We were thrilled to see this article in Money Magazine that calls finishing the basement the cure for an undersized home. The fact that renovating the basement costs about half of what a comparably sized addition does is the reason many Hingham homeowners choose to improve underground.
Money Magazine mentions many people’s top concern about refinishing the basement: moisture. If your current basement gets damp or even wet, there are steps that can be taken so you can have a finished basement without worrying about mold or mildew. Every home’s basement issue is unique: in some cases, cracks in the foundation or poorly maintained gutters can be responsible for moisture. New drainage or a sump pump may need to be installed. The key is to eliminate, as much as possible, the source of moisture and then choose a basement remodeling system that’s robustly mold-resistant.
Another issue we were glad to see Money Magazine discuss is soundproofing. It’s a smart investment to protect the downstairs from all the sounds of activity upstairs, and vice-versa. Sound proofing helps maintain privacy in the household, a vital consideration if you’re converting the basement into a downstairs apartment. Sound control and quality are very important for the basement home theater as well.
In Massachusetts, habitable spaces are required to have a ceiling height of no less than seven feet. Basements that were not intended to be habitable spaces can be much lower. As your Hingham basement specialist, we can advise you on what needs to be done to bring your home into compliance; the answer varies depending on how the basement was originally built.
Finally, the Money Magazine article touches on something we don’t often talk about: the tax implications of having your basement refinished. A basement renovation doesn’t add to the footprint of your home, and generally tax assessors don’t count finished basements as living spaces, so the impact on your property tax bill is minimal.
It’s really a great read so we recommend everyone check it out!