Finishing Your Basement

Finishing Your Basement

While having a basement in a home can be great for extra storage when unfinished, it can also be an added bonus of usable (livable) square footage should you decide to finish the space. On average, a finished basement can have a 66 percent payback according to a recent survey conducted by Remodeling Magazine. Plus, your home has the potential to sell quicker and for more money (because of the increase of finished and usable square footage) when listed for sale.

What Goes Into Finishing A Basement?

There are a wide range of components that go into finishing a basement. If you are handy, then you can pick up your hammer and go to work.  But, some of us might not have as many talents when it comes to home improvement. You will find that a lot of people will want to take baby steps to finish a basement.  What we mean by this is, that rather than deciding that they will complete the project within a 2 week to month time frame, it is stretched out throughout an entire season of the year doing little by little (which also helps the pocketbook). Others like the ‘done for you’ type of basement finish which entails hiring a contractor and having it all done for them.

Basement Remodeling, Flip This House Boston

Taking the Proper Steps

Put a lot of planning and preparation into the project before beginning. It is important to consider the best design layout for walls, bathroom, wet bar, theater area, bedroom, etc. Engaging an architect might be wise at the stage.  Then, it is onto drawing up the plans, finalizing who will be doing the work, pulling the necessary permits and then the real fun begins. Framing, electrical, plumbing, drywall, painting, flooring and other finishing touches are all part of the act of finishing a basement.

What Type of Return Will I Realize for Finishing the Basement?

Did you know that you’re not the only one asking that question . . . last year alone, an estimated 90,000 people searched on Google each and every month “What is the cost of a basement”?  Actually, the return that you will realize on the basement finish will vary on the type of finishes and quality of the remodel. If you are considering an addition versus finishing the basement, the basement is rated as two to three times more cost efficient for adding value and space to your home.

How Much Will It Cost to Finish My Basement?

The average range of a basement finish is anywhere between $10,000 to $75,000, but do keep in mind that this varies greatly depending upon your location and who is doing the work. Also, if you do add plumbing for a wet bar or bathroom, then your costs will, of course, increase. For instance, the average bathroom costs $5,000 to complete if you hire a contractor.  The average square footage cost to finish a basement ranges between $10 to $40 per square foot depending upon who finishes the area. Obviously, if you do the work yourself you can be closer to a $10 to $20 per square foot mark.

What Are the Risks?

Like many home improvement projects, you do run the risk of going over budget so have a firm budget in mind and everything well priced out. The amount of equity (or value) that you gain all depends on how your home compares with others in the neighborhood and what finishes are done in the basement. Obviously, if you go all out for a home theater system you may not find the highest return back on that improvement. Most appraisers, real estate agents (and buyers) look at the overall square footage of the home and factor that into the total value. If your basement is unfinished and a neighboring home has a basement and both homes are on the market, then the one with the finished basement may get chosen simply for convenience. Finishing the basement is a great way to enhance your homes value, increase your living space and help it better appeal to buyers when put on the market.

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Rick Toney

View posts by Rick Toney
Rick Toney Is A Seasoned Real Estate Professional With Over 25 Years Of Real Estate Experience, Writes A Weekly Real Estate Blog And Is A Principal of Blue Moon Realty Group And Mesa Realty Advisors. Blue Moon Realty Group Is A Residential Redevelopment Company Specializing In The Purchase And Renovation Of Older And Physically Distressed Homes (Flip This House Boston). Mesa Realty Advisors Is An Affordable Housing Developer Specializing In The Redevelopment Of Existing Low-Income Housing Properties. Rick Is A Certified Public Accountant (CPA - Retired) In The State Of California, A Certified Property Manager (CPM - Retired) And A Real Estate Broker In The States Of California (Retired) And Massachusetts.

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