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Basement Remodel: Return on Investment

Published: December 13, 2009
Basement remodeling offers a high return on your investment—typically 70%—and it adds valuable living space without increasing the footprint of your home.

Basement Remodeling
If you want to increase the size of your home, the answer lies right beneath your feet. Remodeling basement space is a good way to gain living area without building an addition, and it´s a good investment.

Remodeling your basement typically costs $63,400 and returns 67% of the original cost, according to Remodeling Magazine´s annual Cost vs. Value Report. In the country´s Midwest, where basements are common, a basement remodeling project returns about 15% less than the average return on investment, while in the West, where they are less common, remodeling returns more than 82% of the original cost.

Basement remodels return so much of your investment because the basic structure—walls and floors—already are in place. This lowers construction costs per square foot, saving 10% to 15% over the cost of building an addition with comparable features and amenities. Basement remodeling also avoids the complications of property line setbacks and other zoning restrictions that sometimes complicate adding onto your house.

Moisture is the biggest hassle

Moisture is a big concern in basement remodeling. Any chronic leaks, condensation, or flooding must be fixed before you convert the space into a living area. Remedial measures cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands, effectively reducing your return on investment. But if you cut those corners, you´ll pay big time in musty smells, creeping mold, and soggy carpet.

Basement remodeling numbers

National average cost, 20x30 ft. basement remodel with wet bar and full bath:
  • Job Cost: $64,500
  • Resale Value: $45,200
  • Cost recoup: 70%
Regional info:

New England

Middle Atlantic

South Atlantic

East South Central

West South Central

East North Central

West North Central



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