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.

House plans with basements are desirable when you need extra storage or when your dream home includes a "man cave" or getaway space, and they are often designed with sloping sites in mind. One design option is a plan with a so-called day-lit basement -- that is a lower level that's dug into the hill but with one side open to light and view. This lower level can open to a covered outdoor space below an upstairs deck or porch. As a result, these types of designs are sometimes called house plans with walkout basements or walkout basement house plans. To see more basement plans try our advanced floor plan search.
According to real estate agents and appraisers, a bedroom must have a door, window and closet. Adding a closet to your basement bedroom is crucial to adding value to your basement addition. There are a few components that will affect the cost, the size of the closet being the biggest. The average cost to install a closet is $1,779, with most homeowners spending between $1,272 and $1,917. More than likely, your closet cost will be lower seeing that the size of the closet won’t be nearly as large as your master bedroom or other main bedrooms.
Get estimates from several companies; request and check references. Understand exactly what is (and isn't) included in each estimate, and whether the contractor will do the paperwork for required building permits. Ask about the contractor's length and type of experience, especially if there's anything unusual about your project. Be sure a company is properly bonded and insured and licensed in your state[10] . See if there are any complaints with the Better Business Bureau[11] .
"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."
Finishing the ceiling of a basement can be a tricky proposition. In most basements, important pipes, wires, and ducts already crisscross this area, often lowering the total ceiling height. If you were to install a drywall 5 or standard ceiling, you would be encapsulating these items, making them difficult to find and access in the event of an issue. Therefore, most basement ceilings are finished with some type of drop or suspended ceiling, sometimes known as an acoustical ceiling 9 or a grid ceiling.
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!
House plans with basements are desirable when you need extra storage or when your dream home includes a "man cave" or getaway space, and they are often designed with sloping sites in mind. One design option is a plan with a so-called day-lit basement -- that is a lower level that's dug into the hill but with one side open to light and view. This lower level can open to a covered outdoor space below an upstairs deck or porch. As a result, these types of designs are sometimes called house plans with walkout basements or walkout basement house plans. To see more basement plans try our advanced floor plan search.

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.

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.
"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."
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.

This is great guys! Great work! I'm a retired kitchen guy so I know good work when I see it. I love all of it. My wife and I are doing a Farm kitchen right now as well. Your pictures have me thinking about sending in some before and after of ours. Just like you its the time we get to spend together during the project that makes the whole thing worth while. Great work. I cant say it enough!
Because basements are usually below ground level, water seepage and moisture issues have to be resolved before construction can start. Prior to creating a project bid, most contractors will inspect the area to check the interior floor and walls for dampness and make sure the exterior of the foundation is in good shape. Depending on how watertight the basement and foundation are, it may be necessary to protect the basement from future water damage after it’s finished, often through the installation of sump pumps. This work can cost anywhere from $700-$3,000, depending on what needs to be done. Learn more about basement waterproofing. To help prevent moisture problems, homeowners can clear downspouts and gutters of debris to ensure that they help keep moisture away from the foundation.
Most homeowners tend to neglect or overlook the potential of their basement, using it only as an extra storage room. But many homes have basements that are fully capable of being converted into more livable and adaptable space. That adds additional square footage and can significantly enhance your quality of life and the marketability of your home.
The cost of a basement remodel can vary, but in most cases, this project won’t be cheap. What you put into your basement remodel is what you will get out of it, so that initial payment can turn into a terrific return on investment. The average basement remodel will increase your home’s resale value. Next to kitchen and bathrooms, basements are ranked as one of the most valuable home renovations.
About this calculator: This tool will give you a ballpark estimate of the cost to finish your basement. There are a LOT of variables associated with determining an exact value. This calculator does as good a job as can be expected given a single input variable: square footage. Obviously your cost will be determined on your exact choice of design, number of rooms, type of rooms, number of bathrooms, quality level of materials, who does the work, who manages the work, etc, etc.
A finished basement has the potential to add value to a home, especially when it comes time for resale. The average basement remodel project can have up to a 70% return on investment. Home buyers typically prefer a house with a finished basement and may even increase their offer if that living space recently has been updated or remodeled. The finished basement also adds value by creating more living space in the home without having to spend thousands on an addition.

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.


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.


In choosing the best décor for the basement, try to create some sense of continuity with the rest of the house. Start by creating an open stairwell leading from the rest of the house. It makes the basement feel open, lighter and connected to your home. Next, make sure that anyone descending the stairwell isn’t jarred by the contrast in décor with the space above. As much as you need to create defining styles for different sections of the basement, ensure there is a flow from the décor above to the one below. Otherwise, your basement is going to feel like some far off disconnected place and not part of your home.
Hardwood, laminate and tile flooring significantly increase the cost to finish a basement. Sebring, who calls carpet “the king of basement flooring,” says many people are scared about the consequences if a carpeted basement floods. But even top-of-the-line vinyl and tile has to be pulled up if there’s serious water damage, he says, and you can replace carpet multiple times for the same cost of installing hard flooring once.
In most cases, your HVAC system should already extend to the basement. If not, however, plan on running additional ducts or vents to ensure the finished rooms are adequately heated. Running new ductwork through your basement will cost around $2,000. Radiant heat is another option for basements, as it can be controlled separately and used only when the basement is. Radiant heat costs around $6,000 - $14,000 depending on the method used.
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.
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.

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If the water is coming from an external source such as poor landscape drainage or basement walls that are not properly constructed, that can require extensive preliminary work. In that case you’ll likely need a contractor and a professional evaluation of the problem, plus someone qualified and trained to eliminate the problem. You should address this problem as soon as possible to prevent further damage like rotting wood or flooding, and then return to your basement refinishing project once that issue is cured.
How fast the job needs to be completed has a significant impact on the final price. A professional team can take a basement from framing to complete in about 45 days. A DIYer typically needs more time. If things need to be inspected, inspectors work on their own schedule, and if concrete needs to be poured, time must be allotted for it to properly set.
accessories apartment art asian bathroom beach house bedroom colorful contemporary courtyard decor eclectic floor plans furniture grey hi-tech home office hotel house tour industrial japan kids room kitchen lighting living room loft Luxury minimalist modern office russia rustic scandinavian small space studio taiwan tech-office thailand ukraine usa villa wall decor white wood interior workspace

How fast the job needs to be completed has a significant impact on the final price. A professional team can take a basement from framing to complete in about 45 days. A DIYer typically needs more time. If things need to be inspected, inspectors work on their own schedule, and if concrete needs to be poured, time must be allotted for it to properly set.
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.
In most cases, your HVAC system should already extend to the basement. If not, however, plan on running additional ducts or vents to ensure the finished rooms are adequately heated. Running new ductwork through your basement will cost around $2,000. Radiant heat is another option for basements, as it can be controlled separately and used only when the basement is. Radiant heat costs around $6,000 - $14,000 depending on the method used.
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.

Adding carpet to your extra bedroom is a great way to separate this space from your basement, and make the room feel like an escape. There’s nothing like getting up and putting your feet on a soft carpet. Another pro of carpet is that it’s cheaper than hardwood flooring, or other popular flooring options. The average cost to install carpeting is $1,628, with homeowners reporting prices between $862 and $1,831.
The average cost of basement remodeling varies based on the square footage of the basement space, if structural changes are needed, and if you are adding in elements such as electrical work for a kitchenette or plumbing for a half bath. Other factors in cost include whether you have design plans already and what work you want done on the finishes such as trim and flooring. Here’s a breakdown of the various cost factors.
Accounting for variables such as square footage, materials, electrical and plumbing, the average basement remodel ranges from $11,034 and $29,226. Some cost as little as $5,000, with top of the line remodels costing over $40,000. The average cost to homeowners is $20,126. Expect to spend between $10 and $35 per square foot depending on the changes made.
If the water is coming from an external source such as poor landscape drainage or basement walls that are not properly constructed, that can require extensive preliminary work. In that case you’ll likely need a contractor and a professional evaluation of the problem, plus someone qualified and trained to eliminate the problem. You should address this problem as soon as possible to prevent further damage like rotting wood or flooding, and then return to your basement refinishing project once that issue is cured.
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.
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.

Any project involving electrical, plumbing, or turning the basement into a livable space, requires permits. Plumbing must be done to code for proper drainage to avoid health issues. It also has to ensure flushing certain waste back into the sewer. Electrical issues can cause short-circuits, blown breakers, and fires. The chance of something happening increases if installation is not done properly from the start, including acquiring the proper permits. If creating a bedroom or other regular living space, permits are required. Emergency escape avenues (for fire and other emergencies) need to be in place as well.
You can attach them to the masonry walls using an appropriate adhesive like Liquid nails, applied with a caulking gun. For added insulation, you may want to spend a few extra dollars and to buy panels of rigid foam insulation that can be glued against the walls between those furring strips. Then attach your sheetrock and paint it or put up your paneling and you’re good to go.

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.

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.
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.
diy home basement is the perfect place to store items that you do not need now but will need in the near future. You can devote a portion of your basement plan to a storage area in the basement. The storage area should be flexible because you will never know what you might want to keep there. The washer and dryer can be noisy appliances. You wouldn't want to disturb anyone who is asleep while you are doing a load of laundry. Keeping them in the basement is perfect because the basement door and floor will muffle out the noise that the washer and dryer make. Just handle the basement plumbing installation and designed piping properly to ensure a flow with your current plumbing system.
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