Basement Remodeling Tips: From Start to Finished Basement

A basement can look pretty empty before finishing—almost as empty as your list of basement remodeling ideas. That’s why we’ve put together a list of basement remodeling tips that can take you from the planning stage to an attractive and functional basement.

Have a plan.

Most homeowners think of finishing a basement as framing and drywalling. The most important step of basement remodeling should be done before any wood is bought or walls are framed. Start with a plan that addresses your needs and wants. Ask yourself, “what do I want to do in my basement? What areas do I need?” The answer to your questions can shape your basement remodeling plans, such as planning a layout with a gym, guest room, man cave, play room, or craft room. If you want a room with plumbing, decide the location of the restroom or sink well in advance so plumbing can be run before work starts. Don’t hesitate to ask an experienced contractor for basement remodeling ideas; they might have suggestions you haven’t consider that can make the space even better.

Decide how much space you want finished.

One of the first steps is determining whether you want a fully finished basement or a partially finished basement. This is an important decision, especially when you need a workshop or storage area. These areas don’t need to be finished and save you the effort of a clean-up if one of these spaces get dirty. Partially finishing a basement can also save you funds because there is less square footage to finish.

Make waterproofing a top priority.

Homeowners should never assume that a basement doesn’t flood because it hasn’t happened yet. Unfortunately, one rainy season can prove that assumption wrong and damage drywall and furniture. Instead, hire a contractor to make sure the basement is completely waterproofed before you finish the space.

Set a budget.

A budget is an incredibly useful tool during a basement remodeling project. If budget funds are thin, divide the budget into categories and allocate funds for high-priority features. This effort can also help you decide on areas to save money, such as purchasing a carpet remnant or another discounted flooring.

Ask contractors the right questions.

One of the most important parts of finishing a basement is choosing a contractor to manage the project. Contractors should carefully selected and interviewed. To find a contractor, ask friends and family for recommendations. Research each contractor online carefully and look for good reviews. At the initial meeting, ask contractors about their level of experience, past projects, insurance (avoid contractors that don’t carry insurance), availability, and these other contractor questions.


Some homeowners enjoy the basement remodeling process, while others can’t wait to be done. Either way, it’s a lot easier to get through a basement remodel if you expect some project uncertainty, both in finances and decisions. A good, experienced contractor can help you get through the list of basement remodeling ideas and closer to enjoying your new space.

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