If you live in the Midwest or Northeast, your home may very well have a basement. And that basement may resemble an unfinished inground pool littered with all manner of boxes, furniture and keepsakes.
Unfinished basements have a way of becoming de facto storage units and built-in storm shelters, but many Americans dream of transforming them into so much more. Play rooms. Man caves. Personal gyms. Home theaters. And the list goes on. In some markets, finished basements are actually a must-have for selling homes.
If you’re wondering whether that cold, concrete pit beneath your house can be converted into a family-friendly space, you’re not alone. When done well, a basement remodel can bring that elusive haven to life and significantly increase the value of your home.
Here are some pro tips for moving forward with your basement remodeling plan.
Assess Your Basement Moisture Level
In many cases, a humid or damp basement can be finished with the proper moisture-abatement remedies. But if your basement regularly leaks or even floods, you’ll likely need a more comprehensive (read: expensive) solution to ensure the soon-to-be finished space stays dry.
The cost of waterproofing your basement can get out of control in a hurry, so be sure to consult professionals early to see if going this route could bust your basement finishing budget.
If your basement is damp but you’re not exactly sure why, there’s an easy test you can do with a piece of tin foil. Cut the foil into squares and tape them in areas you’ve noticed water. Check daily to see if water droplets are forming under the foil or on top. If it’s wet underneath, you likely need to seal your foundation. Condensation on top means you should invest in a dehumidifier to pull moisture out of the air.
Develop a Realistic Budget and Plan for Contingencies
By some estimates, you may be able to recoup up to 70% of what you spend on a basement remodel, but the return on investment can vary greatly depending on where you live, the type of improvements and housing market conditions. Generally speaking, though, finishing your basement is a smart move.
When you budget for your basement remodel, be realistic. How “finished” will your basement be when it’s done? Flooring, wall coverings and ceiling materials are nice touches but will drive up the overall cost. Look for opportunities to save money without sacrificing overall quality.
Decide how much you want to spend and then request estimates from contractors to dial in your budget. Here are some practical tips to keep your basement finishing project within budgetary boundaries. And don’t forget to build in a contingency cushion—basements are confined spaces with unique issues that can sometimes require unforeseen and costly fixes.
Ready to Finish Your Basement?
There’s a lot of flexibility when deciding how to finish your basement, but keeping it simple is best if you want to control costs and add value to your home.
If the remodel is too niche, it could turn off potential homebuyers. The same will be true if your newly finished basement detracts from the home’s appeal due to low-quality materials or sloppy workmanship.
Looking for an experienced remodeler with plenty of basement finishing ideas? Elite Renovations & Design is ready to help.
Contact us today for a free quote. We’d love to talk specifics about how to take your basement from cellar to stellar!