Failure to obtain proper permits can result removing (demo-ing) any current finishing work or remodeling already installed. You could also face fines. A "stop work order" may be issued, which usually causes double the fees when you do, eventually, apply for the permit(s). If you have to file an insurance claim and can't produce any permits, the insurance company may deny the claim. Finishing a basement without permits also can affect the home's resale value.
"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."

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.
Plumbing - Check locally for required permits and any zoning law regulations about adding in plumbing, or whenever working with septic and sewer lines. Planning your basement bathroom directly below or close to the pipes of an existing bathroom may help reduce the overall labor and costs. Remember that all drainage lines require a downhill slope to sluice away waste water. If this isn't possible, a sewage injection pump must be installed. An approximate cost of these pumps ranges from $150-$3,000.
Basements can be daunting spaces for remodeling. Cluttered, dark, and chilly, basements often convince homeowners to turn their attention to other projects in the home. But basements don't have to stay that way. They can be remodeled and finished so that they not only integrate with the rest of the home, but become a beautiful and valuable asset to the property.

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.

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.


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.
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.
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.
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