7 Things You Should Know: Finishing A Basement

Damp walls and ceilings from tearing apart may haunt you every time you enter the square footage of the downstairs basement. Since it’s downstairs and does not have frequent visits by the residents, we are accustomed to keeping unnecessary stuff stored there most of the time. Sometimes, people even have the urge to make their home presentable before guests, and hence, move broken chairs and laundry clothes there to clean the space above. That’s the primary reason a basement remains a storage room with damaged walls and ceilings, contributing to persistently damp basement walls.

finishing your basement

On the contrary, making your basement a focus can add livable space to your house and significantly increase its sale value. When resale, you will surely be happy with your decision to invest in remodeling the basement. Nonetheless, there are a few essential points that you should keep in mind while upgrading an ugly, unfinished basement.

We will share a few steps for finishing a basement so that you know how you want your finished basement to become a usable space. Combined with these finished basement ideas, it beckons an appreciation for our lost art.

What is a Finished Basement?

A finished basement is an underground room—through the foundation walls to the ceiling and floor—converted to a habitable space, complete with flooring, insulated ceilings, and necessary utilities. This often includes proper insulation, heating, and cooling systems installed to make the space comfortable year-round, transforming it from a mere storage area to a vibrant part of your home.

A finished basement can be used as an extra family living area, home office, or gym. It can also be remodeled into entertainment rooms or even accommodate more bedrooms, featuring everything from drywall installations to luxury vinyl plank flooring.

Tips for Finishing a Basement Before The Remodeling

We have briefed 7 tips for finishing a basement. Going through all of them, you will easily conclude how obligatory it is to consider them in the process; otherwise, you can’t achieve the target of having a perfectly finished basement.

1. Addressing Moisture Issues

Moisture issues are expected to basement walls and must be addressed promptly when renovating your basement. If you are also planning to finish your basement either from scratch or upgrading, do not look past the damp walls showing signs of seepage. In the future, it may cause you to face bigger problems than if they were resolved before the renovation. Since the basement is below-grade, the chances of taking up water from the ground are higher. If it happens, water will go through the basement walls, leading to massive damage.

Moreover, excessive moisture may also cause mold to grow in your walls. We know you will never want these things to happen. Therefore, it is advised that these moisture issues be taken care of before starting the renovation. You can also consult skilled laborers to help you seleselectofing solutions.

2. Seek Permission

You must know the local codes to build a safe place so you will not have trouble in the future. Whenever you start working on finishing a basement, consult with a professional who can guide you through the process. It is imperative to involve the municipality and inform them about your intention and needs to remodel the basement. Then, if they allow it, you can continue to work according to your plans after addressing moisture problems. Afterward, a follow-up inspection may be done to ensure you have met the codes and built the space correctly. Renovating a basement without fulfilling those local codes will be a headache in terms of illegal processes.

Furthermore, it may cause trouble when you decide to sell the house. Potential buyers may set an offer below yours or ask you for an inspection to obtain permission.

3. Choose Ceilings Wisely

You can discover a wide range of ceiling options in the market. Since the variety is enormous, it is common to get confused among the attractive ceilings rather than looking from the functional perspective. When you are on your way to search for ceilings that do not only look appealing but are also functional, we suggest you opt for drop or suspended ceilings. Why? Because they perfectly cover the given space and present a fine appearance once finished. Another reason to recommend this type of ceiling for the basement is you will have easy access to plumbing lines and electric wires. You can remove tiles without sweating for hours and do the repairs whenever needed.

However, the installation of drop ceilings needs perfection. If you plan to use a DIY method to conceal basement walls, painting can also do this job.

4. Basement Floorings In Budget

Basement floorings hold an important place in finishing. We have said it multiple times; the below-grade area is highly prone to moisture and water leakage. Therefore, one should consider this matter in the first place during finishing a basement. Water-resistant floorings are the only best option to choose for this purpose. Here again, style and functionality come to play their part; consider this matter a temporary eye-catching appearance or a long-term practical solution. We hope you will reply in favor of the latter one and save money by installing the right flooring in your basement.

The options available include traditional tiles, carpeting, hardwood, and luxury vinyl tile (LVT). Carpeting can enhance the overall look, but it will not be an effective solution if your basement experiences flooding. Similarly, hardwood and traditional tiling may cause mold to develop due to moisture. That’s why, though expensive, LVT is considered the most suitable option today.

5. Recessed Lightings Good For Basements

Basements often lack natural light since the downstairs has almost zero or fewer windows, not allowing the sunlight to enter the basement. However, it is necessary to light up the basement with sufficient lighting so you can use the space after finishing the basement as you are planning or are supposed to do. If you want to install windows in your basement, you must get advice from a professional. A qualified contractor can only tell you whether the surrounding drywall can support the additional load of the window structure.

Experts say that installing recessed lighting in the basement can solve this problem. These lighting fixtures do not take up any space and are an ideal way to light up the basement. A dark basement or dim lighting would not attract visitors.

6. What Do You Want?

Whenever you are interested in a newly finished basement, remember to assess your needs and wants. Make sure you have clear goals for how you want your basement to look after the final touch. While listing your needs, you may come across several appealing options that may not be necessary for you at that time. Therefore, avoid investing your hard-earned money in unnecessary stuff.

You should assess your living space needs and decide how to design the basement accordingly.

7. Setting Up The Budget

Once you decide what you need or want, you can head over to this crucial step of the remodeling process: budgeting. Sometimes, it all depends on your budget and what type of ceiling, flooring, and light you can get in your budget, along with paying the fee if you have asked for his help. Some people are unnecessarily worried about the budget because they are spending on less important stuff, such as decorative items and accessories.

Otherwise, DIY improvement projects in the basement can be very cost-effective renovation projects.

You can transform your basement from a neglected storage area into a valuable and enjoyable living space by addressing these areas and using the right materials, such as rigid foam insulation for walls and a reliable sump pump for water management.

How Do You Want Your Basement Turned Out To Be?

Here are some brainstorming ideas you may look upon to remodel your basement.

1. A Theatre

What is better than having a theater in the house? You can have all-time access to a large screen to go and play your favorite movie and enjoy watching it alone or with friends.

2. An Art Studio

Turning your basement into an art studio is one of the best ideas to use this huge space. If you love to draw art or are interested in collecting masterpieces from around the world, you can surely choose this theme.

3. GamingArea

Are you fond of video games? If yes, you can invest in buying some new games or other indoor games that can be easily played in the basement because of having a large space available to play without interference.

4. Office Room

Since the basement is also quiet, you can turn it into your office room where you can work peacefully. While staying away from the external nuisance, you will have a calm environment where you can sit and work with peace of mind.

5. Music Studio

If playing piano or guitar is your hobby, but you are afraid of disturbing your neighbors, you can go downstairs and play your instruments. The insulated basement will ensure the sound goes smoothly with a luxury vinyl plank on the wall.

6. Guest Suite

If you have the space, converting your basement into a guest suite is a great idea. This can include a bedroom, a small living area, and a bathroom, providing privacy and comfort for your guests.

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7. Home Bar and Entertainment Space

Create a space for adults to socialize by setting up a home bar and entertainment area. This can include a bar counter, stools, a lounge area, and even a pool table or dartboard space. It’s a great way to host gatherings and parties.

8. Children's Playroom

Turn your basement into a playroom to make a safe and fun space for your children. This can include colorful decorations, toy storage, a craft area, and soft flooring to ensure safety while they play.

9. Library and Reading Nook

Turn your basement into a home library to Create a quiet, cozy space for reading and studying. Include comfortable seating, ample shelving for books, and proper lighting. You can also add a small coffee or tea station for those long reading sessions.

10. Meditation and Relaxation Room

Set up a well-lit place for meditation, stretching, or simply relaxing. Include some cozy seating or mats and add soothing decor to cool your senses.

11. Hobby Room

Dedicate space in your basement to your hobbies, whether it’s model building, painting, knitting, or collecting. This can include appropriate storage, display areas, and workspaces tailored to your specific interests.

How Long Does It Take to Finish a Basement?

However, time is an open definition in this case since it depends greatly on the size of the room, the customers’ needs, and the degree of completion they would like. Basements are unique, and so are their owners’ desires.

We recommend contacting us to work hand in hand with you as we ensure that our professionals have met all your needs to bring your idea to life within the shortest time possible. We are professionals who can help you make your basement not only more functional but also more stylish.

Final Thoughts

These are all indispensable aspects to consider in their entirety prior to starting a basement remodel, and failing to do so could result in a finished basement that is a poor investment of time and money.

Think of your unfinished basement as a blank canvas that offers extra space. First, ensure the air ducts are examined for carbon monoxide build-up and proper ventilation. Duct tape can temporarily resolve these issues; however, actual recommendations should be implemented.

This proper subfloor installation helps prevent moisture problems, keeping your basement floor dry and warm. Use frame nailers and nail guns correctly for the proper bottom plate fastening, hence building solid partition walls. Verify the exact positioning of all concrete screws so there are no injuries or finishing problems to be encountered.

Moisture should be considered in the design of your basement, so include a vapor barrier and hydraulic cement, particularly for wetter areas. Wherever possible, bring in some natural light to boost the ambiance and safety of the room. Above all, ensure that the renovation adheres to the local standards set on fire and building code regulations, particularly about electrical installations.

You may freely turn to our offered design suggestions or pick one that will fit your taste better, but in any case, be sure that your chosen design will fit your space perfectly and comply with the building code demands. With correct planning and focus on these aspects, a new-look basement could become a vital part of your home, providing more room for different activities and boosting the value of your home.

Basement finishing suggestions focus on the ceiling, the foundation walls, and the floor joists. A drop ceiling should be considered to access utilities and improve soundproofing. Attention must also be extended to the exterior walls and concrete floor to properly insulate and waterproof your basement.

Incorporate drywall tape and polystyrene foam insulation for sealing joints and insulating basement walls. Use a masonry drill for securing concrete screws and apply drywall mud for a smooth finish. Consider luxury vinyl plank for basement flooring due to its moisture resistance and aesthetic appeal. Engage the local building inspections department to ensure compliance with building codes, especially in fire safety and electrical work. Utilize a sill plate and foam insulation for enhanced energy efficiency and moisture barrier.

basement plan

FAQs about Finishing A Basement

What is the difference between a finished basement and a full basement?

  • Finished Basement – A fully remodeled basement that is now suitable for living, complete with insulation, drywall, paint, and floors. A finished basement is sometimes further upgraded with other amenities like bathrooms, kitchens, or even special-purpose rooms such as home theatres or gymnasiums.
  • Full Basement – This is generally a description of the size and extent of an actual basement, which means that it extends under the entire footprint of the house. A full basement provides more space and is usually high enough for people to stand upright. Whichever way it is, a full basement may be either unfinished (with bare concrete walls and floors used for storage or utilities), or even finished.

What should you remember when finishing a basement?

When finishing a basement, ensure proper insulation and waterproofing, plan for adequate lighting, maintain enough ceiling height, provide proper ventilation and heating/cooling, and include egress windows or doors for safety compliance. These elements are crucial for creating a comfortable, safe, and legally compliant living space.

What adds the most value when finishing a basement?

The top of the list of things that add value while finishing basements are adding extra bedrooms or bathrooms with high-quality finishes and making versatile spaces. Not forgetting to make sure everything is found fine by the local building inspection department. These features may make any home very appealing and useful.

Is finishing a basement worth the money?

Finishing your basement is a valuable investment if executed properly. It raises the usable living space in your dwelling, can provide rent revenue if it’s remodeled into an apartment, and usually offers good return value (ROI) when selling a house. The real value, however, fluctuates with the finishing standard, the home’s location, and present market situations.

What is the hardest part of finishing a basement?

The most difficult things involved with finishing a basement are moisture and damage from water, coming up to building codes, dealing with structural problems, poor designing for a limited area, and cost overruns related to project budgeting. All these challenges necessitate strategic planning and mostly professional input.