Finished Basements

The following guidelines are intended for any contemplated basement usage or remodeling.

  • Assume that the basement will have moisture problems at some point in time.
  • Install any water heater, washing machines etc. near a floor drain or on a special pan which collects water from any leaks.
  • Use pressure-treated lumber for plates and other material that could become wet or have to be in contact with concrete surfaces. Maintain a minimum of 1" air space between any other framing and concrete walls.
  • Leave a 1" plus air space between the bottom of drywall walls and floor surfaces. This will help reduce water from wicking into the drywall. This gap can be covered with a base trim.
  • Use paperless drywall in areas subject to moist conditions. In shower and tub areas don't use any kind of drywall. See: Tub and Shower Walls
  • Any carpeting should be installed without glue or tack strips so as to facilitate removal and drying if/when necessary. Carpet which becomes wet must be dried out ASAP, preferable by having the carpet removed and professionally dried.
  • Store items on shelves that allow for some air circulation all around the stored material.
  • Forced air heating systems tend to provide uneven heat in basements. The air at the top of the room is hot, at the floor it is cold. Zone heating such as electric wall heaters or gas fireplaces work well in such areas.