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Does a Bedroom Basement Add Value?
- Basement Bedroom Requirements
- Does a Basement Bedroom Add Value?
- How Much Value Does It Add?
- How to Maximize Value
If your basement is currently just wasted space, you may be thinking it is time to change that. Especially if you are considering hitting the market soon, you want to ensure that you are getting the greatest resale value for the work.
What is Considered a Bedroom in a Basement?
Before you decide to turn an unfinished basement into a bedroom or remodel your basement into a bedroom, you need to consider the legal requirements. A room in the basement cannot be considered a bedroom unless it meets specific qualifications and codes.
In order for a room in the basement to be counted as a bedroom, it often needs to meet the following basement bedroom requirements:
- A legal window (egress window)
- 7-foot-tall ceilings
- Area of 70 square feet
- Proper heating and ventilation
- Stairway that is up to code
- Finished design features1
These regulations and building codes can change or may vary by location. While closets are typical in bedrooms, they aren’t usually a legal requirement. Some areas may also have other building codes you need to follow in regard to radon, electrical outlets, and more. It is important to confirm the requirements for your home before you start turning your basement into a bedroom.
Does Adding a Bedroom in the Basement Add Value?
Typically yes, adding a basement bedroom adds value to your home in some way. Especially if the area was previously unfinished, the value of finishing a basement, whether or not this project includes adding a bedroom, can be significant.
Besides basement bedrooms adding value in the monetary sense, they may also help better meet your needs as a homeowner as well draw buyers in when it is time to sell. The promise of an extra bedroom can be enticing for people just starting a family who may need the space in the future or those wanting to have a guest room that is out of the way.
How Much Value Does a Basement Bedroom Add?
How much value a basement bedroom adds to a home will depend on a few different factors such as the local market, cost of the project, quality of the work, size of the room, number of other bedrooms in the home, appraisal value, and more.
According to the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, homeowners who converted a basement to a living area of some sort were able to recover 86% of the cost of the project.2 Another source says that finishing a basement averages an increase of $21,786 at resale.3 While these numbers don’t specifically refer to a basement bedroom, it does give an idea of potential return.
There is a catch. Basements may not count toward the total square footage of the home or the appraisal value. Below-grade living space is worth about half the value of above-grade living space. So, while a standard above-ground bedroom addition may add 15% to the resale value of a house,4 a below-ground bedroom of the same size and quality may only add around 7 to 8% to the resale value.
Because there is such variability, you should talk to a general contractor or real estate agent to get more exact numbers for your home.
How to Maximize the Value of a Bedroom Basement
It is not just about adding a bedroom to a basement; It’s also about maximizing the resale value of the bedroom basement so when you go to sell, you know you are getting the most money back for it. If you are considering building a basement bedroom to add value, these tips below may be helpful.
There are often heating and building codes involving insulation you need to follow, but if you live in a colder area, you may want to take extra precautions. Cold tile flooring may not be the greatest choice. If you can easily add a fireplace, it can be a bonus for both heat and aesthetic.
Consider the Moisture
Basements can be breeding grounds for mildew and mold. Try to avoid these common problems by using moisture-resistant materials such as foam boards for insulation and laminate flooring. To be extra cautious, you may want to consider a sump pump somewhere in case the basement floods.
Hide Anything Unsightly
Another way to increase basement bedroom home value is to make the space look less like a basement and more like a standard living space. Exposed pipes, wires, and air ducts are all unsightly and can make the space look unfinished. Not to mention the fact that basements are often home to water heaters, HVAC systems, and more. Make sure these features are all covered. A drop ceiling can hide many of these items, while a built-in column may help hide others.
Brighten It Up
Basements are already dark and lacking in natural light. In order to brighten up the space and make it more inviting, you will need to take extra steps. Add windows for natural light if possible and as much artificial light as needed to ensure the entire space can be lit up. Using lighter colors for the walls and furniture can also keep the room from looking like a cramped cave and help the basement bedroom add value to the home.
Especially if you are focused on increasing the basement bedroom’s resale value, you want the space to look modern and trendy. An open floor plan without built-in features can make the below-ground space look more welcoming and inviting. You will also want to stick to modern trends and designs. Popcorn ceiling removal is a must and brightly colored carpets are a big no-no. Try neutral paint colors that not only look great but also appeal to more buyers.
Add A Bathroom
If you have the space and money, consider adding a bathroom in the basement as well. This addition can make the area more like a fully formed living space. You could also make the area a basement master bedroom and bath. While this addition is more costly, this master bedroom and updated bath could really pay off with the right buyers and in the right conditions.
While a basement bedroom adds value in most cases, it may not be the best project for your home and circumstances. Deciding what home improvement projects will have the best return shouldn’t be a burden you carry on your own. At Curbio, we are here to help you sell your home faster and for more money so you can make a higher profit.
- Internation Code Council (2021). 2021 International Residential Code (IRC)
- National Association of REALTORS® (2022). 2022 Remodeling Impact Report
- Opendoor (2019). Top improvements that increase home value based on market data
- Briggs Freeman (2021). Will adding a bedroom or office to your home really increase its value?