renovating basement

Don’t Make These 5 Mistakes When Finishing a Basement

Finishing your basement is a big home project. It’s an understatement to say that it takes effort because basement finishing involves a lot of details. However, the result of your actions is often worth the money and effort. 

Whether you are doing this on a solo home project or hiring a contractor will benefit you to know the do’s and don’ts of basement finishing. This way, you can save time and grief. 

These are the five mistakes you shouldn’t make when finishing a basement: 

1. Not resolving water damage

Issues about the drainpipe around your house’s foundation can result in problems in your basement. You may be unaware of these problems prior to finishing the basement but it may appear right when you’re investing in finishing walls and furnishings. To prevent this, ensure that there is no water damage around and outside your house and if there is, address the issue before you remodel. It is much more expensive to correct water damage after your basement remodelling.

2. Having a poor floor plan

A bad floor plan will limit your creative space. If your basement has a lot of awkwardly placed features like the furnace, drains, ductwork, and pipes, that may impede design. While some features may be covered or creatively incorporated into the layout, others may stick out like a sore thumb. If you cannot resolve the issue of a poor floor plan, you can find ways to exercise creativity into adapting to these features. 

3. Bad lighting

Since basements barely get natural light from outside, it is better to invest in good quality lighting that will make the space more inviting. Invest in indoor lighting that’s used even during the day to avoid a dark and uninviting interior. A darkly lit space won’t feel homely where you can do certain activities, and the right lighting can often change the mood in a place once it’s refurbished.

4. Failing to secure a backup sump pump

Americans spend millions of dollars per year in basement flood cleanup and restoration of flood-damaged homes. This kind of damage is usually not covered by homeowners insurance and even insurance companies limit the coverage for particular basement flood damages. 

In addition, even if you think your basement has proper protection, like a working sump pump against flood, a backup battery-operated sump pump will save you worries. A battery-operated backup will protect your basement from extreme weather conditions like storms that cause power outages. It’s only wise to have a battery backup in case of an electrical malfunction or pump failure. 

5. Wrong application of vapor barriers.

A lot of DIY channels get the application of vapor barriers incorrect. When you apply poly sheets over the studs and the fiberglass, you must allow the walls and floors enough time for the moisture to evaporate before applying vapor barriers. Failing to do so will only trap the water vapor between these materials and allow it to condensate and grow into mold.


Having a home project like basement finishing is difficult when you’re doing it solo. You still can, but just make sure you don’t make these mistakes, or else your efforts could end up in vain. On the other hand, getting professional help or hiring local handyman services will help you get the job done in no time. 

If you’re looking for basement finishing and other remodelling services in Maryland, Handyman Rockville has you covered! We help clients turn their design ideas into reality with our hassle-free home improvement services. We prioritize client satisfaction in every remodeling project we do as shown in the high ratings we get from Rockville homeowners. Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you realize your ideas!

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