While basements get a bad rap at times, if built finished out or remodeled later on, they actually offer a wealth of extra living space for many purposes and activities. For instance, a media room, living room, wine cellar, wet bar, gym, office, playroom, man's cave, laundry and guest room are all popular choices for basement spaces. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where basements are a commonly built element of most homes, you may just be sitting on a myriad of abundant new living possibilities! We've included some of our favorite basement remodeling ideas and images below. Which do you like best?
Finishing the ceiling of a basement can be a tricky proposition. In most basements, important pipes, wires, and ducts already crisscross this area, often lowering the total ceiling height. If you were to install a drywall 5 or standard ceiling, you would be encapsulating these items, making them difficult to find and access in the event of an issue. Therefore, most basement ceilings are finished with some type of drop or suspended ceiling, sometimes known as an acoustical ceiling 9 or a grid ceiling.
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.

An unfinished basement serves as a valuable blank canvas. The finishing process begins with basics such as hanging and painting drywall and installing plywood floors at a relatively low cost. Basement finishing means taking a space that currently is not livable and transforming it into a space you can use and enjoy. In an unfinished space, there may be nothing but a concrete floor, exposed pipes and electrical, and no walls or only the barest of wall framework in place. On average, the cost to refinish will fall anywhere between $6,500 to $18,500, or more for larger spaces.
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.
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.
Your foundation should be inspected prior to finishing your basement. You don’t want to cover up any structural damage that would be identified in an inspection by installing framing and drywall. If items such as pipes have rust, the problem may be humidity instead of a leak, but it can be just as damaging. Waterproofing the basement and using a dehumidifier helps reduce dampness and the risk of mold development.
When putting a wall over a recently constructed frame, sheetrock is the industry standard for a durable option, that can be painted easily. It can help insulate the room due to its density and generally lasts a long time when maintained. If you’re trying to significantly drive down costs, using paneling for the walls is an effective option. It’s 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.
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.
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