Did you know that there is a difference between renovating your basement, remodelling it, and finishing it? Although these terms may seem similar, they are, in fact, entirely different projects. So before you make the call to a basement contractor for a consultation, you should learn the difference between the basement renovation, remodel, and finishing.
So, What Is the Difference?
Renovating a basement involves making improvements to the basement by doing repairs and upgrading some aspects of the basement like installing new counters or other fixtures. The purpose of basement renovation is to restore a damaged basement to its original state; for example, ripping out the floor tiles after water damage and replacing them, or making aesthetic upgrades to your basement that will improve your basement’s appearance.
A basement renovation project is typically a quick and easy project. You only need about 2 weeks to renovate your basement.
Remodelling a basement goes a step further than renovating by making structural changes to the design and layout of the basement. Essentially, it means a basement overhaul, so significant changes like adding onto an existing basement or underpinning a basement are examples of basement remodelling. This also means that remodelling a basement takes a lot more skill, time, and experience to finish than renovating it would.
In terms of duration, remodelling is a more invasive project than a renovation. It takes about 4-6 weeks to remodel a basement.
Finishing a basement is setting it up from scratch. An unfinished basement doesn’t have the elements that make it livable. So, finishing a basement means you install drywall, plumbing, insulation, legal egress, ventilation, and flooring. In a nutshell, basement finishing (or basement construction) means you are preparing a base that can be either remodelled or renovated in the future.
Basement finishing starts with the building permit procedure which takes up to 10 business days. Once your permit is processed, the finishing stage is usually 2 weeks long.
Another key difference between renovation, remodelling, and finishing is that renovations can be a DIY project for the homeowner while basement remodelling and finishing require a qualified, licensed contractor to do the job.
Why You Need to Know the Difference
Knowing the difference between remodelling, renovating, and finishing your basement allows you to understand what your options are. While both add value to your home, finishing and remodelling usually require more extensive work and will, therefore, cost more than a renovation. As a result, you will make much smarter choices about your basement project:
☑ Determine your budget based on the type of basement project
☑ Find the right basement contractor for your project
☑ Know exactly how you want to utilize your basement
☑ Accurately calculate how long your basement project will take
In addition, understanding the difference between basement projects ensures your basement is up to municipal regulations. Building laws are ever-changing, and safety codes are updated continuously. This means that basements older than 15-20 years are outdated and possibly unsafe to live in. The materials, plumbing, wiring, window and door requirements, energy-efficiency recommendations have changed.
For instance, if you wish to renovate a basement older than 15-20 years, you must invest in a remodel first to make it legal. Then, you can confidently begin your renovation project, knowing it complies with city laws and is energy-efficient.
Making the Decision to Renovate, Remodel, or Finish
Whether you opt for a renovated basement or a remodelled one, it’s a good idea to consult a basement renovation contractor. In many cases, homeowners choose to remodel and renovate at the same time, which saves you time and condenses the two projects into one. This is why it is so important to take the time to think through your overall plan for your basement.
How would you like to make use of your basement in the future? Asking yourself this question can help point you in the right direction. The more useful a basement is, the more value it will add to your home. By planning ahead, you can determine whether to renovate, remodel, or finish your basement.