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Should You Convert Your Basement to a Bedroom?

If your family is growing and your kids need their own space, or if you want to give guests some privacy when they visit, you may be thinking about adding another bedroom. If local zoning laws would not allow you to build another floor, or if you don’t want to give up some space in the yard to construct an addition, converting the basement could be a good alternative.

Cost and Design Options 
The cost to renovate your basement would depend on several factors, including its size, the types of changes you want to make and your location. Converting your basement to another bedroom could give you additional living space for less than what it would cost to build an addition.

If you put a bedroom in the basement, it could be a hassle for the person who slept there to walk upstairs to the bathroom. You might want to consider converting part of the basement to a full or half bathroom.

Resale Value 
Finishing the basement could increase your home’s value and could help you attract a buyer in the future, especially if most homes in your area have unfinished basements. If the kitchen or bathrooms are outdated, however, renovating them first may be a better idea since potential buyers tend to focus on those rooms. Upgrading them could give you a higher return on investment than converting the basement to a bedroom.

Less Storage Space
If you have been using the basement for storage, converting all or part of it to create more living space would force you to sacrifice some storage space. You would have to move your belongings to another location, such as the attic, garage or a storage unit, or sell or donate some of them.

Issues Specific to Basements
Basements often have problems with water leaks and humidity, which can lead to mold. Moisture issues would need to be addressed during the renovation process to protect the health of anyone who would sleep in the basement.

Basements do not have much natural light, which can make them seem dark and unwelcoming. If you converted your basement to a bedroom, you would need to install light fixtures to brighten it up and make it feel like part of the home. That could be expensive.

Disruptions During Renovations
Converting the basement to a bedroom could be a time-consuming undertaking. Your family would have to contend with noise, dust and disruptions to your routine, possibly for several weeks or months.

Get Estimates for Basement Renovations
Request quotes from several local contractors who have experience with basement conversions. Check their credentials and references and discuss how local zoning laws and permit requirements could affect your plans. Leave room in your budget for any unanticipated expenses that might crop up.


Photo by Christopher Jolly on Unsplash