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.
Also don’t forget: home gyms, wine cellars, theaters and craft rooms. The ideas are endless. Your goal should be to get as much value from the space as possible. If your basement is small, use it to fill a void such as an extra bedroom or additional organized storage space. If it is big, find several fun ways you can utilize the space and add value.
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.
Basements are a key part of many homes, but too many homeowners overlook their basement’s potential. While a basement can be used as a larger storage room, they are capable of so much more. While unfinished basements can function well as storage rooms, you can take steps to waterproof and finish your basement to transform it into a fully functional extra room in your home. If you want to finish your basement, here are some tips to help you along the way.

Cork is an eco-friendly flooring material that can be installed over an existing floor or concrete. Cork is derived from the bark of the cork tree, meaning trees are not cut down during harvesting. Cork flooring is durable and has good insulating qualities, but if you choose cork flooring for your basement, make sure you choose a type that is recommended for a basement environment as not all cork flooring is appropriate for basements.
You already have stairs to the basement, but when you're doing basement renovations, make sure they meet code and look good. If they're not in a convenient location, consider moving them to a better spot. Codes vary with staircase configurations and baluster shape, so you'll need to talk to the building inspector about your plans. It's also a good idea to consult an architect or other design professional for help in designing a staircase that works well with your other plans for the space.

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.


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.
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.
Lighting: You could spend as little as $200 for some fluorescent lights and up to $2,000 installing recessed lighting. Don't skimp on getting some decent lights. Lights that don't shine directly down work great. We recommend something that is indirect or dampened somehow. Finished basements often have low ceilings. The lighting can be harsh on the eyes if you're looking sitting down relaxing.
This online basement remodeling cost calculator is here to give you a basic estimate for finishing your basement. Finishing your basement includes many different variables, so it’s a good idea to get a good idea of the cost as early as possible. Circumstances, materials, and the like can change over time, but a good “ballpark” estimate will give you a basic idea of where you’re starting from. We provide you with this calculator so you can get a better understanding of roughly what finishing your basement will cost.
Nationwide, basement remodeling costs average $52,931-$74,974 for a project which includes a 20x30-foot entertaining area with wet bar, a 5-x-8-foot full bath, 24 feet of partition to enclose a mechanical area, painted walls, ceilings and trim throughout, exterior insulation, doors and electrical wiring, according to the annual cost vs. value report by Hanley Wood[2] .
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!

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.


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.
Cork is an eco-friendly flooring material that can be installed over an existing floor or concrete. Cork is derived from the bark of the cork tree, meaning trees are not cut down during harvesting. Cork flooring is durable and has good insulating qualities, but if you choose cork flooring for your basement, make sure you choose a type that is recommended for a basement environment as not all cork flooring is appropriate for basements.
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Create a restful retreat with a cottage inspired basement with a built-in wood bench and a cozy bed nook. Cool neutral color scheme of tan, pale blue, cream and white combined with minimal furnishings gives this area a warm and welcoming ambiance. For small finished bedroom ideas a built in bench that can be converted in to a bed with under cabinet storage is a great space saver and can increase the home’s value.
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.
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