Monthly Archives: July 2014

Basement Finishing: How Much Does it Cost?

Are you thinking about remodeling your basement space, but aren’t sure how much it will cost, how much value it will add to your home, and whether or not this is the right choice for you?  If so, I am writing this article just for you!

In the real estate world, basements (even walk-out basements) are not techincally allowed to be factored into the square footage of your home.

In the home pictured here, this is the case, even though the basement could be considered an entirely separate, 3,000 square foot apartment.

Basement remodels at Kopke range from $30-75 per square foot.  Add up the square footage of your basement (ignore the realtors, we all know finished basements “count”), and do a quick multiplication to figure out the range.  For example, a 1,000 square foot basement could cost $30,000 to $75,000 to finish, depending on the materials and layout selected.

Down the hall (and not pictured) is a large bedroom, a pool table room, a home gym, an office, a utility closet, a tool room, and a full bathroom with shower and walk-in tub.  To the left behind this wall is a storage room fit for an excessive collector / holiday enthusiast.

And what did it cost to finish this basement? $135,000.  At 3,000 square feet, this remodel came out on top of the price spectrum, at $45 per square foot.  This is because all top-of-the-line products were used, and very few items from the wishlist were overlooked.

I know what you are thinking: “Why spend $135,000 on a remodel that won’t add any value to my home?!!!??” That is where the debate comes in.  How can you deny the value of all the amenities I listed above?  And how about all the new friends you will make when people find out about the incredible bar in your basement?

All joking aside, every remodel increases the value of your home.  Each in a different way, relative to the wants and needs of the prospective buyer.  For example, if the buyer is handicapped, the walk-in-tub will be a tremendous value, and if the buyer is a chef, the wood-fired pizza oven* would fire him/her up, and the bathtub could be an unsightly nuisance.

If you plan to live in your home for a long time, update it to fit your lifestyle.  If you plan to sell soon, avoid trendy or niche products, and go towards something more universal. And I would say to be mindful of “technicalities”, but don’t get bogged down by them; each person has their own criteria for what is valuable.

Currently, we are finishing a basement in St. Clair Shores that is 1,000 square feet, and the price is about $27,000.  This one is at the bottom of the price spectrum, at $27 per square foot.  To keep costs low, we are salvaging as much as we can from the old basement to be reused, selecting “standard” products instead of “custom” as much as possible, all while still maintaining the Kopke standard for Quality.

To get started on turning your underused basement into extra living space, give us a call.  We can develop a customized plan to fit your needs, wishes and dreams!  www.kopkehome.com (586) 777-6633

*Unfortunately, the wood-fired pizza oven was one item on the wishlist that had to be forfeited.

Plan for the Unexpected Before Beginning Your Remodeling Project

If the unexpected did not happen, there would be no insurance industry.  Remodeling is like anything else – something unexpected will alwayshappen, often incurring extra cost.  Examples of the unexpected are:

Perhaps the inspector will require an upgrade that was not in the original contract.  If the insulation rating in the walls goes up in July, and you got your permit in May, a field inspector may require you to make this change to meet current code.  Surprise!

Perhaps the previous homeowners did a remodel and left abandoned pipes or heat ducts in the walls or ceiling.  There is no way the contractor, architect or inspector would know this until the wall is opened.  Surprise!

Perhaps the eletrical circuits are hooked together poorly, requiring you to put the kitchen on its own circuit or reorganize the panel.  Or if you have added electrical circuits your panel may be full and need to be upgraded. Surprise!

Perhaps after you start a project, the contractor suddenly notices a hairline crack in an upstairs wall, and discovers that the homeowner had cut a main support beam downstairs to make room for a heating duct.  The Contractor will have to add a beam support and jack up the sag.  Surprise!

There is no way to avoid the unexpected.  But knowing that it will occur will reduce your stress and save you from unreasonable expectations.  Surprises should not be surprising!

At Kopke Remodeling & Design, we use our many years of experience working with different types of homes, to predict as many potential surprises as possible before they happen, and plan for them in advance.  We very rarely “upcharge” the customer for “unforeseen issues” after the contract is signed, which is one reason why our estimates may be higher than some of our competitors who are no strangers to this “tactic”.