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Should I Renovate My Basement Or Add An Addition?

A home is a big investment. We all want to live in a home we love and are willing to spend the money to make it a home we love. Homes can take quite a bit of maintenance, but not everyone can do it all. Sometimes you have to choose between adding to your house or renovating.  Here in The Bay Area, it’s a pretty much a national pastime to buy a home and immediately remodel it to make it just the way we want.

There are many things you should take into consideration before you make a decision. Renovating a basement may be essential and much needed, but an addition can increase the square footage and value of the home.

With these considerations, you can decide which one best benefits you and which one you think you can complete. These are the things you need to think about before you make a final decision.


Should You Renovate Or Add On?

Both options can be beneficial to your home, but both are big projects. You don’t want to start without taking careful contemplation on which one is best. You don’t want to jump right in and find yourself in the middle of one to realize that it may not have been the right choice.


Considerations To Take

When you decide to either renovate your basement or add to your home, you may want to write down a list. Here are some things to think about when you are making that list of which path to choose:

  • How much will each option cost?
  • What is the condition of the basement or your home?
  • Do you have room to add a room?
  • What are the benefits of each option?
  • What are the cons of each option?
  • How long will each project take?

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Renovating Your Basement

If your basement has never seen a renovation, or it has been quite some time, you may think about giving it a facelift. A basement doesn’t just have to be the place where you store everything or do the laundry. It can be a great living space in your home or even an extra bedroom.

One renovation can change everything about your basement to the point that it isn’t even recognizable. Here is everything you should consider if you are trying to decide to give your basement a makeover.


What Are The Costs?

Depending on the level of your renovation, the price can vary drastically. It all depends on what the condition is, what you are turning your basement into, and the purpose of your basement when you are done with these customizations.

You will see that these changes and upgrades can be as low as $6,000. This usually means you do some minor structural changes, a paint job, a new floor, and maybe some new furniture. You won’t be doing any large upgrades.

But if the conditions in your basement are dire, you may be spending upwards of $20,000. This price occurs when you have heavy structural damage and need to replace more than you thought. Be ready. There is always more damage or more to fix than you originally thought when doing renovations.


What Is The Basement’s Condition?

You always want to consider what your basement conditions are before you decide if you choose the renovation or addition. If your basement is incomplete, you will need to check with your local laws to see what you are even allowed to do.

Some areas don’t allow basements or have strict rules to having a basement. Some areas have it where you can’t even make it a living space. If you want an extra living space and this is a law, you may have to go with the addition instead.

Your basement may need more repairs than you first see on the surface. You may find your costs racking up if you have to relocate wiring or plumbing. It is important to maintain any structures to support the house, but you may think twice if you have to do a lot of relocation and renovations.


What Will Be The End Purpose?

You need to know before you even decide what you want to do with the basement. This can change the costs and the workload of what you will have during this project. There are many options you can choose from:

  • A gym
  • Spare living space
  • Entertainment room
  • Crafts room
  • Home theater
  • Washroom
  • Office

Once you figure out what you may do with it, you can see what you need to decide to achieve that goal. You’ll be able to calculate the costs and the types of renovations you will need to do. This can help you decide if you should just add your house or go with the renovations.


Benefits Of Renovating Your Basement

Remodeling your basement can be a fun project whether you do the construction yourself or you hire someone else to do it. There are many benefits to renovating your basement. They are the following:

  • Increase the value of your home.
  • It is a smaller commitment.
  • Less expensive, more affordable.
  • DIY for smaller renovations
  • Won’t be delayed by weather.

With a basement, the weather outside won’t have as much of an effect on your project as if you were choosing an addition. It is also great if you don’t want to make such a large commitment to installing an entirely new room.

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The Cons Of A Remodeling

These benefits are all depending on your end goal. Do you want to renovate the basement for you and your family, or are you trying to sell your house for more money? If you are solely doing renovations to raise your home’s value, you will need to be thoughtful at what you turn it into.

When you remodel to increase the price of your home, you will find that not everyone likes to have a fancy room in the basement. Some people may not even use the basement. You are trying to appeal to the buyer, which can reduce the options of what you can do.

Here are some other downfalls to remodeling your basement to take into consideration when you’re trying to decide on this or an addition:

  • The basement needs to be finished before remodeling.
  • You may have to renovate more than anticipated.
  • Basements retain a lot of moisture.
  • Most often, there are no windows or natural lighting.
  • You may have to relocate plumbing and electrical.

Remember that all projects can hit a snag in them at any time. This often happens at any time of construction or remodeling, so keep this in mind when in the midst of it. It is best to keep a realistic viewpoint that something might go wrong, so you don’t feel taken aback by an obstacle.


Adding An Addition

Adding an addition to your home can be an exciting project. You can have so many more options and styles to incorporate than if you were to renovate your basement. You will have more freedom. Yet, just like renovating, there are many things to consider before you choose which is best for you.


What Are The Costs?

An addition is a little more complicated when it comes to costs than remodeling a basement. You will find that costs can start as low as $10,000 and reach up to $30,000. This is because you are adding a whole new structure to your home, unlike a basement.

With a renovation, you may need to just replace a few areas and then upgrade the interior. With an addition, you have interior, exterior, wiring, and more. You are starting from scratch. That doesn’t mean a basement can’t cost just as much, but you are looking at higher costs up front.

You may find yourself spending more money on construction workers with an addition rather than with a basement. The basement can be a one or two-person job, but with an addition, you may need a crew depending on the size of the room and what all needs to be completed.


Do You Have Room?

Before you make the commitment to add another room to your house, you want to double-check that you can even expand. You may want to have an accessor to come out and see if you have the land or space to add a room.

There have been situations where people begin to build and then they learn that there are laws or regulations in place that prevent them. You may not have the proper foundation, or your room will be too close to property lines.

An assessor will add to your costs but you will want this done before you even make a decision. You don’t want to choose to construct a new room and find out that it’s illegal. It will be more of a headache than a blessing.


Benefits Of Adding To Your Home

When choosing an addition to your room, you will find that are ample reasons to why this could benefit you. Here are the reasons why it would benefit you to add another room:

  • You can choose the size of the room.
  • You aren’t as limited as a basement.
  • Adds square footage to your home.
  • More freedom of creativity.
  • More flexibility.
  • More appeal to buyers.

If you are someone who wants more flexibility and want to design your own room, you will find that constructing a new room may be for you. You aren’t confined to the basement’s size, and you won’t have to figure out ways to upgrade this room.

You may also find that adding an addition can raise the value of your home in almost the amount that you pay for the project. Your returns will be much greater. So if your goal is to sell your home later on, an addition will be a better investment than remodeling your basement.


The Cons Of An Addition

Although you have the freedom and flexibility that you may not have with a basement, there are still some down falls when you choose this option. Here are some of the cons you may want to consider when you are making a decision:

  • More expensive.
  • Can run into problems.
  • Delays occur because of weather.
  • Have to start from scratch.
  • May take longer.
  • May need specific permits and licenses.

When you choose to add square footage to your home, you will find that weather can disrupt the project’s timeline. Storms will make it hard to work on construction. You will find that this can become a consistent problem depending on the season and weather patterns.

Be careful when putting on an addition. Check with local laws, regulations, and required permits. You don’t want anyone just going in on the project without these done first. This can cause delays in your project and may even halt it. It is always to hire someone who knows this information before getting started.


Final Thoughts

Sometimes it can be a difficult decision between renovation and building an addition. You will find that either option can be beneficial to your home. It is good to spruce up your living space occasionally. It is only up to you what you are willing to invest and what you want from these projects.

Element Home Remodeling is a home addition and remodeling contractor in Mountain View.  We serve the entire Bay Area and have a reputation for beautiful designs and high quality craftsmanship.  Contact us today to learn more and to schedule a free consultation.

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