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Inspect Plumbing and Wiring
You will probably need to add plumbing and wiring to your basement, including a separate bathroom. Check on existing sytsems to see what expansions and upgrades need to be done. Remember, you'll need a permit for this work.
Photo: David Papazian/Shutterstock
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Seal the Rim Joists
Uninsulated rim joists are huge energy losers. Now's the time to insulate and seal your rim joists. One option is to seal the rim joists with rigid insulation cut to fit. We recommend a minimum of 2-in.-thick extruded polystyrene, but check your local codes to see what's required. If you have a table saw, use it to cut strips equal to the depth of your joists. Then use a fine-tooth handsaw, utility knife or miter saw to cut the strips to length. Fill small gaps with caulk, and larger ones with expanding spray foam from a can.
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Install Proper Egress Windows
One of the most important parts of those basement building codes we mentioned are egress windows, basement windows that both let in light and allow people to escape in case of an emergency. A live-in basement requires these windows, so be prepared to expand existing windows and renovate your foundation to make room for them. We can help you install egress windows yourself.