Finishing a basement can be expensive. Therefore, many people with a little bit of handiwork experience think that they can do it themselves. While this may be true for some, for many, it isn't. The main reason is that because people simply do not have enough time to do it. If you have enough resources to own one, chances are you have a full-time job. Tackling a finishing job on weekends in addition to all the other projects that you want to do may not seem daunting at first, but it is. Additionally, if you aren't properly experienced, you could do a horrible job, which ends up costing more than it saves.
Professional Basement Finishers Understand Permitting.
Cosmetic reasons aside, there’s potential for homeowners to make some serious mistakes if they try to go it alone.
1. One of the first serious mistakes that homeowners make is not pulling the correct permits. Constructing a basement requires pulling permits that homeowners aren't aware of. These vary town by town.
2. Having properly treated lumber on the floor to prevent decay.
3. Making sure to use a vapor barrier on the wall. Both of these are to prevent mold. Mold can cause significant structural damage to the house and requires an expensive clean up that homeowners insurance won't cover if aspects aren’t properly installed in the first place.
4. Not having enough ventilation for the furnace. This affects its efficiency.
5. If you don't use the right insulation, and a fire starts, it could spread easier. Once again, the fire probably isn't covered by homeowners insurance since it’s not up to code.
You may also consider playing the role of a general contractor and hire subcontractors to do each step. While this is a possibility, you run the risk of hiring someone who doesn't specialize in basements. You also won't have concise communication between your contractors, which could cause confusion and future problems.
Professional Basement Finishers Save You Time
Contractors state that the average build takes six to eight weeks to finish without specialization. This is as a pro, doing it full time. Imagine how much time it would take to do it on your own. If you did it on nights and weekends while dealing with all of the research that goes into learning a new project, how long will it take? A year? Two years? More?
Professional Basement Finishers Are Expensive But Worth It
The cost is different depending on where you live. There are basements that could cost $20,000 and there are basements that cost $150,000 for a similar project. Different towns require different permitting. Labor costs are different in every location due to the cost of living and demand. What you pay in rural Oklahoma is not comparable to what you will pay in San Francisco.
Yes, they are expensive. However, they aren’t as expensive as your house burning down or getting condemned. It's not as expensive as doing it yourself and then having to hire a mold remediator. They aren't as expensive as not being able to sell your home for the cost it's worth.
Do you really want to spend a year of your free time toiling away at construction? Maybe you do, and maybe you do have the experience to do something like this. But for everyone else, hiring a professional basement finisher is the smart, cost-saving move.
It will ultimately save a lot of time, money, and trouble.
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