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.

Get 'labor only' bids and buy the materials yourself. This allows you to use a 10% off coupon at Home Depot or Lowe's (available on eBay). You can also use a 5% cash back credit card like Discover when buying materials. (BONUS: Our readers get $50 free when they get a Discover card - sign up here.) And be sure to join ebates first to save an additional 1%. These are all small percentages but when taken off potentially very expensive items they really add up.
After your new bathroom is complete, or you have remodeled an existing space, get it inspected to ensure all plumbing and electrical installation are done correctly. If your bathroom needs to be installed from the ground up, expect to pay somewhere between $6,000 and $15,000 for the entire project. If your basement is already finished but does not yet have the necessary plumbing for a bathroom in the space, you can expect to pay between $200 - $500 to hire a plumber.

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.
So if you’re thinking about remodeling your basement we put this post together to give you attainable inspiration. This basement remodel before and after article is a collection of 10 basement remodeling projects that are sure to impress. If you’re looking for fresh ideas for your upcoming project, check out the pictures below to see the possibilities.
diy home basement is the perfect place to store items that you do not need now but will need in the near future. You can devote a portion of your basement plan to a storage area in the basement. The storage area should be flexible because you will never know what you might want to keep there. The washer and dryer can be noisy appliances. You wouldn't want to disturb anyone who is asleep while you are doing a load of laundry. Keeping them in the basement is perfect because the basement door and floor will muffle out the noise that the washer and dryer make. Just handle the basement plumbing installation and designed piping properly to ensure a flow with your current plumbing system.
Maybe it’s just great extra space, a blank palette—there are so many awesome ways you can use the basement. A movie room, game room, family room or kitchenette can provide a special place for the family to bond and have fun. Man caves and/or woman caves have become trendy and there are plenty of modern basement cave ideas available to inspire your own private space.
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Most basements have a cement or concrete floor. If it’s level, the cheapest solution is to just use that as your floor, maybe covering it with rugs or a roll of vinyl flooring. If the concrete is not level or smooth enough you can add a thin layer of new concrete on top of it and smooth it with a trowel as you apply it. You can also add pigments to concrete to color it if you want a shade other than basic gray – such as terracotta, beige, or charcoal. Another option is to buy paint made for porches and patios and apply it over a primed water-sealing undercoat. You can find that kind of paint at a home improvement store, starting around $35 a gallon.


The ceiling of this Connecticut basement was very unattractive. Wire, pipes, and insulation were exposed to the room below. Connecticut Basement Systems recommends installing a drop ceiling when finishing basements. These allow easy access to shut off valves, wires, and pipes that lead to the rest of the home. The tiles of our drop ceilings are made of mineral wool, making them completely inorganic. Mold can only grow on organic material, so mold or mildew will never be an issue on our ceiling tiles. They will not sag from moisture in the middle, giving an eternal crisp, clean finish. Our tiles even come with a 30 year warranty against mold and sagging. After the installation of the new drop ceiling, the basement was much brighter and had a clean appearance. The stylish crown molding around the perimeter of the room gives a beautiful transition to where the wall meets the ceiling.


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.

Very disappointed in this episode and the direction the show is headed. If you watch old episodes there is more focus on how things are built or fixed. Also focus on the correct way to do things. This episode skips over all the details of building. It is becoming just another fixerup tv show where you show the before, some shots of work being done, and then the finished project. You need to remember your roots of teaching homeowners the correct way to do things, even if they hire contractors to do the work. Your show has been successful for 40 years because you have always stuck to the same core values. It looks as though you are throwing them away to be just like every other show.
Very disappointed in this episode and the direction the show is headed. If you watch old episodes there is more focus on how things are built or fixed. Also focus on the correct way to do things. This episode skips over all the details of building. It is becoming just another fixerup tv show where you show the before, some shots of work being done, and then the finished project. You need to remember your roots of teaching homeowners the correct way to do things, even if they hire contractors to do the work. Your show has been successful for 40 years because you have always stuck to the same core values. It looks as though you are throwing them away to be just like every other show.
Local planning departments usually have specific regulations on ceiling height, access doors, radon ventilation, waterproofing and other details of the basement remodeling process. Many building codes now require upgrades such as residential fire sprinklers for new construction or major remodeling projects. Ask about local requirements and get all required permits (or make sure the contractor does this). Depending on the location, permit costs can be next to nothing or extremely expensive; find out exactly what they are and include them in the project's budget.

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.


Basement water leakage can cause serious problems for a homeowner. Standing water can lead to mold growth, which poses health issues. It's also a haven for bugs and other pests. Over time, concrete blocks and foundations can sustain hairline cracks. While they may appear small on the surface, they can be the start of an enormous problem, so early repair is key. The only way to rectify a basement water problem is to remove the water and seal the leaks. This may involve removing existing paint or wall coverings as well as replacing soggy beams.
House plans with basements are desirable when you need extra storage or when your dream home includes a "man cave" or getaway space, and they are often designed with sloping sites in mind. One design option is a plan with a so-called day-lit basement -- that is a lower level that's dug into the hill but with one side open to light and view. This lower level can open to a covered outdoor space below an upstairs deck or porch. As a result, these types of designs are sometimes called house plans with walkout basements or walkout basement house plans. To see more basement plans try our advanced floor plan search.
Basement water leakage can cause serious problems for a homeowner. Standing water can lead to mold growth, which poses health issues. It's also a haven for bugs and other pests. Over time, concrete blocks and foundations can sustain hairline cracks. While they may appear small on the surface, they can be the start of an enormous problem, so early repair is key. The only way to rectify a basement water problem is to remove the water and seal the leaks. This may involve removing existing paint or wall coverings as well as replacing soggy beams.

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.
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.
All big appliances or home equipment are better to store in the basement. They can be a huge eyesore if you place them in places where they can be seen regularly. The basement is perfect for the heating and cooling system because most pipes and ducts pass through the basement at one point or the other. Water heaters are usually found in basements and you should definitely pencil it in when you are making a basement plan. Most basements are extra space that a homeowner might have in their house. So the basement usually serves a purpose of fun. A lot of basement plans include an area to have fun or to relax. You could follow suit.
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.
Failure to obtain proper permits can result removing (demo-ing) any current finishing work or remodeling already installed. You could also face fines. A "stop work order" may be issued, which usually causes double the fees when you do, eventually, apply for the permit(s). If you have to file an insurance claim and can't produce any permits, the insurance company may deny the claim. Finishing a basement without permits also can affect the home's resale value.

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.


If a homeowner is seeking to make basic changes in order to renovate a basement, then it can cost as little as $1,000 - $6,000. This means the walls and floor will be waterproofed, then carpet, wall panels, upgraded flooring or improved lighting might be added to make a basement feel like a living space. The cost will depend on the initial shape of a basement, how many upgrades are made and whether or not a contractor is hired to make certain installations.
If you don’t know where to begin, basement waterproofing contractors or local home improvement stores will also be able to tell you what products are best for basement waterproofing. The basement waterproofing cost can be a little bit high but it is a worthwhile investment that will help your avoid a leaking basement. Insulating basement walls is another important step in your basement remodel. Basement insulation is essential to keep your basement and home warm during the winter without running up the heating bills. Framing a basement is what changes it from unfinished to finished. Framing basement walls can be a little tricky for those that have never done it before, but even the DIY homeowner can easily accomplish this task.
Carpet use to be the gold standard for basement flooring. Its soft and homey texture blended perfectly in basement remodels across the country. Furthermore, according to our flooring cost estimator, carpet is cheaper than both tile and hardwood flooring. However, carpet has lost recognition over the years and when it comes to flooding, no flooring option is more expensive to fix than carpet.

Planning is the first stage with any basement bathroom installation. For a basement that's designed as a recreation room, work space, or kids' play area, a half-bath (stool and sink, but no shower or tub) is adequate. A basement with bedroom or en suite needs a full bathroom. Knowing how you plan to use the basement living space typically dictates the functional purpose of its bathroom.
It can be a daunting task to look at a barren basement and then try and create something special. This basement remodel went from a cement room with two-by-four walls, to a full-fledged man cave with a billiards table, bar and dining area. The hardwood floors tie the room together, giving it a rustic atmosphere that’s perfect for entertaining. A perfect example of how to find success after starting from scratch! 
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