If you have a basement in your home, you may be sitting on a small gold mine. Finished basements not only add usable space to your home, they also can add a tremendous amount of value if you’re looking to sell again. When finishing your basement, there are some things to keep in mind to help make sure the work you do makes it the best investment possible.
Take Care of Any Water Issues
Because they are below ground, basements often wind up with water in them during heavy rains. Even if you have just a minor water issue in your basement, you should make sure it is fixed before doing any major remodeling. Once you have installed drywall and carpet, it can be very costly to remove them to deal with a water leak.
Test for Radon
Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that is naturally present below ground in many parts of the U.S. and long-term exposure to radon can cause lung cancer and other health problems. If you plan to remodel your basement into usable space, it’s a good idea to test for radon before starting work. If you have radon levels above recommended levels, you can have a radon mitigation installed.
Have a Plan
When remodeling your basement space, it is good to come up with a plan for what you want to do and what you can afford. Installing drywall to rooms and adding carpet is much more affordable than installing plumbing for a bathroom or making cutouts for windows. On the other hand, adding a bathroom and adding windows can increase the value of your renovations.
Make Sure Renovations Are up to Code
It’s very tempting, especially in a space like a basement, to do renovations yourself to save money. While this can be much less expensive, it also can devalue the work. It’s best to have licensed contractors do the work, especially specialty work. You would want to hire a plumbing company to install any plumbing, and an electrical company should install and repair electrical systems like your telephone, multimedia and data wiring. Also pay attention to code requirements. For example, for a basement bedroom to meet code as a bedroom, it must have a closet and an egress window.
Finishing your basement can add a significant amount of value to your home, but only if you do it right. Treat such renovations as you would to your kitchen or any other room above ground. The more care you take with your basement renovations, the more enjoyable and valuable they will be.