Profile picture for aether

Sq. Footage

If you finish your basement, can you add that now finished sq. footage to the total sq. footage of your home? It is below grade, but does have an escape window with ladder in the window well.
  • July 27 2007 - US
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Answers (9)

Profile picture for mcfriendlyosx
Spare footage definitely is not a CODE in most locations. In our community many seller include a "finished" basement as part of the total sq. footage whether it has an outside exit or not. Mileage varies.....

I for one would never include the basement in the total footage unless it was truly finished with an accessible outside exit.
  • August 09 2007
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Profile picture for robin398
Honestly, a lot of owners would prefer no basement rather than having an unfinished basement. It means more work or just unused space. Having a finished basement increases the square footage of your home. Owners would like a finished basement that they can utilize for more living space rather than a dark spooky basement.
  • August 09 2007
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Profile picture for johnny blaze
I'm wondering... When people talk about an accessible entrance/exit from the basement, does an exit from the garage count--or does it have to be a traditional hinged doorway?

We recently renovated our basement and added quite a bit of space for a family room, storage space and an additional bathroom. Because of the way our house is situated, the basement is only partly "underground". Mostly it's at ground level, with several full-size windows facing the backyard--along with a garage that opens into the back of the house--through which you can enter and exit the basement.

I'm pleased to discover than we can add the square footage if we ever sell. But, what about that garage exit? (Obvioiusly, it's not the *only* way in or out of the basement.)
  • August 10 2007
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Profile picture for pajura74

Robin398, that might be true for your subdivision. 

  • June 26 2008
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Profile picture for retrogameroom

In our area a finished basement is included in the total square footage when you list your home for sale.  When you call up the details of the home, the letter “B” will be listed as the level for the portion of finished square feet in the basement.


Opinions on the issue vary greatly depending on where you live.  In my area, if you don’t list a finished basement in your square footage, you are shooting yourself in the foot.  All of your neighbors’ homes will include it in their listing and your home will appear to be smaller than the rest.


One person (Real Estate Agent?) made a comment about basements being dark and spooky.  This is usually only true for older homes.  The latest building codes require an ample amount of light in a basement.

  • June 26 2008
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Unless there is a local code that you have, you can't the extra square footage.  The need for an egress window or door is if there is a room in the basement that you would like to call a bedroom.  All bedrooms must have a way to exit in case of a fire. 

  • June 27 2008
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Correction on my last posting- I meant you can count the square footage.  Sorry, typo.

  • June 27 2008
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Profile picture for bamkmartin

If done properly with permits, your square footage will go up officially and your taxes will go up accordingly based on the new usable living space.  Catch 22?

  • June 30 2008
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Profile picture for mjentilet

Robin398 - I suppose it depends on the area, but around here no basement (finished or unfinished) makes a home virutually unsellable except at the very lowest price points.

  • July 10 2008
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