Rough plumbing in the wrong place. Untangling years of electrical work. Providing proper combustible air to furnace and water tank

Each basement project is a unique and fun experience for us. However, there are a few problems/issues that we run into time and again. Of course we always work under a building permit from the local city/county, so any problems that are not to building code need to be addressed. Here are three issues that we commonly come across that need to be addressed during a basement remodeling project.

Many times newer homes are built with the plumbing “roughed-in” for a basement bathroom. Once in a while we come across a situation where the plumbing locations are in the wrong place due to the design that the homeowner wants or a mistake made made by the builder. Either way, we will need to open up the slab to correct the issue. Most people recoil at the thought of opening the basement slab to move plumbing. Its actually a pretty easy fix. Depending on how far we are moving the plumbing, it can usually be done in half a day for a couple hundred dollars.

When doing a basement remodel in an older home, the biggest issue is usually the old electrical work. It is critical that the existing electrical work that will be covered up is brought up to current building code. Usually this involves rerouting wiring that connects to the floors upstairs and/or eliminating circuits that are currently serving the basement. Sometimes, even in newer homes, we have to add an electrical subpanel to handle the new circuits being added for the basement remodel.

Last, but not least, is the issue of combustible air. When finishing a basement a homeowner usually wants to isolate the furnace and hot water tank in a walled off storage space. This is best for the overall design of the new finished basement, but if done incorrectly could lead to a serious carbon monoxide issue. These two appliances need a certain volume of air in order to feed the burners and a means of exhaust. If you wall off the furnace and hot water tank in too small of a room you will need to provide a means to access the outside air. Each situation is different but the solutions are usually pretty easy.