Should You Finish Your Basement?
When you were shopping for a house, you were probably so focused on the number of bedrooms, the size of the living room and the layout of the kitchen that you didn’t give much thought to the basement. An unfinished basement can be a great place for storage, but finishing it can increase your living space significantly.
Benefits of Finishing Your Basement
If your house feels a little too small for your growing family, finishing the basement could be the solution. You can convert the basement into a bedroom, a family room or a game room where you can hang out and relax as a family. Finishing the basement may cost much less than you would need to spend to build an addition.
One of the biggest problems with unfinished basements is that they’re often damp, which leads to mold. Finishing the basement can eliminate that problem. The walls can be sealed and the temperature can be controlled to maintain a humidity level that won’t allow mold to grow.
If you plan to sell your house in the future, finishing the basement could increase its value. Families love the idea of having an extra bedroom or a place to relax together. That means you might be able to recoup a significant percentage of the money you invested in the upgrading of the basement.
Downsides of Finishing a Basement
Finishing a basement can have some drawbacks. The cost can be significant, depending on the size and current condition of the area. If moisture is a problem, that’ll need to be addressed before the basement can be finished. Remodeling a basement can be time-consuming and messy. If you currently use the area as a laundry room, you’ll have to deal with the inconvenience of construction.
A finished basement can lead to higher utility bills. This is because the area will need to be heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer, just like the rest of the house. If you have a large basement, your utility bills could rise significantly.
If you currently use your basement to store boxes, holiday decorations and things you don’t use frequently, converting it into a living space means you would need to give up that storage area. If you have room in the attic, that might not be a problem. If that’s not the case, you might be forced to get rid of some things that you had been planning to keep or to put them in a storage unit.
Make the Right Choice for Your Family
Finishing your basement can give you more living space and add to your home’s value. It’s a significant expense and will cause short-term inconvenience. You may have higher utility bills and will need to figure out how to deal with the loss of storage space. Having an extra room may outweigh the downsides. Consider the pros and cons to decide if finishing your basement is the right decision for your family.