Among the options available for you, one that is preferred by most homeowners because of the advantages it offers. It is the conversion of the basement into a living space. So how do you go about it? What are the steps to take, and how much money is needed?
Deciding to convert a basement into a living space is also a better way to expand living space. However, it is also a solution subject to the respect of several rules. Indeed, such a project requires a lot of thought and a substantial budget. However, with the help of an expert, you are sure to succeed.
The administrative steps to convert a basement.
The very first thing to do when you decide to convert your basement into a living space is to go to the town hall to check the local sanitary regulations. This way, you can find out if your basement has the characteristics to be converted.
On the other hand, if you live in a condominium, you will need the authorization of the condominium association, even if you consider your work modest. And finally, you must make certain formalities according to the surface to be fitted out. If the surface is less than 5 m2, you are exempt from all formalities.
However, if it varies from 5 to 20 m2, you will have to declare works at the town hall. A building permit will be required when the surface area exceeds 20 m2 or when the façade or the supporting structures of the building are modified.
Types of rooms that can be built in a basement
Not all rooms will fit in a basement. This will depend on the height of your ceiling. If the ceiling is less than 2 m, it would be preferable to create a storage room.
If your basement is less than 2.10 m high, it would be suitable for one of those rooms where you do not spend all your time. For example, you can choose between a movie room, a playroom, or a spare bedroom. However, if you have a minimum height of 2.40 m, you can opt for an office, a master bedroom, or Studio.
Installing a kitchen and a bathroom in your basement studio, you will have to bring in water. This can be a bit complicated when the drains are too far away from the basement. The installation of a pump would generate enormous works, especially if you are in co-ownership. It would help if you did not forget that it will also be expensive.
Location of basement openings
If the basement is completely above ground, you can easily drill the openings you need. Garage door, entrance door, window door, windows, everything is allowed. This basement then appears more like a first floor. Considering the front door of the house at this level can be an interesting option.
But most often, part of the basement walls are buried and/or semi-buried. So you will have to open the openings in the walls that are still open to the air. The choice is sometimes limited to one wall section (allowing access to the basement from the outside) unless you plan to cut down a little more to create openings.
The real problem with basements is that moisture is always reaching the walls. Like a sponge in a bucket of water, water tends to rise by capillary action. Therefore, for more comfort, the basement must be completely sanitized. The good news is that there are several solutions to deal with this problem.
First, you can call on the services of a company that will inject resin into your walls (resin can block humidity) or rid your wall of excess humidity by means of drainage channels or drains.
However, if you live in a city, you will need to insulate the wall and the floor from moisture. To do this, you will need glued lining panels and plates, respectively. Finally, it will be necessary to think about ventilating the basement with an airflow, cold or hot, or ventilation.
It is important to note that the problem of humidity is not completely solved. For this, it will be necessary to create regular healthy and dry air currents associated with heating. As equipment, you will need an electric radiator.
Access to the basement
There is no point in building a basement without thinking about improving the path to it. Very often, the main staircase leading to the basement is narrow and steep. You will have to think about making it more comfortable to encourage frequent and easy use. It would help if you enlarged it or, in the worst case, choose another one.
A larger staircase will also be handy when the time comes to furnish the room. If you must enlarge the staircase or make a new one, you will have to spend more.
The floor and wall coverings.
Often wet, it will be impossible to keep the floor and walls as they are. You will have to dress them up, give them a second skin. To create a second layer, you can opt for a carpet or a parquet floor with a considerable thickness. Do not forget to coat the wall as well.
Having already insulated with plates at the time of moisture treatment, you will only need to increase the layers with paint. Think of putting wallpaper.
A basement where it is dark is not liveable, let alone welcome. Therefore, it should be illuminated with a zenithal and natural light. But that is not all. You also have the possibility to complete your lighting with artificial light.
You will then needled tracks, luminaires, and indirect light to transmit an impression of daylight.
Throughout the project, there will be an enormous production of waste that will need to be disposed of. However, handling such waste by yourself can be complicated. Therefore, it will be good to put in place a junk container disposal to take care of this.