Is it Worthwhile to Finish a Basement?

When owning a house there is always focus placed on the upper levels of the home. Now we’re turning the tables and talking about the lower floor, the basement! There are a lot of considerations you need to take when considering fixing up the basement.

Is it Worth it? Ask Yourself These Questions...

When finishing your basement it’s easy to get lost on Pinterest or in a design magazine when looking for inspiration. It’s in your best interest to take a step back and really think about what finishing this basement would do for you.

  • A Second Income: Finish the basement and rent it out! This helps with affording property in the city that might otherwise be too expensive.
  • An Extra Bedroom: Whether it is for kids when they come home from university, a live-in nanny, or extra space to host guests, it’s a definite bonus!
  • Create a Separate Entrance: Having more entrances will make the basement more private. You won’t have to go through the main living area to access it.
  • More Recreational Space: Kid's playtime or movie time might disrupt the main living space. Placing this all downstairs will keep your main rooms less hectic.
  • Need an At-Home Office: Separate your living space from your working space.
  • More Wine Storage: impress your guests with the latest vintages in your very own wine cellar.
  • Extra Livable Space = an increase in house value!

What Is Your Budget?

Next on the list is how much money are you willing to invest in this project. It’s easy to outline the above and have an idea of what you want going into a project but making sure it’s all within a budget is incredibly important. Talking to an expert builder or renovator will help you determine what a good budget is, and will help determine with you what is doable within your price range.

Is Your Basement Water Tight?

This is one of the most important considerations when deciding whether or not to finish a basement. It is usually something you can check to see if there has been any water damage in the past. Check for stains on concrete or the foundation. It is also advised to fix this problem on the exterior of the home. There is some interior water fixing solutions but ultimately water will still be getting in which isn’t good. Degradation of the foundation is something you want to avoid given that it’s what supports your whole house [if] the foundation starts to break down, water gets in easier.  It can be a costly task but is usually necessary when attempting to finish a basement.

How Much Head Space Do You Currently Have?

A lot of old houses were not made with the intention of being turned into a living spaces which means that there might not be enough head space to meet Ontario’s Building Code. This results in a larger issue where you will need to meet code in order to actually finish the basement. This is another time where it is essential to have an expert contractor that can help you determine what your best options are.

What Does Your Basement Look Like Right Now?

Get a head start and take a step into the basement to investigate what is required of you for this project and inspect for moisture damage. Check how much headspace is currently available, look for where any electrical/plumbing or other mechanical spaces are and see if it will inconvenience the project.

Go the Extra Step! Do the Research

Looking for some extra advice? Click here to connect with us and we can provide our POV specific to your situation.

Article courtesy of RE/MAX Canada. Produced in collaboration with Toronto Home Shows.

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