Is your basement sitting stale and unused — a part of your home that’s forgotten until you wander down to dig out dusty boxes of Halloween or Christmas decorations?
If you’re thinking of remodeling your unused home space, your basement is a prime area to remodel in order to get that home office, home gym or man cave you’ve always wanted. Potential cost always looms large when considering any remodeling project, so follow our basement remodeling tips to avoid breaking the bank.
Our 5 Favorite Basement Remodeling Tips
1. Plan and Prioritize
There are no one-size-fits-all answers as to what a basement remodel will cost. For example, waterproofing may be an added expense that needs to be addressed before the real remodel can even begin. Your specific plans for the place (a game room? a bar? a home spa?) will determine whether or not the room will need additional plumbing or electrical fixtures, for example. No matter what your plans are, have a clear direction from the beginning and prioritize. If your man cave must have a pool table and a huge TV, you may need to cut costs elsewhere to make that happen. Creating a list of must-haves from the start will enable you to balance the budgetary see-saw of wants and needs before the project begins.
2. Dry It Out First
Basements tend to be damp and moldy, and these are problems that need to be addressed before you start any remodeling project. Downspouts and gutters need to be added or tweaked to prevent water from ending up in the basement. The ground outside your basement also needs to be graded away from the foundation to avoid future problems. If your basement is exceptionally wet, you may need to waterproof the walls or floors before the project can continue. While this can be costly, it’s not an area to cut corners. If you don’t take care of water intrusion, the rest of your remodel will get soggy fast.
3. Be Down to Earth When It Comes to Flooring
Most basements are large areas that require a lot of material for flooring. Obviously, you’ll want to cover up the hard, cold concrete with something that’s insulating and attractive. Consider using cost-effective options such as laminate flooring to bring in some style at a fraction of the cost of other flooring options.
4. Don’t Let Your Costs Go Through the Ceiling
Or into your ceiling, as the case may be. While you may not be in love with the exposed pipes and ductwork on your basement ceiling, it can be pricey to cover it up. Hanging drywall may sound like a simple solution, but it needs to be done by a professional in order to be installed safely — and isn’t that money you’d rather be spending elsewhere in the project? Instead of covering your unsightly ceiling, opt to paint it. This will make it more attractive and free up those dollars to use on a big screen TV or gym equipment for your new underground paradise.
5. Work with a Professional
One of the most valuable basement remodeling tips is to work with a professional contractor from the get-go. They’ll be able to give you a realistic, up-front assessment of how much the project will cost so you can plan accordingly. In addition to this, you’ll ensure that everything gets done right the first time around. Especially if the project involves plumbing or electrical work, it’s impossible to stress the importance of having a skilled professional handle the project. It’s safer, and it will save you time, money, and lots of frustration in the long run.
Working with an experienced contractor comes with serious benefits. They’ll provide you with design ideas you hadn’t thought of because they really have seen it all. Their company will do all the work, meaning that you’re free to do other things as your dream basement gets completed.