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Basements have often been thought of as children’s play areas or for additional storage use. However, these days they have been transformed into so much more.
A beautifully remodeled basement can be made into a space such as office/library, art studio, music room, gym, or spa rooms. The possibilities are endless but your wallet is not. It’s not uncommon for the average basement remodel to run in excess of $50k.
The good news is that a well thought out basement remodel could bring you a 70% return on investment making it one of the most potentially profitable home remodeling projects.
With some planning, patience, and a little perseverance you can complete a profitable basement remodel. Read on for our tips on how to save money and improve resale value.
Tips to Save Money & Improve Resale Value
- Generally, the appraised value of underground space is half what lies above which is about $250 a square foot versus $500 in many cases. Don’t spend more than 10 percent of your home’s value on refinishing your basement; ideally, aim for between 5% and 10%.
- If payback isn’t a concern, go ahead and splurge on a space that you’ll love to call home. Create a vacation paradise right in your own home with bar, billiards table, gym, spa, sauna, bathroom, virtual golf, and access to an outdoor kitchen and pool or hot tub. If you are concerned about payback, opt for uses that appeal to a wide selection of potential homebuyers. Think casual family room, home office, or extra bedroom.Walk-out basements also increase enjoyment if your property has an enticing outdoor entertaining area.
- If your lower level shows signs of water or moisture such as foundation cracks, resolve these problems first or you may end up replacing much more than just furnishings. Be sure to have dehumidification and proper heating and cooling systems in place too.
- Know local ordinances regarding required number and size of egresses, and if you are allowed to outfit a full kitchen.
- Be sure to leave enough headroom if you add lighting, ducts, or a new ceiling; you don’t want the height to be less than 7’6″ but preferably at least 8′ high.
- Don’t seal off existing mechanical systems, circuit breakers, and future plumbing lines; professionals need access for maintenance and repairs. Soundproofing mechanical systems is a smart affordable fix.
- Don’t chop up space; better to keep it more open, a trend homeowners desire in main-level living space But be sure walls removed aren’t load bearing, which may necessitate consulting with a structural engineer.
- Consider non-wool carpet tiles that are easy to replace and warmer than vinyl, which tends to trap moisture and humidity
- Be generous with artificial light, especially if windows are minimal. Few homeowners will spend time in a dark space, except for a theater.
- Consider improving the staircase so it resembles a more traditional open one rather than remain narrow and confined. Paint treads and risers white and use a runner from a carpet remnant down the middle to enhance appeal.
- Know that even if you don’t need a finished basement, a partly finished room can add value affordably for clothing or wine storage or a place to play ping pong.
- When a basement presents problems and before you add on, check out your attic if you have one. It can provide expansion room depending on the roofline.