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?


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.
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.

When it comes to decorating ideas, the industrial look is in, which lends itself well to dressing up the subterranean infrastructure of a an unfinished basement. So, consider those exposed beams, pipes and wires an asset and play them up. If you need a few more sockets to make the space functional, don’t be afraid to run electrical conduit right on top of a brick wall or over wood joists. Then, focus on warming the space up and injecting personality into it by adding items like rugs, fabrics and curtains. These will also help to divide the space in the absence of actual walls. Employ a few of these creative ideas—all of them low cost and low effort—to transform your unfinished basement into a comfortable retreat everyone will be drawn to.
Storage is key in a multipurpose space. There are several storage units throughout this basement. An IKEA cubby bookcase is a perfect fit for the office niche. Orange baskets corral small items and add spots of color to the basement's storage solutions. Stock cabinetry did not fit in the bar or media spaces, so the homeowners opted for costly, custom cabinets. Experiment with different types of storage units in your home to utilize every possible space.

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.
A finished basement has the potential to add value to a home, especially when it comes time for resale. The average basement remodel project can have up to a 70% return on investment. Home buyers typically prefer a house with a finished basement and may even increase their offer if that living space recently has been updated or remodeled. The finished basement also adds value by creating more living space in the home without having to spend thousands on an addition.

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:
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.

Pipes will have to be brought down, and a sewage pump and backwater valve might have to be installed to ensure proper drainage of effluent and bath/shower water if gravity doesn’t work in your favor. Take care to ensure moisture prevention with a dehumidifier and vented fan system. Many building codes have minimum dimensions regarding how close each fixture can be to the next.
A finished basement has the potential to add value to a home, especially when it comes time for resale. The average basement remodel project can have up to a 70% return on investment. Home buyers typically prefer a house with a finished basement and may even increase their offer if that living space recently has been updated or remodeled. The finished basement also adds value by creating more living space in the home without having to spend thousands on an addition.
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.
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.
"We love that the basement now has a cozy feel yet is very on-trend and modern. It has doubled our square footage with very usable space and given us an additional bedroom and full bathroom. We used a beautiful door from the 1800s to line the wall behind the urinal in the bathroom, and we burned the cabinets in the dry bar and the bathroom countertop with a blowtorch to achieve a unique look. We lightly etched the concrete floors and then used a urethane, making a mirror-like finish that reflects light."
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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