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 In the before picture you can see the outdated and unappealing wood paneling on the walls.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 In the after picture you’ll see that our crew turned this dark and outdated basement into a bright, naturally-lit functional space.
If a homeowner is seeking to make basic changes in order to renovate a basement, then it can cost as little as $1,000 - $6,000. This means the walls and floor will be waterproofed, then carpet, wall panels, upgraded flooring or improved lighting might be added to make a basement feel like a living space. The cost will depend on the initial shape of a basement, how many upgrades are made and whether or not a contractor is hired to make certain installations.
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.
If a homeowner is seeking to make basic changes in order to renovate a basement, then it can cost as little as $1,000 - $6,000. This means the walls and floor will be waterproofed, then carpet, wall panels, upgraded flooring or improved lighting might be added to make a basement feel like a living space. The cost will depend on the initial shape of a basement, how many upgrades are made and whether or not a contractor is hired to make certain installations.
If you don’t know where to begin, basement waterproofing contractors or local home improvement stores will also be able to tell you what products are best for basement waterproofing. The basement waterproofing cost can be a little bit high but it is a worthwhile investment that will help your avoid a leaking basement. Insulating basement walls is another important step in your basement remodel. Basement insulation is essential to keep your basement and home warm during the winter without running up the heating bills. Framing a basement is what changes it from unfinished to finished. Framing basement walls can be a little tricky for those that have never done it before, but even the DIY homeowner can easily accomplish this task.
Storage is key in a multipurpose space. There are several storage units throughout this basement. An IKEA cubby bookcase is a perfect fit for the office niche. Orange baskets corral small items and add spots of color to the basement's storage solutions. Stock cabinetry did not fit in the bar or media spaces, so the homeowners opted for costly, custom cabinets. Experiment with different types of storage units in your home to utilize every possible space.
Search the pro’s contractor’s license to verify they are in good standing with the state board. As an example, in California, search the California State Contractors Board to learn if the license is up to date, if they have any legal action against them and if the contractor is in good standing. Some states only require contractors licenses for residential projects based on price, so research your region to be safe. For more information on smart hiring, check out our safety tips.
"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."
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.
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.
But one of the best ways to cover a basement floor is with moisture and scratch-resistant floating vinyl planks that are made to look like real wood. Without a closer examination, in fact, most of these products are so realistic that they appear to be real hardwood flooring. You can expect to pay around $5 per square foot, and installation is a DIY project for most people. The flooring will last a long time and is easy to maintain while also being comfortable underfoot and exceptionally handsome. Save a ton on engineered flooring by buying online at someplace like BuildDirect. They'll even send you free samples.
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.
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.
Very disappointed in this episode and the direction the show is headed. If you watch old episodes there is more focus on how things are built or fixed. Also focus on the correct way to do things. This episode skips over all the details of building. It is becoming just another fixerup tv show where you show the before, some shots of work being done, and then the finished project. You need to remember your roots of teaching homeowners the correct way to do things, even if they hire contractors to do the work. Your show has been successful for 40 years because you have always stuck to the same core values. It looks as though you are throwing them away to be just like every other show.
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.
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.
Determine your budget and costs to finish a basement will help get bids before you make a final decision. For example, you may find a cheaper drywaller than you expected, and can use that extra money to add a bedroom. Or you may find that carpet was more expensive than planned, and you will have to make a dry bar with no sink instead of a wet bar. The budget is a guideline for what goes into your basement, and is really the major factor in determining what your space will be. The costs of labor and material will begin to shape your basement within your budget. One final note on your budget. Unless you plan to spend a long time in the home, you will want your budget to be lower than the value it will add to your home. You can determine the general value added by talking to realtors or appraisers and using comparable sales in your area. This is very important because you don't want to spend $25,000 on your basement and only add $15,000 to the value of your home.
"We love that the basement now has a cozy feel yet is very on-trend and modern. It has doubled our square footage with very usable space and given us an additional bedroom and full bathroom. We used a beautiful door from the 1800s to line the wall behind the urinal in the bathroom, and we burned the cabinets in the dry bar and the bathroom countertop with a blowtorch to achieve a unique look. We lightly etched the concrete floors and then used a urethane, making a mirror-like finish that reflects light."
It was the start of a year-and-a-half basement finishing project, but it was well worth all of the effort. Jamin and Ashley of the home design blog The Handmade Home began by installing drywall over the cinderblock walls, applying spray foam insulation, and enclosing the necessary but ugly supporting adjustable steel posts. Next came paint, flooring, and furniture, all fusing together to make a lovely daylight basement for work and play.
×