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?
Complete remodel of our walk-out basement. Gutted and replaced literally everything, from the framing to new custom windows and solid doors. Reconfigured plumbing and remodeled the 3-piece bathroom with high-end finishes; completed the laundry room, guest bed room with walk-in-closet, and family room with solid wood custom cabinetry/wet bar, island, built-ins, and gas fireplace with granite surround. Also demolished and rebuilt exterior concrete steps to basement entrance. All finishes are high-end and remodel included many upgrades (in-cabinet/under cabinet lighting, stainless-steel beverage center, central speaker system, etc.) Love the end-result but process was extremely long.

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.

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.
The cost of a small basement remodel—changing flooring and moving one wall—can cost a few thousand, whereas a major remodel of adding another bathroom and bedroom or an entire downstairs apartment can cost tens of thousands. You might have to move walls and plumbing, pull up flooring, tear down ceilings; and upgrade the sump pump, HVAC, and electrical amperage.
Basement demolition costs for your existing walls and flooring ranges between $1,900 to $8,700 for 600 sqft, and between $3,400 to $11,900 or more for a 1,200 sqft basement. For a complete demolition of the existing walls, stripping back to the framing, and ripping up the existing flooring, you could be looking at an additional cost of between $2.70 – $10.10 per square foot. Depending on the extent of the remodeling to be done and the ease of access for the construction crew, your costs will vary.
Most cities and towns will require a permit for basement remodels. In addition, there are several codes that dictate what can be done in this area. For example, a basement must have a ceiling height of a minimum of 7-feet. If your basement has a ceiling height lower than this, it may not pass code if remodeled. In addition, plan the cost of the building permits, around $430 on average, into your budget.
Basements can be daunting spaces for remodeling. Cluttered, dark, and chilly, basements often convince homeowners to turn their attention to other projects in the home. But basements don't have to stay that way. They can be remodeled and finished so that they not only integrate with the rest of the home, but become a beautiful and valuable asset to the property.
×