Sourcing supplies, clearing debris, and doing prep work can all help you save on basement costs. Consider what skills you have and talk with your contractor about what will shave money in each area. You may have the tools and strength to demo walls, which can save you several hundred dollars. Sourcing the materials for the pro takes this task off their labor time and saves you money. Doing prep work and finish work is also a way to cut down on total cost. Painting the walls yourself at the end of the project could save you hundreds of dollars. Negotiate all these aspects before signing your contract.
Pure design genius animated this basement remodel from lifestyle blogger Landeelu. For one, she decided to paint her doors a dark color, giving them a custom look that stands out from the cooler gray walls. Next, she added pops of interest with unique items, like the aged gold ceiling light fixture from Joss & Main. The fireplace not only adds warmth to the room for guests, but provides a welcome focal point. The result is an adorable space that can now rightfully be called an integrated part of the home.

Because a basement is prone to moisture problems, consider installing steel floor joists and cross-bridging and cover with board sheathing for a total of $4.08/SF. The best flooring for a basement is vinyl or laminate which should be installed as a floating floor to allow for changes in the concrete caused by moisture and temperature. Below are the least expensive options for each flooring material.


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] .
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.
Because basements are usually below ground level, water seepage and moisture issues have to be resolved before construction can start. Prior to creating a project bid, most contractors will inspect the area to check the interior floor and walls for dampness and make sure the exterior of the foundation is in good shape. Depending on how watertight the basement and foundation are, it may be necessary to protect the basement from future water damage after it’s finished, often through the installation of sump pumps. This work can cost anywhere from $700-$3,000, depending on what needs to be done. Learn more about basement waterproofing. To help prevent moisture problems, homeowners can clear downspouts and gutters of debris to ensure that they help keep moisture away from the foundation.

Add to this any custom work that you may want to have done to turn the basement into the type of room you have in mind, and the labor could continue to mount. Most people also find that they need a painter ($20-$35 per hour), and in older homes, asbestos 10 testing and removal ($1,500) is also recommended before the work can begin. For these reasons, many homeowners often choose to use a basement finishing system, which often has one set price for materials and labor (around $50,000 per basement) and decorate later as they choose.

Because a basement is prone to moisture problems, consider installing steel floor joists and cross-bridging and cover with board sheathing for a total of $4.08/SF. The best flooring for a basement is vinyl or laminate which should be installed as a floating floor to allow for changes in the concrete caused by moisture and temperature. Below are the least expensive options for each flooring material.


Plumbing - Check locally for required permits and any zoning law regulations about adding in plumbing, or whenever working with septic and sewer lines. Planning your basement bathroom directly below or close to the pipes of an existing bathroom may help reduce the overall labor and costs. Remember that all drainage lines require a downhill slope to sluice away waste water. If this isn't possible, a sewage injection pump must be installed. An approximate cost of these pumps ranges from $150-$3,000.
Plumbing - Check locally for required permits and any zoning law regulations about adding in plumbing, or whenever working with septic and sewer lines. Planning your basement bathroom directly below or close to the pipes of an existing bathroom may help reduce the overall labor and costs. Remember that all drainage lines require a downhill slope to sluice away waste water. If this isn't possible, a sewage injection pump must be installed. An approximate cost of these pumps ranges from $150-$3,000.

If the hundreds of photos and stories submitted to this year's annual Search for America's Best Remodel Contest prove one thing, it's that you love flipping the idea of what a basement can be. With a little work, these once dark, desolate spaces can become bonus rooms for entertaining family and friends or getting some work done. Here, the editors of This Old House pick the best basement remodels.
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.

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] .
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.
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.
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.

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.
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.
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.
Basement remodeling adds value to your home, increases your useable living space, can protect your foundation from moisture damage, and looks great. Many people remodel a basement to create space for an aging parent or to make room for more children. Another reason for basement remodeling is to create a rentable space that is separate from the rest of your home for a long-term renter or for short-term renting.
Finishing a basement ceiling can be a challenge as more than likely, you will need to work around duct, plumbing and electrical work, all while trying to maintain a comfortable room height. A qualified contractor may be able to reroute some of this hardware, but you will more likely lose some headroom to accommodate these fixtures in your finished basement.
The basement depicted here had unused space underneath the stairs. Why not transform this area into a storage or display area instead? These homeowners found some usable square footage in their home by remodeling their basement into a space-conscious hangout, an inventive and creative strategy that shows you don’t have to substitute style for function. 
All basements must have at least two exits, one being the stairs. Any work done without permits could delay the project or cause it to come to a halt. Some basement refinishing work has had to be completely demolished and redone according to code because of the lack of permits. Different building departments and cities will have different ways to calculate your permit fees, and below are two different examples of permit fees calculations using a formula based on the total construction cost:
If you choose a basic do-it-yourself makeover, including adding moisture control, framing in walls and adding decor and furnishings, your cost will run between $10,000 and $27,000. Waterproofing sealants and additional insulation are just a few of the considerations that will be factored into the final finished basement cost. The price will, of course, also be affected by how much renovating is being done.
Basement waterproofing costs about $1,480 for simple crack filling with an average of $2,000 to $6,000 for drainage improvements. Costs range from a minimum of $250 up to $20,000. Most homeowners waterproof after they discover water in the basement from poor drainage around the foundation and walls. Waterproofing will be a lower cost if it's included in a larger basement finishing project.

How fast the job needs to be completed has a significant impact on the final price. A professional team can take a basement from framing to complete in about 45 days. A DIYer typically needs more time. If things need to be inspected, inspectors work on their own schedule, and if concrete needs to be poured, time must be allotted for it to properly set.
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