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.
Before you even consider color, you want to have lighting in the space figured out. If you don’t have any natural light, how are you going to brighten up the space? Will you use pot lights or track lighting, will you supplement with floor and table lamps? Your paint will look worlds different if you change your lighting after you paint, so try to sort out your lighting needs first.
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.
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First, what are you using your basement for? This will greatly determine what finish you give the basement. A living area needs to feel warm and cozy, a bedroom needs to have a quiet and relaxing finish and a game room needs some exciting colors. There are plenty of websites offering basement finishing ideas you can borrow. We have our own list below that you can use as a starting point. Find a style that pleases you and adapt it to fit your finished basement.
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.”
Take a basement spare bedroom one step further by turning your downstairs into an apartment suite. Go with a kitchenette with updated appliances and an island, a small space to put a couch for lounging, a half wall to create the boundaries of a bedroom, and a bathroom. You can rent the space out to earn some extra money, or let your college kids stay there in between living arrangements and jobs.
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.
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.
Even if you do not use an online tool, plan extensively beforehand as to exactly what you plan to do. What color will the wall be? Will you put in any art? What flooring style will you go for? If your budget allows, you can consult an interior designer for recommendations. One advantage of such planning is that it allows you to set out a budget that you can work within, ensuring that you are not caught short of cash in the middle of your project.
A traditional living room basement with a cool shade of lime color is perfect balance for the neutral shades of brown for the carpet, kitchen cabinetry, exposed beams, window treatment, door and other wooden furniture. The kitchenette is without an island. But has a corner home bar to give way to the large black leather sectional sofa which is perfect for movie night fun.