Basement Renovation Projects that Bring Maximum ROI

Finished basement in house

There are many positive outcomes that come with salvaging an abandoned basement. You can turn the room into an extra bedroom, home gym, office space or anything you want. The best thing is transforming your basement from an abandoned space to a usable one will significantly boost the value of your home. This is because buyers today are more interested in homes that have finished basements. Moreover, you can turn the abandoned basement into a legal rental space that generates extra income. The question that remains is this: which basement renovation projects will give you maximum return on your investment?

Home improvement projects are a huge commitment. You want to ensure that you get everything right the first time in order to avoid future regrets. You don’t want to turn your basement into a playroom only to realize that an extra bedroom would have been a better idea. You have to think your decision through to avoid costly mistakes. If you don’t know what you should turn your basement into, here are a few great ideas you can use. The following projects bring the best return on your investment.

New Floors

Installing the right floors in your basement can make all the difference. Provided the basement is properly waterproofed, new floors will change the overall look of your basement space. All in all, it is essential to note that choosing floors for the basement is completely different from choosing floors for the rest of your house. Not every flooring option will be suitable. This is for the simple fact that basements experience high moisture levels.

You must never install solid-wood flooring in a basement. This is because slight fluctuations in the moisture levels will cause the floors to buckle and split. There are countless flooring options you can use for your basement. They include the following:

  • Engineered wood flooring
  • Engineered or luxury vinyl plank or tile
  • Porcelain or ceramic tile flooring
  • Concrete

Although these options work great for most basements, it is very important that you consult with a professional before choosing a flooring option. A professional will make you aware of the potential issues you may face with each flooring option. A flooring expert may also recommend the best materials based on the location of your home, how you intend to use the basement space and your budget.

When choosing flooring materials, you need something that is not only durable but one that will withstand fluctuations in moisture. From there, you simply need to select the right style that matches your basement. A pro tip is to make your basement look brighter with bright-coloured flooring options.

Basement Bathroom

While you may still be deciding on what to turn your basement space into, you can never go wrong with a basement bathroom. It doesn’t matter if you end up turning your basement into a home gym, private movie theatre or an extra suite for the in-laws; you and your guests will appreciate having a convenient bathroom. Installing a basement bathroom will increase enjoyment in the basement space as well as boost the value of your house.

Prior to getting started with the installation of a basement bathroom, you need to think carefully about the kind of bathroom you want. Do you need a basic powder room or a basement spa? Basements are usually damp and cold. This means if you need a spa-like experience, you have to pay extra for it. In the long run, it may be better to add a simple 3 piece with a shower. Be ready to spend between $3,000 and $15,000 when adding a basement bathroom. Although these costs may seem high, keep in mind that you will recoup them when you sell your house.

Major plumbing work will have to be done. Take time to consult your basement renovation expert to understand how much work will be done to install the new bathroom. Your basement renovation pro will further help you find the ideal spot for the bathroom as well as the best layout.

Basement Kitchen

A kitchenette, wet bar or full basement kitchen will offer a great return on your investment as well. A basement kitchen enables you to entertain your guests easily without having to go upstairs. Even if you have a home office in the basement, a gym or a play area, a basement kitchen will be a great addition.

All in all, before you get started, you should always remember that not every basement space will allow for the installation of a full kitchen. It is also important that you check with the local municipality to make sure the installation of a basement kitchen is allowed. The building restrictions are the key reason most homeowners install a kitchenette in place of a full basement kitchen. Kitchenettes are also great to keep stocked up with snacks and drinks for a board game or movie night.

The cost of installing a basement kitchen will vary significantly depending on what you want. On average, a kitchenette or wet bar will cost you between $2,000 and $12,000 to install. It will cost you much more to install a full second kitchen in the basement. Installing a full kitchen further requires that you obtain permits. Whichever direction you choose to take, it is imperative that you discuss your options with an experienced basement pro. The possibilities are endless. The input of a basement pro will ensure you make the most informed choice.

A basement renovation is a fantastic project to invest in. This is because it increases the amount of usable living space in your home and adds to your home’s market value. Whether you are considering selling your home within a year or in the next 20 years, renovating your basement will increase your home’s demand as well as help you command a higher price. The costs may be high right now, but you will be happy you invested in a bathroom renovation when you are ready to sell your house. As a matter of fact, basement renovations offer up to 70% return on investment.

Mistakes to Avoid in a Basement Renovation

While the end results are attractive, there are a number of mistakes you have to avoid when tackling a basement renovation. The last thing you want is to create something amazing that ends up being destroyed by high moisture within a few months. Below are a couple of mistakes you must avoid when working on a basement renovation.

Ignoring Waterproofing

The worst mistake you can make when tackling a basement renovation project is assuming that you don’t need to waterproof the basement. The basement has high moisture levels. This means water problems will always be an issue, especially if you do not choose  waterproof options.

The first thing you have to do before you add a home gym, kitchen or wine cellar is to make sure the space is waterproofed. It makes no sense to spend time and money creating the perfect basement space that will be washed away by a single flood. Before any work starts, you need to take the time to make sure the basement is properly waterproofed. This is a step that will protect your investment.

Floods are not the only things you should worry about. Being located below the ground makes basements notoriously damp as well as prone to severe moisture problems. Needless to say, it is not only unpleasant to spend time in a damp basement, but it will not boost the value of your home. Failing to properly waterproof the basement will lead to such problems as mold, which may spread throughout the basement or even make its way to the rest of your house. Mold will make you feel ill.

The only way to avoid moisture-related problems is to ensure the basement is properly waterproofed before getting started with major renovations. The cost of waterproofing will vary depending on how big your basement is. On average, you can expect to spend from $3,000 to $5,000 on waterproofing.

Doing It Yourself  

Most homeowners feel they can complete the renovation project on their own. They believe that since they know how the final product should look, they are best suited to complete the project. What they fail to understand is that a basement renovation is more than what is seen. Working with a professional is the way to go. The option helps you avoid headaches as well as costly mistakes.

Planning a basement renovation is often difficult. If you have never worked on a similar project before, you will not understand every aspect of the project. Moreover, without professional help, it will be easy for you to miss important steps. This can lead to disastrous outcomes.

Most professionals have completed projects similar to what you need. They know how to bring your vision to life and what to expect throughout the project. Before getting started with the project, the pro will conduct a comprehensive inspection of the basement space. This inspection helps identify any potential issues that may cause the project not to run smoothly. A professional will not ignore red flags such as asbestos and mold. They will tackle these issues right away to avoid permanent damages to the basement.  

When tackling the renovation on your own, you may not know that basement climates differ from other rooms in the house. This means special materials suited for this climate have to be used to maximize durability. A professional will be able to help you find the best materials for your basement space.

Ignoring Moisture Problems

Waterproofing your basement will help keep moisture problems at bay. It is, however, good to note that nature can be unforgiving. Even with the best waterproofing, some moisture may still get in your basement. Plumbing problems may also cause high moisture problems. The best thing you can do is never to ignore signs of moisture.

It is easy to ignore a tiny amount of mold and continue with the renovation. If you don’t pinpoint the source of the mold problem, you will be making a costly mistake. This is because mold will continue to grow until you eliminate the moisture problem. If you don’t fix a moisture problem, it is most likely going to happen again.

Blocking Access to Crucial Equipment

Most heavy utility equipment is located in the basement. They include water heaters, electrical boxes and furnaces. Considering they are not the best-looking equipment in the house, you may feel inclined to cover them up. This is a terrible mistake to make. Even with aesthetics in mind, you must never forget the functionality of your home. If these pieces of heavy utility equipment are hidden or located in hard to get areas, you may suffer when there is an issue with any of them. You don’t want to have to tear down a wall to get to a leaking water heater, do you? 

Although it is okay to ‘hide’ the equipment, you need to ensure there is sufficient space around each equipment. You must also be able to access the equipment easily to diagnose or repair when necessary.

Sump Pump

The sump pump is an automatic pump that is located under the basement floors. The purpose of this pump is to discharge water that collects in the ground of the basement and releases it outside the house, thus preventing pooling. If your home has a sump pump, you must never overlook it during a basement renovation. You should consider installing a backup battery-operated sump pump. This will ensure you are protected through any storm, even if there is a power outage.

Hiring a professional to help with a basement renovation is the best decision you can ever make. A professional that has tackled projects similar to what you need will ensure you select the right layout, features and avoid costly mistakes. Yes, working with a professional will cost you extra money, but their input will be worth it. Hire a professional early before you start working on your basement renovation.