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Redesigned Basements Add Value To Your Home
Its estimated that every year, approximately one million homeowners finish or remodel their basements, according to experts in the industry, including the Home Improvement Research Institute in Tampa, FLA. The question on everyones minds is whether this kind of remodeling can actually add value to your home or not.
Building an additional floor or moving and buying a larger home typical run about $150 to $200 a square foot. The cost of finishing a basement is only $40 to $75 a square foot on average, according to sample estimates completed for the real estate sector.
A typical basement remodel is two to three times more cost effective in adding living space to a home than any other option, and, according to The Wall Street Journal and a poll of the Appraisal Institute, a basement finish equals a kitchen remodel as the best financial return of all home renovations, but only if the quality matches the rest of the house.
What determines the value? Quality of design and construction, hands down. What should happen when your basement remodel is complete is that no one should be able to walk into the new space and not wonder how it could have ever been a basement at one time. But even as critical, you should enjoy your new basement and get plenty of use out of it, otherwise, if it sits empty 4050 percent of the time, it may as well have remained a basement, right?
So, why does the basement need to be refinished? Basements are inherently dark and a design challenge for the inexperienced. It simply takes more design and better construction to turn a basement into a true extension of your home. A basement that is finished without design and construction rigor becomes little more than a finished storage place. No one enjoys going downstairs into a dark, cutup space.
From a resale standpoint, a basement finish that is poorly designed and constructed will actually detract from the homes value. A potential buyer may see the basement as a neutral feature and, at worst, will factor the cost of having to remodel the basement into the homes value.
On the other hand, a basement that truly feels like another level of the home, rather than just a basement, will add value both in terms of quality of life and also as a return on investment at time of resale.
Experts have called a valueadded, well designed basement the adult toy room. It is a space where you can install home theaters, wet bars, exercise rooms and wine cellars, pool tables and game rooms. Its the one spot in the house where the architectural design can be all about having fun. With a great finish, not only does a basement finish nearly double the size of the house, but it often becomes the most popular space in the house.
A great finished basement demands even better design and construction than your upstairs living space if you want to maximize the value of your refinished space. You need to do more than simply paint, carpet and accessorize a basement. Investing in a professional design and quality construction increases the likelihood that you will maximize your homes value.
Your design needs to compensate for the inherent problems of a basement, including lower ceilings, random duct work, structural posts, pipes and valves, all of which demand great design to hide or blend in with the existing space.
A Few Rules to Follow on Spending:
As a rule, plan on investing 12 percent to 25 percent of the cost of your home on a basement finish. If you are hiring a general contractor and spending less than this, take a second look at what you are buying.
Special design features might cost a little more but can make the difference in creating a phenomenal space.
Try to remain in line with the pricing in your neighborhood. If you already own the most expensive home on the block, its going to be tough to get your full investment out of a basement finish.