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Five Reasons to Finish Your Basement

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For those of you with a list of home improvement tasks – a few you’ve assigned yourself and a lot your spouse has assigned you – chances are a finished basement hovers somewhere near the top. A task that is a lot of work, it is also one that pays off — a finished basement can complement your house in ways you might not even imagine.

But why, exactly, should you finish your basement? With the lawn that needs fertilizing, the wall that needs painting, and the screen door that needs replacing, you have more than enough to keep you busy. Well, the reason is simple — a finished basement can bring your house to a whole new level.

The following is a list of five reasons to finish your basement, or at least get started in that direction:

You don’t need that much storage: Unfinished basements are places where old belongings tend to get stored. As your tattered hiking boots and broken skis seem to multiply in quantity, you find yourself wondering if your things are reproducing whenever left alone. Storage has a way of accumulating — until you put a stop to it. You really don’t need to store, or even keep, everything you’ve ever owned. Have a garage sale, donate to charity, or store your belongings somewhere else, like the attic — or the city dump.

You will discourage unwanted guests: Anyone who has ever gone into an unfinished basement has probably seen their fair share of unwelcome guests: rodents, spiders, and funny-looking insects. Not only do these guests have the potential to cause illness (black plague, anyone?) but they are also, for lack of a better term, kind of scary. A finished basement, however, discourages these kinds of guests; these creatures like to live in habitats that are dark, damp, and quiet, places where they won’t be bothered and won’t be asked to pay rent.

You will increase the value of your house: You might be planning on staying in your house forever, but things change. In the event you get a different job, want to be closer to your family, or find yourself running from the law, your house will likely need to go onto the market. A house with a finished basement will almost always sell for higher than one with an unfinished basement. Perhaps your finished basement has a spare bedroom, an extra bathroom, or wiring for a great entertainment system; whatever it has, a finished basement, for many buyers, is the icing on the house’s cake.

You will have a place to escape: Everyone could use a little time to themselves, time to relax, reflect, or just engage in an old fashioned nap. No one wants to do this in an unfinished basement – the thoughts of spiders crawling in your hair is enough to spike your blood pressure – but a finished basement is an ideal environment for this kind of practice. It's nice and cool during the summer, and a good place to curl up in a blanket during the winter. It's also a place that gives you the best chance of dodging interruptions: if you are super quiet, maybe nobody will find you.

You will keep an eye on your kids: Kids, particularly teenagers, prefer to spend time away from home: the arcade, the mall, a friend's house may all be more appealing than a place where "mom and dad" sightings run rampant. That is, however, unless there is an awesome recreation room in the basement. A finished basement filled with a pool table, a large television, and game systems is a great way to encourage your kids to have friends over, instead of vice versa. This helps to make sure your teenagers stay, quite literally, right under your nose.

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