If you love the idea of using your basement as an extra guest room, then you will need to make some improvements. Unless you already have a finished basement, there are major changes that need to be done. You don't want to simply clean out the basement and set up a bed. That's not only visually unappealing, it can also be unhealthy and even dangerous. So, with that in mind, here are a few things you need to get done before you let your out-of-town guests spend the night downstairs.

Cover Exposed Ceilings And Foundation Supports

This is both an aesthetic issue as well as a health issue. In many basements, the ceilings have fiberglass insulation that is exposed. This insulation is necessary, but it should be covered. You don't want people to sleep in a room that has exposed insulation. It is not healthy. You can either use plastic sheeting, or get plain foam board that you can staple to the joists. You can then paint this foam board to match your decoration plan.

Partition Off Boiler and Circuit Breaker

You don't want your guests to wander over and mess around with sensitive areas such as the circuit breakers, your oil burner, and hot water tank. So it would be a good idea to partition off the area. You can bring in a contractor to do this if you are not comfortable framing a wall with 2 by 4's.

Waterproofing The Walls and Floors

Before you consider buying a bed, sofa, or even carpets, you will need to waterproof the basement. This will prevent the room from having the damp feel that is so indicative of a basement that has not been waterproofed. The walls and the floors will need to be treated with sealants. This will prevent the room from gathering any dampness from the surrounding soil or, in a worst case scenario, actual puddles of water in the event there is a heavy rainstorm.

Once you have the walls treated with a vapor blocking sealant, you should speak with the contractor and ask them how to best cover the walls. If you do plan on framing a wooden wall in front of the concrete wall, you should ask the waterproofing contractors how to do this. They will most likely direct you to have a separation so that the wood framing does not touch the concrete wall, but is instead buffered by a special waterproof material. They might also suggest a space for a channel of air to pass through.

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