There’s no doubt that a finished basement is a huge selling feature in a home, especially when it’s done right. Almost all prospective buyers like the idea of additional living space down under, whether they envision it as a media room, kids play area, home office, an exercise room or storage area.

If you would like to increase the value of your home, finishing the basement is one home improvement project that will likely see you get a return on your investment. Because you are dealing, quite literally, with the foundation of your entire home, it’s a good idea to have a professional contractor involved in the process, someone who knows what he’s doing. However, if you’re the handy type and are confident that you can tackle this project on your own, you’ll save a ton of cash. There are pro’s and con’s to each option:

HIRING A CONTRACTOR 

Pro’s: 

• Home contractors are well equipped to handle every stage of the building process, including permit applications, ordering materials, organizing a construction schedule and acquiring sub-trade workers if needed.
• They are able to dedicate full days to the project and finish in a reasonable time frame.
• An experienced contractor is able to offer expert advice, resulting in efficient well built work and a functional space, completed to industry standards.

Con’s:

• It’s expensive. Expect labour costs to triple your material costs.
• Despite your best efforts at finding a reputable contractor, there is still the chance you will end up with a nightmare reno story. Ask for numerous referrals and follow-up with them.
• Work done by others does not always mirror expectations. Communication is key to producing the outcome you envision.

DO-IT-YOURSELF 

Pro’s:

• You are sure to learn new skill sets and can experiment with your own creativity. Framing and installing drywall, hanging doors and trim as well as drop ceiling construction are attainable do-it-yourself projects.
• Completing the labour yourself will save you large sums of money.
• You can take pride in completing the job yourself.

Con’s:

• Plumbing, flooring and electrical work are difficult tasks. It is crucial that they are completed safely and correctly.
• Home improvements can be very frustrating, taking time away from other areas of your life.
• All work must be certified by an inspector and you need a building permit – if work is not done to code, you will have to tear it out and re-do, which could be costly.