The basement is usually the last space to be remodeled in a home. And, by the time most homeowners get to this space, they may be bursting with ideas or fresh out of them. Following is a basement remodeling checklist. It will not only help you define how to use the space, but keep you within budget once your plans are defined.

What Are Your Family’s Needs: Before tackling a basement remodeling project, clearly outline your family’s wants and needs. Do you need a playroom for the kids; a workout room for the whole family; or an office for a home business start up?

Many approach the basement with a “want list” in mind. But in order to make sure you’re not just wasting money, you should take into account how you all actually live as a family. This way, you’ll get the most bang for your remodeling buck!

How Long Will You Be in the Home: This is a question every homeowner should ask before tackling a basement remodeling project. Consider this: Remodeling Magazine’s 2008-09 Cost vs. Value Report puts the average cost of a full basement remodel with wet bar and bathroom addition at $61,011…

As this statistic indicates, even if you forgo the luxury of a wet bar, basement remodeling is not cheap. Taking into account how long you’re going to be in your home will allow you to assess if you’ll be able to recoup the cost if/when you decide to sell.

What Is Your Budget: As with any home improvement project, knowing your budget is critical. After assessing your budget, you will know exactly what you can afford when you start choosing materials, appliances, furnishings, etc.

If you keep these three tips in mind, your basement remodeling should not only give you the basement of your dreams, but keep you within budget as well.