questions about finishing a basement


    We’re house hunting; currently considering a house with a basement that is level with the backyard, at the back. My hope is that we could finish the bsement and use it for living space. The first issue I see is that we’d need to move the mechanicals – anyone know how difficult that is?

    Any other issues I should consider? The ceilings are high enough, and there are windows across the back, and a door. I would eventually want to open up sliding glass doors to make it brighter.

    Anyone have any ballpark figure for what it would take to finish and build out a cellar? It is a 17×40 house, and there is a cement floor but it is definitely just storage/mechanicals/laundry for now . . .


    2 Replies

    1. Moving the mechanicals if it’s a hydronic system is easier than moving if it’s steam. With steam you have to be more concerned with pipe pitch.

    2. Somebody recently brought issue of adding finished basement to the FAR of the house. In other words you need to calculate the total are of the house with finished basement and check with DOB side about the FAR limit for your zone.

      Moving mechanical is easy. moving chimney could be difficult. And mechanical with no chimney is like orchestra with no trumpet.

      If you will do it legally, you need to ger architect and see what he says. If you will do it quietly, you just can do it – who carers if you exceed FAR.