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Does a Finished Basement Add Value to Your Home?

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Finished basements are becoming more popular and for many reasons. They add extra space that you can use for an extra room, another living area, an entertainment room, a space for children, and more. Another reason that more homeowners are adding a finished basement is that they offer added home value.

Or do they? Is it worth upgrading your current concrete basement? Or should you leave it as it is? These could be questions you’re asking yourself, especially if you plan on selling your home. Here, we shed more light on whether or not working on the basement adds more resale value.

Does a Finished Basement Add Resale Value?

Let’s get the big question out of the way: does a new basement design really add home value? Well, the answer is more complex than you think. It depends on how you use the basement, the type of basement it is, zoning codes, and more.

How Home Appraisers Determine Basements and Home Value

Home appraisers use specific factors of your basement and other calculations to determine resale value. Here are a few examples.


Walkout basements (also called English basements) are becoming more in demand. Instead of being fully underground, they’re partially above ground. There’s a point of exit, usually in the back, that leads you to the outside.

Because there’s a point of exit, these basements are worth more per square foot.


If your basement is completely underground, that doesn’t mean it won’t have resale value. But there are certain qualities that determine if your basement has great value, and a full basement is one of the biggest factors that home appraisers will consider.

In short, a full basement refers to high ceilings. If anyone can stand up comfortably in your basement, it has more value than one where the ceilings are shorter.

Full basements can also refer to the square footage. If there’s enough square footage to hold a large room, they will have more value than a smaller basement.

Finished Basement ROI

Let’s say you have the foundation to support either a walkout or a full basement. The next concern on your mind is ROI. Even if your basement will offer value, is finishing your basement worth the money?

First, let’s look at some of the upgrades you’ll need. Assuming your current basement is a slab of concrete, you’ll need to paint the walls and ceilings and add flooring.

From here, what you purchase depends on what you’re using the basement for. If you’re adding an underground living space or an entertainment room, you’ll need the proper furniture to support this environment.

If you’re adding a bathroom, this becomes even more expensive. You’ll need to ensure you have an existing plumbing and electrical system to hook up to the basement. Basement bathrooms also need adequate ventilation.

In addition, you still need to add a toilet, shower, and countertops.

Once you consider all of these factors, you can properly calculate your ROI. But on average, if you spend over $61,303 on your basement remodel, you can expect a 70.3% return on investment.

How to Boost Your ROI

When looking at the resale factors, it doesn’t seem like a finished basement adds much value to your home. However, there are ways to increase your ROI to ensure your basement will add resale value.


While proper flooring is necessary for a finished basement, you don’t have to opt for expensive flooring. Not only that but you shouldn’t. Basements flood, which can ruin carpet and even hardwood flooring.

What’s the solution? Cheaper hard materials. Great options include porcelain, ceramic, and stone tile. If the floor gets cold, you can always add rugs.


Radon is a natural gas that can cause lung cancer. The reason why radon can be so prevalent in basements is that decaying Uranium produces radon. Uranium comes from the rock and soil beneath your home.

There are professionals who can come to your home and test for radon. Doing this will give you peace of mind that your basement is safe for you, your family, and your guests.


If you’re adding a walkout basement, you’ll want to prepare it the best way. Add high-quality doors to properly insulate the space, add security, and can withstand the elements.

Add a concrete patio, which is affordable and can withstand bugs. If you don’t want to make a huge investment in your outdoor area, then you can add a garden and lighting to make your outdoor area more inviting.


Natural lighting has many benefits. It can ward off depression, boosts your levels of vitamin D, improves sleep, and more. But unless you have a walkout basement, it’s nearly impossible to add natural lighting to a basement.

High-quality LED lights can mimic natural lighting. You can use them as ceiling lights, place them under cabinets and other structures, and more. To enhance the lighting, use light colors when painting your walls and ceilings.


When most people add a basement, they turn it into an entertainment room or a playroom for children. Instead, turn it into an extra bedroom.

This is an ideal situation if your next buyer has a large family or if their in-laws with them. Many homeowners may also use this space to rent out to tenants or tourists.

If your basement is large enough, create an extra living space. This can include adding a kitchen and bathroom in addition to the bedroom. As long as you have proper plumbing, electricity, drainage, and ventilation, achieving this isn’t impossible. It also prevents receiving a permit for an additional property.

Did You Add a Finished Basement and Are Ready to Sell?

Now that you added a finished basement, what’s the next step? If you’re ready to sell, you’ll need a great realtor to market your home and your new basement to buyers. If you’re based in Alexandria, VA, we work diligently to ensure you receive the maximum value for your home.

Talk with one of our real estate experts today.

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