If you’re feeling cramped within your existing space, remodel your basement to become a bonus room for your kids, an in-law apartment or a second living room for your entire family to enjoy. Basement remodeling affords you the opportunity to mix storage space with a space to relax and spend time with family. However, there are unique concerns to consider when embarking on this type of home renovation project.

Conduct appropriate testing to be sure your basement is safe for remodeling

Basement remodeling is a distinctly different home renovation project because it involves a large existing space that wasn’t originally used for everyday living. Before you start to remodel your basement, you’ll need to conduct tests for radon and moisture. Radon is a colorless, odorless, dangerous gas that can seep into your home and is often found in your basement. You can find it by hiring a professional to do a simple, affordable test and there are easy ways to reduce the levels up to 99%.

If you’re concerned about moisture in the basement, you should test to determine if it’s a leak or condensation. Cut squares out of trash bags and tape the sheets of plastic on the walls and floor of your basement. Leave them up for a week or so. If the plastic is damp on the side touching the wall, you most likely have a leak, if it’s damp on the side facing the room, it’s just condensation. Before beginning to remodel your basement, hire a contractor to make any repairs to reduce radon and moisture levels in the space. However, if you have a basement that floods regularly, you may want to reconsider basement remodeling as even substantial repairs may not be enough to prevent future water damage.

Clean up the space, draw up design plans and obtain financing for the remodel

After you’ve tested the space to ensure a remodel makes sense, consider obtaining a remodeling loan to help cover the expenses.  Getting pre-approval from your bank for home equity financing options like a home equity loan or home equity line of credit  will give you a good idea of how much you can comfortably borrow. The next step is to clear out any clutter you’re storing down there and draw up a detailed design plan including utilities. Then, get quotes from multiple contractors to determine the cost. Remember to account for any fees associated with building permits from the local zoning board. Finally, go back to your lender to finalize the financing for your remodel.

Choose how you want to remodel your basement

When you’re thinking about remodeling your basement, there are several potential uses for the space. Whether you have a house full of toddlers or teens, sometimes your kids just need their own space. Create a recreational room for your children’s toys with room to run around. For teenagers, think about setting up an entertainment lounge or game room with a mini fridge and some cabinets for storing games or snacks.

Another option for the space is to create a guest or in-law suite. Design a full bath, bedroom, kitchen and living space to make extended stay visitors more comfortable. Plus, when you don’t have guests, your family can use the space as a second living room. With so much free space, it’s even easy to create a laundry and storage area in one part of the space and still have a nice, finished basement.

Consider a remodeling loan to cover the cost of your project

Basements are a versatile remodeling project, but remember to make sure your basement is safe for everyday use by conducting radon and moisture tests before you begin any basement remodeling. Once you’ve decided how you want to use your basement and created a design plan, speak to your lender about home equity financing options.

Sponsored content was created and provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group.


  1. My parents remodeled their basement in 1992, but recently gutted it in order to update it again. Basement remodels have changed SO MUCH in the past 20 years it was pretty necessary (plus the carpet had gone moldy…).

  2. Financial Samurai Reply

    I’m definitely considering expanding/remodeling to create 250sqft more space. Might have to excavate to make it legal though due to my ceiling height. There’s good rental income to be had by leasing studio apartments in SF!

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