Remodeling part of a home can add value to the property and make it more attractive to potential buyers. It's also a way to get more use from rooms that may go largely unoccupied, like the basement. For homeowners, remodeling may mean getting a home equity loan or refinancing to afford the project. However, remodeling doesn't always have to be such a costly procedure.
Floors and Ceilings
To remodel a basement, the cement floors and exposed pipes and ductwork along the ceiling represent a significant problem. Painting the pipes and ductwork is one easy, inexpensive option. A drop ceiling with foam panels and fluorescent lights costs more but is far less expensive than a drywall ceiling. As for basement floors, press-on vinyl tiles are among the least expensive options. Adding an area rug can help the basement feel as comfortable as any other room in the home.
Basement walls require treatment during a remodel, and hanging drywall is a fairly expensive option that may require hiring professionals. Painting cinder block walls is a fast and easy do-it-yourself option. Porous cinder blocks may require several coats of paint, and the process won't provide any insulation. However, it will help make the basement appear more finished. Painting wall murals or a decorative border can make the space more colorful to server as a child's playroom.
Certain rooms lend themselves to an inexpensive basement remodel more than others. Rooms like a media room or a living room may require new furniture, finished walls and ceilings, and a heating system to make the rooms comfortable for extended periods of time year-round. Bedrooms may require homeowners to add egress windows to comply with local fire codes. To avoid this sort of costly modification, homeowners can use basement rooms for simpler purposes, like a playroom, workshop or storage area.
Remodeling a basement to use it primarily for storage can cost far less than adding a finished room. It will also free up space elsewhere in the house, and may save money that can be used to improve the main living space instead, which may do more to add value to the home as a whole. Remodeling a basement for storage is largely a matter of installing wall shelving or free-standing shelf units. Industrial shelving and filing cabinets can turn even a small basement room into a place to store documents, seasonal clothes, old toys and sports equipment.
Some basement remodeling projects have a higher initial cost but are likely to be inexpensive in the long run. Besides the value that a remodeled basement adds to the home when it comes time to sell, a workshop may be an investment in a personal craft or construction project that might serve as a money-making venture on the side. Installing a home office in the basement can make the remodeling costs tax deductible as business expenses. Finally, installing energy-efficient basement appliances, like on-demand water heaters and fuel-efficient furnaces, can save on utility costs each month and pay for themselves over time.
Basement Finishing & Remodel Options
An unfinished basement serves as a valuable blank canvas. A remodel can start with something as basic as hanging and painting simple sheetrock walls and installing plywood floors at a relatively low cost. Of course, the sky is the limit on remodeling and design projects in your home; and setting a budget for design is a bit easier than setting a budget for needed repairs. Remember, even for the simplest remodeling projects, a permit as well as an inspection may be needed in order to ensure it is legal - especially if you are adding a bedroom or bathroom. For your remodel, you may have to place a special emphasis on lighting choices. Since basement spaces are generally darker than other above-ground spaces, you'll need to either install extra lighting or find a way (perhaps with egress windows) to open up and lighten the space with natural light.
For more ct home remodeling information read our "10 Tips for Home Remodeling Project Success"