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.
When it comes to basement remodels, the most costly way is to start with bare bones. If all you have is concrete walls and floors, you need to add framing, electrical, plumbing, flooring and trim. Basement finishing in a newer home that already has plumbing and electrical roughed in, a watertight foundation and some insulation installed—but no final finishes (like drywall or paint or carpet)—usually costs less than remodeling an already finished basement. This is because when you already have a finished basement, the pros will need to do demolition at the beginning of the project, which can add $500–$1,500 to overall costs.
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Once you’ve completely waterproofed and your basement is protected, you can move on to the room’s interior. Choosing the right flooring is an important part of making your finished basement truly your own. The type of flooring material you choose will definitely factor into your final price, so choose wisely and pick the floor that’s best for your finished basement.


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.
In modern homes, game room are starting to become an essential part of the house. The modern basement game room shown in the image above with mood lighting make this area look just like a high end nightclub. Gorgeous cone pendant lights over the pool table are ideal for a focused lighting which are perfect for the game. A stylish hideout for the man of the house and his friends.
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.
Stucco can be applied directly to cinderblocks, and the process is fairly easy. Since masonry walls are strong, a support system is not required. All that is needed is application of a concrete bonding agent. Traditional application requires a scratch coat, brown coat and finish coat. Advantages of stucco include the unique patterns and textures that can be created to add interest to the basement space. The material is durable and able to accept numerous colors.
Any project involving electrical, plumbing, or turning the basement into a livable space, requires permits. Plumbing must be done to code for proper drainage to avoid health issues. It also has to ensure flushing certain waste back into the sewer. Electrical issues can cause short-circuits, blown breakers, and fires. The chance of something happening increases if installation is not done properly from the start, including acquiring the proper permits. If creating a bedroom or other regular living space, permits are required. Emergency escape avenues (for fire and other emergencies) need to be in place as well.
A traditional rustic basement family room features period details such as leather furniture, solid wooden chest used as side table, custom made display cabinet and paneled accent wall. Dark brown wood ceiling beam with mood lighting, conceals plumbing and highlights the wood panel ceiling which adds texture and character to the space. This cozy and warm retreat is perfect for relaxation and suitable for any family gatherings.
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.
Before you even consider color, you want to have lighting in the space figured out. If you don’t have any natural light, how are you going to brighten up the space? Will you use pot lights or track lighting, will you supplement with floor and table lamps? Your paint will look worlds different if you change your lighting after you paint, so try to sort out your lighting needs first.

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.


Maybe it’s just great extra space, a blank palette—there are so many awesome ways you can use the basement. A movie room, game room, family room or kitchenette can provide a special place for the family to bond and have fun. Man caves and/or woman caves have become trendy and there are plenty of modern basement cave ideas available to inspire your own private space.
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.
This luxury sauna and marble shower is a stunning add on to your home basement transformation. After a stressful day at the office or for a relaxing private retreat, this is a perfect place to unwind and help loosen up those tired and aching muscles. This sophisticated steam room sauna and walk-in shower which feature custom wood treatment, marble and tile walls will automatically increase the value of your home and property.
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• Game tables eat up a lot of square footage. For a small pool table (3½ feet by 7 feet), you need a clear space at least 11½ feet wide by 14½ feet long to play comfortably—if you buy the shortest cues, that is. A tournament-size pool table (4½ feet by 9 feet) or a 5-by-9 Ping-Pong table needs even more room. Unless you're positive you'll use it a lot, consider skipping a single-activity table.
Accounting for variables such as square footage, materials, electrical and plumbing, the average basement remodel ranges from $11,034 and $29,226. Some cost as little as $5,000, with top of the line remodels costing over $40,000. The average cost to homeowners is $20,126. Expect to spend between $10 and $35 per square foot depending on the changes made.
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 good lighting plan is key to making your basement an inviting gathering spot. Recessed cans like these create overall illumination as well as task and accent lighting for the bookshelves and artwork. In addition to recessed lights, consider track lights and pendants to eliminate shadows on surfaces where you'll be working, playing, or reading. For an inexpensive basement finishing idea, use table lamps and floor lamps to banish shadows in corners and provide task lighting beside chairs and sofas.
A good lighting plan is key to making your basement an inviting gathering spot. Recessed cans like these create overall illumination as well as task and accent lighting for the bookshelves and artwork. In addition to recessed lights, consider track lights and pendants to eliminate shadows on surfaces where you'll be working, playing, or reading. For an inexpensive basement finishing idea, use table lamps and floor lamps to banish shadows in corners and provide task lighting beside chairs and sofas.

You have three basic basement ceiling options when refinishing the space. Conceal the joists, pipes, and ductwork with drywall or paneling, hide everything with a suspended or drop ceiling, or leave everything exposed and paint it with a sprayer. Drywall brings the polish of main-level rooms to the basement. Here, light gray paint adds depth to the space and leaves a smooth finish.
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.
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] .
Many new homes are built with an unfinished basement. This saves money up front in construction costs and gives a family the opportunity to grow into their home. A lot of people choose to finish their basement in order to add living space for entertaining guests or as a hangout area. No matter what the reason, finishing a basement can come with a considerable price tag. However, it's generally a good investment as a basement remodel fetches 80% to 90% of its investment cost at resale.
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