependent on how you use the space. Also make sure adequate headroom and legal egress exists, and a functional smoke detector is installed.


What purpose you intend to use the space for will determine if plumbing is necessary. If you decide on a bedroom with an attached bathroom or a washing machine, then of course a plumbing setup will be necessary.


Often one of the challenges with basement conversions is getting natural light into the space. The use of atriums, light tunnels and strategically placed windows can help to overcome these challenges a good lighting plan is a critical part of a successful basement renovation.


An older home’s electrical system is dated and will need to be brought up to code. Don’t stint on this expense because safety first should be your priority for family or anyone else using the space.

Building consent:

Depending on the type of renovation you are considering a building consent will most probably be required for such a project. Typically this takes 4 weeks to go through council plus the time taken to prepare the documentation so allow for this in planning your start date.



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Basements are frequently underutilised spaces, and doing a basement conversion can turn an underused cold & damp space into an attractive and functional addition to your home, adding resale value when the time comes to put your home on the market. View some examples here..


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