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.

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."
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.

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.


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!
"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."

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?


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.

Finished basement on high end house. I designed all of it and spent some time managing the process. Already had lots of windows (walk-out). Used high end materials and design features ( plank laminate flooring with some granite/marble, rope lighting, recessed panels,heavy finish trim molding, recessed lighting, rope lighting, central audio/speakers, full kitchen, full bath,fireplace, zoned HVAC, etc). Took almost 9 months to complete fully. Great finished product.

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.


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.
Basement remodeling adds value to your home, increases your useable living space, can protect your foundation from moisture damage, and looks great. Many people remodel a basement to create space for an aging parent or to make room for more children. Another reason for basement remodeling is to create a rentable space that is separate from the rest of your home for a long-term renter or for short-term renting.
After your new bathroom is complete, or you have remodeled an existing space, get it inspected to ensure all plumbing and electrical installation are done correctly. If your bathroom needs to be installed from the ground up, expect to pay somewhere between $6,000 and $15,000 for the entire project. If your basement is already finished but does not yet have the necessary plumbing for a bathroom in the space, you can expect to pay between $200 - $500 to hire a plumber.

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.


There are several types of basement remodeling depending on the outcomes you want. Whether you have nothing but damp concrete walls and floors or you have a finished basement with painted walls, a pool table and a wet bar will determine the scope of work for your basement remodel and the cost. Here are some common basement remodeling projects that homeowners take on and their related costs.
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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.
In addition to floors and walls, upgrading your basement ceiling is another option to consider. Finishing your basement creates a new room in your home and a part of any room is the ceiling. While it’s cheaper to leave the ceiling the way it is, many basements have exposed wiring and duct work that service the home above. In certain cases, leaving all this exposed may be the better option, but for others, upgrading the ceiling could be the right choice. Understand that any addition to the room will up the overall price, so be sure to make the right choice for the space and your wallet.
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.
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.
It can be a daunting task to look at a barren basement and then try and create something special. This basement remodel went from a cement room with two-by-four walls, to a full-fledged man cave with a billiards table, bar and dining area. The hardwood floors tie the room together, giving it a rustic atmosphere that’s perfect for entertaining. A perfect example of how to find success after starting from scratch! 
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