Essential Home Renovations: Steps for Finishing a Basement

Essential Home Renovations: Steps for Finishing a Basement
  • Opening Intro -

    Though plenty of homes have them, unfinished basements are one of the least desirable features a property can have.

    Characterized as damp, dark, and dingy, these spaces aren't useful for much, and even storing items can be questionable at times.


For these reasons, it’s no surprise that homeowners typically jump at the chance to finally complete this room and make the most of it. But, before you take up the project, it’s crucial that you know the steps for finishing a basement and what to expect from the process.

Apply for a Construction Permit and Acquire Materials

The first thing you should do whenever you want to perform extensive work on your home is to get a permit from your township.

These applications seek approval for the work from your local government, and, therefore, make the process easier to track if you should need to draw up the home’s history.

They also ensure that everything remains in compliance with housing safety standards. Once this is completed and approved, you’ll begin purchasing the necessary flooring, drywall, and paint for the job ahead.

Frame and Build Your Walls

The next step for finishing your basement is to begin constructing the framework for your walls. Most unfinished basements have solid cement walls that make the room feel dark and cold.

To bring some life to this space, you’ll need to install walls that are more customizable. This involves installing insulation, establishing the wooden framework, and, ultimately, covering it all up with drywall. However, if you plan to run utility cables through these walls, you may need to wait to attach the drywall until this part is finished.

Install the Appropriate Lighting and Utilities

Then, once the framework is up, you can start installing your desired utilities. It’s best to connect a quality lighting system for the space and set up a few cable outlets at the very least.

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This increases the number of potential uses for your basement and can raise your home’s overall value when you go to sell. Still, there are a variety of things to consider for basement lighting, and installation is difficult to undo, so you should plan your course of action carefully.

Put up Your Ceiling and Lay Your Flooring

When everything is hooked up and working properly, you can start hiding all those ugly wires by drilling in your ceiling tiles around your lighting fixtures. This will give the room a cleaner, more modern look—especially if you chose recessed lighting to conserve space.

For the ceiling itself, you can use drop-ceiling tiles for quick and easy installation, or you can use a drywalled ceiling for a sleeker appearance. Take this opportunity to apply your subflooring, as well, and lay your flooring once it’s properly set.

other valuable tips:

Paint and Decorate

Finally, when everything else is said and done, you can start painting, decorating, and making this space your own. Finished basements open up so many possibilities, depending on your tastes.

As such, you have the freedom to turn it into whatever you need it to be. Some popular uses for finished basements include a secondary living space, an entertainment room, a guest bedroom, and even a hobby room.

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