It's common for basements to be left unfinished since other parts of the home, like the kitchen, get more use and attention. You might be wondering, "Is a finished basement really worth it?" There are some great reasons, both financial and practical, for you to consider a reno and make a finished basement. We've compiled a list of compelling reasons and some helpful considerations for you to mull over before you start a project.
The possibilities are endless with what you could do with a basement space. Here are a selection of ideas, some for your household's own enjoyment and others that could offer some financial benefit too - always a bonus.
When you finish your basement with a private bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom, rent it out as a basement suite. If you have a separate entrance to make the suite more private for renters, this is a great option. Generating a second income with a basement suite is an incredible way to help pay off mortgage payments or even afford a property that would be too expensive otherwise.
Having an extra bedroom in the home is incredibly practical. It can serve as a guest room, house your university student when they come home for the summer and holidays, or even function as a room for a live-in nanny. Having another bathroom in the basement is also a bonus. Not only is having a basement bedroom and bathroom functional, it will also boost your home's appraisal, if you're thinking of selling in the future. Just make sure that the bedroom is up to code and has two forms of egress, in case of an emergency. For example, you need a window in the bedroom that is wide enough for a fire fighter to fit through wearing full uniform.
A finished basement is a great way to offer more recreational space for your kids. They can have a special place for their playtime and toys, ensuring that the main living space can be cleaner and quieter. You can also turn part of the basement into a TV space, perfect for movie nights. If you have a pool table, ping-pong table, or foosball table, the finished basement is a perfect place to put it.
Do you work from home? Separate your living space from your workspace and create an at-home office. You can enjoy a quiet place to do your work, apart from the noise of the rest of the household.
Looking for a classy, creative use for your basement? Why not turn your finished basement into a wine cellar? The coolness of a basement is the perfect place to store DIY wine and the latest vintages because it offers an easy place to control light, heat, and humidity. Just make sure that you have a dehumidifier to help moderate the West Coast's humid climate.
The possibilities that come with a finished basement are endless and exciting. However, before you embark on the project, you need to ask yourself a few important questions.
You need to ask yourself how much money you are willing to invest in a finished basement. It's easy to dream and get carried away with exciting possibilities, but you need to be realistic about your financial capabilities. Making sure that your project is within your budget is extremely important. Consider talking to an expert builder or renovator to help you determine a good allocation and if your vision is doable in your price range.
Imagine you just completed a beautiful finished basement and then you wake up one morning to discover the basement has flooded. There is water damage everywhere. This horrible picture could be your reality if you don't check to see if your basement is watertight before you embark on an expensive renovation. One way to check if there has been water damage in the past is to see if there are stains on the concrete or foundation. What's the condition of your home's foundation? If there are cracks in the foundation, water can get in more easily, and it threatens the safety of the entire structure.
Investigate the state of your basement and get an idea of what how work needs to get done before the basement can be considered "finished." Look for mold or any moisture damage. Are there any electrical, plumbing, or other mechanical spaces that are necessary but might inconvenience the beautification of the basement? Check how much headspace is available and consider whether you might have to raise the ceiling.
A finished basement offers a multitude of possibilities, both practical, recreational, and financial. However, don't jump too fast into the project before asking yourself whether you can complete your basement within your budget. We hope this advice is helpful to you as you consider a basement renovation for your home.