From Margaret on November 2nd, 2010 in General Remodel
If you live in an area like Salt Lake City, where every house comes standard with a basement, then your home’s downstairs cave is probably still unfinished and very, very cold. But in a tight economy, more and more homeowners are turning to their empty basements to add an abundance of new space to their dwelling—not to mention increased value.
In fact, basement remodels are high on the Cost vs. Value list for 2009-10, bringing back at least 75.4% of that investment down the road. Find out what it would cost for a smartly planned basement remodel in your own home, and see if it’s in the budget.
The 5 Step Budget Basement Remodel
And hey, we all know it can be easy to stand at the top of the basement stairs, scratching your head at where to begin. We hear you. Consider this checklist before starting on your basement, and make the process as seamless (and cost-effective) as possible.
1. Creative Brainstorming
Decide why you are motivated to change your basement from the unfinished storage space that it is, and what specifically you plan to use the space for. An open-spaced home gym, for instance, will require a different approach than adding a guest bed and bath. And then a creative art or music studio may require stain-resistant floors, for example, or soundproof walls.
2. Consider the Tasks
Once you have a specific project in mind, create a list of what the project will entail, with estimates. (A contractor comes in very handy from this point on—get referred to one here for free.) Common jobs might include insulation, flooring, windows, wall finishes, waterproofing, or ventilation.
3. Remember Proportions
Keep in mind that finishing flooring and walls for a playroom is a much less extensive job than adding plumbing and piping. Consider the heft of the job, and if it is worth the effort for what you want. If so, move forward with a contractor.
4. Save Where it Makes Sense
Where trying to complete a basement in your own spare time may result in one of countless unfinished basement projects, take the effort to waterproof or lay flooring on your own, two jobs which can be relatively simple for a DIY-er. And leave the large tasks to a contractor.
5. Get the Low-Down on Being Down Low
With less light and open spaces in a basement, keep the atmosphere calm and your pocketbook stuffed by sticking to essential furniture and thrift shop finds.