Are finished basements worth the investment?
When is the best time to finish your basement?
If you ‘re planning to build a new house and aren’t sure if you should finish your basement during construction, or are considering making updates to your current basement, we’ve got some insight that can help.
Modern Structure is an Evansville, Indiana based home builder specializing in modern, multifunctional homes. If you’re starting to explore the idea of building your forever home, but are unsure of the pros and cons of including a finished basement, this one’s for you!
What is a Finished Basement?
To put it simply, a finished basement is one that has the same comfort features as the main levels of your home. This includes: drywall, plumbing, flooring, electric, HVAC and possibly a kitchen.
In contrast, if you leave your basement unfinished, it may lack insulation, drywall, plumbing, electric and HVAC. In other words, an unfinished basement is best used for storage, and a finished basement is a livable extension of your home.
Pros of Finishing Your Unfinished Basement
During the design phase of building your new home; we go over your floor plan with you in great detail, down to the finishes. Homeowners are often concerned about staying within their budget, and wonder whether or not finishing an unfinished basement is worth the investment. Although leaving your basement unfinished may save you some money now, there are good reasons to go ahead and have it finished during construction.
It’s Actually Cheaper to Finish Out A Basement During Construction
If you make the decision to leave your basement unfinished after your home’s construction is completed, the overall cost to build your home will be less than it would be with a finished basement.
However, if you choose to finish that basement a few years later, it will cost more than just finishing it during the main construction of your home. If you go ahead and complete your basement while your home is being built – all of our trade professionals & sub-contractors are already on-site, and you can take advantage of quantity material discounts and the efficiency of the work being completed all at the same time.
A Finished Basement Can Increase the Value of Your Home
Adding more livable space to your home can increase its resale value. If you’re building your forever home, you probably aren’t planning on selling it any time soon. But adding the flexibility of a beautifully finished basement to your house plans will provide you with enjoyment instantly, while increasing the value of your home for later.
Save Yourself the Stress of Moving Your Stuff…Again
You’ve already moved all of your things into your new home and stored boxes of holiday decorations in your unfinished basement. Maybe you even moved some furniture down there and a pool table you never use. When you decide it’s time to turn your unfinished basement into a more livable space, you’ll have to move all of those things again. And that can be frustrating.
Keep it simple! Moving into your new home with a fully finished basement means you’ll only move in once.
A Finished Basement is Flexible and Fun
Aside from the financial stuff, finished basements are just plain cool and incredibly versatile. Here are just a few ways you can use your extra space to the fullest:
- Create a theater room
- Use the extra space for kids and grandkids to romp around in
- Get active with a home gym
- Include a kitchenette and bar for a parent’s retreat
- A true entertainment space for parties and other social events
- Additional space for guests to stay in an extra bedroom
- Work from home in a quiet office space separated from the rest of the house
- An additional living room space so your family can space out when desired
Possible Cons of Finishing Your Unfinished Basement
If finishing a basement was an easy decision, we probably wouldn’t be writing this blog. There are a few things you’ll need to take into account before you make your decision.
Your Older Home’s Basement May Not be Built to be Finished
Many older homes are built with stone or brick foundations and lack the necessary moisture barriers and drain systems. In addition to mold and moisture concerns, we recommend having an older basement tested for radon before you attempt to finish it out. Overall, preparing an older basement to be finished out can be a costly project, but worth it if you value the additional space.
Make Sure Your Basement is Usable for Years to Come
If you’re planning to build your forever home, you’re probably going to be living in it for a long time. As you age, take into consideration how easy or difficult it might be to get up and down the stairs to your basement. If you feel as though you won’t be able to use stairs, investing in a finished basement might not be worth it in the long run.
Always Consider Your Budget
Finishing a basement obviously requires a bigger investment on your end. Although you will likely see a return on your investment when you sell your home, you may not be ready to fork over that much cash right now.
If you are building your new home with us, we thoroughly walk you through the design and planning stages of your new home to make sure you are comfortably within your budget. And if a basement fits into your budget, we’d be happy to create you the ultimate finished basement.
How to Ensure a Comfortable, Livable, Finished Basement
We’ve put together a short list of essential tips and elements to include in your finished basement that are sure to make it one of your favorite places to spend time.
- If you’re building a new home with a basement, make sure you have ample ceiling height for head space and a comfortable aesthetic. Most of the main HVAC ducts are run through the basement. So 9’ & 10’ ft tall ceilings are always a good idea.
- Consider including a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in the air.
- Install waterproof flooring, tile or epoxy finished concrete. Carpets and hardwood floors can be installed with extra precautions.
- Include a bathroom for convenience.
- Install organized storage and shelving to keep your collectibles and decorations safe.
- If you love entertaining guests, add a simple or decked out bar and kitchenette to reduce trips upstairs.
Let’s Start Planning Your Custom Home Build and Finished Basement
We recognize that most people have a lot of questions about building a new home. We are proud of our attention to detail and to our customers’ needs and wants. The initial building consultation with us, at Modern Structure, is always free. So if you’re ready to start exploring a new home build, or have questions about including a finished basement in your new home plans, contact us today!