The Not-So Bargain Basement Renovation

When it comes to buying and selling homes, we all want to make money rather than lose it. While our first home purchase can be painful, most of us like to think we’ll be high and dry from then. Hence why we make improvements within each property we live in. All the better for increasing your property value and getting this sale game right.

Of course, some improvements are more valuable than others. Kitchen renovations, for example, often come out on top. Equally, attic and basement renovations are a lucrative deal. So, if you have a basement going spare, you stand to increase your chances of a good deal when you go on the market.

Bear in mind though, that you’ll only make money if you go about things the right way. While a basement conversion may get your property listed for more, issues arising during the survey could end up costing you above the odds. To make sure you don’t stumble into that trap, we’re going to look at three corners you can’t afford to cut.

Building permits

A surprising amount of homeowners make the mistake of cutting the building permit. In truth, though, this is one of those things you have to grin and bear. In many ways, the need for a permit is a protection on your property. It’s to ensure you don’t ruin things. So, you could say you both want the same thing. Bear in mind, too, that a failure to get a permit will soon come out when a survey takes place. And, when that happens, you’ll have no choice but to undo those expensive changes and accept a lower offer as a result.


Damp and mold also often make an appearance at the survey stage. This is a risk anywhere in the house. But especially in a poorly done basement conversion. After all, your basement’s proximity to the ground puts it at high risk. And, severe damp can cost a lot to put right. Money which you’ll have no choice but to knock off your asking price. So, make sure to tackle this before putting up insulation and plasterboard. Contact a company like the foundation repair contractor, Edens Structural who can add drainage, or even a hydrophobic Grout Injection to solve the issue. This is an extra cost at the start which will save you a lot down the line.

The wrong regulations

As if that weren’t enough, you also need to ensure your basement meets building regulations. Often, these will be accounted for before you gain a permit. But that isn’t always the case. What’s more? Rules vary depending on your state. For the most part though, habitable living spaces need at least seven feet of ceiling space. So, you may need to move pipes and such around to achieve this. It’s also worth noting that many states require no fewer windows than 8% floor space. Keep these things in mind, and research to ensure you meet regulations before wasting money.

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