Remodeling your basement typically costs $65,442 and returns 72.8% of the original cost, according to “Remodeling” magazine’s annual “Cost vs. Value Report.” In the northern Midwest states, where basements are common, a basement remodeling project returns about 13% less than the average return on investment. In the West, where they are less common, remodeling returns about 93% of the original cost.

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.