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.
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.
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.
For homeowners who are seeking fully remodel a basement, then they will be aiming to spend anywhere from $30,000 to $65,000. The varied range depends on the extent of the renovations that are made to the space. The addition of bedrooms, bathrooms, exterior insulation, electrical wiring, plumbing, flooring, furniture, light fixtures and the help of a contractor will all cause an increase in the price. Of course, the cost to remodel a basement will also depend on the square footage of the space.
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.
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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.
Will Fowler is the Marketing Director for the Concrete Protector and Sani-Tred in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Will designed his first website when he was 15, and loves all things in design, wordpress, and apple. Will enjoys writing about home improvement, basement waterproofing, and decorative concrete coatings. Will lives with his beautiful wife, four rambunctious children in Ohio.
You can fit a full bathroom with tub/shower combination in a room that measures 40-square feet. However, on average, a smaller bath (with just a stand-up shower) or a half-bath usually needs to be about 30-square feet for comfort and functionality. Depending on the basement space and layout, you may be able to go with a larger 60-square feet or more bathroom space. Creating bathroom with a separate water closet may require 100-square feet or more.

In most cases, your HVAC system should already extend to the basement. If not, however, plan on running additional ducts or vents to ensure the finished rooms are adequately heated. Running new ductwork through your basement will cost around $2,000. Radiant heat is another option for basements, as it can be controlled separately and used only when the basement is. Radiant heat costs around $6,000 - $14,000 depending on the method used.


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.
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.
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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