For years basements were ignored and seen as the dark and musty place where you stored forgotten items. However when the recession hit, homeowners were finding creative ways to increase the square footage of their own home instead of moving to a new home they could not afford. In fact, many architects and contractors put the cost savings of redoing a basement versus an addition at one-third to one-half less, depending on project scope, area of the country, and professionals hired, says architect Duo Dickinson, author of Staying Put.* One thing to note, when finishing out a basement is the appraised value of the home above ground per square foot is about half of that in the basement. Therefore, do not spend more than 10 % of your homes value renovating the basement. First item to address when renovating a basement is to know that it is not a matter of if, but when a basement will leak. Therefore, resolve the problems with moisture and water before finishing off the basement. Consider installing a dehumidification system as well to keep the basement not smelling like a basement of the past. Remember to not seal off existing mechanical systems, circuit breakers, and future plumbing lines; professionals need access for maintenance and repairs * !