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. 

The average cost to install an HVAC system in the basement is $4,000 to $6,400 with new ductwork costing an additional $1,500 to $3,000. You might not have to install a separate HVAC system for the basement if the existing unit upstairs can handle the extra workload. If it can’t, then either upgrade your existing unit or install a second unit downstairs. You’ll have to install new ductwork and ventilation either way, unless you install a mini-split system.
Remodeling a finished basement is costlier. The demo can cost from $1,500 to around $3,000 to prep the site. System upgrades include expanding the HVAC and electrical, but even if you already have a bathroom in place, remodeling can add $1,000 to $4,000. Finally, the finishing work can be kept low if you stay with the basics, but upgrades to hardwood floors and other luxuries will add $7,000 to $10,000 to the job. On average, expect to pay $13,200 to $30,500 for this job.
Take care of some initial insulation in the basement by adding slip foam insulation on your cold-water pipes to prevent condensation from building up and then dripping inside your drywall or ceiling. Put slip foam on the hot-water pipes to prevent the loss of any heat. This should be done before boxing in any of the pipes in the basement. Tube pipe foam insulation costs approx. $1.50 – $3.70 per six-foot piece, which can range from ½” – 1” in thickness.
Take care of some initial insulation in the basement by adding slip foam insulation on your cold-water pipes to prevent condensation from building up and then dripping inside your drywall or ceiling. Put slip foam on the hot-water pipes to prevent the loss of any heat. This should be done before boxing in any of the pipes in the basement. Tube pipe foam insulation costs approx. $1.50 – $3.70 per six-foot piece, which can range from ½” – 1” in thickness.

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.


Installing all of the necessary plumbing and electrical work while walls and floors are unfinished will result in savings.Starting from scratch doesn't require demolition, which can save you around $2,000. Framing may be necessary to define rooms and spaces. System upgrades usually call for minor expansions to the HVAC and electrical systems, but not adding plumbing. The bulk of the cost, however, is in flooring and finishing. After wrapping things up with carpeting, drywall, and ceiling material, you can expect to pay anywhere from $6,500 to $15,500.
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.

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.
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.
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