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Home Renovation Series, Part 1: Basement Remodels

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Published on
November 24, 2013

This is the first post in our new series of home renovation articles.  We’ll discuss the pros, cons, hows, and whys of popular reno projects, starting with basement remodels.

Basement remodels are a popular way to maximize space without building a whole new addition.  Are you ready for a basement redo?  Let’s find out what’s involved, from budget range to benefits.

What It’s Take to Complete a Basement Remodel?

Before you embark on a basement reno, take stock of what you have.  Is your basement finished?  Are you in a flood-prone zone?  What do you want to use the extra space for – a rental unit, an extra bedroom, a den, a rec room?

Once you know where you stand and what you’re trying to create, you can then assess what you’ll need to do.  Common additions to basements include creating a bar area, a kitchenette, a bathroom, a bedroom – all of which can involve modifications to your home’s heating and electrical systems.

How Much Will It Cost to Remodel My Basement?

That depends on what you’re having done and who’s doing it.  If your basement is finished (it has finished walls and a sealed, covered floor) then you can do some basic do-it-yourself reno work for a few thousand dollars.  But if you want to add the features we talked about above – or if your basement is unfinished and the floor needs to be sealed – you’re looking at anywhere from (on average) $20,000 to $60,000.

What goes into this price?  Aside from plumbing, electrical, and HVAC modifications, basement remodels can require special-grade flooring, ceiling materials, additional lighting, cabinetry, and wall installation.  Home health experts also recommend radon testing for basements; this can be done professionally or by means of an inexpensive, readily-available testing kit.

Why Should I Remodel My Basement?

You may, at this point, be having a mild case of sticker shock.  That’s okay.  There are two good reasons to consider a basement reno.  The first one is your return on investment; should you decide to sell your house, basement remodels can net as much as 75% of your money back.  Second, you’ll be gaining precious square footage by resurrecting formerly useless space.  Considers it almost like a second house, only more conveniently located.

image:  Shutterstock

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