Basements are more common in the northern United States. If you live in that part, you will probably have one in your house. Most people don’t see the basement as something else other than a damp and dark area. They often identify it with cellar used for storing food items that needed protection from cold and hot weather. The thinking has changed now. Homeowners who need extra space in the existing house or looking to increase property value want to make optimum use of it. That’s why contractors and interior designers often get a request for basement ideas. You can talk to them if you also plan to convert it.
Before this, it will be better to explore all the possibilities with this extra space and the type of budget needed for the same. Experts say a basement can serve as a laundry room, swimming pool, gym, sauna, playroom, bathroom, extra bedroom, extra kitchen, home office, entertainment zone, etc. While you may have to spend about USD $20,000 to finish it, the overall price can vary from a couple of thousand dollars to USD $80,000. Of course, everything ultimately comes down to size and style.
You may not want to include the expense of cleaning and covering concrete flooring in the basement because you believe it to be DIY work. However, a livable basement needs professional intervention to make square footage suitable for use. Anyway, here is a simple breakdown of the basement budget to get an idea of how much one may need to spend. Remember, the costs will vary from region to region and quality of work.
Again, taking a practical approach from the beginning is crucial. Your DIY skills may not be enough to turn it into an entirely usable space for day-to-day living. For that, you will need professionals. A general contractor will come in handy in keeping an eye on the overall activities. If you wish to get the best service for a fair price, you must compare quotes. Usually, this cost covers up to 40% of the entire basement budget or remodeling plan. To finish this project, you will need to do a few things: insulation, flooring, framers and drywall, plumbing, painting, electricity, window treatment, foundation repair, etc.
If you look at these areas, each of them will involve a certain investment. Painting job can demand from USD $1,250 – USD $3,500. Furniture can cost about USD $1,000 – USD $30,000, and flooring USD $2,000 – USD $12,000. For an electrical job consisting of lighting outlets and fixtures, you may need a budget of USD $3,000 – USD $12,000. Since waterproofing is another critical aspect, you cannot overlook this. And this task can also cost about USD $1,900 – USD $6,500.
Like any other building work, this basement project can also require permissions for a few things. For example, you can plan to build a bar or bathroom in this area. Then, you will have to keep some amount for permits and safety inspections. All these can cost around USD $1,600.
A finished basement usually includes plumbing and electrical work. If you add a bathroom, you can expect the charges to range from USD $10,000 to USD $30,000. The cost depends on the plumbing labor fees, waterproofing, length of the plumbing pipes, customized toilets, ventilation, showers, tubs, etc. Using a lavatory bowl installed under the countertop and other such features can also impact your budget.
You may wonder why you need an egress window in the basement. Some suggest that bedrooms cost less than building a bathroom. After installing an egress window, all you have to think about is the flooring, lighting, furniture, storage, and walls. It is one of the basic requirements for a finished livable basement as established by the building codes. You have to be careful about its dimensions, height from the floor, and details to ensure total safety.
Covering the concrete floor can cost about USD $3,000 on average. But the final amount depends on the material quality, style, and extent of the project. Since basement areas suffer from moisture and dampness, flooring has to be waterproof and moisture-safe. Some of the options for flooring can be hardwood, engineered wood, laminate, vinyl, tile, stone, linoleum, and others. Hardwood flooring can be durable and easy to refinish several times. But it can be expensive too. Plus, you cannot eliminate the risks of moisture damage, denting, scratching, and scraping in a busy room.
Engineered wood provides higher moisture and water resistance. But it can fade over a period. Since you cannot refinish it more than once, it has to be a critical consideration. Vinyl flooring works best in a basement for its durability and water resistance. At the same time, design options and easy maintenance can be a bonus.
In essence, every material comes with specific pros and cons. You have to analyze your options well before giving thumbs up to a particular choice. Nowadays, epoxy flooring is trending to be an excellent waterproof flooring solution. You may have to spend about USD $3 – USD $7 per square foot. The work can complete over one to three days. However, once it finishes, the final marble-like appeal can leave you utterly impressed.
It would help if you made your cold basement more comfortable and warmer. If you want to make your basement dry and warm, you will first install insulation and waterproofing. Drywall installation can happen for about USD $2,000. Usually, contractors charge USD $15 per panel.
As per building rules, a finished basement has to be at least seven feet high. Before you plan anything, make sure to get your area inspected. Your local contractor or constructor should be able to give you the right direction. If you agree with their opinion, you can plan by browsing through all the possible options. Make sure you are aware of your expectations from this. Whether you want to use this extra space for entertainment, kitchen, bedroom, living room, or more, you can discuss it with your designer. They can suggest even better solutions to meet your ultimate design goals.