Before walls and flooring can be added, the basement must first be professionally framed. Framing an unfinished basement can be very expensive; not only will it require a large amount of labor, but material costs are high as well. If you consider all the lumber your contractor will need to lay, plus crossbeams and studs, you will find that lumber is going to be one of the costlier aspects of the project.
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.
You will need to obtain permits that meet the building codes in your area. Not only that, there are usually required permits for plumbing and electric work. Finally, once the basement is finished, it will need to be inspected in order to recalculate your home's value. If a contractor refuses to get a permit, DO NOT HIRE THEM. It's smart and it's the law.
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?

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.
Homeowners wishing to enclose basement appliances should take note of air-supply requirements for both the furnace and water heater, which are powered by electricity or natural gas, oil or propane. Fuel-burning appliances use room air for combustion and require an unrestricted air supply. Any enclosure requires installation of a louvered door between living areas and the furnace room to ensure an adequate air supply and ventilation in your basement. Without sufficient air, a house may fill with dangerous gases, including carbon monoxide or radon.
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.
There are no hard and fast rules about wall color in a basement, but there are ways to make your color look it’s best in a space that often has no natural light. Ensure that your lighting is in place and adequate before deciding on a color, determine what the space will be used for, and consider the tone that you want to set for the space. Your basement is one of the few truly personal spaces in a home, make it yours!
Before walls and flooring can be added, the basement must first be professionally framed. Framing an unfinished basement can be very expensive; not only will it require a large amount of labor, but material costs are high as well. If you consider all the lumber your contractor will need to lay, plus crossbeams and studs, you will find that lumber is going to be one of the costlier aspects of the project.
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