Chances are that your unfinished basement doesn’t really contribute much to your home’s day to day function. More than likely, it’s currently a catch-all space for clutter, hiding away unsightly items from any guests.
As a homeowner, your goal should be to maximize all of the available space in your home. As your family changes and grows, the demands you have of your home also change. The concrete storage box that’s currently your basement can be used more efficiently and customized for your household’s needs.
Finishing your basement may seem like a daunting task. The amount of money, time, and effort is no small investment, so it’s important to consider if this is a renovation that your household will truly benefit from. If you’re on the fence, we can help with some of the top reasons to pull the trigger on your basement renovation project.
Your unfinished basement is probably rather cold and damp and not the most inviting place in your home. But just by adding insulation to the walls, this space becomes much more comfortable. It stays cooler in the summertime and warmer in the winter, making it a pleasant space to hang out year-round.
With better insulation, you’re also a lot less likely to find excess moisture in the area, leading to less mold buildup. A damp, mold basement typically has issues with poor air quality while a finished basement tends to be much cleaner and healthier air.
If you’ve ever noticed pests getting into your unfinished basement, adding insulation for a finished basement will also help prevent that. Insects such as silverfish, pill bugs, crickets, cockroaches, and spiders all love a moist, cool area and thrive in your unfinished basement. Not to mention other small animals, like toads and mice, who might be able to sneak into your unfinished basement for shelter. A finished basement sees dramatically less uninvited guests than a finished one does!
Avoids Moving Hassles
Your family might be outgrowing your home. Maybe relatives have moved in with you, or a younger child is reaching an age where they need their own bedroom, or you’re unable to find adult spaces to entertain your friends and family in. You might consider packing up and moving to a new home entirely, but that may not be necessary.
Rather than uproot from the neighborhood that you’ve grown to love, the school district that your children thrive in, and the house with so many happy family memories, a finished basement can be the catch-all solution to stay in place. Add an extra bedroom and bathroom, an adult-only lounge and bar for entertaining, or a media room for everyone to enjoy.
Not to mention, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find a different home that suits all of your family’s needs. Why go through the hassle and all the expenses of moving when you can customize the space you already have? It’s the easier and happier solution for everyone.
Allows You to Explore Design Styles
Many homebuyers end up purchasing a previously-lived-in home “as-is”, meaning that the overall style of the space may not match the dream home you had in your head. Of course that’s not to say that the current style of the home is bad. In fact, you may like it just fine! However, adding a finished basement allows you to truly flex your creative muscles and design the space perfectly to your preferences.
We usually recommend keeping a renovated space mostly cohesive with the current style or color scheme of the home, however finishing your basement adds a whole new floor level. The natural amount of separation that’s created allows a lot more flexibility in creating unique designs that let your personal tastes shine through. If you have a Pinterest board with interior design inspiration, now’s the time to pull that out!
At the end of the day, even a very simple, generic design will be a great improvement on the cold, concrete box that’s currently your basement. Imagine being able to proudly share the space with your friends and family, rather than keeping the door shut and ignoring the wasted space behind it.
Creates Additional Living Space
There may be some purpose to your current unfinished basement. Maybe the washer and dryer are down there, and you regularly make trips up and down stairs on laundry day. Or maybe it’s nothing more than a storage space that you venture down to only when you need to grab different seasonal items. Regardless, your basement probably has a lot of wasted space.
By finishing the basement, suddenly that damp, dreary area that you avoided can become a guest suite for your friends and family to stay in, a play area for your children, or even a home office or gym for yourself to escape the hectic going-ons of the upstairs world.
The beauty of finishing your basement is the endless possibilities for the space. If your household needs a dedicated study area for the kids, then you can add it there. Or if you’d like an adult-only hangout with a wet bar, that can also be built into the space. With so many options to choose from, the amount of ways to create additional livable space are practically endless.
Makes a Space that will Grow with You
Your lifestyle will inevitably change as time passes, sometimes rather unpredictably. If we learned anything from the pandemic, it’s how easily our way of living can be upended by forces beyond our control. Having a usable space that can easily adapt to different demands of your household will definitely come in handy in the future!
Maybe the renovated basement will serve as an in-law suite for aging parents as they decide to move in with their children. If you have children, they’ll need a designated safe place to play while their young, and later somewhere to hang out with their friends as they reach their teenage years. Or perhaps you’re currently an empty nester, but your young adult child will need a place to stay when they come to visit or come home from college.
Even as we reach the end of the pandemic, many are still working remotely. Having a space that can easily become your home office may come in handy, especially if you find yourself struggling to get work done in the chaos that is the kitchen.
Improves Your Home’s Health
Basement remodeling isn’t always just about creating a prettier space, but can impact the longevity and livability of your home. Did you know that the American Society of Home Inspectors & FEMA report that as many as 98% of homes have basement leaks? Or that 60% of homes have excess moisture present in the basement? Of those with excess moisture, nearly four out of ten develop toxic molds and fungi.
Your unfinished basement could be home to colonies of mold or fungus that are compromising the air quality of your home and exposing your family to discomfort at best, and potential health risks at worst. Even if your basement door is closed, indoor air doesn’t necessarily stay in one room. It circulates throughout your vent system and is pushed into bedrooms, bathrooms, and the living areas where your family spends most of their time.
By finishing your basement, you’re installing proper insulation and waterproofing materials that will address excess moisture and prevent toxic materials from growing down there, ensuring that your home has healthy air quality. Consulting a professional to assess any other potential health risks, such as asbestos if you’re in an older home, would be very wise.
Helps You Get Organized
Let’s be honest, an unfinished basement is realistically just a dumping ground for all of the knick knacks and other miscellaneous things that don’t have a place anywhere else in the home. Boxes of unused toys, clothes, books, or other items end up piled up. Tools that aren’t in use get stored down where no one can find them when they need them. Maybe even old furniture that you’re not quite sure what to do with gets shoved into the space.
By making the decision to finish your basement, you’re deciding that all of the clutter in that area also has to find a new home. This forces you to take a closer look at all of the items that have piled up and truly organize them by what you need to keep, what can be donated, and what’s really just junk that can be recycled or thrown away.
You can also plan on creating a more organized storage system in your newly finished basement. Dedicated shelves, drawers, closets or other better organized storage solutions can be incorporated into the design. Overall, the space should be a lot less cluttered once the renovations are complete!
Increases Home Value
Unless you’re planning to stay in your current home for the rest of your life, it’s likely that resale is possible in your future. Renovation projects of all types lead to increased value in your home, though the return on investment is not equal between all projects. The good news is that finishing a basement is one of the best investments you can make into your home, with nearly as many homebuyers as keen to purchase a home with a finished basement as those who are looking for modern kitchens and bathrooms.
On average, a basement remodel typically returns 70-75% of the investment in the resale value of the home, but with the demand for more finished basements, you could get 100% or more of your investment back.
A finished basement also helps to modernize an older home, if that’s a concern. By adding newer features to the space, such as heated flooring, smart device integration, or touchless technology, you can draw more interest from potential buyers.
Saves on Energy Costs & Construction
Typically, unfinished basements don’t have the same sort of sealing that the rest of your house does. In order to change your basement’s temperature, you have to rely entirely on your HVAC system pumping hot or cold air into a space that’s not sealed properly to hold it. Just think of all of the wasted energy that’s slipping out through the cracks!
By finishing your basement with proper insulation and energy efficient windows, you’re creating a stable, comfortable environment throughout your home. This also allows your appliances to run more efficiently, so you should see an improvement with your energy bills after finishing your basement!
If you’re looking for more space in your home, finishing your basement is much more cost effective than building a new addition. An addition has to be built entirely from scratch with architects getting involved in the process. Meanwhile, a basement is simply a reimagination of an existing space.
Creates a Rental Unit
Maybe your home is already perfectly suited to your family’s needs without creating additional living space by finishing the basement. In that case, there’s still a potential benefit to you. You can convert the area into a single-accessory dwelling unit (ADU). Also called in-law suites, an ADU is an additional residence built on the same property as a single-family home. By creating what’s essentially an apartment in your basement, you could rent it out to tenants and recoup your investment entirely!
While an ADU can be a money-making plan, there’s also plenty of homeowners who find the need to accommodate aging family members. In fact, this has been exacerbated by the pandemic with more multi-generational families living together now more than ever. Especially with elderly parents moving in with their children, an ADU is the perfect compromise between the pace of mind of having relatives safe at home while giving them the space, privacy, and independence they often desire.
An ADU might not be an immediate need for your family, but it’s important to consider if you’d like to add one down the line. You can make sure that there’s easy enough access to set up appliances for a complete living unit in the basement when the time comes that it becomes necessary.
If you’re ready to get started on your basement renovation, don’t wait. Contact Quality Homes of Rochester to set up your free estimate and get the ball rolling on this exciting project!