5 Basement remodeling ideas that won’t break the bank

Planning to remodel your basement? Learn what it takes to renovate a basement successfully, as well as which basement remodeling projects are worth investing in.

Vivian Tejada
October 17, 2023

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In the aftermath of the pandemic, more people are staying home than ever before which has increased the need for extra living space. While basement remodeling may not always be a top priority for homeowners, it offers a great opportunity to transform a gloomy and underutilized area into a valuable extension of your home. 

We’ll discuss what you need to know about basement renovations, including how a finished basement adds value to your home, how to prepare your basement for renovation, and five practical basement remodeling ideas.

How a finished basement adds home value 

When you think of value-adding home renovations, a kitchen or bathroom remodel probably comes to mind before a basement renovation. However, given the size of most basements, converting one into an additional living space can add even more home value. 

In addition to increasing home sale prices, strategic basement designs  increase the square footage of a home and can potentially generate rental income for a homeowner without having to purchase a second property. Take a closer look at three key benefits of investing in a basement remodel. 

Greater square footage

A finished basement increases the total square footage of a home, which is an important factor in determining property value. Depending on where you live, adding just a few square feet of living space could significantly increase your home’s resale value. In NYC the price per square foot ranges from $852 to $1,596. If you were to renovate an unfinished basement, you could potentially add an extra 500-1500 square feet of living space to your home. 

Although many appraisers don’t include space below ground level when calculating the square footage of a home, regulations regarding what counts as "livable" space vary by location. Ask a reputable agent what the impact of increasing square footage through a basement remodel would be on your home before moving forward with renovations. 

Higher home sale price

Even when square footage isn’t added to your home’s overall property value, buyers take into consideration a home’s utility when comparing properties. A finished basement increases the space available for use within a home, making it more competitive in the market and driving up its sales price. 

How much a finished basement will raise sales price depends on property location, the local market, and the quality of finishes. On average, a well-finished basement can add 10% to 15% to total home value. In neighborhoods where space is limited, a finished basement can have an even greater impact on home sale prices.

Potential to turn a finished basement into a rental unit

Lastly, a finished basement can be rented out to a tenant and generate rental income for you as a homeowner. However, before turning your basement into a rental unit, you should consider local regulations, building codes, and safety requirements. Local municipalities often have specific rules for short and long-term rentals, as well as basement apartments. At the very least, rental units in a home’s basement need to have a separate entrance and proper ventilation. You’ll also need to make sure that the basement has access to running water and your home’s HVAC system. 

How to prepare your home for a basement remodel

It’s important to create a plan for any kind of home remodel, but it’s especially important to do so with a basement remodel. Basements are located below ground level, which makes them more susceptible to water damage than other areas within the home. As a result, basements often harbor mold and mildew growth, unbeknownst to the owner.

Before starting renovations, you’ll need to remove any toxins lurking within your basement walls, as well as prevent mold and mildew growth in the future. Mold and mildew can start to grow rather quickly after a flooding incident or leak in the foundation. If you find these air pollutants in your basement, getting rid of moisture should be your top priority. 

Waterproofing your basement is a multi-step process that should be carried out by a professional. Although you’ll be able to notice musty odors and muggy air, only a professional will be able to successfully remove mold, mildew, and other dangerous contaminants throughout your basement. Contact a trustworthy mold removal company to plan your basement remodel, responsibly. 

basement-remodeling

5 finished basement ideas

Once you’ve freed your basement of pollutants and verified its structural integrity, you can begin renovations. Although you can turn your basement into whatever you’d like, it’s worth considering remodeling projects that will maximize your ROI. The following modern basement ideas offer maximum utility and enhance your basement’s aesthetic appeal. 

Multi-purpose family room

If your home’s living room is small or cluttered due to large furniture, turning your basement living space into a multi-purpose family room could be a strategic move. Implementing an open-space design with light-colored walls and mirrors can brighten up even the darkest basement room. Given that natural light is limited in basements, it’s important to brighten up the space whenever possible. 

Installing floating shelves is a great way of conserving much-needed floor space. Creating a basement laundry room could free up space on the upper levels of your home. If space isn't a concern, consider incorporating a pool table or wine cellar to add a touch of sophistication to your new basement layout. Basement bathrooms are also convenient and useful, given that renovated bathrooms can significantly increase property values.. The average bathroom remodel can add anywhere between $13,688 and $37,995 of property value to a home.

Home office or study room

Turning your basement space into a home office is a useful remodeling idea that not only maximizes your living space but also enhances productivity and comfort. When designing a home office layout, prioritize adequate lighting and access to electrical outlets. Opt for neutral and soft color schemes to create a relaxing and professional atmosphere. Keeping a study room organized is also important. Try to incorporate smart storage solutions that are compact and easily accessible.

Guest suite or in-law apartment

Creating a guest suite or in-law apartment in your basement is another renovation worth considering. Installing a basement bedroom, kitchenette, or bathroom is a  useful addition to any home, regardless of location. When creating a guest suite, it’s important to keep in mind the need for adequate insulation and climate control systems to ensure year-round comfort. When not being used by tenants or guests, a guest suite can easily be used as an additional family room. It’s a wise home remodeling project that enhances your home’s functionality and resale potential.

Fitness and wellness area

Transforming your basement into a personal gym or wellness area is a remodeling idea that provides spacial and health-related benefits. The first thing you should do when converting your basement into a home gym is to make sure you have enough room for workout equipment, yoga mats, and rest areas. Adequate lighting and ventilation are also important since physical activity will be taking place. Home gyms offer homeowners the convenience of working out at any time regardless of inclement weather as well as the ability to save money on monthly gym memberships. 

Creative hobbies and craft room

Lastly, turning your basement living space into a craft or play area can be a creative and rewarding remodeling project. Many people have side businesses they run from home, creating DIY products such as soaps, jewelry, or home decor. Setting up a designated area for DIY activities can attract buyers who have a need for such a space. Craft rooms are also great places to host kids' parties and have them play. Buyers with children will see value in a craft room, as well. You could also create a man-cave basement or game room basement, which would serve as more of a playroom for adults. 

Final thoughts on basement remodels

Remodeling your basement is a versatile and valuable home improvement project that can increase your home’s resale value, enhance its utility, and add to its aesthetic appeal. Whether you plan on converting your unfinished basement into a family room, home office, guest suite, personal gym, or craft room, a well-planned basement renovation can make all the difference when you decide to sell. 

If you’re considering a basement remodel but don’t have the funds readily available, you could benefit from a Home Equity Investment (HEI) from Point. HEIs provide homeowners with a lump sum of cash in exchange for a portion of their home's appreciation. There are no monthly payments, need for perfect credit, or restrictions on how you use the funds. Visit Point to find out if you qualify for an HEI and start financing your basement remodel today.

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