If you have a home with an unfinished basement, you can almost double the size of your house, as well as add value to your property. Any realtor will assure you that buyers consider a home with a finished basement a considerable plus. Just by refinishing your basement, you can get back even more than you’ve invested in it if and when you sell your home.
How do you get started?
First, you need to ask your friends and neighbors if they know of anyone they’d recommend doing the job. Don’t rely on just one contractor. Interview at least three or four different contractors before making a decision. If you don’t know anyone who’s refinished a basement in your area, there’s always the telephone yellow pages where you can find names. When interviewing contractors ask questions such as….
*How long have you been in business? Be suspicious of someone who’s only been in business less than a year, working out of his own basement. Note whether he is punctual for the interview. If he’s irresponsible just getting to your house for an estimate, I wouldn’t recommend him for the job. Unfortunately, there are many fly-by-nighters in the home contracting business, so be forewarned. Also, be sure your contractor is licensed.
*Ask for references and if he’s done similar jobs in your area.
*Make sure he’s aware of recent building codes and other restrictions such as insulation details.
*Find out what you’re able to do yourself. For example, we’ve decided to do all our own painting. If you’re handy in carpentry, you may want to do your own baseboards and trim, as well as paint them.
*If you plan to heat and air condition your basement, find out if you can use a vent that already heats and cools the rest of your house. Just by shutting off the vent at night when no one is using the basement, you can save on your electric bill.
*Consider keeping those concrete blocks visible—If your basement has walls that are partially set up as concrete blocks, then you may want to just paint the blocks rather than drywall over them. Not only will this save your money on remodeling expenses, but it also gives your basement a unique look, making it more creative.
*Ceilings—-Unless you want your room to be exceptional, don’t let your contractor talk you into a tray ceiling. Although tray ceilings are attractive, they’re also pricey.
What kind of flooring is best? First, you need to test your floor to determine if you have a moisture problem. If you do, then don’t put down carpeting. Tile squares are probably your best choice as individual tiles can easily be replaced. Some homeowners have actually kept their concrete floors, painting over them. With a little creativity, you can give a dull concrete floor personality. For example, you could sponge paint over the base paint, or do a unique design. The possibilities are endless.
So go head. Refinish that unfinished basement. Not only will you add space to your home, but you’ll be investing in its resale value as well.