For homeowners looking to increase their living space, finishing a basement can be a cost-efficient and practical way to do so. If moving or building onto your home is not an option, turning your unfinished basement into a comfortable living space is a great way to add room and increase the value of your home.
There are some precautions that need to be taken to protect your valuables and newly created living space from damage due to water leaks, mold or mildew. This article will walk you through the “do’s and don’ts” of basement remodeling, as well as offer some sound reasons as to why this is the most cost-efficient way to add to your habitable square footage.
Make Sure to Waterproof your basement. Your home might not be susceptible to flooding, but basements tend to be dark and damp places. Whether you have water leaks, noticed small areas of moisture on the walls, or smelled a musty odor, it’s important to waterproof your foundation walls before doing any sort of the remodeling construction. There are many professional waterproofing companies for hire, as well as ways to do it yourself.
Planning the Design. Once you have your basement protected from possible water damage-either by a professional company or by doing it yourself-the next step is to have a plan of how you want the new space to function for your family. Adding a bedroom, bathroom, and living/family area seems to be the most popular division of basement space. If your home is on a grade, a walkout basement can create a totally new dynamic for your home. Leaving storage and utility space is also a good idea when designing your new space. Once you have that drawn out, deciding who should do the work is the next step.
The Actual Construction: to hire or not? Whatever you decide, researching contractors, plumbers, and carpenters is essential. A do-it-yourself project can quickly become overwhelming, and seeking out a professional quickly can be difficult. The time spent researching before starting the project will be time well spent when you have a finished basement completed in a timely fashion.
Enjoy Your New Space and Your New Investment. Once the construction is done and you are enjoying your new living space, sit back and take some satisfaction in knowing you have just added substantially to the value of your home.
Final Precautions: Your finished space is worth more to an appraiser than your empty basement was before the remodel. However, to be officially recognized as living space it needs to be heated, have the required permits, and proper inspections completed. If the homeowner fails to do these requirements it could end up costing more in fines and permits after the fact. If done properly, when you do think about selling, having that finished living space downstairs will increase your chances of selling quickly as well as having that added value placed on your assessment.
How much value will your finished basement add your home?
A 2010 study completed by Remodeling Online found that, on average, 74% of the cost of remodeling a finished basement is recovered when the homeowner sold the home. That was as we were in a downward slide of housing prices throughout most of North America. The return on investment may be much higher, depending on your part of the country. Additionally, energy savings from a remodeled basement can pile up to around $400 dollars a year. Overall, these factors make remodeling your basement a very sound investment, even in a rebounding housing market.
Nusite Group is a Toronto based speciality trades group, specializing in basement waterproofing, foundation repair and other basement based projects. Contact us today to learn more.