Should You Buy a House with a Finished or Unfinished Basement?

Bedroom Basement

Basements have gotten a bad rap, thanks to television and movies. They are usually shown to be a scary place, especially in the eyes of children. However, basements are often a welcome feature in a home. Why? Because it provides extra space for storage and family activities. 

Escape to your happy place, whether it’s a man cave, a personal gym, or a library. Basements are excellent places to store your seasonal outerwear and equipment, such as winter boots and camping gear. As generations mature, some families keep ancestral documents and heirlooms, so they need a place for them. This is where a basement comes in handy. 

Basements can be finished or unfinished. Some homebuyers struggle to decide which type would be best for their needs. While the final decision is up to you and your unique situation, Calgary House Finder has prepared a list of pros and cons to make your decision easier. 

What Does an Unfinished Basement Have to Offer?

To many, an unfinished basement means more work after moving in. It will have exposed pipes, concrete flooring, open spaces, and limited lighting, among other things.    

But if you fall in love with the house, an unfinished basement isn’t likely to bother you. You will be able customize the space according to your preferences and, more importantly, pay a lower price compared to a house with a finished basement. 

Homebuyers with a tight budget are usually drawn to a home with an unfinished basement. In time, they can make the basement their own, from adding in a play area for the grandkids to adding in a home office. An unfinished basement means that you can easily replace any faulty wiring while adding cables for a home theatre you may want in the future. It saves you time and effort from having to open up the walls of a finished basement to make changes to the wiring.

Additionally, you will be able to ensure that it’s sound-proof. If you intend to create a dance area, sound-proofing will provide the other occupants of the house with some peace and quiet. 

Potential Problems of an Unfinished Basement

An unfinished basement can develop leaks and mould. According to Mike Holmes, it’s a good idea to leave your basement unfinished if you bought a newly constructed house. The reason behind this is that it provides the opportunity for you to catch vulnerable areas in the foundation, as well as prevent mould from growing. Once you have water-proofed the foundation, you will also need to insulate it to keep the heat in. Proper insulation will help you save money on your monthly heating bill.


What Does a Finished Basement Have to Offer?

Though homeowners will pay more for a house with a finished basement, there are several perks they might enjoy, such as:

  • A centralized HVAC system
  • A comfortable living space
  • Extra rooms that are already laid out

Older couples and large families will immediately benefit from a finished basement as opposed to saving up and renovating it over the course of several years. 

Potential Problems of a Finished Basement

While a finished basement means you don’t have to get your hands dirty, there may actually be a few features you want to change. If your house doesn’t have an HVAC system or you want to install special lighting, you will have to open up the walls and make the changes you want. This can be time-consuming and costly since you will need to repair the walls afterwards. 

A finished basement may not be laid out the way you want or need. You may want to knock down a wall or two to open up the space or do other renovations.

Trust the Home Experts in Calgary!

Remember to do your due diligence when hiring contractors and going the DIY route. You’ll invest a lot of money into your home, so it’s not in your best interests to cut corners. Start your search for your dream home with Calgary House Finder!   


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