Environmental Issue & Sick Building Syndrome Blog

Avoiding the Most Common Mistakes in Finishing Basements

August 18th, 2013 10:38 PM by Dan Howard

Allow enough room around the hot water tank and furnace for both servicing and replacement of those units. You will not like your plumber removing a section of wall to change your hot water tank.

Plan your rooms so that electrical panels are not located in clothes closets, bathrooms or stairwells.  That is an electrical code requirement. 

Allow for floor drains to be located where the traps can be filled with water. Sewer odor is a common problem if a trap dries out under a carpet. 

Provide for heating, cooling and fresh air.  There are vent dampers, fresh air exchangers and other techniques to keep the air fresh and comfortable in the basement. Call a professional for that part of the project. Most home improvement contractors and DIYers don’t have the skill to make that important room comfortable year around.

Solve moisture problems without adding interior French drains if possible. If an interior french drain is installed, seal the system.

Add enough lighting. Consider adding enough light fixtures to create a pleasant and bright environment. Even if you call it a “man cave”, dark rooms are not pleasant and inviting.    
Do not install sheet vinyl, not matter how much easier it is to do. These floors trap moisture underneath the surface. The floor then turns gray with stains from moisture

Posted in:General
Posted by Dan Howard on August 18th, 2013 10:38 PM



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