Finishing your basement is an excellent renovation to increase the value of your Collingwood home. With some planning and know how you can create a palace in your unused area or if you do it wrong a dungeon!

Is your basement suitable? Consider head room, location of the furnace hot water heater and sump pump. Fix any of your moisture problems beforehand. Now is the time to move and plumbing pipes or ducting that may be in the way. Visit your town and get all the necessary permits, building and electrical and have the work inspected. Saving on the permit may cause a problem when you sell later on

- Insulation. Exterior walls will require moisture barrier insulation and a vapour barrier if you have a newer home it is already insulated with a product called foundation wrap. Make sure your rim joists are insulated (the slot between the foundation wall and the floor above).

DriCore Sub Floor

- Sub floor. The concrete slab of your floor conduct the cold from the ground and creating an unpleasant cold floor. Installing a sub floor will act as a moisture barrier and keep your floors warm. Dricore is an excellent product which is an interlocking 2’x2’ wooded tile. A basement can be done in 3-4 hours.

- Sound proofing. Use sound proof insulation in the ceilings and any bedroom walls. It will stop noise transmission between room and floors. Your hardware store will recommend some good products.

Sound proofing can make all the difference

- Heating and ventilation. This is often over looked. Older gas furnaces draw cold air from inside the house. By building a small furnace room the restricted fresh air flow will reduce the efficiency of the furnace. Some extra ventilation is needed. Ensure that there are heating ducts in every room but also cold air returns in the bedrooms and the familyroom for proper air flow. Long and short call a heating contractor and they can get you to code.

- Building walls. The quickest and easiest material to use is metal studs. It is flexible, easy to work with and doesn’t shrink or warp like wood. Remember your foundation walls might not be square so square up your new stud walls it will make the next steps easier.

- Electrical. This is serious stuff do it wrong you could burn your house down! If you can do it yourself get a permit and have it inspected. If you don’t when you sell your house it could kill a deal. Either way now is the chance to upgrade your fuse panel to a proper breaker panel and install proper breakers in for bedrooms and the kitchen. A smart idea is to include a surge suppressor to protect all the electronics in the house.

- Drywall. I feel this is best left to the professionals. If you want to cut your costs install the board and have a professional tape it. There is nothing worse a wobbly wall showing all the tape joints.

- Finishes. Carpet, flooring, tiles, paint, bathroom fixtures and cabinetry can really add to your cost. Shop around and look for sales. I try to find flooring between $1-$5 a square foot tile being the cheapest to buy and engineered hardwood being the most expensive. Shop for these items right away so a deal isn’t missed. By keeping an eye out shop the sales you can save hundreds.

Finishing your basement can be a very rewarding and create a new living space for your growing family. Doing it right will make your Collingwood home more saleable in the future do it cheap and it could be a liability.