A finished basement is not always the same thing as a designed basement. Sometimes, the basement begins with the basics: walls, a ceiling, lights, and a floor. Gwen Hefner and husband Micah wanted to turn their tiny, airless basement space into a comfortable mancave. They had the basics to start with. The next step, Gwen says, would be a true test to her design skills.
"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."
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.
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.
Cold water running through the basement in plumbing pipes can also create condensation, and as the drops of water collect on the outside of those pipes they make the basement wet. To fix that simply wrap the pipes with inexpensive foam insulation found at your home improvement store. You can apply it without any tools except a knife or pair of scissors to cut it into the lengths desired, and then tape the seams with insulation tape. Insulate the hot water pipes, too, to prevent loss of heat as the water travels through your basement to the upper floors of your house. That will also help to reduce your energy bills.
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.
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.
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.
Storage is key in a multipurpose space. There are several storage units throughout this basement. An IKEA cubby bookcase is a perfect fit for the office niche. Orange baskets corral small items and add spots of color to the basement's storage solutions. Stock cabinetry did not fit in the bar or media spaces, so the homeowners opted for costly, custom cabinets. Experiment with different types of storage units in your home to utilize every possible space.
With a level, smooth surface you also have tons of other flooring options, based on your decorative scheme and your budget. A relatively inexpensive and easy option is carpet, with a carpet pad beneath it for added comfort and to keep your feet warmer in winter. Peel and stick vinyl tiles are another option, and they come in various styles, colors, and price ranges for any budget.
Hardwood, laminate and tile flooring significantly increase the cost to finish a basement. Sebring, who calls carpet “the king of basement flooring,” says many people are scared about the consequences if a carpeted basement floods. But even top-of-the-line vinyl and tile has to be pulled up if there’s serious water damage, he says, and you can replace carpet multiple times for the same cost of installing hard flooring once.
Basement design ideas and plans are important to draw up before starting any type of construction or remodeling of your basement. They can serve as a great guide while you are working on your basement. Some people may have room to put only a few items in the basement, but there are some who have been blessed with a spacious basement. For those lucky people who have all the basement space they could ever want, here are some things you can include in your basement plans. These things will make remodeling a basement worth your time and effort.
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.

Consider what you can do yourself. Finishing your basement is a full process and is not easy. But if you’re looking to save money and are quite handy, consider waterproofing the basement yourself. Basement waterproofing with SANI-TRED® uses a proven application process that is perfect for the do-it-yourself community. You can (and should) hire contractors for specialized tasks like plumbing or electrical, but many can do the waterproofing yourself for less.
A finished basement is not always the same thing as a designed basement. Sometimes, the basement begins with the basics: walls, a ceiling, lights, and a floor. Gwen Hefner and husband Micah wanted to turn their tiny, airless basement space into a comfortable mancave. They had the basics to start with. The next step, Gwen says, would be a true test to her design skills.
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