Remodeled attics, basements most cost-effective projects
Look closely beneath the dust collected in your attic or basement and you may discover the perfect place for your next remodeling project.
According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, which compares the average cost of 35 popular home renovations to the value they recouped, attic and basement remodels rank as first and third most cost-effective projects, respectively. For attics, 72.9 percent of the cost was recovered, while basement remodels garnered 70.3 percent of their price tag. Backup power generators came in at number two on the list, with bathroom additions and bathroom remodels rounding out the fourth and fifth spots.
“If you’re using space that’s already built into your home, it’s much more cost-effective,” says Gary Belk, a renovation consultant in San Francisco. As Belk explains, building utilities and services to make a basement or attic habitable is much less expensive than expanding a home’s foundation, which often involves attorney fees and planning approvals.
For other construction professionals, the results are pure mathematics. “In both an attic and a basement, you’re adding a lot of square feet. It costs less because the existing box or shell is already there,” says Scott Mosby, president of Mosby Building Arts in St. Louis. For instance, attic and basement renovations typically include just the price of interior finishes.
The results of the report may also reflect national fears about taking on larger mortgages and widespread assumptions that new mortgages are difficult to receive. “Basements and attic remodels give people a much easier way to make their existing home work,” Belk says. “So this way, they don’t have to sell and move.”
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