Finishing the basement tops the list of many homeowners’ needs. Offering additional space and functionality, a finished basement also greatly raises the resale value of your home. Turning basements into extended recreation rooms, or living spaces can be very high in cost and many people wonder if they must hire a professional contractor or if they can do the work themselves. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each decision:

CONTRACTORS

Pros:

  • 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.
  • Able to dedicate full days of work, basements will be quickly completed.
  • Contractors offer expert advice, resulting in efficient well built work, completed to industry standards.

Cons:

  • This work will be expensive. Labor costs often triple material costs.
  • To prevent renovating horror stories, it is important to select contractors by referrals, and maintain a paper trail of payments in case of trouble.
  • Work done by another does not always mirror expectations.

DO IT YOURSELF

Pros:

  • Many people if given the time can complete, or learn to complete their basements quite well.
  • Framing and installing drywall, hanging doors and trim as well as drop ceiling construction are attainable do-it-yourself projects.
  • Eliminating the labor cost of home improvements will save you large sums of money.
  • You can take pride in completing the job yourself.
  • You are sure to learn new skill sets and can experiment with your own creativity.

Cons:

  • Plumbing, flooring and electrical work are difficult tasks. Do to their severity it is essential they are completed safely and efficiently.
  • Strict timelines may not allow you to complete your project on time.
  • Home improvements can be very frustrating, taking time away from other areas of your life.
  • All work must be certified by an inspector and if you need to hire a professional for changes, this can cost you more money than having them do it in the first place.

Our Suggestions
If you have experience in renovating and the time to do it, finishing the home basement can be very rewarding. Your first priority though is a safe home. Saving money on many projects done yourself, you must trust licensed professionals to complete dangerous or specialty work. This will save you in the long run and protect your investment.