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Last updated: June 12, 2019 • Home Improvement

Basement Remodels: Design, Cost, and Value Factors

Trying to make more space in your house? Wait! The solution is right underneath you!

Basements are the hidden gems of most residential buildings. Invaded by dust, spider webs, and other creepy creatures, unfinished basements are usually a repository for junk; storing places filled with old clothes, childhood memorabilia and all those things “I might need one day”, but that “one day” actually never comes. Steady and slowly, your basement is filling up with a pile of things that steal precious living space. With the help of an interior designer, any basement can turn into a useful space that adds value to your house. Here are some finished basement ideas that reveal how important this space can become!

Where to start?

Since they increase the available living space, basement remodels add a few more figures to the value of the property! Basement remodels are not cheap, but with some financial planning, costs should be under control. If you can save money for this big project, great! If not, look for a home improvement loan with no collaterals that doesn’t put too much pressure on your monthly finances. Some pictures of finished basements are so seductive that they may easily force you to break your budget.

Then, get a basement remodeling permit, if necessary. Check for this on your townhall’s website or find the local body that governs building permits. According to HomeAdvisor, you can expect a fee between $435 and $1,812, but it usually depends on your square footage.

Contact an architect or an interior designer if you are concerned about the safety and the durability of this project. When the work begins, you will start with the walls and the electrical plan, and continue with plumbing. However, to reduce costs, try to keep all your pipes in the same place!

Another big issue in basements is WATER. Waterproofing your basement must be taken into account since it significantly increases your finished basement cost. Condensation causes dampness and is a prolific environment for different kinds of mold. Getting rid of condensation problems will take more dollars out of your pocket, however, you can take some easy steps to reduce humidity levels in your house by dealing with the steam produced from cooking, wiping windows and sills daily, investing in good insulation and decent ventilation, or buying a dehumidifier. If you are looking for basement interior design ideas that will keep your kids busy all day, remember that spending too much time in a humid environment could make you or your kids prone to mold allergy. So, is your house making you sick? Buy more pot plants and air-cleaning items.

One more part that may raise some issue will be finding the right flooring for basements. Keep molds and mildew out by avoiding hardwood floors at all costs! FloorCritics say that floor tiles with a vapor barrier are the best choice. However, it is not the only option. Once you have a moisture barrier installed, you can opt for other materials such as carpet tiles, cork flooring, and luxury vinyl tiles and planks.

How much does it cost to finish a basement?

basement-remodels

The cost of basement remodels varies greatly. Unless you are a skilled constructor, hiring a contractor is a wise decision. You decide how much you will spend in the end and how flexible you are. Some finished basement ideas can cost up to $40,000, or as little as $5,000. You should discuss the finished basement cost with your interior designer and together you can find the most affordable furniture and accessories for the style and utility you envisioned.  

The finished basement cost depends on its final destination. Is it going to be a man cave? Is it going to be a crafting studio or a workshop? Do you want to turn your basement into a home cinema? What about a bowling alley? The sky is the limit, even for a basement makeover. Evaluate the cost vs. utility report. How many people will use it? How often? What are the benefits for the whole family?

But let’s leave this selfish thinking and put things into a different perspective. What if you have to take care of your aging parent(s)? Turning your basement into an in-law suite really starts to make a lot of sense. There are more details about this basement remodeling idea below.

After you had put the last trowel in its place, it’s time for the county assessor’s visit. Now, your house has a new market value, but also a new property tax.

How much does a finished basement add to the home value?

Any experienced appraiser will give you the right price for your house. And they get that price by comparing similar properties in the same neighborhood. One thing I want you to keep in mind is that basement remodels are evaluated differently than the above-ground space, and you may not get back every single dollar you invested. Underground living space is priced lower, so two houses with the same square footage may not have the same price, if one of them has all the living space above the ground, and another has part of the living space located in the basement. The latter will have a lower selling price, but still higher than without the finished basement.

There are also different types of basements, so a full walk-out basement is far more desirable than an underground basement with no natural light, like a prison cell.

Do not invest in remodeling a basement that has a ceiling less than 8 feet tall and no natural light. For safety reasons, you should not dig below your house and put the whole building at risk.  

Finished basement ideas

After a single search on Google or Pinterest, you’ve saved a huge load of pictures of finished basements and you simply can’t make up your mind? Here are some amazing ideas:

MAN CAVE

man cave finished basement idea

Man caves are like a summer resort: they provide enough activities, games, and drinks that men who enter it will feel like they’re on a never-ending holiday! It’s a place that women never have to clean up: it’s HIS job! Everything has its right place.

But man caves also provide a space where dad-son relationships are nurtured. Boys night out turn into boys night in – it’s all about having fun in a safe place.

Moreover, for guys who play instruments, a basement music studio is a dream come true. There, your children can also relax learning to play a new instrument or writing their first solo album. Let creativity flourish!

BASEMENT BAR

bar finished basement idea

For a true gentleman, no basement is complete without a basement bar. Ideas are not hard to come by. As soon as you set your mind on a basement bar, ideas start to flow…So are you hosting a lot of parties and events at home? If you invite many people over, a home bar will be jaw-dropping. To push things a little further, why not turn drinking into a serious business? Brewing an original beer at home could turn you into a local star. Homebrewing kits are not hard to find but could require a significant investment. With a little effort, though, your craft beer recipe could become famous locally!

Two important elements in your basement bar ideas should be the chairs and the lighting fixtures. You might prefer something not too bright, or you may think about using less lighting fixtures and use more mirrors instead, and benefit from the reflected light.

Where to look for more basement bar ideas? Most interior designers are proud of their projects and will proudly share basement bar ideas on their websites or on social media. Top furniture stores could show you some great designs, too.

IN-LAW SUITE

video projector basement remodels

Apart from providing a warm and cozy place for parents, an in-law suite can later bring you some rental income which will ease your mortgage payments. In-law suites are a very good investment and cost less than to build an above-grade addition.

After addressing any humidity issues, make sure that egress windows meet the International Residential Code (IRC) criteria. You may need larger windows if a door is not available. Check also if local authorities allow a second kitchen in the same house, though you might opt for a kitchenette in order to make better use of the space. Be aware that your basement should be deemed habitable before leasing, so ensure a good job from the beginning!

PLAYROOM

finished basement playroom

Basement remodels are a must for most families with children. The best part of basement remodels is that they bring the family together not only during the project implementation but also afterward. Kids will love to have a dedicated playroom, with all their toys and games in one place, and on top of these, fewer restrictions and more freedom to move. Since they have more space, there won’t be a problem to invite more of their friends over.

HOME THEATER

basement remodels home theater

For a better movie experience, you will want to invest in the quality of the sofas and seats as well as in an up-to-date sound system. Pay attention to soundproofing and choose a fire retardant acoustic foam. But you can do so much more in this room. Play karaoke or exercise with Pilates video instructors, play Xbox games or use your home theater for homeschooling your children, giving them a unique learning environment.

CRAFTS AND ART STUDIO

art style basement remodels ideas

Working from home? Or really into crafts and handmade projects? Moving your business in the basement could be the best move you’ve ever made! You will be at work, but still at home. However, with fewer interruptions, you will get more work done or you can simply work longer hours after everyone went to bad, or whenever a flash of inspiration hits you. This basement makeover can be done for him or for her, or for both. It can include a home office, too! For some couples working together from home, this can strengthen their commitment, too.

HOME GYM

home gym in basement

A home gym is not necessarily a man cave. Every member of the family can utilize this space and work out in their free time. You can get even more organized and print out a schedule. Here you can really push your limits because nobody’s gonna be bothered if you drop your weights on the floor or make noise. You might also want to install a good sound system and play your favorite music while you train. All these are not possible in a commercial gym.

You can build a home gym on a budget by purchasing used fitness equipment. No need to buy all the devices from the beginning because, if you’re an amateur, you won’t use them all anyway and it’s always good to start slow and build as you go. However, if you or one of your family members decide to take fitness seriously, and prepare for a fitness body competition, hire a personal trainer. It is the best way to make sure that every exercise is carried out without the risk of injury. Set up a small kitchenette in a corner with a blender for protein shakes or smoothies, put a TV on the wall and some giant mirrors to see how your muscles react under pressure.

It is always a pleasure to look at pictures of finished basements and see what others had in mind for the lowest level of their house. Are you planning a basement makeover? If you have more questions, leave a comment in the left box and we will answer it!

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