Many houses, especially in the Chicago Suburbs have a basement in the home. Often times this space goes unfinished, used only as a storage area or laundry room. However, this underutilized space can greatly increase the amount of livable square footage in the home. Yet, one of the most asked questions is “does a finished basement add value to my home?”

While you might not get a dollar for dollar return on your investment, finishing a basement can greatly improve the value and function of the home and can be a less expensive option to gain extra living space.

Value of a Basement

Basements, or below ground living space, is valued at a different rate than your main floor or above round living areas.

Taking this a step further, even the different types of basements can be valued differently.

Full Walk Out Basement – this is typically the most valuable basement space. You have full sized windows and a full door for access. Value here lies with the natural light and the fact that the space often times does not feel like a basement.

Partial Grade or Garden Level – in the middle is this basement options. Garden level basements often have full sized windows, but usually does not feature the full walk out doors.

Non-Walk Out Basement  – lastly, the traditional non-walk out basement is classified by having smaller windows and no direct access to the outdoors.

Windows can help provide natural light to a traditional basement.

Finishing to Add Value

When deciding on finishing your basement, make sure to keep your overall goals in mind. What exactly are you looking for with the finished basement? More space for your family? Entertainment areas? Or are you looking to sell your home?

Answers to these questions will help to direct your efforts. For example, if your main goal is to sell your home, you may want to think about adding a common area, extra bedrooms, and a bathroom to your finished basement. Keeping the spaces neutral will help give a potential buyer a clean slate. More personalized spaces such as theaters, wine cellars, or workout rooms could stifle the buyer’s imagination.

Adding a bathroom to your basement can greatly increase value.

Finishes to Add Value

Even if you have a traditional non-walk basement, there are still some finishes you can make to add considerable value to your home.

Lighting – One of the biggest areas to add value is to make sure there is some natural light in the basement space. Even small egress windows can help bring in some much needed natural light.

Dehumidification Systems – Basements can often feel damp and cold, even leading to mold problems. Ensure your foundation is sound and a sump pump is installed properly if needed. Finally, a dehumidifier can help to keep the dampness out of the basement.

Bring the Upstairs Down – By bringing your design elements from upstairs down to the basement, you can create a cohesive look and feel to the entire house. Simple elements such as crown molding, paint colors, and even a plastered ceiling can help bring a finished look to the basement.

Always think about your main goals – if you need a place to store your wine collection, the basement is the perfect place for a wine cellar.

Finishing a basement not only provides additional value to the home, it can also provide valuable living space for your family to enjoy. Contact the professionals at Reliable Home Improvement to start your basement remodel today.