Do-it-yourselfers looking to save some money will want to consider basement wall panels made of magnesium oxide, like those from Wahoo Walls. When adhered to polystyrene insulation, MgO boards insulate to R-11. They are well-suited to damp areas, are mold- and mildew-resistant, and are easy to cut and install. Plus, they can be painted. The boards install in L-shaped steel brackets screwed to the slab and joists, which have pre-cut wiring and cable channels. Panels for interior partitions are also available without the insulation. The company offers excellent installation instructions.
Local planning departments usually have specific regulations on ceiling height, access doors, radon ventilation, waterproofing and other details of the basement remodeling process. Many building codes now require upgrades such as residential fire sprinklers for new construction or major remodeling projects. Ask about local requirements and get all required permits (or make sure the contractor does this). Depending on the location, permit costs can be next to nothing or extremely expensive; find out exactly what they are and include them in the project's budget.
Your stairs are the first thing guests will see when they walk down into your finished basement. Give them something to talk about with a staircase that’s one of a kind. Create suspended steps, light-up steps, or glass side panels. Or make smaller changes by installing patterned carpet, decorative tiles, or a unique railing. Looking for more cool staircase designs? Check out these under the stairs ideas!
Local planning departments usually have specific regulations on ceiling height, access doors, radon ventilation, waterproofing and other details of the basement remodeling process. Many building codes now require upgrades such as residential fire sprinklers for new construction or major remodeling projects. Ask about local requirements and get all required permits (or make sure the contractor does this). Depending on the location, permit costs can be next to nothing or extremely expensive; find out exactly what they are and include them in the project's budget.
Sourcing supplies, clearing debris, and doing prep work can all help you save on basement costs. Consider what skills you have and talk with your contractor about what will shave money in each area. You may have the tools and strength to demo walls, which can save you several hundred dollars. Sourcing the materials for the pro takes this task off their labor time and saves you money. Doing prep work and finish work is also a way to cut down on total cost. Painting the walls yourself at the end of the project could save you hundreds of dollars. Negotiate all these aspects before signing your contract.
If you don’t know where to begin, basement waterproofing contractors or local home improvement stores will also be able to tell you what products are best for basement waterproofing. The basement waterproofing cost can be a little bit high but it is a worthwhile investment that will help your avoid a leaking basement. Insulating basement walls is another important step in your basement remodel. Basement insulation is essential to keep your basement and home warm during the winter without running up the heating bills. Framing a basement is what changes it from unfinished to finished. Framing basement walls can be a little tricky for those that have never done it before, but even the DIY homeowner can easily accomplish this task.
Even if you do not use an online tool, plan extensively beforehand as to exactly what you plan to do. What color will the wall be? Will you put in any art? What flooring style will you go for? If your budget allows, you can consult an interior designer for recommendations. One advantage of such planning is that it allows you to set out a budget that you can work within, ensuring that you are not caught short of cash in the middle of your project.
Basement water leakage can cause serious problems for a homeowner. Standing water can lead to mold growth, which poses health issues. It's also a haven for bugs and other pests. Over time, concrete blocks and foundations can sustain hairline cracks. While they may appear small on the surface, they can be the start of an enormous problem, so early repair is key. The only way to rectify a basement water problem is to remove the water and seal the leaks. This may involve removing existing paint or wall coverings as well as replacing soggy beams.

Search the pro’s contractor’s license to verify they are in good standing with the state board. As an example, in California, search the California State Contractors Board to learn if the license is up to date, if they have any legal action against them and if the contractor is in good standing. Some states only require contractors licenses for residential projects based on price, so research your region to be safe. For more information on smart hiring, check out our safety tips.
If you are going for a movie screening room, then go with a dark neutral, or simply go dark. You want the walls to recede and you don’t want a lot of glare from your projection equipment or tv. Make sure to use a flat paint and paint the ceiling in a dark neutral to prevent light from bouncing around and creating glares. For a classic, old world move theater feeling, go with a rich burgundy or deep navy.
Unless you install a plywood subfloor, your basement floor is likely to be a concrete slab. Fortunately, concrete accepts most common flooring choices, from paint to vinyl, laminate, tile, and carpet. Most solid wood flooring is not recommended for below-grade installations, however, because it shrinks and expands, resulting in gaps or warping. Engineered wood is a good alternative because it shrinks and expands a little less.
Accommodating ductwork and beams is often a challenge. Painting them to match the ceiling is a common approach. Another is to paint them in bright playful colors. So is boxing the ducts in with soffits, or wood-framed enclosures covered with drywall or MDF. Keep in mind, however, that duct enclosures cannot extend more than 6 inches below the minimum 7-ft. allowable ceiling height. If there are ducts that are hanging too low, sometimes they can be split into smaller ducts. Wider and flatter replacement ducts can also be installed to gain a few inches of headroom. Whatever you do, check with your local building department before beginning work to be sure your plan conforms to building codes.

Have a teen that’s tired of sharing a bedroom with a younger sibling? Extended family always staying over? Reconstructing the entire basement into a bedroom will give someone the space, privacy, and comfort they need for a good night’s rest. If you want a spare sleeping area but don’t have the space, creating an alcove with a built-in bed and shelves is great for smaller basements. Just be sure your design plans include enough space for bathroom renovations!
Adding or enlarging basement windows and adding exterior doors are jobs for a professional, but the resulting natural light and ventilation will significantly increase your enjoyment of this living space. To add below-ground windows you'll need to dig a window well. The retaining wall for the well may be made of masonry, limestone blocks, or treated landscape timbers, as in this window well. The terraced timbers serve as pot garden perches as well as steps for an emergency exit.
Before embarking on a basement conversion, get serious about waterproofing. If water periodically wells up between the slab and foundation wall, or there are cracks in the foundation, you will need to call in a contractor or basement waterproofing company for advice. They will be able to tell you whether the source of water is an easy one to stem—it can be as simple as gutters and downspouts not doing their jobs—or whether it’s more serious.
When it comes to basement renovation, the national average price for a finished basement ranges between $5,000-$70,000. That said, unless you're adding in an elaborate home theater or building in separate rooms with high-end finishes, most Thumbtack customers report paying, on average, between $5,100-$7,150 for their remodeled basement. A finished basement provides you additional living space, increases your home’s value, and offers great return on investment when it comes to home improvement projects.
Will Fowler is the Marketing Director for the Concrete Protector and Sani-Tred in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Will designed his first website when he was 15, and loves all things in design, wordpress, and apple. Will enjoys writing about home improvement, basement waterproofing, and decorative concrete coatings. Will lives with his beautiful wife, four rambunctious children in Ohio.

Transform your basement into a multi-activity area dedicated to have loads of fun. Oversized bean bag seats for relaxing, reading books or just a space for adults to spend quality time with the kids and keeping an eye on them while they are playing. Create a space for children’s games and toys by having a foos ball table and some miniature rocking chairs. Light tone laminated wood flooring is a good choice for this basement play area.
A luxurious contemporary basement opens to the movie and media room which showcases a drop round tray ceiling, recessed lights, light tone wood flooring and built-in entertainment center which stretches across one wall and doubles as bookshelves, provides extra storage for games, videos and other entertainment technology. A small pantry area provides convenience for food preparation and storage. Classic neutral colors add a sense of well-being, ease and coziness to the room.

A finished basement is not always the same thing as a designed basement. Sometimes, the basement begins with the basics: walls, a ceiling, lights, and a floor. Gwen Hefner and husband Micah wanted to turn their tiny, airless basement space into a comfortable mancave. They had the basics to start with. The next step, Gwen says, would be a true test to her design skills.


If time is critical, consider a basement finishing kit. A finishing kit has insulated wall panels, and some include a walkable flooring surface and ceiling material for DIY installation. Depending on the size of your basement, these kits can be installed in a weekend. However, the floor won't be carpeted, the walls won't be painted, and there will be no electrical or plumbing. Other features such as doors, trim work, and more also need to be added.
Featuring a stripped indoor tepee, neutral colored accent wall filled with memorabilia combined with a wood textured wall finish, another accent wall with wall paper depicting a night sky full of stars, wall to wall carpet, cozy couch and geometric patterns for the throw pillow. This basement playroom with a specialized native American Indian theme is what this black and white lovely kid’s playroom is all about.
Because basements are usually below ground level, water seepage and moisture issues have to be resolved before construction can start. Prior to creating a project bid, most contractors will inspect the area to check the interior floor and walls for dampness and make sure the exterior of the foundation is in good shape. Depending on how watertight the basement and foundation are, it may be necessary to protect the basement from future water damage after it’s finished, often through the installation of sump pumps. This work can cost anywhere from $700-$3,000, depending on what needs to be done. Learn more about basement waterproofing. To help prevent moisture problems, homeowners can clear downspouts and gutters of debris to ensure that they help keep moisture away from the foundation.
4. Interview basement remodeling contractors. You may be tempted to try and save money by managing a basement remodel yourself, but it's most likely worth it to hire a professional. Check affiliations, licensing and referrals and/or reviews from neighbors and friends before interviewing contractors for the final selection to be sure to avoid choosing a bad remodeler. Contractors who specialize in basement remodeling may be better equipped to handle your project.

Linoleum is another environmentally friendly flooring option for basements. Homeowners looking for numerous design options and ease of maintenance will enjoy linoleum. Drawbacks include a tendency to stain because of its porous nature and a lack of warmth under the feet. This flooring material is durable, but when damage does occur, repairs can be difficult.
1. Evaluate the space. Be sure to consider potential obstacles to your basement remodel like low ceilings, excessive moisture or ventilation concerns. Determine if your basement needs to be professionally waterproofed before spending tens of thousands of dollars to renovate it as neglecting  to address moisture issues will simply result in expensive damage repairs.
4. Interview basement remodeling contractors. You may be tempted to try and save money by managing a basement remodel yourself, but it's most likely worth it to hire a professional. Check affiliations, licensing and referrals and/or reviews from neighbors and friends before interviewing contractors for the final selection to be sure to avoid choosing a bad remodeler. Contractors who specialize in basement remodeling may be better equipped to handle your project.
Material Costs - In addition to the cost of framing and installing drywall to a basement bathroom, material costs can include: ceiling, flooring, paint, trim, toilet, sink, vanity, all fixtures, tub/shower surround, lighting, and all finishes like towel racks. Plumbing and electrical supplies also factor in to the final budget. Many material costs depend on type of product selected, the brand, and how high-end it is. Heated ceramic floor tiles cost more than basic vinyl tiles.
The following list includes major work tasks commonly performed during Basement Remodeling. Use this list to understand the timing and sequence of different steps in the Basement Remodeling project. Click any Task name for a complete written specifications, FAQs and quality checklist for the task - this essential information will help you control Basement Remodeling project cost and quality.
Your basement will likely need to be fitted with additional wires to support more lights and electronics. You will need to hire a licensed electrician if you plan to install additional overhead light fixtures, outlets and other components that require additional wiring. The cost of electrical installations depends on the exact project, but licensed electricians tend to charge between $50 and $100 per hour.
In many cases, a below-slab perimeter drain leading to a sump pit with at least two pumps (primary and backup) is the answer. The sump pit should be installed in the lowest part of the room perimeter and set-up to discharge water outside in the most efficient manner. Many finished basements build a closet around the sump pit. Regardless of how you conceal it, be sure to allow for easy access.
Foundation walls are usually made of poured concrete or stacked concrete block, materials that reinforce the feeling of the basement as a secondary space. To give the basement main-floor style, cover the concrete with your choice of materials: drywall, plywood, paneling, or paint over the concrete. This basement features clean, finished walls in most of the space but left a corner of a room with exposed brick as an accent.
If serenity is what you are after, think watery blues with undertones of green. Blue can read differently in different light levels, what looks relaxing on the sample strip can look downright neon covering an entire wall, choosing a blue with green undertones will help prevent that electric blue look. These beautiful, watery colors will make your basement guest room feel light and airy. It will also provide a relaxing, outdoors vibe to a yoga or meditation retreat.

Get estimates from several companies; request and check references. Understand exactly what is (and isn't) included in each estimate, and whether the contractor will do the paperwork for required building permits. Ask about the contractor's length and type of experience, especially if there's anything unusual about your project. Be sure a company is properly bonded and insured and licensed in your state[10] . See if there are any complaints with the Better Business Bureau[11] .
When putting a wall over a recently constructed frame, sheetrock is the industry standard for a paintable and more durable option. It can help insulate the room and generally lasts a long time when maintained. If you are trying to significantly drive costs down, go with paneling. It is very light, inexpensive and pre-finished in a variety of different sizes and types. Labor costs may also decrease because paneling is easier to transport and work with.
Even if you do not use an online tool, plan extensively beforehand as to exactly what you plan to do. What color will the wall be? Will you put in any art? What flooring style will you go for? If your budget allows, you can consult an interior designer for recommendations. One advantage of such planning is that it allows you to set out a budget that you can work within, ensuring that you are not caught short of cash in the middle of your project.
Basements are typically about one third of the entire home’s available space, 600 to 800 sq. ft. in the average home. And while some basements have been finished to create more living area, the majority of these spaces are used as makeshift laundry rooms, home offices, and storage repositories for everything from spare freezers to pantries, paints, and paperwork. In other words, most basements are underused.

For $500-$5,000, Do-It-Yourselfers can waterproof the walls with a brush-on compound, then add carpeting, paneling, a dropped ceiling or other touches to make a basement into a more usable living area. Actual costs depend a great deal on what shape the basement is in at the start of the project, and whether the upgrades include such items as ground-level windows; improved lighting; a full- or half-bath; and a laundry area. The upper end of the price range includes hiring contractors to install proper ventilation, electrical wiring or plumbing.
Wall finishing systems are rapidly gaining in popularity. These systems feature fiberglass panels and pieces of trim that fit into PVC framing. Panels covered in fabric offer an attractive finished appearance to the basement without the work of drywall taping and painting. Advantages include durability, moisture- and fire-resistance and the ability to remove panels for access to water pipes and electrical wiring.
Sourcing supplies, clearing debris, and doing prep work can all help you save on basement costs. Consider what skills you have and talk with your contractor about what will shave money in each area. You may have the tools and strength to demo walls, which can save you several hundred dollars. Sourcing the materials for the pro takes this task off their labor time and saves you money. Doing prep work and finish work is also a way to cut down on total cost. Painting the walls yourself at the end of the project could save you hundreds of dollars. Negotiate all these aspects before signing your contract.

Your basement will likely need to be fitted with additional wires to support more lights and electronics. You will need to hire a licensed electrician if you plan to install additional overhead light fixtures, outlets and other components that require additional wiring. The cost of electrical installations depends on the exact project, but licensed electricians tend to charge between $50 and $100 per hour.
Local planning departments usually have specific regulations on ceiling height, access doors, radon ventilation, waterproofing and other details of the basement remodeling process. Many building codes now require upgrades such as residential fire sprinklers for new construction or major remodeling projects. Ask about local requirements and get all required permits (or make sure the contractor does this). Depending on the location, permit costs can be next to nothing or extremely expensive; find out exactly what they are and include them in the project's budget.
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For homeowners who are seeking fully remodel a basement, then they will be aiming to spend anywhere from $30,000 to $65,000. The varied range depends on the extent of the renovations that are made to the space. The addition of bedrooms, bathrooms, exterior insulation, electrical wiring, plumbing, flooring, furniture, light fixtures and the help of a contractor will all cause an increase in the price. Of course, the cost to remodel a basement will also depend on the square footage of the space.
Most cities and towns will require a permit for basement remodels. In addition, there are several codes that dictate what can be done in this area. For example, a basement must have a ceiling height of a minimum of 7-feet. If your basement has a ceiling height lower than this, it may not pass code if remodeled. In addition, plan the cost of the building permits, around $430 on average, into your budget.
If you decide to go with a pony wall, you may be able to handle the project yourself (saving money). However, if you’re going to expand your house and need to install weight-bearing walls, you’re better off leaving it to the pros. Additionally, you or your pro will need to investigate building codes and local requirements to ensure you comply with structural guidelines.
The average cost of basement remodeling varies based on the square footage of the basement space, if structural changes are needed, and if you are adding in elements such as electrical work for a kitchenette or plumbing for a half bath. Other factors in cost include whether you have design plans already and what work you want done on the finishes such as trim and flooring. Here’s a breakdown of the various cost factors.
Basements are typically about one third of the entire home’s available space, 600 to 800 sq. ft. in the average home. And while some basements have been finished to create more living area, the majority of these spaces are used as makeshift laundry rooms, home offices, and storage repositories for everything from spare freezers to pantries, paints, and paperwork. In other words, most basements are underused.

This beautiful luxurious wine cellar basement with dining table is a haven for wine lover homeowners and their guest to enjoy and unwind. This wine cellar innovation is an efficient and proper way to store and keep vintage wine collection. Traditional custom made cabinetry with natural wood finish is the best choice for this wine cellar; it is designed to prevent airborne contaminants to spoil those vintage wines. The coffered ceiling with recessed lights, crystal chandelier and patterned flooring complete the traditional rustic style.


You've finally decided to do something with that empty basement space. That's half the battle right there. So what do you consider first? The number one thing to start planning your basement is what will it be used for? Do you just want a large finished space to add square footage, do you need more bedrooms, or do you want that great "play" space with a bar and pool table? Addressing what function you want the basement to provide is the foundation for how you will proceed. Some of the considerations which may affect what you do with your space are: Budget - Do this first, figure out the most you can afford to spend, then create a design that includes everything you want. After you get bids, and material costs, you can add or subtract things to meet your budget.
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