5 Reasons Not to Finish a Basement

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Some people love to finish a basement in a house. Others prefer to leave it alone. It’s a personal choice. There are plenty of reasons to finish a basement, but there are equally compelling reasons not to finish a basement.


The basement makes a great storage area. If you don’t have a basement and the attic hasn’t been finished, it might be the only real storage area in the house. If this is the case, and you’re going to use the basement for storage, there’s no need to finish the basement. All you’re doing is taking away possible storage space that can be very useful. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be well cleaned and kept neat. The neater you keep it, the easier it will be to find all the items you’ve stored for later use.


It can cost a great deal of money to finish a basement. If your budget won’t allow for this project, it can be an excellent reason not to finish the basement. It might be that there are higher priorities for the money you do have.

Although there’s often pressure to finish a basement and make the house complete, remember that you can still use the basement even if it’s not finished. People can sleep there; you can put a television in the room along with a couch.

The basement might not look as good, but it’s still perfectly usable. Remember that the basement is usually a room that only the family sees, rather than visitors. If no one in the family cares, there’s no need to spend the money.


The biggest reason to finish a basement is to make the space usable. If you have ample space in the house, then there’s no real need to finish a basement. In a large house, it won’t even enhance the resale price of the house. You’d be more likely to end up using the basement for storage, which returns it to its original use.


If you use the basement as a workshop, there’s little reason to finish it. As long as there’s electricity and a workbench, that’s all you need. With an unfinished basement, there’s ample room for storage and you also have room to work. Why do more than that? You’re simply spending money and labor for something you will not use.


Unless you plan on living in the house for many years, finishing a basement could actually damage its resale value. Leaving it unfinished allows the buyer to finish it in the manner they choose. In some cases, a finished basement will bring more when you sell the house, but as a general rule it won’t make much difference, as long as there are enough bedrooms elsewhere in the house.