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.
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.
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.
If you decide to go with a pony wall, you may be able to handle the project yourself (saving money). However, if you’re going to expand your house and need to install weight-bearing walls, you’re better off leaving it to the pros. Additionally, you or your pro will need to investigate building codes and local requirements to ensure you comply with structural guidelines.

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.


For added convenience you may want to put a mini fridge in your basement along with a microwave, and you can illuminate the basement with floor lamps or use track lighting or similar fixtures installed along the ceiling. Decorate to your taste and according to your budget, and you’ll have a new living space that didn’t cost much but can add a lot of value in terms of useful square footage.
In addition to floors and walls, upgrading your basement ceiling is another option to consider. Finishing your basement creates a new room in your home and a part of any room is the ceiling. While it’s cheaper to leave the ceiling the way it is, many basements have exposed wiring and duct work that service the home above. In certain cases, leaving all this exposed may be the better option, but for others, upgrading the ceiling could be the right choice. Understand that any addition to the room will up the overall price, so be sure to make the right choice for the space and your wallet.
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.
Basements are a key part of many homes, but too many homeowners overlook their basement’s potential. While a basement can be used as a larger storage room, they are capable of so much more. While unfinished basements can function well as storage rooms, you can take steps to waterproof and finish your basement to transform it into a fully functional extra room in your home. If you want to finish your basement, here are some tips to help you along the way.
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.

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.


"It's always easy to save money if you are willing to put in some sweat equity. Tackling the mold and termite damage was so disheartening and disgusting, but we survived, and the room is now safe, livable, and functional for our family. It's a great family recreation room. We keep our toys and games down here, and there is plenty of storage, so everything has a place. Despite not having a ton of natural light, this place still feels cozy and inviting to us."
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.
Assumptions: The flooring in this calculator is carpet. For hardbood flooring or tile your cost will be higher. The costs estimated here are from finishing your basement using typical materials. If you want high end bathroom fixtures, flooring, etc add another 20% to the bottom line. This estimate includes adding one new full bathroom with rough-in plumbing in place.
Be your own general contractor and save 20% right away. It does take a lot of time, but it was worth the savings for me. I recommend that you...1. Read this book to learn the basics of each task 2. Find reputable contractors by using angie's list (craigslist contractors are usually cheaper but I would avoid). Use promo code SAVE25 to save 25% at angie's list.

Finishing a basement can cost between $25–$50 per square foot on average, depending on how the basement is finished, whether any challenges come up or whether there are special circumstances with the project. For this reason, a 1,000-square-foot basement can cost up to $50,000 or more to finish. Virgil Miranda of Virgil Miranda’s Construction, a general contracting company based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, says it can be tricky to estimate remodeling jobs based on square footage alone, due to the variance in each job. Larger basements may have a lower cost per square foot than tiny remodel jobs.


Support beams are common and necessary in most basements. Connecticut Basement Systems provides a bright, attractive, detailed column wrap to transform these unattractive poles into a sophisticated design choice-- SmartPost Column Wrap. Crown molding along the top and bottom makes these especially beautiful. They are made of durable, long-lasting materials, and have the ability to transform your basement into an attractive living space!
Your foundation should be inspected prior to finishing your basement. You don’t want to cover up any structural damage that would be identified in an inspection by installing framing and drywall. If items such as pipes have rust, the problem may be humidity instead of a leak, but it can be just as damaging. Waterproofing the basement and using a dehumidifier helps reduce dampness and the risk of mold development.
Simply finishing the floors, walls, and ceilings of the basement can help increase the value of your home. But putting extra thought into what you want to use the space for now, will save you on fees later. For example, if you intend to use this as a children’s playroom, then building shelves into the walls, adding egress windows, and putting down carpeting can all be done at the time of the remodel, rather than added later.
This before and after photoset is of a raised ranch basement. In the before picture you can see the outdated and unappealing wood paneling on the walls. The room also looks dark because the window is not allowing natural light to flow in. In the after picture you’ll see that our crew turned this dark and outdated basement into a bright, naturally-lit functional space.
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