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By Christopher Behan
When you need to add more space to your home, you may consider building an addition. However, these extra rooms can often be very costly, may dramatically change the faade of your home and can reduce the size of the yard on your property. Unless youre working with a highly skilled architect, you may also have an addition that simply doesnt fit in with the rest of your home. Due to this high cost and risk, many homeowners have taken to basement remodeling as an alternative. These projects often cost less than adding an addition, and can add value to your home your when done properly.
Its important at the front to understand that there are differences between finishing a basement and having an addition built. For one, its unlikely that your remodeled basement will be counted towards the livable area in your home when its next appraised. The upside is you wont need to have permits pulled or go through complicated inspection processes after your project is complete like you would when building an addition. Research other homes in your area to see how much a finished basement has seemed to impact sales and you can generally form a good picture of the return youll likely see on your investment.
Once youve decided a basement remodeling project is right for you, youll need to decide whether youll be doing the work yourself or hiring a professional. Remember that most of the value gained from finishing a basement is tied to the quality of work, so unless you have extensive experience in home building or remodeling you may want to trust in experts. They can help you determine the best method for remodeling your basement, whether using traditional drywall or a specialized finishing system. Working with a contractor may also help you get affordable financing terms that make the remodeling project easier on your pocketbook.
Whichever route you take, there are some important considerations to maximize the value of your project. The first is what materials will last the longest in your basement environment. Drywall is generally best for waterproofed basements with sufficient drainage around the home to prevent flooding. Though often slightly costlier, finishing systems are designed to resist water damage, mold and mildew, making them a smart investment in basements where moisture may be a fact of life. Finishing systems also recover better from floods than drywall, helping to keep repair costs low even in the event of a major catastrophe. Making sure your basement is as roomy as the rest of your home is another important factor. Most finished basements make use of a subfloor that creates a space for water to flow without damaging the flooring materials, which comes at the cost of a few inches of headroom. When combined with the suspended ceilings that are commonly used in these spaces and the lack of exterior windows, basements can feel very confining. If you can, try to use flooring that doesnt required subfloor, and hang the suspended ceiling as close to the floorboards of your home as possible.
With these key elements in mind, you can get both the space you need at a price you can afford, while maximizing the potential return on your investment.
About the Author: Christopher Behan is a professional writer specializing in the home improvement industry. His writing focuses on
, replacement windows, sunrooms, and other home remodeling products and services, and his work has been featured on multiple home improvement websites.