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?
The cost of a basement remodel can be significant, but your potential return on investment is just as considerable. In addition to adding to your living space, the average basement remodeling project also increases your home's resale value. The National Association of Realtors considers basement remodels to be among the most valuable home renovations.
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.
But if the moisture is due to a lack of ventilation and inadequate drying on the inside of your basement, that should be an issue that you can address as a DIY project. A dehumidifier can remove lots of water from the atmosphere of your basement to dry it out, and running a dehumidifier in your basement is probably a good investment. You can buy a heavy-duty one for around $200-$250 that can literally remove 3-4 gallons of moisture from the air each day, if necessary.
When it comes to basement renovation, the national average price for a finished basement ranges between $5,000-$70,000. That said, unless you're adding in an elaborate home theater or building in separate rooms with high-end finishes, most Thumbtack customers report paying, on average, between $5,100-$7,150 for their remodeled basement. A finished basement provides you additional living space, increases your home’s value, and offers great return on investment when it comes to home improvement projects.
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.

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.
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.
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.
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.


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.
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.
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.
But beforehand you’ll want to prep the brick or masonry walls by building a simple wooden framework against them that you will use to attach the paneling or gypsum board (another name for sheetrock).Do that by attaching 2-inch by 2-inch furring strips to the walls. These are inexpensive and lightweight lengths of wood that look kind of like skinny versions of traditional two-by-fours.
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.

Your basement will likely need to be fitted with additional wires to support more lights and electronics. You will need to hire a licensed electrician if you plan to install additional overhead light fixtures, outlets and other components that require additional wiring. The cost of electrical installations depends on the exact project, but licensed electricians tend to charge between $50 and $100 per hour.
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