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.

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.


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.
"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."
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.
Also don’t forget: home gyms, wine cellars, theaters and craft rooms. The ideas are endless. Your goal should be to get as much value from the space as possible. If your basement is small, use it to fill a void such as an extra bedroom or additional organized storage space. If it is big, find several fun ways you can utilize the space and add value.

Once you’ve completely waterproofed and your basement is protected, you can move on to the room’s interior. Choosing the right flooring is an important part of making your finished basement truly your own. The type of flooring material you choose will definitely factor into your final price, so choose wisely and pick the floor that’s best for your finished basement.


Flooring and wall coverings like paneling are the biggest expenses, making up approximately 15% of the total cost to finish a 1,200 square-foot basement, Sebring says. Plumbing and electricity are next, at around 14% and 11% of the cost, respectively, while interior carpentry needs — like trim and railings — account for about 10%. Remaining costs may include things like drywall and insulation, cabinets and countertops, painting and even cleanup.
If time is critical, consider a basement finishing kit. A finishing kit has insulated wall panels, and some include a walkable flooring surface and ceiling material for DIY installation. Depending on the size of your basement, these kits can be installed in a weekend. However, the floor won't be carpeted, the walls won't be painted, and there will be no electrical or plumbing. Other features such as doors, trim work, and more also need to be added.

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.
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.
The cost of a basement remodel can vary, but in most cases, this project won’t be cheap. What you put into your basement remodel is what you will get out of it, so that initial payment can turn into a terrific return on investment. The average basement remodel will increase your home’s resale value. Next to kitchen and bathrooms, basements are ranked as one of the most valuable home renovations.
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.
Installing a bathroom in a basement costs more than installing a bathroom above ground. Costs can range from $2,500 to $5,000 on average, depending on the number of fixtures and whether the plumbing must be installed from scratch or if it’s roughed in already. Basement plumbing requires special considerations to ensure proper drainage and tie-in with the main sewer line, which may not be deep enough to allow the basement bathroom plumbing to use gravity the way above-ground plumbing does. Virgil Miranda’s Construction subcontracts all plumbing work. Miranda says that sometimes the toilet alone in a basement can cost up to $2,500 because sometimes homeowners need to invest in a toilet that does not use gravity but instead a macerating function to grind waste down to prevent clogging. Miranda estimates that each bathroom fixture in a basement costs $800–$900 on average, so a full, three-piece bath could cost $3,000 for the fixtures alone. Adding a kitchenette or wet bar sink adds more to overall refinishing costs. In addition, some basements require a French drain with one or more sump pumps, which can cost up to $10,000 on average, depending on how much ground the drain covers.
Another choice is to apply a stucco surface. Stucco is inexpensive, comes in a few different earth tone colors, and makes a durable an attractive surface. Applying it requires some skill, however, so you may need to pay a masonry contractor to stucco your walls. Otherwise if you mix or apply it incorrectly the surface could crack and deteriorate over time.
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.

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.
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.

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?
Material Costs - In addition to the cost of framing and installing drywall to a basement bathroom, material costs can include: ceiling, flooring, paint, trim, toilet, sink, vanity, all fixtures, tub/shower surround, lighting, and all finishes like towel racks. Plumbing and electrical supplies also factor in to the final budget. Many material costs depend on type of product selected, the brand, and how high-end it is. Heated ceramic floor tiles cost more than basic vinyl tiles.
The average cost of basement remodeling varies based on the square footage of the basement space, if structural changes are needed, and if you are adding in elements such as electrical work for a kitchenette or plumbing for a half bath. Other factors in cost include whether you have design plans already and what work you want done on the finishes such as trim and flooring. Here’s a breakdown of the various cost factors.
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?
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.
Since this basement is not entirely underground - it includes a walk-out entrance on one side -- new egress windows bring natural light into the basement. A simple Roman shade in fun fabric softens the space and brings all the colors of the room together. Egress windows provide an emergency exit; most building codes require one in every bedroom and in habitable basements. Adding one will likely increase the value of a home, as it provides safety, natural light, and increased airflow.
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