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basement finishing

How to Gain Home Value by Finishing Your Basement

Basements have always gotten a bad rap. The word conjures up a dark, damp underground space that, at best, holds HVAC and other equipment, your water heater, your washer and dryer, and possibly a mishmash of odds and ends that you have no other place to store. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Why not put this mostly unused space to work for you and your family? Not only can your family undoubtedly use the additional living space, but basement finishing, when done properly, can give you a 75% return on your investment and increase your home’s value by as much as $100 per square foot of added living space.

The other great thing about basement remodels is that they cost less – sometimes substantially less – than remodels to your home’s completely above-ground rooms and spaces. Depending on such factors as the size and style of your home, how open to the outside your basement already is, and the type of basement finishing you choose to do, you can expect the project to cost somewhere between $18,000 and $30,000.

Basement Finishing Options

When it comes to what rooms and areas your finished basement should contain, you have a variety of choices. However, keep in mind that the simplest ideas are usually the best, not to mention the most cost-effective. In other words, this is no time to customize your basement to your family’s current size, needs and desires. These change over time. In addition, you likely won’t be living in your home forever, so think in terms of what will light up the eyes of potential buyers.

Having said all that, the most popular basement finishing projects include the following:

  • Additional bedroom(s)
  • Additional bathroom(s)
  • Home office
  • Media room
  • Home gym
  • Kids’ playroom
  • Workshop/crafts area


Gone are the days when families expected their children to share bedrooms. No matter how well your kids get along, the truth is that no child wants to share a bedroom with a sibling. Each one wants his or her own room in which to study, listen to music, watch TV and DVDs, talk and text with friends or simply hide out from the rest of the family. Basement bedrooms are enormously popular with kids, especially when they have adequate lighting, heat, electrical outlets and other amenities.

Don’t have that many kids? How about guests? If your family is big on holiday celebrations and other get-togethers, having sufficient bedrooms so that everyone can have reasonable sleeping privacy is an enormous advantage.


Only the smallest family can get by with one bathroom. Even here, the accent is on getting by. You can’t go wrong by having your basement remodel include one or even two additional bathrooms. The convenience can’t be overstated.

Home Office

With ever more people working from home nowadays, a dedicated home office becomes almost a necessity rather than a convenience. Having a space away from other family activities where computers can be set up, phone calls can be made and received in privacy, and files can be organized and stored makes working from home, or running a business from home, so much more viable.

The other popular basement finishing projects likewise give you and your family rooms in which to pursue whatever activities you enjoy the most.

Doing It Right

Whatever basement finishing options you choose, the best way to make sure that they really do add value to your home is to hire a reputable home contractor. These professionals know which materials are most amenable to basement usage. They also can come up with various room configurations to most easily and efficiently accommodate your basement’s intended new purposes.