Add Value with a Finished Basement

Add Value with a Finished Basement

Could your house use some extra square footage? Before you start planning for an addition, take a look downstairs - specifically, the basement. A finished basement not only gives you extra space, it can also add value to your home - not just in terms of resale value, but also in quality of life while you live in the house. 

Does the basement need any repairs first?

Make sure you take care of any foundation leaks or other moisture issues before remodeling starts. Covered walls and floors can trap incoming moisture and lead to mold, mildew and condensation, so ask your remodeler about sealing the concrete first.

How will you condition the space?

Have a contractor confirm that your existing HVAC equipment can serve the basement. It can get cold underground, so insulate walls, ceilings, and pipes if you can. Instead of the hard concrete flooring typically found in basements, use carpet or area rugs for a warmer and softer floor. Be sure to specify products that can be used below grade.

Is your home on grade?

If so, think about making the basement a walkout. This one change can add considerable value to your home.

How much natural light is available in your basement?

Most basements are dark and have little to no access to daylight, which could impact the space i€™s need for artificial lighting. If your basement is partially above ground, you may be able to have windows put in, though this will add considerable cost to your project. Regardless, the unique nature of finishing a basement requires a professional is touch if you are doing much more than just repainting or swapping out furniture.

How concerned are you about payback?

The average basement remodel typically comes in around $60,000 and has a payback in the 65-70% range, according to several years of Remodeling Magazine as Cost Vs. Value Report. If you plan to sell eventually, experts recommend not spending more than 10% of your home is value on redoing the basement, particularly since underground space is typically only valued at about half of the above-ground space as worth. You can maximize the future resale value by making the basement into a room that would appeal to a wide swath of potential buyers, like a home office, extra bedroom, or family room. However, if you plan to stay in the house for a long time, you are free to use the extra space for whatever your family needs - perhaps a crafting or hobby room, a playroom for kids, a home gym, a wet bar, or even a rentable apartment if the space can meet your local apartment requirements. Careful attention to these five considerations will ensure your remodel results in a finished basement that exceeds all of your expectations.

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