So you own a home with an unfinished basement. It’s cold and dreary with its bare walls and cement floor. It is not really a livable space, but you would like it to be. It is worth the investment to finish the basement? Of course! When done properly, a finished basement is a great home improvement project that not only expands livable square footage (which helps if you have a smaller home) but also improves your home’s resale value.
Finishing your basement is no small investment. It could cost anywhere from $25,000-$60,000 or more depending on individual choices of finishes and designs and the quality of materials. You will also have to consider any permit fees if necessary. With such a steep investment, it’s good to know that your renovation will up your home’s value by around 70% of the cost, should you be looking to sell your home in the near future post–reno.
How Do Basements Add Home Value?
- Better Buyer Appeal – a finished basement is more attractive to potential buyers who will see that extra living space and be excited by the opportunities to add a home office, gym, theatre, etc.
- Add A Rental Suite – Turning your basement into a rental suite can give you a monthly income that can help pay off your mortgage
- More Rec Space – The basement is the perfect area for you to store kids’ toys and have a place for them to play, or put in a home theatre or craft room. The options for how to use an unfinished basement are almost endless
- More Living Space – Get more square footage in your home to ease some of the burden upstairs for storage, a new bathroom, office, play room, etc
What to Consider Before Finishing Your Basement
- Value – If finishing in order to sell, do some research or speak to a realtor and see what people are looking for and try to meet those needs in your renovation to best increase your home’s value and attractiveness
- Budget – Setting a budget is critical for finishing a basement because it can quickly get out of hand. Work with an experienced contractor to help set your budget and ensure the project adheres to it as best as possible
- Building Codes – Be wary of any building codes, laws, and permits you may need to begin your renovation. In Ontario, you often need a permit when your renovation involves any structural changes to your home
- Any Issues That Need Rectifying – If there are signs of mold, leaks, or cracks in your foundation, ensure you fix everything before starting a finishing project
Finishing your basement will turn your dark and gloomy space into a stunning and livable area that both expand your home’s living space and increases your property value. What you choose to do with your basement is up to you. There are many different ideas on how to make a finished basement. After all, you are starting with a blank slate, so you can design it however best you can within your budget. Make an in-law/rental suite, add a bathroom, make a home theatre, the options go on.
What matters though, is working with an experienced basement finishing contractor to ensure your project is done right. You can be assured your investment will boost your home’s value for resale and give you a more comfortable home to live in.