7-Step Checklist to Refinishing Your Basement

Having a finished basement creates additional living space, and can provide a retreat for both adults and kids. Not only do finished basements provide more living space, they can also increase your home’s resale value. Before you start your home renovation to include a finished basement, go through this 7-step checklist to make sure your home is prepped and ready for it. Long Island residents know that they can trust our experienced professional staff to handle all their home remodeling needs. We take pride in improving clients’ quality of life through designing and constructing spaces that balance functionality and personality.

Water Issues

Before refinishing your basement, you must check for any water issues. Moisture or water leaks will stall your project, so fix the issue right away by looking for foundation cracks, pools of water or drips, and inspecting the outdoor space where the basement is located.


Obtaining the necessary permits for a renovation project such as refinishing your basement is a key step on the checklist. Do your research on local ordinances pertaining to the scope of work that’s about to be done, such as whether a full kitchen will be installed or if you’re planning on doing any plumbing and electrical work.

Leave Enough Headroom

Leave enough space for everyone to walk around comfortably, especially if lighting, a new ceiling or ducts are being installed. The ideal height is 8’, or 9 to 10’ if the basement is part of a new construction. Don’t go any less than 7’6”.

Keep Mechanical Systems Accessible

Don’t seal off mechanical systems such as plumbing lines, water heaters and HVAC units. These systems need to be accessible for repairs and inspections. Although it might look like an eye sore, it’s easier in the long run if issues come up and repairmen need easy access.


Keep the cold outdoors and the heat indoors by insulating your basement. Insulation serves more than one purpose; it also keeps sound inside and adds another moisture barrier.

Install Heating Vents in Baseboards

Installing heaters in your baseboards will ensure your basement is getting the proper heat it needs during the winter months, since space heaters can be dangerous. Since warm heat rises, it’s wise to install heaters at floor level.

Examine Staircase

Before your basement project gets underway, check your existing staircase to make sure it’s safe enough for more foot traffic. Narrow staircases tend to be more dangerous so consider switching to a more traditional staircase design. Also check for loose steps.

Center Island Contracting is your contractor of choice for new home buyers or those undergoing home renovations on the north shore of Nassau county, Long Island. Our qualified professional new home construction management team is here to help you build the new home of your dreams. With the knowledge about local and New York State laws, our staff can answer all your questions and streamline the entire process. Email us or call (631) 465-9765.