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What to Know Before Remodeling Your Basement

by vscontent on January 26, 2018

What to Know Before a Basement RemodelFrom man caves and in-law suites to studios and Airbnbs, a basement remodel is a useful, beautiful, and cost-effective choice. In fact, the 2017 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report ranks a basement remodel as one of the top ten home improvement projects that give you a return on your investment.

According to national averages, you can expect an ROI of around 70%! That means if you spend $10,000, you’ll get back around $7,000 when you decide to sell your home. But there are a few things you should know before even thinking about it.

Before Remodeling the Basement

Before you decide to remodel your basement, you should be aware of all of the notorious problems with basement remodeling:

Moisture Issues

Basements are notorious for having moisture problems. One way you can test for moisture problems is by taping 2-foot squares of plastic sheeting on your basement’s walls, ceilings, and floors.

Return in a couple of weeks to observe the plastic sheets. If condensation has built up on the plastic, you will need to improve your basement humidity levels. This may include foundation improvements as well as an upgraded humidification system.

Heating Inspection

Most likely, if you have a basement, that’s where your heating and cooling system is located. One potential problem of having your HVAC system in the remodeled basement is the potential for combustion byproducts, such as carbon monoxide.

Before starting your basement remodeling project, contact a professional HVAC technician to inspect the health and functionality of your heating and ventilation system.

When you have a pro in your home, you can also ask them important questions about your carbon monoxide detectors, humidity levels, and how to increase energy efficiency.

One way to bypass the dangers associated with fuel-based HVAC systems is a ductless mini-split system. Ductless units are connected to outdoor heat pumps, eliminating the need for ducts and reducing your chance of combustion-related problems.

Don’t Cover HVAC or Water Heating Systems 

Your furnace and water heater need proper airflow for safe and efficient combustion. Do not enclose these units! Consult a professional HVAC technician about your basement remodeling plans before implementing them.

Air Seal and Insulate

In the effort to waterproof your basement and make it suitable for year-round use, you’ll want to air seal and insulate your basement. Consider addition extra insulation to the ceiling and floor as well. Speak with an HVAC expert about basement insulation and ventilation levels.

Carbon Monoxide and Combustion Gas Protection

If your furnace, water heater, or any fuel-burning appliance is in the basement, you will want to make sure the fuel is burning cleanly, safely, and efficiently. Whenever fuel is burned, combustion gases are created, some of which can be deadly such as carbon monoxide (CO).

Every home should have working CO detectors on every level of the home, but especially in basements with a fuel-burning appliance. Test you smoke and co detectors every 30 days.

For safe and efficient operation, schedule a professional furnace and water heater tune-up and cleaning every year. Never attempt furnace or water heater repair on your own.


Speak with the professionals at Pacific Heating & Cooling for your basement remodeling consultation. We’ll help you plan the basement of your dreams.

Since 1984, we’ve proudly served homeowners throughout Federal Way, Graham, Spanaway, University Place, Steilacoom, Sumner, Lakewood, Puyallup, Tacoma, and Gig Harbor.

Keep in touch with us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more useful HVAC tips and tricks for maintaining a safe and efficient home.