Besides adding more usable living space to your home, a finished basement can also add a good deal of resale value. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, finishing your basement can yield a return on your investment of up to 70% at resale. While you may have decided you want to finish your basement or cellar, or want to upgrade an already-finished basement, you may not know exactly what you want to do with the space. There are so many options to consider, from your budget to your needs and wants. These top seven considerations will help you in your planning.
- What do you want? What do you need? Think about how your finished basement could best address both your needs and wants. Do you need an extra guest suite? Would you like a great space for entertaining or a home theater? Do the kids need a place to spread out their toys and play? Once you have a good idea of how you want and need to use your finished basement, you can really start to get a design together.
- What is your budget? Basement remodeling is one of the most budget-friendly home improvement projects, depending on your wants. You’ll need to set a budget for the project and consult with a professional remodeling contractor to determine what is possible within your budget. Do research online and in magazines to price various finishes and products to help with planning your budget.
- Is your foundation solid? Before you can remodel, you’ll need to fix any foundation problems and/or address any structural issues within your home.
- Is your basement damp? If your cellar or basement is damp, there are steps you can take before renovation starts. Fixing moisture issues before you begin will increase the thermal performance of your insulation, among other benefits. Add a dehumidifier or air conditioner and ensure that you have proper heating and cooling distribution which may mean installing or relocating registers and/or adding cold air returns. The materials you choose for flooring and walls will need to be made of non-organic materials to inhibit mold growth.
- Is your basement dark? If you don’t have a walk-out basement, chances are that it’s probably one of the darker areas of your house. You can increase the natural light by adding or enlarging basement windows. A qualified contractor can tell if the surrounding walls will support the increased structural load of adding windows. If adding windows is not an option, try a combination of recessed lighting and lamps.
- Which flooring options are best? Not all flooring options are recommended for below grade rooms. Because of the higher moisture levels in basements, carpeting, hardwood and some laminates can harbor mold. Decide which flooring will work for you and consult with your contractor to be sure that it is suitable for basement use.
- How will you maintain easy access to plumbing, electricity and ductwork? Adding a ceiling in your basement will remove your ability to easily get to pipes, wires and ducts running below your main floor. While a suspended ceiling allows easy access to the plumbing, electricity and ductwork, it isn’t aesthetically pleasing in most cases. A drywall ceiling creates a more finished look, but will need to include access panels for water and gas shutoffs.
Hiring a professional contractor for your basement remodeling project ensures that the job will be done right, on time, on budget, and with the least possible disruption in your daily lives. Your contractor should be highly recommended, certified, insured, and should provide a written proposal and guarantee of satisfaction.
A basement renovation is a great way to increase the resale value of your home while adding new, useable space for your family’s enjoyment. What’s your idea of a perfect finished basement? Tell the professionals at Modern Remodeling in the comments below!