Profile picture for chaalz

What will increase home value more, using drywall or vinyl panels for finishing a basement?

We are thinking of finishing about 1400 sq ft of basement. I know using drywall will be cheaper than those vinyl panels for basement walls but will one way add more value to my house over the other. (forget the cost a minute). The finished panels market themselves as mold-resistant, water-proof, etc so does that mean that they'd add more value that regular drywall.


Does your answer change if the panels require that I use a drop ceiling?
Thanks.
Chaalz
  • September 02 2009 - Leesburg
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Answers (21)

Best Answer

Profile picture for agentblu15
honestly, from an appraisal perspective, as long as the work was completed in a professional manner, and the finished product was a) good quality, and b) within reason for your area and similar in finish level to the rest of the home, there would most likely not be a significant difference in appraised value.  Those two options would probably be considered "equivalent" in terms of utility and appeal (again, from an appraisal perspective), so they would not require an adjustment.

That being said, as far as buyer appeal, that might depend on your area.  As others suggested, a realtor migh be able to give some insight on that.

..also, P.S. to those who are picturing 80s rec room walls and restroom bathrooms-- if i'm understanding the OP correctly, I believe the "vinyl panels" they're referring to are probably something along the lines of the basement finishing systems sold by Owens Corning and other manufacturers.  They're actually pretty high-end, VERY expensive, require professional installation in most cases (for warranty) and look pretty good when done correctly.  But WAY WAY more expensive than drywall/sheetrock.
  • September 03 2009
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Profile picture for chaalz
agentblu15 - yes it is exactly what you said: along the lines of the basement finishing systems sold by Owens Corning. Thank you for your answer and thoughts on the matter. They were exactly what I was looking for.

John Stewart - Good point about being too unique. The way the product was being sold to me didn't make me think of it as "special finishes" since it kinda looks very similar to GWB. Since it is 50-100% more expensive than the drywall route I was checking if I might get a bigger bump in home value. I know what an appraiser says my home is worth is completely different from what a buyer will pay (Vivi's point) but I'm considering a refi and this could affect my LTV.

Thanks for the link. Great info there. So now I need to decide if paying an extra $20k or so is worth it for quicker installation, better water/mold resistance, better sound cancellation, no painting, more durability, etc.

Vivi -Never thought of myself as faint-hearted. :) Nonetheless, upon reflection I realized that I was way too harsh yesterday. Sorry. Listen I get your point, I really do. I just think a simple opinion like agentblu's is harmless. I don't see how that can be used against her but maybe the construction/real estate industry is much more sinister than I think. Thx for your comment.
 
bamkmartin - I am getting an appraiser to give me a pre-construction "opinion" (not appraisal). I also wanted to get more "opinions" on here. Thats all. Just got frustrated with some responses. In any case chill pill taken.

Your profile says you have a few contacts in Stafford, VA that you highly recommend. Think a job in Leesburg would be too far for them? Mind sending me?
  • September 04 2009
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Profile picture for bamkmartin
Chaalz, dude take a chill pill.  If you want an appraiser, find one and pay for their service. Zillow is free and pretty much free of people asking for something for nothing.  I guess it was bound to happen.  Most people are happy to be given free advice.  But then again, some people take advice but dont listen.  My suggestion is for you to listen more and talk (type) less.
  • September 03 2009
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
I'll jump into this one:

An agent or appraised valuation won't justify the special finishes in the basement. GWB appeals to a much larger audience; stick with it unless you are trying to deal with a moisture issue.I love Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs Value reports.Are you talking about the plastic panels that are used in commercial kitchens and grocery stores?  They are connected with vinyl 'h' clips; about 1/8" thick?  How about a link to the manufacturer's website spec?  If agentblu has something cool, let's see it.
Appraisers and agents want conformity.  I think that our pricing opinions are based on common denominators not unique products. Unique is too personal. We like our market to be as broad as possible. Now if those panels have a wood grain that might be considered common enough to add a little value to a finished basement but I'll still vote on GWB for the best ROI.Dropped ceilings are another weird one:The materials are endless in choice so I like them, but the "dropped" aspect takes headroom. Headroom is critical in lower levels so I'd suggest maximizing it. I also like the sound attenuation that you can get from dropped ceilings (this can be marketed positively in selling your home). But you can also get sound attenuation by using hat channel, sound board and GWB which takes up less space. Incidentally you can put GWB panels into a dropped ceiling so that sort of shoots holes in the common appearance objection.Frequently improvements, including landscape, don't really add value, they just help separate the home form the competition and get it sold.
  • September 03 2009
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chaalz,You are a living proof that real estate is NOT for fainted hearted - and why it is crucial to think twice before giving ANY advice that might be used later against the practitioner.

P.s. The value of your home may increase or decrease, depending on the quality of the labor and materials, market conditions, and many other factors, including your attitude.
  • September 03 2009
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Profile picture for chaalz
Thank you Tiffany and Raymond for answering my question. I have to say I'm a bit surprised since these basement systems are up to double the cost of drywall. But its all good. A friend of mine knows an appraiser that will try to give me a general answer as well based on past experience (just for my knowledge).

Vivi - thanks for NOT answering the question. Woman you actually answered a question just to say you don't have an answer? LMAO. I didn't ask for a professional answer. I had hoped that you would just make an intelligent suggestion about the effect on home value based on your X years in the industry. Why the hell do you keep talking about legal liability on a "forum for free advice" (per Mike). Why even respond in the first place? I literally deleted an insulting sentence from my last post (despite what I've read about you on here) to give you the benefit of the doubt. At this point I'm just going to kindly and respectfully ask you not to respond anymore.

Mike - sorry man but your last 2 sentences are a joke. You actually think I need you to clarify that for me? If you thought I wanted an appraisers answer and you are not an appraiser then why the heck did ya even respond? For the benefit of humanity? Think about that in a logical way. I mean come on.

Zillow REALLY needs to have the option to set up a multiple choice question that must be answered before you can respond.
  • September 03 2009
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My guess would be the panels would have a lower value.
  • September 03 2009
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Well good luck getting the appraiser to buy your home.

I assume at some point you are going to want to SELL your home. It's not just about what it will appraise for, it's what it will make it more SALABLE in the future. I think everyone here has given you the right advice - use sheetrock.

If you want an appraisers answer I suggest you pay for an appraisers time.

Zillow is a forum for free advice and ya get whatcha pay for.
  • September 03 2009
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B
  • September 03 2009
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Chaalz,

You need to contact an appraiser to get a "professional" answer -  my guess is, no appraiser would give you the answer and accept the legal liability for it without seeing the finished product.....

>>>what is value?<<< 

Home is only worth what buyers are willing to pay for it. No more and no less. 

Buyers will be willing to pay because they like the finished product and see the value in it. 

 
  • September 03 2009
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Profile picture for chaalz
Umm...I'm going to come off as a jerk here (so apologies in advance) but after 2 attempts on my part not one of you actually answered the question.

I'm not asking which you think is better. I'm asking if an appraiser will appraise a home higher if the basement was done with drop ceiling+vinyl wall panels (plain white not wood vineer) instead of full drywall (regardless of brand/features).

 I'm not sure how I can make this question any clearer. So for the love of God's green Earth your options are, "If you used panels the appraisal will be":
A. More
B. Less
C. Same

@Vivianne - then why even respond with a silly answer like "what is value"? Nevermind, I just want my question answered, hopefully by professionsals.

In any case, thank you all for taking the time to answer.
  • September 03 2009
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Profile picture for bamkmartin
Oh, skip the drop ceiling too.  Not normal in my neighborhood.
  • September 03 2009
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Profile picture for bamkmartin
I vote for sheetrock and mold resistant sheet rock.  When you sell, market the house with "mold resistant sheetrock in basement".
If the vinyl is what I think it is, I have only seen it used in restrooms.  Reminds me of a truck stop in Oklahoma.  Its probably hardy and more moisure resistant than sheetrock, but not normal.  You dont want your house remembered for the unusual basement at the end of the day.  You want a normal surface that can be painted any colour that the next owner wants.
  • September 03 2009
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ever been in an 80's remodeled basement with wood veneer paneling?  Looks dated and cheap.  Drywall is timeless and the color can be easily changed with another coat of paint.  If someone punches a hole in the wall (for whatever reason) it can be easily repaired.  Can you repair your paneling option?  Is the paneling going to be around should you need to replace some three years from now?  Probably not.  Sheetrock will.
  • September 02 2009
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Oh - I forgot.....death to the drop ceiling. There is no good that can come from one :)
  • September 02 2009
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They are now making drywall which doesn't have the paper facing and backing (which is what mold eats). So mold is less of an issue. Obviously if you have moisture issues in your basement, you should mitigate them before hand no matter what materials you use.

But I raise my hand for drywall. The closer you make the space look like the rest of the house, the more finished it will look and the less 70s rec room it will look. And consider adding some egress windows for more light if you currently don't have full size windows in your basement.
  • September 02 2009
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>>>Viviane, thanks for the non-advice advice ;)<<<

Chaalz,

In our society where lawyers make a living by suing under any and all pretexts - one can never be too careful :-)
  • September 02 2009
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Profile picture for chaalz
I guess I should have been more specific. What I meant was, do appraisers "generally" appraise a home more if the basement was finished using panels vs drywall?


It sounds like most of you think one should use panels only if you have a moisture problem or something like that (which I dont). Never really thought of it like that. Is that the general consensus?

Thank you all and Viviane, thanks for the non-advice advice ;)

-Chaalz
  • September 02 2009
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I would go with drywall. However, do check for moisture first. I am a big fan of overkill in my own home improvement projects so I usually put greenboard in basements (which is now purple)...it's the moisture resistant version of drywall commonly used in bathrooms. It won't help you for major moisture issues but may guard against humidity and mold a bit.
  • September 02 2009
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Chaalz,What is value? For buyers who like to paint the walls with their favorite color, drywall would be the obvious answer. Buyers who prefer the vinyl panels would vote for the second option....

Improvement adds value only if it is viewed as desirable by the buyer.

For example, swimming pool can be seen as a very desirable feature; or it can be an additional maintenance expense and a safety issue, and as such it can actually hinder the sale.  The same goes for fire places: they are a must have for some home buyers or a fire hazard for others.

If you are finishing the basement for a resale, I'd probably go with drywall, because it is somewhat more buyer neutral - although not necessarily. It all depends on the quality of the labor and materials.

NOTE: The above was NOT meant to be an advice. I hope it helps, but you need to arrive at your own decision.  Good luck.
  • September 02 2009
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Being a General Contractor I would use the drywall.
If you basement was build correctly, you will not have a problem with mold or water-proof problems.

But you need a realtor to answer this question.

  • September 02 2009
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