Steps to Finish A Basement [With Ideas]

Steps to finish a basement

The basement is an often forgotten area of many homes. There are various ways of finishing your basement while also giving it great use. Additionally, having a complete, furnished basement can increase the value of your home. Continue reading further for more ideas and information for your basement.

Step 1: Know What You Want

The first step toward a finished basement is knowing what exactly you want for it.

It’s a good idea to sit down and think about possible uses your basement can serve. If you’re looking for a room to serve entertainment purposes, it might be in your best interest to consider an at-home gym or home theater.

You may have visitors occasionally or lots of people living at your home already, so an extra living space is also a great idea.

Sometimes, you might just need some extra space to store items in. The possibilities are endless when selecting the function for your finished basement.

Step 2: DIY or Hire A Contractor

The next step in finishing your basement is deciding whether you want to do the work yourself or use a basement finishing contractor. Without a doubt, a DIY project is far cheaper.

The size of the project, the price of material and labor costs, and the overall cost of the project will be charged if finishing your basement with a contractor.

However, if experience, building codes, safety, and peace of mind knowing your basement is finished professionally are your concerns, it’s always a better idea to hire a contractor.

Not only will they do the job well, but they will also do it safely and with all guidelines in mind.

Step 3: Set Your Budget

With that in mind, the third step is determining the cost of finishing your basement. As stated by, “It typically costs between $2,800 and $34,500 to finish a basement”, and the national average is estimated at $18,398.

These prices can vary based on several factors, such as the size of your basement, the materials purchased for the project, and what you’ll be installing inside the basement.

There are various things you can install inside your basement to increase the quality and value. Purchasing moisture-resistant flooring will help out in case your basement ever floods. Installing insulation inside your basement walls keeps colder months warm and hot months cool.

Soundproofing the basement’s ceiling works in absorbing and reducing noise in the area. Finally, light systems can brighten up your basement, but nothing quite tops the natural light that can be brought in from windows and energy savings.

Step 4: Consider Adding A Window

You may have heard of an egress window when looking into upgrading your basement. Egress windows are important and helpful for plenty of reasons.

First, they add to the resale value of your house. Secondly, in many cases, they are necessary for your basement when renovating to add living space. Third, they provide a safe emergency exit in case of any fire or flood. They also help bring much-needed light and ventilation into an oftentimes dark part of your home.

If interested or necessary, egress windows come in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors that can match your basement perfectly.

Basement Finishing Ideas

Now for some basement ideas!

Game Room

One of the most common uses of a finished basement is a secondary living room. With a large open shelving unit, you can install multiple things such as large-screen televisions, soundbars, and gaming consoles to create the ultimate entertainment area.

The multiple cabinets and drawers can be used to store video and gaming cables and other sets of board and card games. Bright white lighting and accent lighting can help bring out the mood of your new living area. As always, large, comfortable furniture is always great to make the area as cozy and relaxing as possible.

The Downstairs Bar

If paired together with the previous idea, a bar can provide a variety of snacks and drinks for both children and adults without having to go upstairs. A shelving unit can hold an assortment of glasses, wine bottles, and other liquors, a sturdy countertop can allow for beverages and snacks to be prepared, and mini-refrigerators can keep cold items fresh.

We have seen homeowners use islands similar to kitchens, position TV’s in optimal locations for football games, custom lighting, and even arcade games to create the ultimate downstairs bar experience.

Home Theater

Similar to the living room idea, home theaters are amazing for entertainment purposes. Projectors, at times, are better than televisions because they deliver the largest picture possible, while also producing images that are easier to view and less straining.

When paired with a projector, a surround sound system can make movies and TV shows more immersive than ever. Of course, don’t forget reclining seats and dimmable lights for your theater to provide a comfortable experience with a great ambiance.

Movie nights or other occasions will never quite be the same with this great basement idea!

Home Office

If you work from home or just need a place more suited for work, peace and quite, or other hobbies, turn your basement into a home office.

Built-in desks are great because they provide more space to work and can be customized to your specific needs. They are also good if keeping your work or other information organized is important.

If you still want to use your basement for entertainment purposes, you can section off only part of your basement for your home office space. Complete with its own door and walls, your office can remain private even if you have friends and family over downstairs.

Home Gym / Workout Space

Another good use for your basement is a place to work out. Most of the time, your exercise equipment and weights might not fit into other rooms in your home. Creating a designated area for you to work out will save you time and money that you’d spend at a gym and you own your equipment!

The Ultimate Man cave

This idea is for all the guys out there.

Mancaves serve the useful purpose of presenting your interests and hobbies while being relaxed. Psychologically, they help reduce stress and other negative physical problems. They’re great places to practice hobbies and work on things that interest you.

Have a pool table? This would be an amazing time with friends and family. The ultimate mancave can be a combination of everything above – space allowing of course.

Best of all, you can showcase all your amazing collectibles or discussion piece items if you ever have others inside.

Streamline your Laundry

Typically, most basements contain washer and dryer machines. You can always make the laundry areas of your basement more decorated by changing the layout of the space, transforming the style with new wallpapers or colors, or adding storage compartments for clothes or laundry items.

Streamlining your laundry day just makes sense! Why use a whole day to do laundry? Using all or part of your basement to design the perfect laundry space will help you cut down on laundry time if you have everything you need in an organized fashion.

Double Your Living Space

Many homes here in the midwest have a basement that extends from corner to corner of the whole house since, thus providing an opportunity to build additional rooms. If you have kids, then you know how having extra rooms is ideal and necessary.

Turn your unfinished basement into extra rooms for your kids or even guests. This is a very popular choice among families and those who have relatives that come over to stay for the holidays or just want to visit from time to time.

Adding additional living space is relatively quick when done professionally. Creating additional rooms using drywall can be done in less than a week, usually. This of course depends on your ideas, needs and wants, but generally speaking, this is a simple project most home remodeling contractors can finish quickly and easy on the wallet.

How Long Does It Take To Finish A Basement?

Depending on the project you have in mind, the time to complete your basement will vary. Certain areas of the project will take longer than others. On average, the time for your basement to be complete will range anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks. Your contractor should have an estimate of the length of your basement project.

Finish Your Basement In Style

The great thing about basements is that they can be whatever you choose.

Anything from a new living area to an at-home theater, or even an office to work on your projects. It can be one huge idea or multiple small ones combined. There are endless possibilities and it’s up to you to choose.

If you are convinced you need to finish your basement, take into consideration your basement type, size, and overall scope of the project. We strongly recommend using a contractor that is familiar with your area to your home abides by local code requirements and makes it easier to obtain any permits.

At Hercules Construction, we are familiar with Illinois and Wisconsin codes as we operate in these states. If you find yourself deciding to finish your basement, let us be on your list!

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