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Should I Finish My Basement This Winter?

Here in New Jersey, and in many other States throughout the U.S., the winters can be long and tough. Traditionally, winter has been a time where activity decreases. The days are shorter, the weather is sometimes prohibitively cold, and people generally slow down and spend more time resting.

But let’s face it – not everybody works that way. Some people are itching to get things done, and although there are a lot of outdoor projects that aren’t possible this time of year, there may things inside the house that can be taken care. A lot of homeowners specifically plan renovation projects for the winter months. It’s a good way to keep busy during those long dark evenings, and it gives you the sense of being productive all year long. Plus, when the spring thaw arrives, that’s one less indoor project you’ll have to think about.

Some of the projects you might undertake during the winter months are, however, too big and too involved to really consider doing. Finishing your basement is a good example. Unless you’re able to work on the project for 20+ hours a week, and unless you have all the necessarily tools and training, you might find a project like this to be unrealistic. That’s where professional help comes in. You may not be able to (or may not want to) finish your own basement this winter, but what about bringing in a qualified professional to do it for you?

Important questions remain. Is it a good investment? When the project is complete, will the money you invested be recuperated in terms of your home’s fair market value? Will having a newly finished basement enhance your lifestyle?

There are important questions to ask, especially when you consider the fact that on average, Americans spend between $5,000 and $18,000 to finish a basement (the cost goes up if your basement is already finished, but it is being remodeled). You want to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, and that your expectations are realistic.

As with any remodeling or renovation project, it simply isn’t prudent to expect a “dollar for dollar” recuperation of your investment in terms of market value. Your home’s market value will definitely increase with a finished basement, but the increase in value will usually not match the investment require to complete the project. There are, however, other things to think about. Having all of that usable square footage at your disposal can make a huge difference to your experience of living at home, especially if you have a busy and growing family.

It’s also worth looking at your home’s immediate and long-term market appeal. A finished basement can make your home a lot more attractive on the market, and over time, that initial investment can indeed be recuperated and surpassed as the value of your home continues to increase.

Knowing what kind of finishing to undertake and how to fit everything within your allotted budget will take some calculating. One of the best thing you can do is consult with a contractor who is experience in basement renovations and has built up a commendable reputation in your community.

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