A Homeowner’s Guide to Finishing a Basement

Finishing a basement is one of the most cost effective home improvement projects you can complete as a homeowner. No further home additions need to be made when finishing a basement.

Your basement may not be finished yet but you already have a ceiling, floor and walls so that eliminates a huge expense that you can’t avoid when building an addition. Plus, the options are practically endless for what you can turn your basement into.

finishing a basement

You can remodel your basement into an office, theater, game room, home gym and much more. We’ll go over what you need to know when finishing your basement as well as some basement remodeling ideas for inspiration.

Planning Your Finished Basement

Before you can start your basement remodel, you need to go in with a plan. You need to figure out what will work best for the space that you have.

Will the space be used mostly by kids or adults? Will your finished basement be a social room or will it be more of a workshop or appliance area?

These are the questions you need to ask before you take on a basement remodeling project. We’ll go over some popular and appealing basement remodeling ideas later on.

Once you’ve decided what the intended use of your basement will be, it’s time to prep your basement for finishing.

The Tools You’ll Need

Finishing your basement is no small task and you’ll need your fair share of tools. We’ve got a long list for you so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to go look for a tool.

  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Saw
  • Caulk gun
  • Drill
  • Chalk line
  • Level
  • Drill bit
  • Dust mask
  • Headphones (protect your ears from loud noises)
  • Stepladder
  • Safety glasses (especially important when sawing)
  • Speed square
  • Knife

Also, don’t forget to stop at a hardware store to get lumber, interior doors, nails, screws and insulation. When you have everything you need right from the start, it’ll make the entire project go quicker.

Get Your Basement Ready for Finishing

basement renovation

The first step to finishing a basement is to clear everything out to make sure you have an unobstructed work area. The last thing you want to be doing is moving items around that could’ve been removed to begin with.

Since they’re underground, basements are susceptible to moisture so it’s important to waterproof the walls and floor. Once everything is moisture-proofed you can start to lay out your walls, install a subfloor and roughly start any electrical and plumbing work.

Before you advance any further, you need to check with your local municipality to see if you need any permits or if you’ll need any plumbing or electrical work inspected.

After you’ve got everything up to code, you can install insulation and a vapor barrier to the walls and floor. Then you can complete any drywall, flooring, ceiling, painting, electrical or plumbing work.

You’ll also want to make sure your basement windows are up to standards. Having properly functioning windows in your basement will increase natural light and ventilation.

You can get a free quote now for the best energy efficient basement windows in the Midwest by clicking here.

Now your basement is basically finished. You have flooring, walls and lighting so now you just need to decide what you’re actually going to do with your basement.

How to finish a basement

Creating Separate Rooms

When finishing a basement, you may want to create separate rooms. This will help add privacy or even create a small, apartment style living space perfect for multiple families.

If this is something you’re interested in doing, there’s a little more work involved. You’ll need to create the wall from scratch and insulate it. In the end, it will be worth it to create you own little downstairs living space.

Ideas for Finishing a Basement

Finishing a basement is a widely desired project for homeowners. You’re only limited to how much space you have and, even if it’s not a lot, you’d be surprised with what people can do with their basements.

Below, we’ll go over a few great ideas for finishing a basement.

Classic Home Theater

finished basement

A very popular use of a basement is converting it into a home theater. You can choose to go all out with theater-style seating or use a large L-shaped couch to maximize how many people can enjoy the movie.

Install a larger TV or use a projector screen and pair that with a surround sound system to really enhance the viewing experience.

Game Room

finishing a basement

If you’re looking to use your basement for recreational use, then converting it into a game room is just for you.

Consider a ping pong table, pool table, gaming system or anything else you can think of to get those competitive juices flowing.

Build a Bar

basement remodel

You can create a social environment in your basement by adding a bar where everyone can congregate.

Along with the actual bar, install some TVs, a sound system and various seating to create the ultimate weekend hangout spot.

Another Living Room

finished basement

Turning your basement into another living space is a great way to boost your home’s value. It can serve as another place to relax and read a book or watch TV.

If you have kids, it can be their hangout spot if you’re always battling about what to watch in the upstairs living room.

Home Gym

basement gym

Looking to get back into shape or finally start your journey as a personal trainer? A great idea for finishing a basement is to make the area into your own personal gym. There are many options for creating home gyms.

Whether you transform your basement into your own yoga studio, weight lifting station or cardio and conditioning area, it’s a great way to get your exercise in whenever you want rather than going to the local and most likely crowded gym.

Get Your Basement Finished

Now that you know what needs to be done when finishing a basement, you can finally start to build the basement of your dreams.

From waterproofing to installing energy efficient windows, the steps to finishing a basement aren’t too complicated. The hardest part is figuring out what you’ll actually do with your finished basement.

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