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?
If time is critical, consider a basement finishing kit. A finishing kit has insulated wall panels, and some include a walkable flooring surface and ceiling material for DIY installation. Depending on the size of your basement, these kits can be installed in a weekend. However, the floor won't be carpeted, the walls won't be painted, and there will be no electrical or plumbing. Other features such as doors, trim work, and more also need to be added.

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.
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.
A wet bar or mini kitchen in the basement makes entertaining much easier. The inclusion of a mini kitchen makes a basement with a bed and bath into an entire guest suite. A kitchen requires access to hot and cold water, as well as electrical outlets for an undercounter refrigerator, a microwave oven, small countertop appliances, and possibly a small dishwasher or dishwasher drawer. A laundry room is a good idea in the basement, but it needs a floor drain and access to an outside wall to vent the dryer.
Pure design genius animated this basement remodel from lifestyle blogger Landeelu. For one, she decided to paint her doors a dark color, giving them a custom look that stands out from the cooler gray walls. Next, she added pops of interest with unique items, like the aged gold ceiling light fixture from Joss & Main. The fireplace not only adds warmth to the room for guests, but provides a welcome focal point. The result is an adorable space that can now rightfully be called an integrated part of the home.
Partitioning your basement into separate rooms transforms it from a storage and utility area to an inviting, warm living space. Framing the basement walls and ceilings makes a tremendous difference in the basement’s appeal. Installing interior walls in a large basement helps to hide expanses of empty space, instantly providing a feeling of coziness. Rooms that can be used for a media room, home office or bedroom will result in extra square footage, increasing the value of the home.
Basements are ideal for casual social activities for the whole family, or just for the kids. It's the perfect spot for the big screen TV, pool table, and to stash board games and craft supplies. Make this space inviting by finishing and decorating it like any upstairs room. Choose comfortable furnishings that can be easily rearranged to accommodate a few people or a crowd. Incorporate sound systems, internet connections, and good lighting to make the basement design functional.
Cork is an eco-friendly flooring material that can be installed over an existing floor or concrete. Cork is derived from the bark of the cork tree, meaning trees are not cut down during harvesting. Cork flooring is durable and has good insulating qualities, but if you choose cork flooring for your basement, make sure you choose a type that is recommended for a basement environment as not all cork flooring is appropriate for basements.
Across from the sitting area, a home office was constructed using inexpensive IKEA pieces and a painted wood countertop. A 4-inch concrete slab was poured over the existing floor and a stained finish was used to match the wood floors on the main level. A gas fireplace replaces an old woodstove and the existing brick was made light and bright after being covered with plaster and white paint.
Visitors can find comfort and refuge in this basement thanks to an added guest suite just off the family room. Two closets offer an unexpected amount of storage in this small space and create a cozy alcove for the bed. A high ledge acts as a headboard and display area, and two space-saving wall scones light the nook. The bed faces French doors that, like the family room, take in backyard views.
Your basement will likely need to be fitted with additional wires to support more lights and electronics. You will need to hire a licensed electrician if you plan to install additional overhead light fixtures, outlets and other components that require additional wiring. The cost of electrical installations depends on the exact project, but licensed electricians tend to charge between $50 and $100 per hour.
Accounting for variables such as square footage, materials, electrical and plumbing, the average basement remodel ranges from $11,034 and $29,226. Some cost as little as $5,000, with top of the line remodels costing over $40,000. The average cost to homeowners is $20,126. Expect to spend between $10 and $35 per square foot depending on the changes made.
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