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Having a home with a basement is a great feature. Even if it’s unfinished, it’s an excellent place to store anything that you want, as well as seasonal decorations. However, at some point or another, the time will come when you’ll start to think about turning your basement into a livable space. When that time comes, you’ll want to be prepared, so we’re bringing you our list of essential tips for finishing your basement.

Talk To Some Professionals

Whether you plan on doing all the work or relatively none of it, you’ll want to start your process by consulting with home renovation specialists. They’re going to have some key insights on what you should do regarding your personal floorplan. We can give you all the tips in the world, but every basement is different. That means there might be something special about yours that you’ll have to account for when building.

Fix Any Problems Before You Start

Once you identify any problems, make it your number one priority to get them resolved. You can deal with issues like leaky pipes or uneven floors after you’ve finished, but it will be much more difficult with walls and flooring in the way. Even if the problem seems minor, you’ll be better off fixing it now rather than later.

Prepare for Possible Flooding

Not all basements flood and there are steps you can take to prevent the ones that are prone to it from doing so. However, you still need to prepare for a worst-case scenario. The main thing to take into account when it comes to flooding is the floors. While some are inherently better than others when it comes to water damage, there are significant pros and cons to each type, so be sure to figure out which one is the best for your needs.

It would also be a good idea to keep all electrical components higher off the ground than you usually would. For example, placing wall outlets higher up on the wall will keep any flooding from becoming dangerous due to coming into contact with an outlet.

Take Lighting Seriously

On average, basements have one window, and since they’re underground, not much light comes out of it. That means you need to install more light fixtures than you would in a standard room. If you decide to put up a lot of walls, you’ll have some rooms that are pitch black without a light being on. Having enough lighting will make the space feel much more livable.

Plan for the Long-Term

The most essential tip for finishing your basement is to make long-term plans with it. For example, if you plan on having or already have children, there’s a good chance your oldest will want a more private area to live in. Finished basements are perfect for this. If you build a room and miniature kitchen down there, they will get some needed independence, which will help them better adjust to living on their own someday. Regardless of your plans for the basement, just make sure you have them and take them into account when working on it.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.