I am not an expert on this, and Jason may be able to help. Where I live, "finished space" is what the appraisers office has on file as a result of building permits. In this case, finished space is not so much the condition of walls, ceilings or even plumbing, but a grant of occupancy and therefore value. Permitted occupied space gets counted in your square footage for appraisals and is a factor in resale value. Non-permitted finished space has no official value and when appraisals are done (i.e. dollars value per square foot), it cannot be counted by either the bank or the county.