This subject is close to my heart because I just went through the process. I also have many clients that wonder about finishing off a lower level or doing a major renovation when pondering an upcoming sale of their home.
Let me first state that it all depends on WHEN you are selling your home. You do not want to complete a lower level or do a major renovation and turn around and sell your home within a year. The chances of you getting your money back are low. There are exceptions to finishing small areas, updating kitchens and such but I am talking a full big renovation or finishing.
Personally we are looking at perhaps selling our home in about five years so we started wondering if it made sense to finish our lower level. This would add a 5th bedroom, a 4th bathroom and three distinct living areas. I did a lot of research and got a lot of bids.
We were starting with only cement floors and the exterior walls insulated. We needed to frame up the rooms, add HVAC, Electrical etc. And purge
Here is what I did….I took on the task of being our own general contractor. I am not a licensed contractor, I became the ‘manager’ of all the trades involved. By doing this I saved more than 50% of the contractor bid prices. THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE AND I AM NOT SAYING CONTRACTORS AREN’T WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD. I just found myself with a lot of time on my hands during Covid and made use of it.
I got bids from all trades and made bargain purchases at outlet centers and big box stores.
So….let’s cut to the chase and show you some ‘after’ photos. I am going to start with the bedroom and bath. You have to wait for the next post to see the really cool stuff. 🙂
I made decisions based on the fact I was selling in five years and that it was a lower level. I did not tile the shower, I purchased a prefab vanity and top, the blinds are not special order and so on. I was strict on my finishing budget so that I love it now for my enjoyment, but also kept in mind the return on investment for sale purposes.
Check in for Part 2 to see the finished living areas and we will determine if I can get my money back in five years.