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Will a Finished Basement Add Value to Your Home?

Will a Finished Basement Add Value to Your Home?


Whether you are an owner looking to invest in your property or a real estate professional working to help a seller, the topic of basement remodeling is sure to come up. Before beginning any project, it is important to understand what you want to get out of the remodel, what is possible on your budget and whether you will receive a return on your investment when you decide to sell your home.

Achieving a return on investment can sometimes be difficult. According to Remodeling Magazine's 2013 Cost vs Value report, which surveys costs and resale values in 101 U.S. cities, remodeling projects typically do not achieve 100 percent return on investment.  The good news is that nationwide, basement remodels are some of the best investments on average, with a return rate of 77.6 percent.

The following are three key considerations for you to keep in mind.

If you are taking a basement from unfinished to finished, you will have to take moisture into account. Any leaks, condensation or flooding will have to be dealt with before you start remodeling. This can be a large factor in your rate of return, because the cost to fix these issues can run into the thousands of dollars. If you neglect to deal with these issues first, however, you will pay far more in mold removal, ruined carpets and musty smells.

Labor costs
If you plan on hiring contractors, keep in mind that labor is typically the largest part of the cost. A rule of thumb is that materials are about one-third of the cost to the owner and labor accounts for the other two-thirds. This means that handy homeowners can save significant money by doing part of the remodeling job by themselves. Keep in mind that attempting to do a job that you are not qualified for may end up causing damage or simply look shoddy, which can ultimately mean more expense to pay someone to undo your mistakes.

Plumbing and electrical work should always be left to professionals, but installing insulation, hanging drywall, painting and even installing carpet may be within reach.

Often, for a basement room to be considered a bedroom, building codes will require that a basement have a window large enough for occupants to safely escape in the event of a fire, and for a firefighter to enter wearing full gear. This is important, because adding an exit to your basement's foundation can be expensive if there isn't one present already.

Remodeling a basement can be fun, but to get the best return on your investment, it may take some elbow grease. For those homeowners willing to take the time to do the job inexpensively and effectively, however, there can be a significant payoff.

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