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.


To begin, you need a dry basement. Otherwise the space can be an incubator for mold and mildew. Not only can that make your basement smell bad, it can also ruin whatever refinishing work you did and even cause wood rot or potentially serious illness from exposure to toxic molds. There are two types of moisture that can be present in a basement – water accumulating from the inside due to condensation, and water seeping in from outdoors.
Leave the plastic there for a couple of weeks. Then check it for droplets of moisture, the kind of condensation you might find beading up on the outside of a glass of cold lemonade on a summer day. If the droplets collected on the outside of the plastic that means that the moisture is generated from inside your basement. But if they have collected like dew on the inside of the plastic, that means the dampness is coming through the walls or floor from the outside.
Bedrooms – A common strategy is to set up a couple of extra bedrooms in the basement for guests. This is especially beneficial for families that love to entertain on a regular basis. You can easily have guests stay over without disrupting the family space above. Basement bedrooms can also come in handy if you have older kids that cannot share bedrooms any more. Plus, you could also add a small kitchenette and bathroom for convenience.
It was the start of a year-and-a-half basement finishing project, but it was well worth all of the effort. Jamin and Ashley of the home design blog The Handmade Home began by installing drywall over the cinderblock walls, applying spray foam insulation, and enclosing the necessary but ugly supporting adjustable steel posts. Next came paint, flooring, and furniture, all fusing together to make a lovely daylight basement for work and play.
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.
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