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.

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.
Another important part of finishing your basement is choosing the right walls. Basements have concrete walls and floors, but once they’re waterproofed, you can design the entire space with new walls and floors to completely transform the space. As with flooring, choosing the right basement walls can also affect the final price of your basement transformation. False walls are common and can be customized to meet your needs while keeping the original concrete walls is an option for others. Keeping your concrete walls is a cheaper option, but false walls provide more customization. In the end, it all comes down to what you’re looking for.
Homeowners in search of a warm, professional look for their basements often turn to drywall. Drywall ceilings help the basement look as good as upstairs living areas. Drywall can be treated with a variety of textures that are applied by roller or spray applicator. One difficulty associated with drywall ceilings is the necessity of framing in duct work.

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.
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.
Increasing numbers of homeowners decide to enhance the existing concrete in their basement instead of covering it up. Stained and painted concrete floors offer many benefits, including their suitability for people with allergies. Skilled contractors can reproduce the look of slate, tile and marble, or they can apply dyes, paints and stencils in a variety of designs.

Estimate the overall cost to install drywall in the basement at approximately $1.50 per square foot. The basic drywall panel measures 8-feet tall and 4-feet wide and is available in thicknesses that range from 1/4" to 5/8". This standard panel usually costs between $10 and $20. Price will vary depending on the brand, panel's thickness, and if it has any special features like mold resistance which may be beneficial for a basement space. Other material costs when adding drywall include the hardware to secure it to the framing, joint tape, and drywall mud.
The basement is often a catchall storage space for everything from garden equipment to out-of-season clothes, holiday decorations, and memorabilia. As you remodel to make the most of your basement's square footage, plan for attractive, well-designed storage, too. Here, a wall of built-in ceiling-height storage closets give the illusion of a sleek white wall, but provides tons of space for knick-knacks and seasonal decor.
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.

The approximate costs and value of a typical Basement Remodeling project are summarized below. Use higher estimates for larger metropolitan areas and the lower estimates where home prices are below the national average. Adjust costs for substitutions or refinements in the last section. For size differences of up to 25%, scale total costs in direct proportion to the size of your project. Use the adjusted costs as a basis for setting a material budget and for comparing contractor bids (if you choose to have a professional perform the work).
In choosing the best décor for the basement, try to create some sense of continuity with the rest of the house. Start by creating an open stairwell leading from the rest of the house. It makes the basement feel open, lighter and connected to your home. Next, make sure that anyone descending the stairwell isn’t jarred by the contrast in décor with the space above. As much as you need to create defining styles for different sections of the basement, ensure there is a flow from the décor above to the one below. Otherwise, your basement is going to feel like some far off disconnected place and not part of your home.
It was the start of a year-and-a-half basement finishing project, but it was well worth all of the effort. Jamin and Ashley of the home design blog The Handmade Home began by installing drywall over the cinderblock walls, applying spray foam insulation, and enclosing the necessary but ugly supporting adjustable steel posts. Next came paint, flooring, and furniture, all fusing together to make a lovely daylight basement for work and play.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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.
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 focal point wall is a great way to build architectural interest in the basement by installing brick tiles for durable and easy-to-maintain walls. This multi- purpose room and entertainment area, features a pool table, game table and home bar transforming a boring basement into the family room where everyone can relax, unwind and enjoy. Many finished basement ideas incorporate a home bar, game area and dining table to provide plenty of opportunities for entertainment and fun.
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] .
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.

Sometimes a finished basement floor makes the bottom stair a little too shallow, throwing off the whole run. Tom Silva's fix: Measure the rise of each step. If any are shorter than 7 inches, you can remove the treads and add spacers to pad them out as you go up. Just keep heights below code maximum, and make sure they don't differ in height by more than ⅜ inch.

Before using this basement remodeling calculator, understand that its pricing is based on a few basic assumptions about your floor. The calculator is assuming that you’re starting with a concrete floor in an unfinished basement. Anything beyond that, including removal of old flooring materials, is not taken into account in this estimate. You should keep this in mind.
Finished basement made use of existing materials and transformed it into an elegant basement living room. Painted concrete floors and concrete hollow blocks walls are painted in classic white and cool gray. Exposed beams are furnished with industrial lights which provide ample lights to the room. Comfy, soft upholstered sofas and accent chair in neutral colors adds coziness, perfect place to sit back and relax. Splash of patterns and colors from the area rug, accent chair and throw pillows gives a warm and welcoming ambiance.
A remodeled basement gives you additional living space without changing the footprint 1 of your home. Basements can be remodeled to become in home theaters, children’s playrooms, entertainment areas, and family game rooms. Because the steps to finish the basement are similar for most of these purposes, you can gain a lot of additional space and use from your home simply by finishing this area.
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.
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.
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