If you’re a homeowner with a basement, chances are there are certain things that you wish you could change about that lower level. Whether you think it needs a facelift, or it still features bareboned drywall, making the effort to transform your basement into a livable and enjoyable space can add a tremendous amount of value to your home. Not to mention, you’ll create more space to hang out in, instead of ignore.
However, most people avoid basement renovations. Taking on a basement remodel is a huge project, and can take months or even years to complete. Renovating an entire basement level of a house involves inspecting moisture levels; demolishing or erecting walls; installing windows, floors, and ceilings; building staircases, and dealing with plumbing and electrical issues. And that’s just to make sure it’s structurally sound. Not to mention, you’ll have to have money aside for decorating.
This can all add up to be a rather pricey project. According to HomeAdvisor, homeowners spend between $10-$35 per square foot for basement renovations. Depending on the size of your space, renovations could cost a fair amount.
So, why should you invest in a basement renovation? Here are some reasons to consider.
Once you have a functional basement, you have a space that can be used for a variety of activities. Turn your basement into a home theatre, party room, a home gym – the options are endless!
Depending on the size and layout of your basement, your space can be very versatile. What kind of use for the space would benefit you and your family or housemates? Would more space to entertain make sense, or would it make more sense to turn it into a playroom for your kids? Remember, this is an entire level of a house, so you’re not limited to picking only one function for your basement. Your basement is a multi-purpose room, so make sure that you take advantage of its functions.
It’s Your Own Design
Basements are what you make them. If you let them sit there unattended, they can turn into a grim ghost town of a space. If you give them love, they can be one of your favorite rooms in your house.
If you find your basement too dark, why not add windows or additional light fixtures? Changing the color of the walls can also have a monumental impact on the way a room looks. If you have a small space to work with, painting the walls a light color will help open it up and make it appear bigger. The beauty of renovations is that you get to redesign a space according to what you see fits. Have fun with it!
How To Pick The Right Furnishings
When you’re picking furniture for your newly renovated basement, you’ll want to invest in pieces that you’ll love for years to come. Look for pieces that reflect your personality and taste – but try and make your selection based on styles that you’ll appreciate in ten years’ time.
Pick furniture that has both personality and utility purposes. Basements are commonly used for storage, but if you plan on transforming your basement space into a living space, you’ll have to think outside the box in order to store items you’d rather keep out of sight. One way around this is to choose furniture that has storage elements incorporated into their design. This way you’ll be maximizing your basement’s living and storage potential.
Another thing to consider is the amount of light your basement lets in. Usually, lower levels of a building suffer from lack of natural light, meaning it’ll be up to you to either install more windows or light fixtures. Additional windows are a great source of extra light as well as inviting more air flow throughout the (usually stuffy) space. There are many options to choose from when it comes to picking windows, so make sure to buy a model you like that’s also practical and easy to clean.
Building Permit Required?
Depending on your location, there are varying laws regarding building permits. Usually, if you plan on making noticeable changes to the construction of your home, you will be expected to apply for and be in possession of a builder’s permit.
Even though you may want to skip out on paying for one, the consequences of getting caught doing major construction without a permit are not worth the risk. Caught in the middle of a major renovation without a permit can lead to expensive fines and trouble when it comes time to selling your home, no matter how many years down the line that may be.
If you’re unsure whether or not you’re in need of building permits, contact your local governing agency. They should be able to answer any questions that you have.
How Do I Find a Skilled Local Contractor?
It’s a good idea to involve an experienced contractor if you’re planning on making any major changes to your home. Contractors can point out details that you may have not noticed, and can provide insight on potential complications that you never even would have dreamed of. While it may be an additional cost to expense a contractor, at the end of the day you can rest easy knowing that the job was done to code and that your new renovations will last for decades.
Traits to look for when hiring a contractor:
- They are licensed, bonded and insured.
- Verify that they have experience in similar projects to yours.
- Get several bids. If the price the contractor’s giving you seems suspiciously low, it’s probably too good to be true. Value trumps price.
- They’re a good communicator. You need to know they’ll be able to answer any questions and propose suggestions.
While it certainly is an investment, renovating your basement can lead to an improved and happier lifestyle.
Interested in remodeling your basement? Start your search now.