Are There Basements That Can’t Be Renovated? What Existing Features Make Renovations Harder in Basements?

by | Apr 14, 2021

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If you’re running out of leisure space in your house, or just want an extra room for recreation, you may be interested in renovating your basement. Not only can remodeling or finishing a basement create a new space to enjoy in your home, it can also bring added value when it comes time to sell the property. Unfortunately, renovating can be a difficult process. This process only gets more complicated if you don’t know what to look out for.

We at Interior Excellence have been renovating homes for over 30 years. We’ve handled many projects and know what kind of obstacles can make a New Jersey basement remodel more difficult. If you’re worried about whether or not your basement can be remodeled, look no further. We’ll walk you through some of the most common issues with basement remodels, so you know what to expect with a possible renovation.


Are There Basements that Can’t be Renovated?

The short answer is yes, there are some situations in which it would be unwise or illegal to renovate a basement in a cost effective way. The cost effectiveness is an important factor because with modern engineering, any issue can be overcome. The problem is that some issues can not be solved in a way that makes sense for a homeowner. However, there are a number of issues that are common to basement renovations that can be overcome if the right steps are taken. 


Too Much Moisture

Probably the most common issue concerning basement remodels is the amount of moisture. Being underground, it’s common for basements to be damper than other areas of the house. This is due to both the geography of the room and the possibility for drainage, pipes, and flooding to reach the space.

Thankfully, it really requires a lot of moisture to prevent a basement remodeling. In most cases if there’s an issue with moisture or water getting into the space, it can be solved with a sealant like water-lock paint or caulking. If there’s an issue with drainage, the floor can be elevated slightly to allow room for the moisture to escape.


Code Requirements

Depending on where you live there are a number of safety regulations that concern building layouts. In regards to a basement remodel the most common issue you may have is with the height. Building codes commonly require at least 7.5 feet of clearance in a room. An unfinished basement, particularly in an older building may not have that much space. The only solution is to remove the concrete floor and dig deeper into the ground to create more space, which can be a difficult task.

Another code requirement that may affect your basement remodel are egresses. Egresses are exit points that allow occupants to escape the building in the case of an emergency. These could be stairs or windows large enough for someone to fit through. 



Depending on the level of renovating you want done, a contractor may need to install support columns to ensure that the space is safe for many years to come. Sometimes changes are made that change the size or shape of a basement, meaning that the structural integrity of the room may weaken over time. The solution is pretty straightforward. A support column is put in place to support that weakened. While it does take away from the space in the room a bit, they can also be attractive design elements with the right eye.



While lightning isn’t as much of an obstacle as some of the other elements discussed here, if you want to have an appealing, beautifully designed space, you’ll want a mixture of natural and artificial light. However, if your basement doesn’t already have windows for natural light some structural changes may have to be done to allow for it.

So as you can see, many existing features that make a basement remodel harder can be overcome with good craftsmanship and foresight. It’s important to be aware of these potential problems before any work starts, to ensure that you and your contractor have good solutions and no surprise costs pop up during the project.


If you’re looking for an experienced home remodeling service, then look no further than Interior Excellence LLC. We pledge to treat your home with the same dignity and respect we would treat our own, and we hold ourselves to strict deadlines so you can get back to enjoying your home as soon as possible. Call our team leader Myles at (908) 218-0200 today to get a free estimate on your project. It’s never too late to start exploring the possibilities for your home.