Basement Remodel: Return on Investment

Article From

By: John Riha
Published: December 13, 2009

Because it adds valuable living space without increasing your home’s footprint, a basement remodeling project offers a high return on your investment.

If you’re looking to increase the size of your home, the answer may be right beneath your feet. Remodeling unused basement space is a good way to gain living area without building an addition. A remodeled basement is also a good investment. According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report (, a basement remodeling project returns more than 75% of the original cost, based on national averages.

Basements are good candidates for remodeling projects because the basic structure-walls and floors-are already 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. Remodeling a basement also avoids the complications of property line setbacks and other restrictions that sometimes affect additions.

A concern when remodeling a basement is moisture. Any chronic moisture infiltration, condensation, or history of flooding must be addressed ( before the space can be converted to living area. Remedial measures will cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands-effectively reducing the return on your investment.

In the Midwest and Northeast regions of the country, where basements are common, a remodeled basement provides less than the national average return on investment. In the West, where basements are more rare, a basement remodeling project returns more than 90% of the original cost.

National average cost, 20×30 ft. basement remodel, with wet bar and full bath:

Job Cost: $67,067

Resale Value: $46,825

Cost recoup: 75.4%

Reprinted from HouseLogic ( with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Copyright 2009.  All rights reserved.