The ceiling of this Connecticut basement was very unattractive. Wire, pipes, and insulation were exposed to the room below. Connecticut Basement Systems recommends installing a drop ceiling when finishing basements. These allow easy access to shut off valves, wires, and pipes that lead to the rest of the home. The tiles of our drop ceilings are made of mineral wool, making them completely inorganic. Mold can only grow on organic material, so mold or mildew will never be an issue on our ceiling tiles. They will not sag from moisture in the middle, giving an eternal crisp, clean finish. Our tiles even come with a 30 year warranty against mold and sagging. After the installation of the new drop ceiling, the basement was much brighter and had a clean appearance. The stylish crown molding around the perimeter of the room gives a beautiful transition to where the wall meets the ceiling.
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.
Old homes may suffer from sagging foundation beams as a result of shifting ground or decay and deterioration of the original building materials. Foundation beams can be raised and shored up successfully, but the right tools, like a pneumatic jack, are essential. Depending on how much the foundation beam must be raised, this job may require several days of incremental steps to complete - which means increased labor costs. Hiring professionals is the best option for this job. Expect costs to run about $10,000 for repairs like a shifted foundation.
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.

To begin, you need a dry basement. Otherwise the space can be an incubator for mold and mildew. Not only can that make your basement smell bad, it can also ruin whatever refinishing work you did and even cause wood rot or potentially serious illness from exposure to toxic molds. There are two types of moisture that can be present in a basement – water accumulating from the inside due to condensation, and water seeping in from outdoors.
If you want to increase the amount of living space in your home, remodeling your basement makes a lot more sense than adding on a new addition. A finished basement has an ROI of around 70%, making it one of the better investments you can make in your home. A typical basement remodel costs around $90 a square foot, assuming moderate decor and finishes. With the average project size of 600 square feet, this puts the cost of the average basement remodel around $55,000.
All big appliances or home equipment are better to store in the basement. They can be a huge eyesore if you place them in places where they can be seen regularly. The basement is perfect for the heating and cooling system because most pipes and ducts pass through the basement at one point or the other. Water heaters are usually found in basements and you should definitely pencil it in when you are making a basement plan. Most basements are extra space that a homeowner might have in their house. So the basement usually serves a purpose of fun. A lot of basement plans include an area to have fun or to relax. You could follow suit.
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.
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.
You've finally decided to do something with that empty basement space. That's half the battle right there. So what do you consider first? The number one thing to start planning your basement is what will it be used for? Do you just want a large finished space to add square footage, do you need more bedrooms, or do you want that great "play" space with a bar and pool table? Addressing what function you want the basement to provide is the foundation for how you will proceed. Some of the considerations which may affect what you do with your space are: Budget - Do this first, figure out the most you can afford to spend, then create a design that includes everything you want. After you get bids, and material costs, you can add or subtract things to meet your budget.

"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."
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.
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.

All but the most skilled and motivated homeowners should leave basement finishing to the experts. “You run the risk of not understanding the building codes and having to tear it out and redo it,” Sebring says. Hiring subcontractors and managing the job on your own, rather than hiring a general contractor, could save some cash, but be prepared to treat it like a full-time job, he says.

When putting a wall over a recently constructed frame, sheetrock is the industry standard for a durable option, that can be painted easily. It can help insulate the room due to its density and generally lasts a long time when maintained. If you’re trying to significantly drive down costs, using paneling for the walls is an effective option. It’s very light, inexpensive and pre-finished in a variety of different sizes and types. Labor costs may also decrease because paneling is easier to transport and work with.


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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