(ARA) - With all the uncertainty surrounding today's economy, more people are saving money by enjoying quality time at home. Some are using this time to invest in room or whole-house makeovers to enhance the value of their homes.
One of the most obvious makeover targets is the basement. Now is the perfect time to convert that space into an entertainment venue you will be proud to show off and where you will be able to spend your free time comfortably.
Many of the projects can be completed with the help of your local ARA-member rental store. Renting tools to complete the job can save you money and storage space after the job is finished. Rental stores also offer expert advice on using equipment safely and efficiently.
Begin by deciding what you need to do to make your basement the most comfortable place in your house. Plan a timeline with all the steps, including areas where you may need additional help from a professional.
Here is a list of steps to complete a basement renovation from start to finish:
1. Check to see what building permits may be needed. Every city is different, and you don't want to start any do-it-yourself home project without being certain you have all the necessary permits.
2. Moisture-proof walls and floors. Often, moisture in a basement is a result of poor drainage outside. Rent a skid-steer to correct the grade outside your house. The ground around your house should fall away from the foundation at least 6 inches within the first 10 feet around the perimeter of the home.
3. Frame walls, rooms and ceiling. Renting a pneumatic nailer will make the job move quickly.
4. Rough in electrical, plumbing, cable and telephone connections. This is an area where you may want professional help. If you work on these projects yourself, rent a conduit bender to run wires, and a voltage meter to test your installed wiring.
5. Schedule electrical and plumbing inspections.
6. Install insulation and vapor barrier. This will help keep your basement warm and dry.
7. Install drywall, sand, tape and prime it. Drywall gives a finished look to a space but can be difficult to install. Rent a drywall router or a keyhole saw to cut corners and special angles flawlessly.
8. Add flooring. If you choose carpet, be sure to add enough padding to make it as comfortable as possible. You can rent a carpet stretcher and install the carpet yourself. Or choose hardwood to add warmth to the space. For wood floors, you can rent a pneumatic floor nailer to speed the job along.
9. Paint the walls. Renting a paint sprayer will make the job quick and give you the professional results you want.
10. Install trim, molding and baseboards. Rent a compound miter saw for cutting perfect corners.
11. Put in light fixtures. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. Rent a hole saw to install can lights in the ceiling, expanding the space.
12. Get final inspections and enjoy your new space!
Renting tools from an ARA-member rental store will stretch your budget dollars further, and the expertise of the rental store staff will make doing the project yourself easy.
The pride for your newly finished basement will be yours to own forever. Most everything else? Well, that you can rent! To find your local ARA-member rental store, visit www.RentalHQ.com, the world's largest rental store locator. You can search by geographic location and by the specific type of equipment you are looking to rent.