Is a basement remodel worth the cost, time and effort? “The answer is yes, according to the results of a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). The 2022 Remodeling Impact Report includes basement conversion to a living area as a top-four interior remodel in terms of return on investment (ROI), with an estimated 86% of the project cost recovered when it’s time to sell.”¹ The ROI will largely depend on the specific project and what part of the country you live in. An internet search returns results indicating the ROI generally averages around 75%. That is an impressive return on your investment! There is more to consider than just the return on your dollar: consumer interest, or salability.
Any remodel is an investment of money, time and some level of stress; due diligence is required. There are several questions to ask yourself. The most basic is to determine what exactly you want to accomplish with the remodel. An expanding family may require much needed livable space, or you may want to take advantage of the space beneath the home to create places for entertainment, work, or hobbies. A basement remodel can accomplish any combination of those desires.
The Best Basement Remodel
If you are considering a basement remodel, simply adding livable space is an advantage, now and for future resale. In spite of the tiny home movement, there is always interest in larger well-designed homes. We are spending more time at home, and really want to enjoy being in them!
It isn’t surprising that adding a bathroom may be a wise investment for your comfort and home value. “The explanation for this is relatively straightforward. More than half of the homes being sold are over 40 years old. Older homes were built with fewer bathrooms than newer homes. To compete with newer homes, older homes usually need another bathroom.”²
Adding a bedroom may have a high value, especially if the existing home does not have an adequate number for your comfort or you’d like a more private guest space. A dedicated office may be needed as working from home or starting a home-based business become more popular. A space to entertain family and friends may be appealing, with space for games, a bar – wet or dry, a kitchenette, or to watch movies. Playrooms are becoming more sophisticated, with an interest in the ability for functionality to grow as the kids do. It also offers a safe entertaining space for children while adults are entertaining on the first level. Additional storage is always a crowd pleaser. Somewhere clean and out-of-sight for all the out-of-season, essential but not often used items, luggage, sporting or camping gear – the list is endless.
Bringing in the Professionals
Whatever the reason for a basement remodel, and whether you intend to hire out all or most of the work or do some or all yourself, engaging a professional to inspect and evaluate the space for mechanical and code considerations is an important first step. A good inspector can give you invaluable insight, and it just might change your mind about having a professional do work you were considering taking on yourself. Waterproofing, electrical and plumbing come to mind.
Every remodel has many challenges. Deciding on the best basement remodel may be one of the more challenging, making it an excellent project to engage a professional designer with construction experience. Other than an addition or completely gutting a house, the basement is the blankest of spaces. And although it’s “just” the basement, the quality of materials, finishes and workmanship are still important. Experience goes a long way toward maximizing the space and the budget.
A few more thoughts on the subject: