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Important Factors to Consider When Refinishing a Basement

Posted on: November 13, 2023
By: Mike Abatiell

A finished basement can improve the beauty and function of your home, as well as add value should you choose to sell your home in the future. From installing new flooring and fixtures, improving storage and decor, painting the walls, and waterproofing your basement, you can create a space that can be used by your family for years to come. Turning your basement into a living space, recreation room, gym, office, or laundry room makes functional use of unused space and offers a great return on your investment. Here are the most important factors to consider when refinishing your basement.   

Your Return on Investment (ROI) 

When deciding what upgrades to make to your basement, you should consider your return on investment. Each renovation and upgrade you make can enhance the overall value of your home and make it easier to sell in the future. According to the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, a basement conversion is a top-four renovation in terms of ROI. Most homeowners recoup up to 86% of their renovation costs when they sell their home. Your ultimate ROI will depend on a few factors: the condition of your basement, your region, the real estate market, the quality of your renovations, and whether they are in compliance with local and federal building codes. The most lucrative basement renovations in terms of ROI are:

  • Converting the basement into a living space.
  • Adding egress windows, safety features, and waterproofing the basement.
  • Turning the basement into a utility room or laundry room. 
  • Updating or installing a heating and cooling system in the basement. 
  • Replacing the flooring.
  • Increasing basement storage options. 
  • A fully finished basement.

Upgraded Flooring 

One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to make your basement a more usable space is to upgrade the flooring. There are a few different types of flooring that you can install that are durable, low-maintenance, and attractive. A flooring upgrade is a crucial part of turning your basement into a livable space. New flooring allows you to use the basement as a recreation room, family room, living space, craft room, office, gym, or utility room. The most durable flooring options for basement flooring are:

  • Luxury vinyl flooring – Luxury vinyl flooring is perfect for a basement conversion. It is available in a wide variety of colors, styles, and finishes that mimic the appearance of tile or hardwood floors. Luxury vinyl flooring is water and stain-resistant, durable, and low-maintenance. It can handle heavy foot traffic and is resistant to pests and insects. 
  • Laminate flooring – Laminate flooring also mimics the appearance of natural hardwood. It is easy to install and easy to maintain and is perfect for a finished basement that will be used as a living area or family room. Laminate flooring is a cost-effective alternative to natural hardwood flooring, and it is durable and adaptable. 
  • Tile flooring – Tile flooring is another cost-effective and practical choice of flooring for a finished basement. You can choose from a wide variety of materials, colors, patterns, and styles. Tile flooring is incredibly durable and resistant to scratches, stains, spills, foot traffic, and wear and tear. 

Custom Cabinetry and Storage Solutions

No matter how you plan on using your finished basement, you should consider adding custom cabinetry and storage solutions. Cabinets can be customized and adapted to any space and style and add function and versatility to your living space. Cabinetry and other basement storage solutions will also add value to your home when you put it on the market. Adding storage solutions will increase the beauty, comfort, and convenience if you plan on using your basement as:

  • An office.
  • An additional bedroom or living space.
  • A utility room or laundry room. 
  • A craft room.
  • A game room or recreation room.
  • A workshop.

New Carpet and Rugs

Depending on the size of your basement, you may want to use it for more than one purpose. For instance, half of the basement could be used as an extra living area, while the other half could be used as a laundry and utility room. Half could be converted into a recreation area, while the other half is a den or family room. If you plan on doing this, you can use an area rug or carpeting to separate one area from another. Durable, quality carpeting will withstand heavy foot traffic and create an area that is safe for children to play and hang out. If you don’t want to commit to a new carpeting installation, you can add an area rug to delineate space, add warmth and color, and create a cozy atmosphere.  

Egress Windows and Ventilation

If you plan on using your finished basement as an additional living space, it will need to have certain safety features installed to remain compliant with local and federal building codes. The International Residential Code requires that a finished basement has at least one access opening. This means a door or an egress window that leads outside and can act as an emergency exit or an entryway for first responders to use in case of emergency. Installing an egress window will also allow some natural light to come into the basement and will keep it from feeling claustrophobic. You may also need to improve the basement ventilation if it will be used as an added living space or an area where your family spends a lot of time. 

Heating and Cooling Updates

A finished basement should have heating and cooling vents or have its own separate heating and cooling system installed. Some homes only have heating, cooling, and ventilation systems that meet the requirements of upper levels. An HVAC contractor can confirm that your equipment is powerful enough to service your basement as well. If it isn’t, they can offer other solutions to ensure the finished basement stays comfortable. 

Waterproofing Solutions

After investing so much money in a basement conversion, you’ll want to protect your investment. Basement waterproofing will reduce your risk of water damage and flooding in the event of a heavy storm, leaking water heater or washing machine, or burst pipe. Installing a flood detection system will ensure you are notified of water in your basement. A sump pump will pump water up and out of the basement so that it drains away from your home’s foundation. You should also have a professional inspect your home’s gutters and drainage system to make sure that rainwater is directed away from your foundation and can’t enter the basement. 

Consider an Expert Design Consultation

If you don’t know where to start when planning a basement conversion, you should consider hiring an expert for a design consultation. An interior design consultant can offer guidance and advice on the flooring, cabinetry, countertops, and other features of your finished basement. They can also offer advice on materials and designs for home renovation projects. They will work closely with you throughout the process to help you bring your vision to life, even if you have no experience in interior design yourself.  

Contact Our Home Renovation Team in Vermont

At Abatiello Design Center, we specialize in flooring, carpeting, tile, countertop, and cabinetry installation for finished basements and home renovation projects. We also specialize in home renovation projects and preserving the historical value of a home while enhancing its beauty, function, comfort, safety, and value. We have decades of experience in home renovations, installations, and interior design consultations and we can help you navigate the process step by step, so your vision becomes a reality. To schedule a home renovation consultation or design consultation for a basement conversion in Upstate New York, Vermont, or New Hampshire, call us today at (802) 773-6300 or contact us online.

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