While a finished basement is a great idea both to add value to your house and as an extra living space that is very versatile, there are many things that you need to think about before you even begin planning about what to put in the basement. This will also help you with planning the layout of your brand-new living space.
Take care of all the moisture problems.
Basement waterproofing is the most important task you need to consider before you start thinking about finishing your basement. For many, you unfinished basement will have just been lying there with that particular attention being given to its moisture problems for years. This might mean that there are several problem areas where moisture is collecting and bigger problems like mold and mildew might also be present. You might need to get an expert in to get rid of any mold that might have grown in the basement and also plug up any areas where moisture is coming in.
Make sure that there is plenty of light.
You want to get in as much natural light as possible to make it a natural living space. This should also be considered when planning a layout so that you can put your most used spot in the area where there is the most natural lighting. Install oversize windows with large wells on the outside so that you can get as much light in as possible.
Check for rot and insect damage.
You may have to use an awl so that you can probe in the floor joists, header and ring joists, the sill plate and the wood frames of windows to make sure that there is no rot or insect damage. Make sure the floor joists do not sag as well by blinding onto a ladder and looking across them when you nearly eye level with the underside of the joists. Make sure none of them are out of line.
Make sure you want Carbon monoxide buildup.
You may need to call in an expert to check all the heating equipment and the ventilation and ductwork in the house make sure that there is no carbon monoxide being built up below the ground.
These preliminary preparations done, you can start planning and building a very desirable place for your family to spend some time.