Local planning departments usually have specific regulations on ceiling height, access doors, radon ventilation, waterproofing and other details of the basement remodeling process. Many building codes now require upgrades such as residential fire sprinklers for new construction or major remodeling projects. Ask about local requirements and get all required permits (or make sure the contractor does this). Depending on the location, permit costs can be next to nothing or extremely expensive; find out exactly what they are and include them in the project's budget.
According to real estate agents and appraisers, a bedroom must have a door, window and closet. Adding a closet to your basement bedroom is crucial to adding value to your basement addition. There are a few components that will affect the cost, the size of the closet being the biggest. The average cost to install a closet is $1,779, with most homeowners spending between $1,272 and $1,917. More than likely, your closet cost will be lower seeing that the size of the closet won’t be nearly as large as your master bedroom or other main bedrooms.
Search the pro’s contractor’s license to verify they are in good standing with the state board. As an example, in California, search the California State Contractors Board to learn if the license is up to date, if they have any legal action against them and if the contractor is in good standing. Some states only require contractors licenses for residential projects based on price, so research your region to be safe. For more information on smart hiring, check out our safety tips.
Simply finishing the floors, walls, and ceilings of the basement can help increase the value of your home. But putting extra thought into what you want to use the space for now, will save you on fees later. For example, if you intend to use this as a children’s playroom, then building shelves into the walls, adding egress windows, and putting down carpeting can all be done at the time of the remodel, rather than added later.
Take a basement spare bedroom one step further by turning your downstairs into an apartment suite. Go with a kitchenette with updated appliances and an island, a small space to put a couch for lounging, a half wall to create the boundaries of a bedroom, and a bathroom. You can rent the space out to earn some extra money, or let your college kids stay there in between living arrangements and jobs.