Basement Finishing FAQs: A HomeWorx Guide

White entertainment center with TV

So, you’ve decided to remodel / finish your basement. After years of waking up every day thinking how nice it’d be to have a finished basement, you’ve finally committed to it.

Congratulations. You’re going to be amazed at how much it improves your life. Whether you’re using it as a bedroom, an entertainment room, a bar, an in-law suite, or for any other purpose, you’re going to love it. It provides you with extra space for storage and opens up a range of other opportunities.

But, like many homeowners, you probably have a lot of questions. A basement remodel is no small commitment. It takes time. It costs money. And, ultimately, it leaves you without access to your basement for at least a few weeks.

We compiled this list of frequently asked questions to answer any inquiries you might have about a basement remodel. As the best basement finishing contractors in Des Moines, Iowa, we have comprehensive knowledge about the process. Hopefully, this helps to make your project a little less stressful.

What’s the Definition of a Finished Basement?

In basic terms, a finished basement is a basement that doesn’t look like a basement. It looks like a living room, a bedroom, or even a full apartment. Instead of cold cement floors, it has carpet, tile or vinyl plank floors. Instead of exposed cinderblock walls, it has painted drywall.

In order for someone to call their basement “finished”, it must also have HVAC and electricity.

It’s important to note that “finished basement” is not just a design term. It’s also a legal term. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) says that in order for a basement to be considered “finished” it must be suitable for year-round living.

Will Finishing My Basement Add Value to my Home?

Yes. A basement renovation not only opens up space and provides you with an extra room, but it also adds significant value to your home. After all, what home buyer doesn’t want a house with a finished basement?

According to Remodeling Magazine, the average American homeowner recouped 70% of the cost of their basement remodel upon selling their home. In comparison to other renovations, such as patio additions, this is a very high return (although patios are a great thing to have, too!)

What’s the Average Cost of a Basement Remodel?

The cost of our basement finishing services varies from project to project. The size of the basement, the complexity of construction, and the price of materials all impact the final bill. If a homeowner wants to install a bar in their basement, for example, their project will obviously cost more than a homeowner who just wants floors and drywall.

The more time, labor, and materials that the project requires, the higher the cost will be. Typically, a basement finished by HomeWorx costs between $25,000-40,000. 80% of our basement finishes fall within this price range.

Give us a call for a free estimate. We’ll discuss your vision for the project and put together a proposal that outlines our estimated cost.

How Long Does a Basement Remodel Take?

The length of a basement finishing project varies from case to case, as well. Each project has a unique timeline determined by a number of different factors. Like the cost of the project, the timeline is influenced by the size of the basement. Obviously, complex projects take more time. Our typical basement project take 4-6 weeks with some taking multiple months.

Furthermore, some basements present unique problems that make the project take longer. Electrical, plumbing, or HVAC issues, for example, may impact the project schedule.

At HomeWorx, we always do our best to execute projects as quickly as possible. However, surprises occasionally pop up that make the remodel take a bit longer.

Do Iowa Basements Need Waterproofing?

There are no laws that require homeowners to waterproof their basements. But, some homeowners may want to waterproof their basements before moving forward with a basement remodel. It’s a big investment, after all. The last thing you want is for your newly-finished basement to get flooded.

Typically, if you’ve never had any moisture problems in your basement we move forward without any special waterproofing.

If you want to waterproof your basement without spending too much money, we recommend checking your gutters and ensuring proper grading. This is the number one problem for water in the basement and they are simple fixes. Or, if you have a larger budget, you might look into a sump pump or a perimeter drainage system if you do not have one today.

Do I Need a Permit to Finish My Basement in Iowa?

Yes. Polk County and other Iowa counties require residents to obtain finished basement permit. State inspectors will survey the project during and after it’s completion to ensure that all work is up to code.

Can HomeWorx Help Me Come Up with Some Basement Finishing Ideas?

Sure! We’d love to help you brainstorm basement renovation ideas. Whether you’re looking for a traditional living room or a unique and trendy apartment-style remodel, we’ll help you design something you love. Our basement remodeling expert will meet with you to discuss everything from building materials to paint colors along with any structural issues in the home.

HomeWorx actually uses 3D modeling software that enables us to render an image of your ideas before we even start. That way, you can see your design on the screen and make any changes you’d like. It helps you to visualize your dream basement and helps us to create an accurate budget and project timeline.

Can I See Some Images of Past HomeWorx Basement Projects?

Our basement finishing gallery is filled with photos of past projects. Click here to check it out!

Or, you can take a virtual tour of one of our recent basement projects!

Does HomeWorx Finish Basements Everywhere in Iowa?

We offer basement finishing services in the following cities:

In certain cases, we may be able to accommodate basements outside of these cities. Feel free to give us a call no matter where you’re located. We can discuss the possibility of working with you or recommend some basement finishing contractors near you.

Basements

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    […] average, homeowners who invest in a finished basement recoup around 77%. Those who invest in a bathroom remodel or a kitchen remodel recoup around 72%. […]

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