Remodeling your basement into living area typically costs $36,000 and returns 69% of the original cost, according to according to the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Will you be glad your remodeled? It’s quite likely. The overwhelming majority of homeowners responding to the “Report” said they had a greater desire to be at home since converting their basement to living area. They also gave their basement remodeling a Joy Score of 9.4 — a rating based on those who said they were happy or satisfied with their project, with 10 being the highest rating and 1 the lowest.

Basement remodels return so much of your investment because the basic structure — walls and floors — already are in place. This lowers construction costs per square foot, saving 10% to 15% over the cost of building an addition with comparable features and amenities. Basement remodeling also avoids the complications of property line setbacks and other zoning restrictions that sometimes complicate adding onto your house.

Moisture is the Biggest Hassle

Moisture is a big concern in basement remodeling. Any chronic leaks, condensation, or flooding must be fixed before you convert the space into a living area. Remedial measures cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands, effectively reducing your return on investment. But if you cut those corners, you’ll pay big time in musty smells, creeping mold, and soggy carpet.