Old homes may suffer from sagging foundation beams as a result of shifting ground or decay and deterioration of the original building materials. Foundation beams can be raised and shored up successfully, but the right tools, like a pneumatic jack, are essential. Depending on how much the foundation beam must be raised, this job may require several days of incremental steps to complete - which means increased labor costs. Hiring professionals is the best option for this job. Expect costs to run about $10,000 for repairs like a shifted foundation.
If you want to increase the amount of living space in your home, remodeling your basement makes a lot more sense than adding on a new addition. A finished basement has an ROI of around 70%, making it one of the better investments you can make in your home. A typical basement remodel costs around $90 a square foot, assuming moderate decor and finishes. With the average project size of 600 square feet, this puts the cost of the average basement remodel around $55,000.
A finished basement has the potential to add value to a home, especially when it comes time for resale. The average basement remodel project can have up to a 70% return on investment. Home buyers typically prefer a house with a finished basement and may even increase their offer if that living space recently has been updated or remodeled. The finished basement also adds value by creating more living space in the home without having to spend thousands on an addition.
Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a walkout basement, where one or more walls are above-grade and can accommodate large windows and glazed doors, natural lighting is going to be limited in your basement to a handful of small windows. Fortunately, dropped or suspended ceilings, common in basements, can easily and attractively accommodate recessed can, track, and fluorescent troffer fixtures.
Adding or enlarging basement windows and adding exterior doors are jobs for a professional, but the resulting natural light and ventilation will significantly increase your enjoyment of this living space. To add below-ground windows you'll need to dig a window well. The retaining wall for the well may be made of masonry, limestone blocks, or treated landscape timbers, as in this window well. The terraced timbers serve as pot garden perches as well as steps for an emergency exit.

A basement bedroom and full or half bath makes an ideal suite for guests or teens. Think about who will sleep in the basement and the amenities they'll need to help you determine the best dimensions for this basement remodeling idea. To comfortably fit a double bed, you'll need a room with a minimum of 125 square feet. If twin beds will serve your needs better, plan on at least 150 square feet. Building codes also require that basement bedrooms have an emergency exit that leads directly outside, either through a door or a window.
You can fit a full bathroom with tub/shower combination in a room that measures 40-square feet. However, on average, a smaller bath (with just a stand-up shower) or a half-bath usually needs to be about 30-square feet for comfort and functionality. Depending on the basement space and layout, you may be able to go with a larger 60-square feet or more bathroom space. Creating bathroom with a separate water closet may require 100-square feet or more.
A finished basement is not always the same thing as a designed basement. Sometimes, the basement begins with the basics: walls, a ceiling, lights, and a floor. Gwen Hefner and husband Micah wanted to turn their tiny, airless basement space into a comfortable mancave. They had the basics to start with. The next step, Gwen says, would be a true test to her design skills.
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.
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