Finishing a basement is like any other remodeling project — in that it’s almost always a financial balancing act. You’ll need to find room in the budget to get all the “must-haves” for the space to fulfill its ultimate purpose, which could be anything from entertaining large groups of people to unwinding with your immediate family.
While how much to spend is entirely up to you, it can help to get a better perspective on where you can cut costs without cutting corners on a basement remodel. We suggest you look at the following:
- Lighting. Unless your basement is a walkout with large windows and a sliding glass door, you’re likely left with little natural light in the space. You’ll want to splurge on enough general, all-over lighting to evenly light the basement. For best results, go with recessed ceiling cans spaced anywhere from 8’ to 10’ apart.
- Insulation. Insulation can serve two purposes in almost any remodel. The first and most obvious would be to keep the warmth in and the cold out. But insulation also has a way of dampening sound. If a media room is part of the basement remodel, adding insulation in the ceiling can act as a sound barrier for the rooms above — and vice versa.
- Ethernet. Since you’ve decided to finish the basement, it just makes sense to add some of the modern conveniences people now expect in a home, like the internet. Before the drywall goes up, have an electrician come out an install an Ethernet connection. Then, you won’t have to worry about spotty Wi-Fi in the basement.
- Media. Chances are, you’ll be using the finished space as a family room. So, the timing couldn’t be better to wire at least a portion of the basement for surround sound before the drywall goes up. Of course, you’ll need to have some idea of furniture placement and the location and size of your TV. Plan accordingly.
- Bar. When you decide to finish your basement, you’ll be surprised at how much of your entertaining will happen downstairs. If the space allows, consider splurging on a wet bar — and don’t forget to leave room for a beverage fridge. Small bars generally cost $2,000 to $4,000, while larger bar will run you between $6,000 and $12,000.
- Layout. The price of materials can pile up fast. If your goal is to add a family room and another bedroom to your home, only finish those areas of your basement. Leave the rest for storage. You can always revisit and close off other spaces later down the line as your needs change.
- Materials. With the square footage of a basement valued at half of that above ground, it’s best to keep the budget in check when finishing the space. And one way to do this is with materials. Not that you want to scrimp, but it’s worth checking to see if the type of materials you’re looking for are available as remnants — like a countertop for a wet bar.
- Cabinetry. If you’re putting in a wet bar — or any other built-in, for that matter — you can sometimes minimize costs by installing stock or semi-custom cabinetry. There are plenty of options available, so you’ll likely find something that will work for your taste, design, and budget.
- Guest room. Just because you’ve decided to finish the basement doesn’t mean you need to do what every other homeowner does and put in a guest bedroom as well. If you don’t have frequent guests, the space will rarely get used — unless, of course, it will double as a home office. Then, the room is probably worth the investment.
If you’d like to learn more about finishing a basement, or would like to discuss your ideas for a basement remodel, contact Fair & Square Remodeling today. We’d be more than happy to talk you through the process and get your project on our upcoming schedule.