It is a great plan to add more living space to your home by finishing off the basement. However, many things must be considered before the process begins and you make the investment. A good plan must be in place beginning with any moisture problems. Consider the best options for the ceiling, including insulation and lighting sources.
Make it Efficient
It is important to seal any existing gaps between the pipes that extend to the rest of the home. You will also need to use spray foam or caulk for the process. Be sure to enclose any gaps between the masonry and framing of the exterior, including the rim joist which is the foundation wall supporting the home's floor joists. Condensation can enter these areas, but the caulk or foam should help the problem. Pressure treated wood should be used in case it gets wet to prevent rotting.
Using a drop ceiling, also called a suspended ceiling, will allow easy access to valves and pipes and also provide easy wiring access for lights. These panels will also absorb some of the sound created from the rooms above. Plan on losing about four or five inches of the ceiling space. If damage occurs from backed up plumbing from the upper floors, you will only need to repair or replace the damaged areas, not the entire ceiling.
The materials for an average room if you do the work should cost approximately $300 to $400. The prices vary depending on the type of ceiling chosen. On average, you should plan on spending in the neighborhood of $2 to $5 per square foot for the cost of materials. Therefore, it is important to take all of the measurements for the area you enclose before you start the project. If not, you can exceed the budget quickly.
Before enclosing the ceiling with drywall, consider problems this can cause if you have water damage. If any pipes overflow, such as a toilet, you will have permanent stains on the ceiling. This will require removing sections of the ceiling to repair the damage. The entire ceiling will need to be refinished.
Using drywall for the ceiling will not provide as much soundproofing as used with a drop ceiling.
These are just a few suggestions to consider before you decide which material you want to use for the ceiling in the basement. Researching building codes may need to be considered before you convert the basement to a living space. It is always best to be prepared and understand all of the steps before you begin the process. It can become difficult, and may require a professional in case you are not educated in building or adding onto the home.
To learn more, find a contractor near you.