Many homes in Seattle don't have basements at all. Naturally, homes in low-lying areas of Seattle's "seven hills" have trouble with sufficiently stable soil to accommodate a basement. Furthermore, the only reason many homes have basements have to do with freeze lines. A home's foundation must be placed below the deepest freezing line of a climate. In the immediate area around the Puget Sound, this may mean no more than 12". Homes in more outlying areas east of Seattle may need to dig a few feet. Basements cost about $40 to $50 more per square foot to build than above ground construction. When a home builder must dig several feet, anyway, however, it makes more financial sense to dig a few extra feet and put in a basement for storage or additional living space.
Renovating your own Seattle Underground
Of course, several homes in Seattle proper do have basements. Between historical re-grading and the city's famous Underground, it's almost a local tradition to dig around in the dirt. If you have a home with a basement, it may time to renovate. The high precipitation and moisture levels inherent to the Puget Sound make basement waterproofing necessary for even acceptable storage conditions. The process can be a complicated one that can include new gutters, improved lawn drainage, foundation repair, and new plumbing. Once you've got your basement in a reasonably dry place, you can include the insulation, drywall, and flooring typical of finished basements. If you're going to spend the time and money for this project, it's a good idea to do it up right and personalize it your needs: New electrical wiring can help create a state-of-the-art home theater and entertainment area. New plumbing can be a part of your gorgeous home wet bar.
Cost of Seattle Basement Remodeling
Basement remodeling isn't cheap, but it's still a great and cost-effective home improvement project for one simple reason: It gives you additional livable space for a fraction of the cost of a building a home addition. The exact cost of your Seattle basement remodel will naturally depend on the extent of your waterproofing needs and the finishing options you select. $40,000 to $50,000 is a realistic projection, unless you already have a basement in good, waterproofed condition. If this major chunk of the job is already complete, you can complete a low-budget basement remodel for as little as $10,000 to $15,000.
Turn your basement into usable space with aBasement Remodel
Seattle Basement Remodeling Contractors
The conventional wisdom is to get at least three estimates, but if you can stomach it, the best idea is to get as many estimates as you can. Many Seattle basement remodeling contractors may specialize in specific types of remodels and remodeling philosophies. A no-hassle, full-service remodeling company may have each aspect of your basement renovation dissected by a different professional with an expert general contractor for quality assurance and a salesman running through different design options with a computer program that lets you truly actualize your vision. Of course, they'll probably also give you a correspondingly high estimate. Other basement remodeling may be so focused on giving the lowest bid that they work with nothing but generic products and may even be cutting corners on aspects of the job that you find vital to the success of the remodel. Naturally, these descriptions and their realities lead many homeowners to select a middle-of-the-road contractor and estimate, but you can't really know whose right you, your basement, and your home without getting estimates and double checking reviews and previous customer referrals.