A finished basement is always a plus when it comes to a home’s value. It adds extra living space and functionality and may also add monetary value when you decide to sell. If you are planning to tackle this project, it’s important to do it properly in order to get the most out of the time and money you spend. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
· One of the most important things to ensure before you start is to make sure the basement is dry. Most moisture problems are due to poor drainage. The soil around your house should be graded so that it slopes away from the foundation. Also gutters and downspouts play a big role. Make sure your gutters are clean and functioning and that downspouts are long enough (extend at least 5 ft.) to direct water away from the foundation. If this doesn’t resolve the moisture problems in your basement, it may be time to call in a professional to assess what measures need to be taken to fix the problem.
· Basements are usually much cooler than the rest of your house so make sure your HVAC system can handle the extra living space and is properly designed to heat it adequately. Insulate the exterior walls and, if you can splurge, install heated flooring for extra warmth. Also, a gas fireplace would be a nice option to add heat and ambiance to a basement.
· A great way to add value (If you have the space) is to construct an extra bedroom and bathroom. Keep in mind though that in most states, the room must have at least an egress window and a closet in order for it to be considered an actual bedroom in the bedroom count of a real estate listing.
· Don’t just use harsh, florescent overhead lighting! Design a lighting plan ahead of time so that you have plenty of outlets and wiring for lamps, fixtures, sconces, etc. If you plan on using recessed can lights, install a dimmer switch so you can control the brightness.
Finishing a basement can be a lot of work but you won’t regret it. You and your family will enjoy the extra living and entertaining space and when you decide to sell your home you will get a good return on your investment.