How to Create a Finished Basement on a Budget

How to Create a Finished Basement on a Budget

There are many ways to get more space in your home. For instance, you can remodel and eliminate some walls or do a home addition. Another great idea to increase the livable space in your home is to consider a finished basement. This is a beneficial move that will give you more storage space and additional living space. You can use your finished basement as an extra bedroom, storeroom, playroom, or even living room. Some people may choose to use a finished basement as a home office.

One of the limiting factors that you will encounter when it comes to getting a finished basement is the budget. You will have to purchase a lot of suppliers and hire contractors to get the work done. The costs involved in doing these things can quickly pile up and become unmanageable. Fortunately, it’s possible to finish your basement on a budget. Add up the cash needed for drywall, flooring, framing, and finishes, and the basement finishing project can easily run into the thousands. Introduce some new decor, and things can get out of hand financially. Here is how you can finish your basement and achieve your goals without breaking the bank.

Prep the Space

One of the ways to save on a finished basement is to prep the space on your own. If there is a lot of junk in the basement, you need to remove it. You should also clear away all the boxes, trash, bins, and appliances before the contractors come in. If you leave those things lying in there, it will just increase the work for the contractors, and they will probably charge for those hours as well.

To avoid parting with money unnecessarily, you can team up with your family members and clean out the basement before the work starts. You can also do other simple tasks on your own. For instance, if there are old floors, you can remove them if the plan is to install new ones. The idea is just to save time and minimize the work contractors end up charging you for. You shouldn’t want to do too much DIY, though. You don’t want to end up damaging the basement in an attempt to save money. You can even find out from the contractor if there are any safe tasks for you that can help minimize the amount of work needed. Another thing you may want to do is to complete a moisture test in your basement. This will let you know if you need basement waterproofing.

Repair any Issues

Before the work starts, you must ensure that all issues in your basement are fixed. For instance, if there are water leaks, they should be fixed as soon as possible. The first thing that needs to be done is to identify the source of the moisture and get it fixed. Can you see some wet soil? Or maybe there are cracks in the foundation? Talk to your remodeling contractor to ensure that all problems get fixed before you start the remodeling. Proceeding with the remodel without fixing issues will always backfire. You will end up with serious problems that require you to undo some of the work you would have done. If your basement needs waterproofing, there are some quick fixes you can use. For instance, you can redirect all the downspouts away from your foundation. You can also throw in a drain that leads to the storm drain. Once you have verified that the moisture issue has been fixed, you can do another moisture test to verify to get started with the remodeling. If the issues persist, you may have to work with plumbers.

Make it a Livable Space

Do you want to quickly recoup the money you would have used for a finished basement? There is a very easy way to do so. Just make your basement a livable space. That way, you can rent it out from time to time. Nowadays, services like Airbnb enable you to find people looking for short stays.

If you design the basement well and the price is right, you can get someone from time to time. You just have to ensure that the place is appealing and self-sustaining. This means you may need a toilet in there. Try to work with a reliable plumber to avoid having to do toilet repairs too early. You can also throw in a kitchen area with kitchen cabinets and granite countertops. Some people may not want to share your main kitchen with you. Having a basement with all the required features makes it so that your guest don’t interact with you too much. To make the space comfortable, you also need to ensure that HVAC services it as well. This means you will need to talk to AC companies to find out how to achieve that.

Save on the Basement Flooring

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to basement flooring is water resistant. Fortunately, there are lots of flooring options for your basement that are durable and water resistant. The idea would be to find flooring options that offer these qualities and remain affordable enough. One way to cut costs when installing your basement floor is to use carpet instead of tile. It might not seem like that’s a good idea because of the moisture issue. Imagine having damp flooring. However, if you focus on waterproofing, your carpet will not suffer from moisture issues, and you can have a warm and comfy basement space.

Carpet is cheaper than tile. As such, you will be able to save a lot of money. Experts suggest subflooring when it comes to basement remodeling. A good idea would be to get snap-o panels that create a space between your wood and the concrete. This will enable moisture to evaporate easily. This not only keeps your carpet free from moisture, but it also makes your floors softer as well.

But what if you don’t even have money for carpet? Well, your budget could be so tight that, if possible, you’d go without floors. A great idea in such instances would be just to paint the floor. Make sure you prep the surface, use primer and choose a specific paint type for concrete. You should also seal the surface. This will greatly reduce wear and tear. Once you are done painting, you can just cover the area with some rugs. If you are planning to use the area as a home gym or a play area, you can skip carpets and paint. Why not install interlocking floor mats instead? These can be locked together like puzzle pieces. Interlocking floor mats are a great way to soften your area. They also come in different colors, so you can get the ones that complement your overall design.

Another way to save money on your flooring is to use vinyl. There are lots of vinyl flooring options on the market. You can get some that are on the low end for under a dollar per square foot. These are also waterproof, which makes them a perfect choice if you are worried about dampness.

How to Save on Finished Walls for Your Basement

In most instances, you will need to add some insulation and drywall on top of your basement’s existing concrete or cinderblock walls. If your plan is to spend a considerable amount of time in your finished basement, you will need to ensure that there is some form of insulation, drywall, or paneling. You can’t do without these if you want to use your basement as a guest bedroom or home office.

Apart from how you want to use a finished basement if you live in a region where the temperatures reach extreme, either sweltering during the summer months or frigid during the winter, you can recoup your investment in insulation in the savings you make on cooling and heating costs. If you are wondering if drywalls or paneling is better in terms of cost, generally speaking, drywall tends to be cheaper than paneling. Drywall requires less finish work and attention to detail during the installation process. It is also quite easy to repair. If the plan is to use the basement occasionally, like a kid’s playroom or gym, you can consider some less costly wall options.

If the walls in your basement are waterproof and in good shape, you can get away with just painting them. You won’t need to cover them with drywall. Paneling won’t be necessary as, well. As with the flooring, it would be a great idea to consult with a professional first for the proper paint to use and the type of preparation needed. If you are not interested in painting or think it doesn’t fit your budget, curtains can do the trick as well. To visually warm up your space or to create a bit of privacy without installing any additional walls, you can hang curtains in your basement. This will enable you to not only divide the space but also soften the feel. If you choose to go with curtains, hang them from a track or stretch wire taut from both sides.

How You Can Save on Your Basement Ceiling

When it comes to cutting costs, a finished basement ceiling is probably the biggest chance you have. If you are going for a loft-like look and your basement is in good shape, you can simply leave it like it is. Another great option would be to give the ceiling a low-cost upgrade. There are several ways to go about this. For instance, you can simply paint the ceiling. The good thing about leaving your ceiling exposed is that it gives you more dimension and height. However, there are instances where you may not have the best-looking ceilings. If that’s what you are dealing with, a good move would be to paint the floor joists. You should also consider painting the subflooring to the first floor using a soft white. This is a good way to reflect the natural lighting in your basement.

Another way to upgrade your basement ceiling without spending a lot of money is to create a canopy. This will enable you to add some softness and romance to your basement using a soft fabric. All you need to do is to staple some white sheets to the floor. You can also just let them drape down better to create a billowy effect. If you are looking for a whimsical feel, you can use some shade sails, upside-down parasols, or multi-colored parachutes.

Throw in Some DIY

DIYing a finished basement is not such a great idea. However, it depends on what we are talking about. There are some tasks that you can do on your own. You first have to figure out your own DYI skills; that way, you will know your limits. If you try to do things you know you can’t handle, you can end up causing some serious damage to your home. If you are good with a paintbrush and a hammer, you can talk to your general contractor to find out if there is anything you can do to save labor costs. Some safer things you can do on your own include floor tile installation, painting, hanging doors, and caulking. If you plan to sell your home, you should consider the return on investment. You need your basement to look and feel like the rest of the house. Therefore, everything needs to be done right. You don’t want prospective buyers to feel like they have just walked into a different home when they enter the basement.

Finish It With the Perfect Design

Even if you are trying to save money, it’s important to ensure that your basement design is appealing. You may have to save some money or extend your budget to hire an interior designer. They will help you make everything come together nicely. For instance, they can ensure everything works together well, including the furniture, window blinds, flooring, and walls. Just make sure you hire someone who is reliable and won’t charge an arm and a leg.

These are some things you can do to save money with a basement remodel. It’s important to ensure that you don’t sacrifice quality while you are trying to save money. By following these tips, you can create a livable space that you and your family can enjoy for life.


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