Another important part of finishing your basement is choosing the right walls. Basements have concrete walls and floors, but once they’re waterproofed, you can design the entire space with new walls and floors to completely transform the space. As with flooring, choosing the right basement walls can also affect the final price of your basement transformation. False walls are common and can be customized to meet your needs while keeping the original concrete walls is an option for others. Keeping your concrete walls is a cheaper option, but false walls provide more customization. In the end, it all comes down to what you’re looking for.
"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."
Add to this any custom work that you may want to have done to turn the basement into the type of room you have in mind, and the labor could continue to mount. Most people also find that they need a painter ($20-$35 per hour), and in older homes, asbestos 10 testing and removal ($1,500) is also recommended before the work can begin. For these reasons, many homeowners often choose to use a basement finishing system, which often has one set price for materials and labor (around $50,000 per basement) and decorate later as they choose.
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.
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!
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