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.
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.

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.


While basements get a bad rap at times, if built finished out or remodeled later on, they actually offer a wealth of extra living space for many purposes and activities. For instance, a media room, living room, wine cellar, wet bar, gym, office, playroom, man's cave, laundry and guest room are all popular choices for basement spaces. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where basements are a commonly built element of most homes, you may just be sitting on a myriad of abundant new living possibilities! We've included some of our favorite basement remodeling ideas and images below. Which do you like best?
Also don’t forget: home gyms, wine cellars, theaters and craft rooms. The ideas are endless. Your goal should be to get as much value from the space as possible. If your basement is small, use it to fill a void such as an extra bedroom or additional organized storage space. If it is big, find several fun ways you can utilize the space and add value.
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.

"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."
For added convenience you may want to put a mini fridge in your basement along with a microwave, and you can illuminate the basement with floor lamps or use track lighting or similar fixtures installed along the ceiling. Decorate to your taste and according to your budget, and you’ll have a new living space that didn’t cost much but can add a lot of value in terms of useful square footage.
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.
Installing a bathroom in a basement costs more than installing a bathroom above ground. Costs can range from $2,500 to $5,000 on average, depending on the number of fixtures and whether the plumbing must be installed from scratch or if it’s roughed in already. Basement plumbing requires special considerations to ensure proper drainage and tie-in with the main sewer line, which may not be deep enough to allow the basement bathroom plumbing to use gravity the way above-ground plumbing does. Virgil Miranda’s Construction subcontracts all plumbing work. Miranda says that sometimes the toilet alone in a basement can cost up to $2,500 because sometimes homeowners need to invest in a toilet that does not use gravity but instead a macerating function to grind waste down to prevent clogging. Miranda estimates that each bathroom fixture in a basement costs $800–$900 on average, so a full, three-piece bath could cost $3,000 for the fixtures alone. Adding a kitchenette or wet bar sink adds more to overall refinishing costs. In addition, some basements require a French drain with one or more sump pumps, which can cost up to $10,000 on average, depending on how much ground the drain covers.
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.
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.
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.
Running out of space in your home? Look down under. These homeowners found fresh square footage in their home by remodeling their basement into a budget-friendly, space-savvy hangout. An orange, green, and blue color scheme adds a bright look to the basement, while the combination of custom storage solutions with big-box finds creates a space that serves many needs.
Remodeling a finished basement is costlier. The demo can cost from $1,500 to around $3,000 to prep the site. System upgrades include expanding the HVAC and electrical, but even if you already have a bathroom in place, remodeling can add $1,000 to $4,000. Finally, the finishing work can be kept low if you stay with the basics, but upgrades to hardwood floors and other luxuries will add $7,000 to $10,000 to the job. On average, expect to pay $13,200 to $30,500 for this job.
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.
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.
Estimate the overall cost to install drywall in the basement at approximately $1.50 per square foot. The basic drywall panel measures 8-feet tall and 4-feet wide and is available in thicknesses that range from 1/4" to 5/8". This standard panel usually costs between $10 and $20. Price will vary depending on the brand, panel's thickness, and if it has any special features like mold resistance which may be beneficial for a basement space. Other material costs when adding drywall include the hardware to secure it to the framing, joint tape, and drywall mud.
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.
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