We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
If you’re fortunate enough to have unused space in your basement, you can extend your living area and create a family hangout, playroom, extra sleeping space or home office without spending a fortune.
According to Home Advisor, the average cost to remodel a basement is $18,395 for up to 1,500 square feet. However, the lowest end of the equation comes in at $2,800. There are many ways you can keep costs lost and benefits high.
The types of materials you use and how many areas you section off impacts the money involved. Opt for durable, but inexpensive choices whenever possible to keep costs low. You also may be able to pick up some used materials at places such as thrift stores and salvage yards. Here are five cheap basement remodeling ideas to keep your expenses low.
1. Choose Cheap Flooring
Most basements have a plain concrete floor. When you’re on a tight budget, you may not have the funds to install high-end laminate flooring. Look for temporary options, such as foam floor pieces for a play area or painting the floor for a faux marble or wood look.
Some people choose to add a durable epoxy coating to their concrete. Just be cautious about fumes and make sure the area is well-ventilated during application and for a period after.
2. Draw Up a Floor Plan
The fewer walls you add, the cheaper your remodel will be. How much does it cost to put up walls in a basement? The cost to finish an open-plan basement is about $2000 to $5,000 less than one with a lot of walls. The framing and drywall costs add up. You also may have to run additional electrical and plumbing.
Before you start the project, sit down with some grid paper and draw out a scale of your basement floor plan. Which areas do you plan to finish? Do you need any partitions or dividers? How will you lay things out and how does that impact the overall cost?
3. Select Cheap Ceiling Options
The cost to finish a ceiling can add up quickly. Most basements have exposed beams. You have a few options. You could always paint the beams and leave them alone. Another alternative is to install drywall and finish your ceilings for a more completed look. Drop ceilings are fairly inexpensive.
You could also get creative and install a metal ceiling or hang draperies to cover ugly parts of the construction. If you like an industrial look, leave everything exposed and hang some pendant lights from the beams.
4. Fix Water Leaks First
Before you add drywall, flooring or furniture, make sure your basement isn’t leaking. There’s nothing worse than spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours only to discover your basement is flooded and your hard work ruined.
Mold can also become an issue if moisture isn’t reduced. Start by having a professional inspect your basement for leaks. Wait for a rainy day and go around all the exterior walls, checking for issues. If there isn’t a rainy day, simulate one with a hose on the outside of the house.
Once you identify any issues, have those places sealed and then test again. With a little extra effort, you can prevent a future catastrophe that destroys all your hard work.
5. Hire Pros When Needed
Some jobs you can easily do yourself and save money, such as painting or decorating. However, other things require a professional and may wind up costing you more in errors than just bringing a licensed person in at first. Depending upon your local codes, you may even be in violation of city ordinances if you don’t hire HVAC or electrical professionals to complete some of the work.
You don’t want to risk your family’s safety by attempting something like structural repairs or electrical wiring on your own. Pay the extra money now to save money down the line.
Years of Enjoyment
Finishing your basement is one of the least expensive tasks you can undertake, but will provide additional living space and years of enjoyment for your family. When these cheap basement remodeling ideas are done correctly, you may even add value to your home, making it easier to sale when the time comes.