Things to Consider before Basement Finishing in Chicago

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Basements don’t have to be used as dingy store rooms. In Chicago, some times of the year it is simply just too cold to comfortably go outside. This is why many folks are remodeling their basements into a stylish retreat or a fun play room for their kids. Chicago home improvement requires special considerations due to the extreme elements that needs to be considered when remodeling your home.

The weather is a huge factor in Chicago when considering a remodeling project. Winter temperatures can drop to 18 degrees Fahrenheit on average, leaving it an uncomfortable time to do anything outside. The best time of year is to do it in the Spring right before the weather starts to become humid. The Northwest is known for its thick and humid summers that also make it uncomfortable to do any major building jobs. The fall is also a good time, because there is a small window between the humidity of summer and the freezing cold of winter.

After picking the timeframe during the year that you want to start your project, inspect your basement to ensure that there is no water damage. Heavy snows in Chicago can cause water to leak into the basement, causing damage and rot to the wood. If you build on top of damaged wood, you will just have to tear it all out again to fix the structural problems, wasting all the money you put into your home improvement efforts.

Basement finishing in Chicago is heavily dependent on the structural integrity of the home.
Next you should check the city codes before doing any physical alterations to your basement. There could be some policies that you have never heard of that may affect the original plan you may have had for your home. Some home renovations require a permit in order to do the particular project, so ask the city if you need anything to get started.

If you don’t get a required permit for your remodel job, homeowners insurance may not be obliged to pay for any damages caused to that area of your house. Additionally, if the city finds out you did work without a permit, they may require you to tear it out. This again voids all the money and time you spend into remodeling your basement.

Fines and penalties for not obtaining a permit can be triple or quadruple the original permit fee. Although permits can be an added cost and cause delays, it is generally a good idea to obtain one to protect you legally.

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