But the brilliant trick she employed to disguise the too-low ceiling was to paint the walls and ceiling the same color (Farrow & Ball, Elephant's Breath). Painting the ceiling white and the walls a different color would have created a horizontal line. The eye would use this line to establish the height of the ceiling. Instead, walls and ceiling blur together, making the ceiling look higher than it really is.
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.
There is no shortage of modern basement ideas to borrow from. Unused basements tend to get filled with every old and unwanted item in the house from worn out furniture to childhood memorabilia. Unfortunately, this is letting precious square footage go to waste. The basement is a perfect space that could be transformed into a warm and welcoming area for your family and friends to enjoy.

Drywall must be applied to any framed basement walls you have and must be applied to any additional walls used to create your basement bedroom. A standard 8’ by 4’ panel will cost between $10 and $20, depending on the thickness. The cost to install these panels varies, but most homeowners report spending around $1.50/sf. The total cost of your project will range between $1,152 and $1,982, with an average cost of $1,915 to install a wall.
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.
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.
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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.
Your foundation should be inspected prior to finishing your basement. You don’t want to cover up any structural damage that would be identified in an inspection by installing framing and drywall. If items such as pipes have rust, the problem may be humidity instead of a leak, but it can be just as damaging. Waterproofing the basement and using a dehumidifier helps reduce dampness and the risk of mold development.
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.

"I have found many of my ideas reading your magazine. I cut out pages and put them in a folder. When I first moved in, I didn't even have a TV, so I would just sit, read, and picture the house and basement finished. It now looks just as I pictured it. I saved by using recycled material: The rusty tin was from an old building that was being demolished; barn boards were from an old barn near my parents' farm. The barn door came off another old barn of a friend who said it was from an old boxcar they cut up in the 1940s. My grandfather built the house in 1927 and hand-dug the basement with my grandmother. Now my kids will have great memories of the house—and my grandparents, I know, would be happy."


The cost of a basement remodel can vary, but in most cases, this project won’t be cheap. What you put into your basement remodel is what you will get out of it, so that initial payment can turn into a terrific return on investment. The average basement remodel will increase your home’s resale value. Next to kitchen and bathrooms, basements are ranked as one of the most valuable home renovations.
Old homes may suffer from sagging foundation beams as a result of shifting ground or decay and deterioration of the original building materials. Foundation beams can be raised and shored up successfully, but the right tools, like a pneumatic jack, are essential. Depending on how much the foundation beam must be raised, this job may require several days of incremental steps to complete - which means increased labor costs. Hiring professionals is the best option for this job. Expect costs to run about $10,000 for repairs like a shifted foundation.

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.
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.

Insulation will help to control the temperature and moisture, and it can act as an additional soundproofing agent. Spray-applied closed-cell foam insulation prices range from $700 to $4,000 or $32 – $80.50 per cubic square foot, per 1” of thickness sprayed. Foam is recommended for basement insulation because it is not air permeable—it won’t cause condensation to build up between the insulation and concrete walls.
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.
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.

The first step in finishing your basement it keeping it dry. Basements often deal with a lot of moisture vapor and hydrostatic pressure, which allow water into an unprotected basement. Because of this, any finished basement has to be waterproofed first. First, test your basement for moisture vapor so you know how much moisture you’re dealing with. There are homes tests you can do yourself or you can hire a professional to do the test for you.


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.
Putting down a floor in your basement offers a host of different options that will depend on your wants and needs more than anything else. Carpeting in the basement can easily be installed by any professional. Any type of carpeting can be installed in the basement and is often the most economical option. Another popular solution to flooring in the basement is the use of tile. Although tile is a more expensive option considering both material and labor costs, tile can be very visually appealing in your newly remodeled basement.
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.
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.
Of that amount, $15,000 on the labor cost and the rest on material. all walls demolished, cracks in the wall fixed, then insulated and rebuilt, new windows, new electricity wiring, new floor tiling, new web bar, new stairs build from scratch replacing the old. Also, built two closets, one with shelves and the other for clothe-hanging, two utility rooms, one of them where the burner is fire proofed, all walls plastered and painted, wood stained etc. The contractor worked 10 hours a day and finished the entire project in five weeks! (I cooked lunch and provided cold drinks.) could have build a bathroom for $3000, but I decided to do that another time.

The first step in finishing your basement it keeping it dry. Basements often deal with a lot of moisture vapor and hydrostatic pressure, which allow water into an unprotected basement. Because of this, any finished basement has to be waterproofed first. First, test your basement for moisture vapor so you know how much moisture you’re dealing with. There are homes tests you can do yourself or you can hire a professional to do the test for you.
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.
According to real estate agents and appraisers, a bedroom must have a door, window and closet. Adding a closet to your basement bedroom is crucial to adding value to your basement addition. There are a few components that will affect the cost, the size of the closet being the biggest. The average cost to install a closet is $1,779, with most homeowners spending between $1,272 and $1,917. More than likely, your closet cost will be lower seeing that the size of the closet won’t be nearly as large as your master bedroom or other main bedrooms.
Drywall must be applied to any framed basement walls you have and must be applied to any additional walls used to create your basement bedroom. A standard 8’ by 4’ panel will cost between $10 and $20, depending on the thickness. The cost to install these panels varies, but most homeowners report spending around $1.50/sf. The total cost of your project will range between $1,152 and $1,982, with an average cost of $1,915 to install a wall.

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.

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