A Basement Remodel – Is It Worth It?

A basement remodel is it worth it?  Yes!  Most definitely!  A basement remodel will give you about a 70%-87%  return on your investment.  A basement remodel is a great way to add living space to your existing home without the cost and hassle of having to build a room addition.

Basements are very common in the North and not very common in the South and West.  So your return on investment will vary depending on where you live.  If you live in the North, a basement remodel will generally bring you 15%-17% less on your return than if you were to do the same remodel somewhere else where basements are not as common.

The biggest potential problem you could face with your basement remodel is moisture.  You need to make sure that your basement does not have a moisture problem before you begin your remodel.  Leaks, condensation or the potential of flooding must be corrected before you can even think about converting your basement.It is much harder to fix moisture issues such as mold after they have occurred than it would have been to just fix them before hand.  Once your home has been labeled as having a mold issue, you will have a hard time selling it without having to jump through hoops.

Tip 1: Don’t Start to Work Until You Know It’s Dry

Before you do any kind of finished work on a basement, make sure there won’t be any water issues that could cause damage. Go outside and inspect the exterior walls for moisture problems. Make sure the ground is sloped away from the foundation walls. Also, check the downspouts, if they’re clogged, it could be create a lot of moisture and bring it into the basement.

Tip 2: Check the Code Before You Pound a Nail

Once you have a design plan and you’ve checked for moisture, the next thing you should do is find out whether you need to get a permit for the proposed renovation. Also, make sure that everything pertaining to electrical work is done to code.

Tip 3: Put Some Furring on Your Walls

Install furring strips on the wall so you’ll have a 1/2-inch of space between the interior wall and the moisture on the outside wall. You can use a Chicago bar, which is basically 1/2-inch thick metal strips.

Tip 4: Keep the Vapor Out and the Warmth In

Polyurethane sheeting is great for keeping moisture from seeping in. Consider insulation that’s completely enclosed in a vapor barrier, it is easy to work with since you don’t have to deal with itchy insulation fibers

Tip 5: Give Your Lighting a Recess

Recessed lighting is great for basements since you don’t want fixtures hanging from a low ceiling. Because there’s limited natural light, basement lighting is essential to brighten up the place.

Tip 6: Build Up the Floor Before You Lay Anything Down

Since the basement is below ground, it gets a lot of coolness and moisture, so you need to warm it up. Put down a vapor barrier to protect the space between the wood and the cement. Next, lay 2x4s and frame it every 16 inches. Lay a strip, and between the 2x4s, place an insulation board and a piece of 3/4″ plywood on top. This type of floor is giving and resilient, and it’s warm enough that you can walk barefoot on it.


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