Basement Remodeling Tips

By upgrading their bare basement into an inviting entertainment room, these homeowners realized an estimated $9000 return in terms of home-equity increase. Here are a few tips they learned along the way.
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The homeowners realized an estimated $9000 return on their investment, in terms of home-equity increase, by upgrading their bare basement into an inviting entertainment room.

  • Before remodeling a basement, think about the future use of that room. A flexible space means you can change it into whatever you need it to be in the future.

  • When you put a drop ceiling in it automatically feels cheaper. You really want your space to look like the rest of your house. A drop ceiling will also take away precious ceiling height and make the space feel much smaller.

  • It's a good idea to maximize space in the basement by adding built-ins shelving and storage areas. Check adjacent rooms for places you might be able to steal space from. But don't go overboard with too many built-ins or too much woodwork because it could get very expensive and you're likely not to get a full return on your investment when it's time to sell. A good rule of thumb is to keep it simple and inexpensive, but make it attractive.

  • As long as you are not masking some sort of problem like mold or mildew, an air purification system is a good way to make your basement smell as good as it looks.

  • A good way to make a basement feel really inviting, if you have the opportunity, is to create an open stairwell. It visually connects the upper part of the house with the lower and allows more natural light to come into the basement.

  • The stair railing and post installation was a fairly simple project, and required little more than wood glue and a finish nailer. If you're installing a railing in a remodel such as this, plan ahead. If you have large furniture or other items to move into your new space, be sure hold off on installing stair railings, and other structures that might be in the way, until the large furniture items have been brought in.

  • If your basement is cold and uninviting, the carpet may not be the element where you want to cut back on expenses. Install a good quality carpet that will go the extra mile in making the room more comfortable and inviting.

  • Finishing existing space like a basement will almost always be a lower cost project than doing an addition. You might spend around $150 per square foot to build an addition as compared $40 to $75 for refinishing a space where the walls and structure are already in place.

  • Don't overlook the importance of your remodel matching the rest of your house. It's critical when you're upgrading your house that it feels like it belongs to the rest of the house — so there's a good "flow" and people feel comfortable in the new space.

  • Green Building Tip: It's always a good idea to look at parts of your project that can be recycled. Don't forget there are lots of reuse stores that accept things for recycling and sell things that are unwanted or are overstocked. You can help the environment and get a great deal at the same time.
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