Transforming your unfinished basement into a finished livable space is not a simple task. When considering a basement remodel, hiring an experienced home remodeling contractor is the most important decision you’ll make. Basement remodeling contractors can explain to you the different design options available, as well as recommend trusted vendors who can provide high-quality construction materials for your project.
While not every home has a basement, states with colder climates such as Massachusetts and New Hampshire normally build basements due to home foundations needing to extend below the frost line. While New England winters can be chaotic, it’s really a blessing in disguise, as having this extra underground space in your home opens up tons of opportunities. If your unfinished basement primarily functions as a storage unit for old furniture and discarded belongings, you’re wasting valuable space inside your home.
Across Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, there’s a surprisingly large amount of basements that remain unfinished. While some homeowners complete their basements and put them to good use, others leave them unfinished until they decide to sell their home. While they’re pros and cons to both choices, Let’s take a look to see whether or not it’s worth it to finish your basement.
Top Reasons Why So Many Basements Are Never Finished
When buying a new home or redesigning your current one, it’s never too late to consider the option of someday finally finishing your basement. A finished basement can become the most versatile room in your home, whether used as a home office, entertainment center, or a studio apartment for family or tenants. Below we’ll try to detail why some basements are never finished.
Finishing Your Basement Is Expensive
Any home renovation or remodeling project is going to be costly, this is the biggest reason why most basements are left unfinished. Most basements are much larger than the typical bathroom or kitchen and can require a much higher budget to complete the remodeling project successfully. Making the most of your livable space maximizes the amount of potential home design options you’ll have in the future.
While it’s true that finishing your basement drastically increases the value of your home, it’s equally true that recouping one hundred percent of your remodeling expenses is unlikely. In most cases, your home’s increase in value roughly covers seventy percent of what you spent during your basement makeover. Considering how you transformed your unfinished basement into additional usable space, that’s a great return on investment, especially for homeowners who don’t plan on selling in the near future.
Some Homeowners Prefer To Use Their Basement As A Storage Space
For some homeowners, finishing their basement was never a part of their plan. Spending thousands of dollars to bring your basement to life is a process that requires tons of work and time. From searching your area for the right basement remodeling contractor to designing blueprints that fit your project’s goals and budget, all this extra effort required to finish your basement is exhausting.
Often, many homeowners across Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire utilize their basements as storage spaces for unused items or nostalgic memorabilia that can’t be thrown away just yet. A basement used as a storage space normally does not need to be remodeled, as unfinished basements don’t see much foot traffic when compared with the rest of the house. The decision to complete your basement should always come down to personal preference.
Altering Your Basement’s Design Can Be Difficult
Many homes across New England are built with utilities such as water heating tanks and electrical panels located in the basement. This makes changing the original design of the basement costly and time-consuming, both of which discourage homeowners from finishing basements with preinstalled utilities.
Your basement is the base of your house, which means the rest of your home sits on top of it. This often means basements have support columns distributed throughout the space. While removing them is possible, it will require you to add LVL beams to provide supplemental support for the areas above. Installation of support beams is expensive, as well as complicated. Instead of removing support columns during a basement remodel, most homeowners would benefit more from adding nice finishes to match the look of the room they’ll be in.
Reasons Why You Should Finish Your Basement
There are countless reasons for wanting more space in your home, whether for entertaining guests or accommodating your growing family, the list has never been longer. While bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens each have their own established functions, a finished basement is open to whatever you want it to be.
If you’ve been dreaming of a quiet home office, an additional dwelling space, or a cozy family entertainment room, finishing your basement is the right call. Everyone finishes their basements for a different reason, but here are a few of the most common reasons why homeowners decide to transform theirs.
You Need To Build An In-Law Suite For Your Aging Parents
Planning for another individual to live in your home can be overwhelmingly difficult, especially when handicap accessibility is part of the remodeling project’s goals. Building an additional bedroom in a finished basement is the best way to retain the privacy of your home when taking in new guests. Basements have plenty of extra space to provide a whole bedroom and bathroom, as well as the option to install an exterior entry door so tenants can come and go as they please.
When redesigning a basement with aging-in-place in mind, accessories such as grab bars, wheelchair ramps, and other home modifications are essential to helping your loved ones keep their independence. An aging-in-place contractor who specializes in barrier-free designs can assess your family’s needs when designing your in-law suite, offering suggestions such as walk-in tub-shower combos and non-slip flooring specifically designed for older adults.
Finished Basements Are Great For Noisy Activities
Neighbors complaining about the time of day you decide to practice drums, Sunday football coinciding with your wife’s book club, or loud slumber parties where the kids never sleep. Once you place your noisy activities inside a finished basement, those problems evaporate. A basement’s underground location naturally muffles sound, making it the perfect spot for activities that may disturb the rest of the neighborhood.
When finishing your basement don’t forget to consider soundproofing options such as thick double-layered drywall and highly effective spray foam insulation, both of which absorb vibrations when sound passes through your basement walls. Properly caulking your basement windows and doors to prevent air gaps, as well as choosing models made with heavy-duty materials greatly impacts how effectively you’re soundproofing your basement.
You Want To Transform Your Basement Into A Home Office
Are virtual meetings constantly getting interrupted by the kids? Dogs barking when you’re trying to finish your quarterly statements? Without a designated home office working from home can place tremendous stress on individuals who have trouble focusing without a quiet environment. Adding a home office into the design of your finished basement is much easier than trying to build a home addition, and when the time comes where you no longer need a home office you can convert the space into something else entirely.
Still Not Sure If You Should Finish Your Basement?
No matter your concerns, talking with a basement remodeling specialist can help assist you when deciding to create the space you need. Whether you’re building an ADU for your in-laws, a home office for yourself, or a playroom for the kids, finishing your basement is no small task and requires professional assistance.
If you’re interested in renovating or remodeling your unfinished basement, our specialists are always ready to help. Perry Brothers Construction is a home remodeling company you can trust to transform your basement into any functional space you desire. We offer free in-home consultations for complete basement finishing and would love to hear about your next renovation or remodeling project, so don’t hesitate to reach out.