The national statistics on how many American homes have basements are interesting but highly varied. Some studies say that anywhere from 35% to half of all homes in the country have basements. And when you get into more densely populated towns and cities, basements are often more common, depending on when the neighborhood was built. Whatever the numbers are, a lot of Americans have basements. That we can say with a fair amount of confidence.
You might be struggling with the question of whether it’s worth it to finish your basement. There are so many factors in play. How long do you intend to live in this house? That’s a big question. And if you invested the money into a finished basement, would you effectively be building home equity? Or would you be losing it? This is a very realistic question that will cross the mind of any homeowner who might be thinking about a basement finishing project.
The short answer is that yes, in most cases, basement finishing is worth it. That’s assuming, however, that a wise investment was made on a skilled basement contractor, and that the basement was previously unfinished. If you re-finish a basement that is already well-finished, you can’t your home equity to change much.
Sometimes people want to refinish a basement for their own sake, to better enjoy the years for which they intend to live in the home. This is a valid reason too. Sometimes they want to build a home theater room down there, or a dedicated personal gym. There are more and more people who are interested in yoga, MMA and pilates – basements can be valuable exercise areas, and so much better if they’re professionally finished (especially if you have expensive equipment or mats that need to be protected.
The point is that there are so many different reasons for wanting to finish a basement, and so many different financial calculations at stake. It’s impossible to say whether a given basement renovation is ultimately “worth it.”
What can be asked is whether the professional delivered as promised, and whether the expectations of the homeowner were exceeded. Generally speaking, a refinished basement will add value to the home – but in some cases, the value added will be less than the cost of refinishing the basement. Again, there are so many different financial scenarios.
What can be said is that if you’re in the market for a basement contractor, what do you look for? A company that specializes in basements, or one that performs a wider variety of home remodeling work? The reality is, there are contractors who have done a lot of basements in their career, and there are those who maybe have not done any. Experience is one of the most important things to look for, unless you’re going to take a much lower bid, and put a bet on an inexperienced remodeler. This happens all the time, and sometimes people even get luck and the remodeler turns out a great result.