First Things First:
Turning an unfinished basement into livable space is the cheapest way to boost your home’s usable square footage — and your overall home's value. A low-end redo starts at about $6,500 (if you're upgrading an already refinished space). But if you're turning a raw area into something nicer, the average goes up to $19,032. Seems pricey, but consider that it’s much less expensive than the average $42,296 it would cost to build an entire home addition. Plus, you’ll get about 70 percent of that expense back when you go to sell your house down the road, according to .
Rethinking The Space:
Untapped basement space can be converted into any type of room, from a wide-open floor plans to individual spaces for a bedroom, home office, and kids’ play area. But be aware that every time a wall goes up, so does the project cost. Building one 12- x 12-foot room in the basement adds $1,200 or more, while b$10,000 to $15,000.
An unfinished basement presents opportunities that you don’t generally have in completed rooms. Open walls that are not yet drywalled make it easy to run audio and video cables for entertainment or home security systems, so ias little $100. For $100 and up, you can also run cables for high-speed internet or Ethernet, and wires and cables for a home office or home theater setup.
Choosing Your Flooring:
Typical rules for flooring do not apply in basements, because most basement floors are installed “below grade," which means below the soil line surrounding the house. The lower the grade, the more the moisture — so you’ll want to avoid solid wood, which can expand, buckle, or cup over time. For a 600-square-foot basement, expect flooring materials to start at $1,200 for carpeting, sheet vinyl, or vinyl tile; $2,800 for ceramic tile, and $4,200 for laminate flooring.
Warming Things Up:
One downside to a basement is the chill factor. In the summer, it’s great, but in the winter, this space can be a b*tch. Possible solution: Add a fireplace. A gas fireplace costs an average of $2,044, while a wood burning fireplace costs $827 to $3,293. (Obviously costs vary, depending on the masonry work both inside the house for the hearth and mantle, and if an outdoor chimney is needed.)
Raising The Bar:
It's every man's dream: A space downstairs where you can drink but never have to drive. A$2,000 to $4,000 — but a version with running water and a sink can cost $6,000 and up. Upgrade that option with woodwork and granite countertops, shelves for bottles, cabinets for glassware, and lighting, and you're looking $15,000 or more (not including appliances).
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Illustrations & Design by Nicole Pivirotto, Animation by Eddie Phan
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