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Maxwell Building Services: Basement Refinishing Keeps Your Space From Going to Waste

You may have extra space in your home that you are not using to its full potential. Basement remodeling allows you to increase your home’s value by maximizing the area available. The basement is a versatile space, and only your imagination limits the practical uses to which you can put it. However, basement refinishing can be tricky, and it can be very helpful to enlist the services of a professional to ensure the job is done right.

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Uses for a Finished Basement

The basement is a blank slate that can become almost anything you and your family require. Do you need more space for family activities? Your basement can transform into a rec room. Do you need an extra bedroom for guests when they come to visit? Basement remodeling can provide a comfortable space. Do you need an area to do crafts? The basement can become a hobby room. Do you need a dedicated area to work from home? The basement offers you a potential tax deduction by transforming into a home office.

Here are some other popular ideas for ways to use your finished basement:

  • Home Gym: Work out in safety and privacy
  • Basement Bar: Entertain friends and neighbors
  • Home Theater: Show movies on a big-screen TV
  • Downstairs Apartment: Earn some extra income by renting out a separate living space

Advantages of Basement Remodeling

Even if the zoning restrictions on your property do not allow you to build an addition, remodeling the basement allows you to add more functional space to your home, increasing it by at least 33%.

Remodeling the basement is an investment that can offer a significant return of approximately 75%. If you eventually decide to sell your home, a finished basement can make your home very attractive to potential buyers. This is despite the fact that you may not be able to count the finished basement as livable space when listing it for sale.

A basement remodel allows flexibility and scope for creativity in bringing your vision to life. It is not necessary for it to match the upstairs, so your basement can become whatever you imagine it can be. High-end finishes are neither expected nor desired in the basement, so you may be able to save a little money on your remodel compared to what you would pay on an upstairs project.

Considerations for Basement Refinishing

The first step in remodeling a basement is to decide what you want to use it for once it is finished. Any remodeling project requires planning beforehand, but for the basement, it is especially important to decide how you are going to get around any obstructions and how you will make the best use of natural light, or the lack thereof. For example, a home theater should be in a dark corner of the basement to avoid glare on the screen, but a social area should be near a window to create a bright atmosphere that draws people in.

You also need to make sure that your remodeling project is in compliance with any applicable building codes. For example, if you put a bedroom in your basement, you need an egress window to allow the occupant(s) to escape in the event of a fire.

You also need to take the ceiling into consideration. You can choose either a drywall ceiling or a drop-ceiling, but you need to allow the minimum clearance, which is at least seven feet.

Basement Remodeling in Macomb and Oakland County

There are many more considerations to make when planning to remodel your basement. Contact us at Maxwell Building Services, and our fully licensed and insured staff can design a comfortable, functional space compliant with all applicable building codes and consistent with your vision.

FHA 203k Remodeling

An FHA 203k loan, (sometimes called a Rehab Loan or FHA Construction loan) allows you to finance not one, but two major items 1) the house itself, and; 2) needed/wanted repairs. Because the lender tracks and verifies repairs, it is willing to approve a loan on a home it wouldn’t otherwise consider. The loan addresses a common problem when buying a fixer home: lenders often don’t approve loans for homes in need of major repairs. A home must meet certain safety and livability standards. Some home buyers are handy enough to buy the house and fix it up themselves. But, if the home is too run down, you can’t get a loan in the first place. The 203k lets you buy and fix up a house in one transaction, allowing the lender to approve the loan despite its initial condition. Maxwell Building Services are 203k loan contractors that can help you with remodeling and installation after your loan is approved.

There are two types of 203k loans. Which one you choose depends on the extent of the repair work.

Limited 203k mortgage (formerly known as the 203k Streamline)

This option allows you to do most cosmetic repair work. Things like kitchens and bathrooms.

The stated limit to costs is $35,000. However, an FHA 203k loan requires a “buffer” equal to 15 percent of the total bids. This buffer is called a contingency. It’s a “just in case” fund to cover cost overruns by your FHA loan contractor. (If the contingency fund is not used, it is credited back to you). So, your “real” maximum repair job can cost around $31,000.

Most non-structural, non-luxury items are acceptable:

  • Kitchen and bathroom remodels
  • Appliance replacement
  • Carpet and flooring
  • Roof replacement
  • Painting
  • Repairing safety and health issues
  • Energy-efficient improvements
  • And much more

In short, you can’t do anything structural (move load-bearing walls, add rooms) or change the footprint of the home.

So why choose the Limited 203k option? Because more lenders offer it than the full 203k. And, it’s a much simpler process than the standard option.

203k standard

With this option, you can do just about anything you want to the home, except non-permanent changes or adding luxury amenities.

Structural alterations

  • Convert a one-family home into a 2-, 3-, or 4-unit home, or vice versa
  • Connect to public sewer or water
  • Some larger landscaping projects
  • Improve accessibility for disabled persons
  • Move the house to a different site

If you are interested in FHA 203k loan remodeling, call us today to speak to someone at our FHA 203k remodeling firm. An FHA 203k loan contractor will speak with you about your best options and answer any lingering questions you may have.

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