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HomeHomes
Published: 8/13/2009

Better Than Moving: Get More Space with a Basement Remodel

(ARA) - The day you've dreaded has finally arrived: your household is bursting at the seams. You need more space, but you're not keen on the idea of entering the real estate market right now. And eco-conscious consumer that you are, you don't relish the idea of increasing your home's environmental impact with a costly addition.

You're not alone. The bigger is better mentality that defined the "moving up" trend of the past 20 years seems to be the latest casualty of the real estate downturn. As a result, many homeowners are opting to stay put and increase their living space by remodeling the homes they have. Many are doing so without the cost and eco-impact of building an addition. Instead, they're creating more living space by turning areas like basements, garages and even outdoor patios into usable square footage.

Finishing a basement is one of the most cost-effective remodeling projects, according to Remodeling Magazine's 2007 Cost vs. Value report, with homeowners seeing an average 75 percent return on investment when they sell the home in the first year. The cellar-to-living-space trend can be especially helpful for owners of older homes, many of which have large unfinished basements.

Finishing a basement is a complicated job and generally beyond the scope of most do-it-yourself homeowners. One of the quickest and easiest ways to finish your basement is with a finishing system like the Owens Corning Basement Finishing System . Wall panels with built-in thermal and acoustic insulation are professionally installed around the room. Mold and mildew resistant, the durable, dent- and stain-resistant panels easily turn a concrete basement into usable living space without the months-long disruption and mess of a traditional drywall remodel. The Basement Finishing System allows you to convert your basement in about two weeks.

Still unsure if a basement renovation will be worth your investment? Consider these additional facts:

* If you've been in your home for a while and you have equity built up, it will likely be easier to finance a remodel with a home equity line of credit than to secure a mortgage to buy a new home.

* Remodeling Magazine's 2007 Cost vs. Value report shows that for mid-range projects, additions cost an average of $200 per square foot, depending on where you live in the country and the scope of your project. By contrast, a basement remodel will cost much less than that.

* Finishing a basement can allow you to reclaim main-floor areas whose intended use went by the wayside as your living situation became more crowded. For example, you can move the treadmill out of the bedroom and into your new basement gym.

* Finally, you'll be turning under-used space into an asset that will not only enhance your enjoyment of your home, but will add dollars to the selling price when you finally do sell someday down the road - after the real estate market's inevitable recovery.

"Expanding your living space without increasing your home's overall footprint pays off in terms of homeowner satisfaction, too," Todd Hall, product manager at Owens Corning, says. "You're getting much-needed extra space, at a lower cost and less environmental impact than if you were to build a new addition. Because finishing a basement is less expensive than building an addition, there's more flexibility to customize as well." Courtesy of ARAcontent



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