The secret to expanding the living area in a home lies below ground. A basement remodel can add much-needed space. Many homeowners are transforming their basements.
Create a Cohesive Style
Basements often conjure images of damp, dark, cold caverns. But remodeling a basement can add valuable living space to your home.
With a vision of introducing the style of the upper floors to the lower level, an unfinished basement can be remodeled so it doesn’t feel like an afterthought or disconnected from the rest of the home. Beaded board and window trim add traditional detailing that's consistent with the home's aesthetic. Columns built around unsightly steel support posts help the structural necessity blend in beautifully.
Converting Basements into Living Space
Turn your basement into a room that looks and feels nothing like one.
The un-basement living room.
In days gone by, a suspended ceiling, a bit of paneling on the walls, and a portable television on a TV stand could turn a basement into a "finished" recreation room. When it comes to creating a modern lower level worth using regularly, however, most homeowners demand a higher-quality product.
Ceiling: Don't install a suspended ceiling -- ever. "They're out," they are rarely see or used anymore, for the primary reason that they make a basement look even more like a basement." Consider tray ceilings as an alternative. Although they're more expensive, they're high-quality and better-looking.
Stairwell: Open your stairwell, and install a banister. Basements typically feature enclosed stairwells, so one way to make your basement atypical is to alter that primary feature.
Windows: It's hard to have too many exterior windows. "If you have an opportunity to use a window, take it," Pavlovich stresses. "Make them as large as you can to let in as much light as possible."
Walls: Paneling may be simple, but the refined look of drywall makes it the material of choice for finished spaces. Paneling looks dated and doesn't last long, so it's cheaper in the long run to spend more up front on long-lasting drywall.
Paint: Light-color paint on the walls can make a big difference in the room's ambience. "You usually need the light colors to match your upstairs.
A Finished Basement Adds Value to Your Property
Basements have the potential to significantly increase the value of your property. By finishing this space, you can add a significant amount of usable living space to your property. Learn eight advantages of a basement renovation.
Finishing a basement can allow you to increase the size of the home. You may be able to add one or even two additional bedrooms by finishing the basement space.
In most towns, in order for the space to be considered an actual bedroom, it must have two forms of egress. A form of egress is a way to exit the property. For a window to be considered a form of egress, a firefighter in full uniform must be able to fit through it. It must also have a closet to be considered a bedroom.
Adding the form of egress does involve some work. It often involves breaking into the foundation walls of the property to create or widen existing openings. The addition of the bedrooms, however, can increase the value of your property and help you appeal to a wider range of buyers.
Finishing your basement space can also allow you to add an additional bathroom. It can be a big draw to have a two bathroom home instead of a one bathroom home. Adding a bathroom will be more expensive than simply putting up drywall to divide other rooms.
Great Return on Investment
Although it may not be considered “livable square footage” by the MLS, a finished basement does offer a great return. In the United States, on average, finishing a basement will give you a return of 70 to 75% of your investment.
Way to Add Space if Zoning Codes Don’t Allow Other Additions
Based on the lot size, there may be zoning restrictions on your property which prohibit you from making certain additions to the property. Often, you cannot expand out because it will bring your property too close to the neighbors. You may not be able to expand upwards either, especially if the home is already two stories.
Therefore, this basement space becomes very valuable. It allows you to add functional space to the home without interfering with any zoning restrictions.
Add Recreation/Storage/Guest Space to Home
Although finished basements do not typically count when calculating the square footage of the home for resale purposes, prospective buyers love to see a finished basement. Finishing a basement adds usable space to the home.
An otherwise dark and dreary space can be transformed into a recreation area, kids play area, organized storage space or a little retreat for visiting guests. It is an unexpected pleasant bonus to buyers and they love the options that a finished basement gives them.
People do not expect the highest end finishes in a basement. In fact, hardwood is a terrible choice for a basement, as moisture issues can cause it to warp. Therefore, you can save money on the caliber of materials you are using compared to the finishes for the rest of the home. People are just happy to have a finished functional basement with heat, light and flooring.