(ARA) Charmaine Gardner of West Hempstead, N.Y., spent three years looking for a house, but with the unstable housing market and rising taxes, she just wasn't comfortable with the idea of buying. "As a single mom, I didn't want to live paycheck to paycheck, so I had the idea of remodeling my mom's unfinished basement for us to all live together."

From 1990 to 2001, multi-generational households increased about 60 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many of the pressures that drove that increase lack of affordable housing and a high cost of living are even more relevant today.

"More homeowners are finding that a professionally finished basement is a great way to create more living space at a lower cost than building an addition," says Sal Ferro, president and chief executive officer of Alure, the home improvement company that worked with Gardner to install the Owens Corning Basement Finishing System. "Remodeling your basement can immediately enhance the enjoyment of a home by providing more usable space while helping to reduce whole-house energy costs. The living space gained can also help improve resale value should you decide to sell the property."

"My twin girls are comfortably sharing the large bedroom and I have the smaller bedroom," says Gardner. "The layout of the bathroom and living area is very large, and we have our own separate entrance. It's exactly what we needed and it was finished in just a few weeks."

Finishing a basement is a complicated job and generally beyond the scope of most do-it-yourself homeowners. The Owens Corning Basement Finishing System Gardner chose created usable living space in as little as two weeks. Professionals install the wall system with built-in thermal and acoustic benefits around the room. The walls are durable, resist dents and stains, and easily turn a cold concrete basement into warm, comfortable space that can be used for bedrooms, baths, kitchen areas, office space or family rooms.

There are several ways to utilize your new space, depending on the size of the basement and the family members you're planning to accommodate. For example, if you've been using one of your bedrooms as a home office, but now need that space for a new baby or an aging parent, you can shift the office to a comfortable finished room in your new basement. Or, if you now need to convert your game room into a large bedroom to accommodate live-in parents, a finished basement can be a great place to put the family room. And of course any household with multiple generations can use another bathroom.

"My objective was to find a way to make the basement look like a lower level to the house," Gardner says. "The Owens Corning Basement Finishing System achieved exactly the look I wanted in only three weeks. I'm happy to have accomplished my goal, my mother is happy to have her granddaughters close to watch them grow, and the girls now have a beautiful place to live."

Visit www.basementfinishingsystem.com to learn more about this remodeling option and to enter to win an Owens Corning Basement Finishing System.

Courtesy of ARAcontent