Carl Mannino
As the Owner of City Wide Remodelers, Carl enjoys working closely with clients to help take their idea and turn it into an upgrade to their home that they can enjoy for years to home. He also takes time to contribute to the City Wide Remodelers blog to share helpful advice for home owners in the Kansas City area.

Are you contemplating finishing your basement but unsure if it’s worth the time and expense? “Is it worth finishing an old basement?” is a common question homeowners ask themselves. Embarking on a basement remodel can seem like an overwhelming task, but it can also lead to increased living space, improved home value, and greater enjoyment of your home. In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of finishing an old basement, discuss the challenges you might face, and offer tips for a successful basement remodel.

Evaluating the Worth of Finishing an Old Basement

When considering a basement remodel, it’s essential to evaluate the potential benefits and drawbacks. Factors such as return on investment, increased living space, and improved home value are crucial to weigh in your decision-making process.

Let’s delve into these aspects to help you determine whether finishing your old basement is worth it.

Return on Investment

A finished basement can yield a return on investment (ROI) of around 70-80%, making it a worthwhile investment for many homeowners. The exact ROI depends on various factors, such as the quality of the finish, local market trends, and the overall state of the real estate market.

To maximize the value of your basement remodel, it’s essential to work with a knowledgeable real estate agent familiar with your local market and assessment practices. Keep in mind that finishing a basement is usually less expensive than adding an addition to the main or second floors, making it a more cost-effective way to increase living space.

Increased Living Space

Finishing an old, unfinished basement can significantly expand the living space in your home, providing additional room for various purposes. By increasing the finished basement square footage, this extra basement room can be used to create a guest bedroom, craft room, home office, or even an in-law suite. With finished basements, the possibilities are endless.

In addition to providing more usable space, a well-designed finished basement can help maximize the flow of natural light and create a more inviting atmosphere. Furthermore, the transformation of your basement into a bonus underground space can offer increased privacy and additional rooms for larger families.

Improved Home Value

A well-designed and finished basement can enhance the overall value of your home. A properly finished basement with the same quality as the upper levels of your dwelling can increase your home’s marketability to potential buyers and even help you obtain a higher price when you put it on the market.

When assessing the value of a completed basement, appraisers typically calculate it independently from the gross living area (GLA), taking into account aspects such as the quality of the finish, the basement’s utility, and regional market trends. It’s important to consider how much value these factors can bring to the overall property.

Challenges in Finishing an Old Basement

Embarking on a basement remodel comes with its fair share of challenges. Before diving into your basement project, it’s crucial to be aware of potential issues such as moisture problems, structural concerns, and outdated systems.

By addressing these challenges early on, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure a successful basement remodel.

Moisture Issues

Moisture problems in a basement can lead to mold growth, mildew, and structural damage. Before finishing a basement, it’s essential to address any moisture issues and implement effective moisture prevention techniques. Some measures to prevent moisture in a finished basement include ensuring proper drainage off the roof and away from the foundation, providing good ventilation for bathrooms and kitchens, and avoiding opening windows during humid months.

Properly addressing moisture issues can result in decreased expenses related to mold elimination and a fresher-smelling basement.

Structural Concerns

Structural concerns, such as foundation cracks or foundation walls, must be addressed to ensure the safety and stability of the finished space. Before starting a basement remodel, it’s crucial to inspect for structural damage, resolve moisture issues, and address flooding concerns.

Working with experienced professionals can help you identify and address any potential structural issues, ensuring a safe and sound finished basement.

Outdated Systems

Outdated electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems may need to be updated or replaced during a basement remodel. By doing so, you can ensure the safety and efficiency of your new living space.

Working with a professional can help you identify outdated systems and determine the best course of action for updating or replacing them.

Cost Factors to Consider

When planning your basement remodel, it’s essential to take cost factors into account. These include materials, labor, permits and inspections, and unforeseen expenses. Creating a basement budget can help you manage these costs effectively.

Understanding the potential costs involved can help you create a realistic budget and ensure your remodel stays on track.


The cost of materials for a basement remodel can vary widely depending on the quality and type of materials chosen. Common materials needed for a basement remodel include screws, plywood, nails, insulation, drywall, flooring, paint, trim, concrete, and vinyl.

When selecting materials, consider the desired outcome and how the materials will impact the overall cost of the project.

Permits and Inspections

Permits and inspections are necessary for most basement remodels and can add to the overall cost of the project. The cost varies depending on local regulations. Generally, a fee for the permit and any necessary inspections can be expected.

It’s important to obtain the necessary permits and inspections to ensure your remodel is completed safely and in compliance with local building codes.

City Wide Remodelers is a licensed Class “A” General Contractor in Johnson County and a certified residential building contractor in Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO). A requirement to complete remodeling projects in the designated areas.

Unforeseen Expenses

Unforeseen expenses, such as addressing structural issues or updating outdated systems, can increase the cost of a basement remodel. To minimize the risk of unexpected costs, work with experienced professionals who can help identify potential issues early on and develop a comprehensive plan for addressing them.

This will ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget. It will also help to reduce stress.

Basement Design Ideas and Trends

Now that you’re aware of the factors to consider when finishing an old basement, let’s explore some popular design ideas and trends to inspire your basement remodel. Incorporating these ideas can help you create a stylish and functional space that meets your unique needs and preferences.

From adding a wet bar to creating a home theater, there are plenty of ways to make your home a home theater.

Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans create a spacious and inviting atmosphere in a finished basement, making it feel more like the main level of the home. By eliminating walls and creating a single, expansive room, you can maximize the available space and allow more natural light to enter.

Open floor plans are particularly beneficial for basements that may lack natural light or feel cramped due to low ceilings.

Multi-Functional Spaces

Multi-functional spaces allow for flexibility in how the basement is used, accommodating various needs and preferences. These versatile spaces can be transformed to serve multiple purposes, such as a home office, playroom, gym, or guest bedroom, creating a livable space for everyone.

Creating multi-functional spaces in your finished basement can elevate your home’s worth and provide versatility and adaptability in the utilization of the area.

Specialized Rooms

Specialized rooms, such as home theaters or gyms, can add unique value and appeal to a finished basement. Incorporating a specialized room into your basement design can enhance your enjoyment of the space and provide a dedicated area for specific activities or interests. Examples of specialized rooms include home theaters, bar areas, and guest bedrooms.

These specialized rooms can be designed to fit any budget and style, from a simple home theater setup to a sophisticated home theater setup.

Tips for a Successful Basement Remodel

To ensure a successful basement remodel, it’s essential to follow a few key tips. Hiring a professional with years of experience, avoiding costly mistakes and safety concerns, are all important steps. Working with professionals to stay on budget can also help ensure a smooth and successful basement remodel.

Hiring a Professional with Years of Experience

Experienced professionals can help ensure a high-quality basement remodel that meets your needs and preferences. They can provide valuable guidance and expertise throughout the remodeling process, ensuring that the project is carried out correctly and expeditiously.

Researching and interviewing potential contractors is essential to guarantee that the contractor possesses the qualifications and knowledge required for the job.

City Wide Remodelers has nearly 70 years of experience remodeling homes in the Kansas City area. Choosing a pro with a long track record with positive reviews can make your remodeling process a breeze.

Avoid Costly Mistakes and Safety Concerns

Avoiding costly mistakes and addressing safety concerns during the remodeling process can save time, money, and stress in the long run. Proper planning and working with experienced professionals can help you identify potential issues early on and develop a comprehensive plan for addressing them.

Some safety concerns to be aware of include mold or asbestos, poor air quality, and inadequate ventilation.

Professionals Can Help You Stay on Budget

Working with professionals can help you stay on budget and ensure that your basement remodel is completed efficiently and effectively. By enlisting the services of a professional with extensive expertise, you can prevent costly errors and safety concerns while staying within your allocated budget.

Final Thoughts

Finishing an old basement can be a rewarding and valuable endeavor, providing increased living space, improved home value, and a stylish and functional area to enjoy. By carefully considering the factors discussed in this blog post and working with experienced professionals, you can create a basement remodel that meets your unique needs and preferences. Embrace the challenge and transform your old basement into a vibrant, inviting, and valuable space for you and your family.

If you have any questions about your remodeling project or would like to schedule a free consultation please visit our contact page for more details. You can also call 816.942.1993 or email admin[at] to speak with our staff today.