Finished basements are a way to add resale value to your home at a fraction of what it costs to build up or out. And although they certainly come with risks, including leaks, floods and mold, most of these obstacles can be avoided with a little research and planning.
Finished basements are amazing renovations before and after have and become among the most popular renovation projects during the past two decades, according to surveys conducted by the National Association of Home Builders. About 30 percent of contractors report it as the top homeowner request, following kitchen and bath remodels. Many home experts attribute that to today’s volatile real estate market.
Most home basement renovations take one to two months to complete and cost between $50,000 and $75,000. Additions often cost twice that yet have lower returns on investment because they add less space. This year, Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value survey reported that the average basement remodel project cost $71,000 , with the potential added value estimated at $50,000. Butler calls basements the low-hanging fruit” of home renovations. They’re fairly simple, the bones are usually there, and you can knock it out in a summer.
If you’re considering remodeling your basement, you’ll need to hire a contractor to look at your plumbing and heating systems, identify any red flags, and help you crunch the numbers. That can get complicated, so here are some key things and a few tricks to making the most of a dark and dingy room. The renovated home is always bright and roomy.
Basement Renovation Before and After
First, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with local building codes, even if you plan on hiring a professional to carry out the project. Different renovations require different permits and inspections, so having a sense of the rules will help you settle on a realistic timeline. For example, in most counties, adding a kitchen, bathroom or wet bar requires zoning approval in addition to a building permit. Check your county’s website for guidelines.
The old space didn’t have an area for us to come and work together, so this was an opportunity to solve that problem, In fact, is that anyone tackling a renovation ask two questions to stay on track: What isn’t working, and how will this solve it?
In the new offices, the walls are lined with custom cabinetry that doubles as desks. There’s a large round table in the center of the room for meetings, which, fittingly, makes for a family-around-the-dinner-table feel. They used light paint colors to make the space feel airy and added a $7,000 wet bar and $18,000 full bathroom for resale flexibility. All told, the project cost $73,000, or about $52 per square foot. She estimates that it would have amounted to closer to $75 per square foot, but trade discounts and a long line of family contractors helped keep costs low.
For families that want an out-of-the-way space for kids to play, the basement can be a great rec room. Some designers have found clever ways to up the ante. In 2010, an interior designer turned her basement into an indoor hockey rink with Romanoff flooring for her three sons, ages 7, 11 and 13. The surrounding walls are hidden storage closets, and the “rink” is made out of poured rubber, a custom alternative to rubber mats.
Finally, nearly all basements are interrupted by at least one bulky beam or interior column, often in the middle of the room. If that’s the case with your basement, whatever you do, don’t remove it. It’s supporting your house. Instead, follow this lead and use strategic decorating to trick the eye.