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The Pros and Cons of Finishing Your Basement

If you took a nationwide poll amongst homeowners, and asked them which projects they would do if had the time and funds, finishing the basement would be a very common response. There are a lot of unfinished basements out there, even in homes that are otherwise very nicely finished. Why is this? Why are so many basements unfinished?

Obviously, there is more than once answer to this question. In some cases, a new home was built, and the people who commissioned it decided to save money on the initial build, and leave the basement to be finished later. In other cases, the basement was never conceived as a place to spend time, but rather as a utility and storage area that really didn’t require finishing. Some basements actually were finished, but the quality of work was so poor (or it was done so long ago) that it’s effectively unfinished, and would need a major upgrade in order to be functional.

In any case, finishing your basement has pros and cons. The question is, do the pros outweigh the cons in your particular case, or vice versa? Here are some specific pros and cons to think about as you make your decision.


The average basement in the average American household is around a thousand square feet. That’s a lot of square footage that can be turned into functional living space! In short, the basement is an untapped source of valuable living space that seriously add to the livability and functionality of your home. Additional benefits include market value and buyer appeal.


The amount of money that you put into finishing your basement may or may not be totally recuperated in terms of your home’s market value, but this is true for any renovation you care to mention, including popular renovations like bathrooms and kitchens. A finished basement does, however, unequivocally add to the “buyer appeal” of your home – meaning that even if the increase in market value is less than your total expenditure to finish the basement, potential buyers will be more attracted to your home as a good value. This assumes, of course, that the craftsmanship of the finished basement is impeccable, and that the design is not overly “quirky” or suited to individual tastes. Homeowners that stick to universally appreciated design concepts are much more likely to have market value benefits as a result of their basement finishing projects.

Who do you call for quality advice on finishing your basement?

If you’re leaning toward “taking the leap” and investing real money in having that basement finished, it’s not an investment you want to take lightly. Depending on the size of the basement and the nature of the refinishing work, American homeowners frequently spend $10,000 or more to get the results they want. This money stays with the value of the home, of course, but it’s still a lot of money to invest. That’s why the skill, experience, and professionalism of the home renovator you choose is so vitally important.