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Basement Renovations

June 30 2008

Basements big and small are notorious catch-alls for unwanted stuff. But given that they already have walls, a ceiling, and some framing – it may be the most cost effective and easiest remodeling project you do to your home. Whether it’s a need for extra bedrooms, home theatre, playroom, an office, the ever-popular home gym or a rental unit to generate extra income – basement renovation options are limitless.


Upfront considerations

Before deciding where to hang the big screen, consider work you can tackle yourself. That will have a large bearing on your budget, materials and the space you create. Keep in mind that finishing a basement requires some knowledge of wiring, plumbing, carpentry, insulation and a slew of other skills that you may or may not have.

Next, consider what you want out of the space. What will you be using it for?  And how long will you use it? Are you finishing the basement solely for resale, or are you building a home theatre for family and friends to enjoy?

While the answers to some of these questions should be set before plugging in your table saw, the extent of basement remodeling projects should be kept fluid as demand for specific features can change based on market conditions in your neighborhood. It may be helpful to go over design concepts with your Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate sales associate to get a more accurate sense of current conditions in your area.

Determining structural restrictions, permits, contractors, window and ventilation requirements are all next steps on your way to creating your underground Shangri-la.

When the dust settles

In the weeks and months that follow any substantial remodeling, you’ll reflect on all the work it took to get you there. More than likely however, you’ll be curious to know what your return on investment will be.

According to various Cost vs.Value Reports issued by the National Association of Realtors and Hanley Wood LLC, basement remodeling projects can generate more than a 90 percent return on every dollar spent. Buyers appreciate the added space, something that, depending on the circumstance, will make a nicely finished basement attractive in almost any market.

Perhaps most importantly, consider the changes you’ve made and how you and your family will enjoy them for the rest of the time in your property. When calculating the return on any renovation project, that’s the factor that should often be considered most.