Assessing Your Basement Space

Assessing Your Basement Space

This modern basement is ideal for finishing. Support posts will be covered later using the method outlined in future lessons of this course.

Unfinished basements vary a lot. Some are a new and clean – a dream to finish, with lots of headroom, bone-dry conditions year-round, and foundation walls that look like the day they were made. Other unfinished basements aren’t nearly so nice. They look and feel like a medieval torture chamber. Dark, damp and distressing, the physical and financial challenges of finishing a space like this can be considerable. In fact, it’s sometimes impossible to finish some basements so they don’t contaminate the rest of your house with mold spores and the smell of mildew.

Most basements can be finished successfully, but not all of them. How do you know if your basement is finish-worthy? Think about the basement assessment questions coming up next, then answer them honestly. Just remember, cheating has consequences. Answer truthfully and accurately and you’ll be the big winner. Don’t let hope and enthusiasm cloud your judgement. Ideally, the assessment exercises you’ll find coming up are best done on an unfinished basement with junk removed. Walls and floors should be open and visible. If you’re basement is currently finished and you’re planning to gut and refinish it, the work of observation is still possible but more challenging.