Finishing a basement can cost between $25–$50 per square foot on average, depending on how the basement is finished, whether any challenges come up or whether there are special circumstances with the project. For this reason, a 1,000-square-foot basement can cost up to $50,000 or more to finish. Virgil Miranda of Virgil Miranda’s Construction, a general contracting company based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, says it can be tricky to estimate remodeling jobs based on square footage alone, due to the variance in each job. Larger basements may have a lower cost per square foot than tiny remodel jobs.
What better feature to include in your basement plans than a home theater. Basements often have little to no windows, making the dark space ideal for that movie theater vibe. Raise the floor to add rows of recliners, invest in recessed fixtures with soft lighting you can dim, and swap out large a TV for a projector and screen. Whatever your style may be, there are tons of home theater ideas for you try!
I just wanted to write and say thank you for this step-by-step basement video series! This is the 2nd basement my wife and I have remodeled ourselves following your training videos. These videos are amazing! Thanks for sharing this wealth of knowledge. Your delivery of the information is well organized, thorough, to the point and easy to understand. My wife and I have finished our basement ourselves working just a few evenings during the week and on the weekends! I Never would we have been able to figure this out without your step-by-step video guidance.”
When it comes to basement remodels, the most costly way is to start with bare bones. If all you have is concrete walls and floors, you need to add framing, electrical, plumbing, flooring and trim. Basement finishing in a newer home that already has plumbing and electrical roughed in, a watertight foundation and some insulation installed—but no final finishes (like drywall or paint or carpet)—usually costs less than remodeling an already finished basement. This is because when you already have a finished basement, the pros will need to do demolition at the beginning of the project, which can add $500–$1,500 to overall costs.
You have three basic basement ceiling options when refinishing the space. Conceal the joists, pipes, and ductwork with drywall or paneling, hide everything with a suspended or drop ceiling, or leave everything exposed and paint it with a sprayer. Drywall brings the polish of main-level rooms to the basement. Here, light gray paint adds depth to the space and leaves a smooth finish.

What better feature to include in your basement plans than a home theater. Basements often have little to no windows, making the dark space ideal for that movie theater vibe. Raise the floor to add rows of recliners, invest in recessed fixtures with soft lighting you can dim, and swap out large a TV for a projector and screen. Whatever your style may be, there are tons of home theater ideas for you try!


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?
Wall finishing systems are rapidly gaining in popularity. These systems feature fiberglass panels and pieces of trim that fit into PVC framing. Panels covered in fabric offer an attractive finished appearance to the basement without the work of drywall taping and painting. Advantages include durability, moisture- and fire-resistance and the ability to remove panels for access to water pipes and electrical wiring.
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.
Unless you install a plywood subfloor, your basement floor is likely to be a concrete slab. Fortunately, concrete accepts most common flooring choices, from paint to vinyl, laminate, tile, and carpet. Most solid wood flooring is not recommended for below-grade installations, however, because it shrinks and expands, resulting in gaps or warping. Engineered wood is a good alternative because it shrinks and expands a little less.
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.
4. Interview basement remodeling contractors. You may be tempted to try and save money by managing a basement remodel yourself, but it's most likely worth it to hire a professional. Check affiliations, licensing and referrals and/or reviews from neighbors and friends before interviewing contractors for the final selection to be sure to avoid choosing a bad remodeler. Contractors who specialize in basement remodeling may be better equipped to handle your project.
Basement remodeling can be stressful, and understandably so. But the styling aspect will provide some much-needed fun. Seeing your newly finished basement take shape as the flooring is installed and the walls painted will be exciting and there is no feeling like seeing it come to life as furniture is put into place and light fixtures are installed.
Finishing a basement ceiling can be a challenge as more than likely, you will need to work around duct, plumbing and electrical work, all while trying to maintain a comfortable room height. A qualified contractor may be able to reroute some of this hardware, but you will more likely lose some headroom to accommodate these fixtures in your finished basement.
Basement remodeling can be stressful, and understandably so. But the styling aspect will provide some much-needed fun. Seeing your newly finished basement take shape as the flooring is installed and the walls painted will be exciting and there is no feeling like seeing it come to life as furniture is put into place and light fixtures are installed.
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.

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.
Failure to obtain proper permits can result removing (demo-ing) any current finishing work or remodeling already installed. You could also face fines. A "stop work order" may be issued, which usually causes double the fees when you do, eventually, apply for the permit(s). If you have to file an insurance claim and can't produce any permits, the insurance company may deny the claim. Finishing a basement without permits also can affect the home's resale value.
If you are going for a movie screening room, then go with a dark neutral, or simply go dark. You want the walls to recede and you don’t want a lot of glare from your projection equipment or tv. Make sure to use a flat paint and paint the ceiling in a dark neutral to prevent light from bouncing around and creating glares. For a classic, old world move theater feeling, go with a rich burgundy or deep navy.

The stair railing and post installation was a fairly simple project, and required little more than wood glue and a finish nailer. If you're installing a railing in a remodel such as this, plan ahead. If you have large furniture or other items to move into your new space, be sure hold off on installing stair railings, and other structures that might be in the way, until the large furniture items have been brought in.
Sometimes a finished basement floor makes the bottom stair a little too shallow, throwing off the whole run. Tom Silva's fix: Measure the rise of each step. If any are shorter than 7 inches, you can remove the treads and add spacers to pad them out as you go up. Just keep heights below code maximum, and make sure they don't differ in height by more than ⅜ inch.
An unfinished basement serves as a valuable blank canvas. The finishing process begins with basics such as hanging and painting drywall and installing plywood floors at a relatively low cost. Basement finishing means taking a space that currently is not livable and transforming it into a space you can use and enjoy. In an unfinished space, there may be nothing but a concrete floor, exposed pipes and electrical, and no walls or only the barest of wall framework in place. On average, the cost to refinish will fall anywhere between $6,500 to $18,500, or more for larger spaces.
×