How to Remodel Your Basement on a Budget

remodel your basement on a budget

Basement projects are notorious for going over budget.

So often, homeowners start their basement remodel project without a clear idea of the end goal they want, which can lead to overspending.

A budget often isn’t thoroughly considered before a project is started, and this can be the first mistake.

We’ll outline a few tips and tricks to remodel your basement on a budget (and how to stick to yours).

With a little planning and forethought, you’ll be on your way to a newly remodeled basement and an increase in your home’s value!

tips for saving money on basement remodel

Average Cost to Finish a Basement

Remodeling a basement costs $5,000 - $10,000 on average.

This cost typically includes adding walls, flooring, electricity, and lighting so that the basement is ready to be inhabited.

Adding finishing touches here and there could potentially cost much less.

The cost of remodeling a basement varies depending on:

  • square footage of the basement
  • type and quality of finishes that you use
  • whether or not you are adding electrical work or plumbing
  • whether or not structural changes are necessary
  • whether any challenges come up
  • special circumstances with the project
  • if you have design plans already
Before beginning your basement remodel, it’s important to have it inspected for any foundation or drainage issues. If water damage is noticed, or if water seepage is an issue, basement waterproofing and potentially foundation repair, will need to be addressed, which will increase the cost.

​Tip #1: Research, then research again.

This can be the most fun part of the remodel process, but it can also be the most long-winded.

What starts out as dreaming big with a sparkle in your eye can quickly lead to feeling weighed-down and overwhelmed by the seemingly never-ending choices, decisions, and dollar signs that come with any home improvement project.

The best place to start is with a good idea of what you want.

Gather inspiration and ideas from websites, magazines, TV shows, trade shows, and more.

There’s a plethora of information out there, so it’s always best to begin your project with at least a general idea of the look you’re going for in your basement.

If you don’t have any idea what you want your basement to look like, that’s okay! But you’ll have more important decisions to make, and it may be in your best interest to hire a basement design pro.

Once you have an idea of what you want, from there, you can figure out what it will take—and what it will cost—to achieve your desired look.

Find an interior demolition specialist near you to assist in your basement remodel

Tip #2: Be realistic and stick to your budget.

Be realistic about what you want to accomplish with your remodel and how much you can comfortably spend.

Then, make a plan and stick to it.

Realistic expectations and approaches to your basement remodel project will be the keys to success.

Aim for spending no more than 10-15% of your home’s overall value on this project to avoid overspending. 

Always err on the side of underspending when it comes to any home improvement project. You should also add 20% of your project costs to your remodel budget to serve as a “safety net” should any unpredictable circumstances arise. Basements can have unforeseen issues that need to be addressed mid-project. Make sure you budget for that and aren’t caught off-guard.

Tip #3: Spend less where you can.

choose an inexpensive floor for your basement

When it comes to choosing your remodel materials, there are some things you should bargain shop, and some things you shouldn’t.

You can cut a few corners to save some money on flooring.

Consider using the less expensive flooring option. Not only are basements susceptible to leaking, but unexpected floods in your basement can happen, so expensive flooring isn’t just unnecessary, it’s potentially money wasted.

Inexpensive flooring options generally have the same look and function as their premium counterparts, whether tiles or carpet, so you pay less while still achieving the look and feel you want.

Tip #4: Keep features “standard.”

Unlike going the “inexpensive" route when it comes to some things, going the “custom” route on any aspect of your project will increase the overall remodel cost substantially.

Using standard sizes and materials can save you a ton when it comes to things like cabinets and countertops.

There are many prefabricated materials to choose from that are beautiful and much less expensive, so be sure to check out those standard options.

Tip #5: Utilize open spaces.

Most unfinished basements don’t have any walls.

To create individual rooms, you would need to pay for the drywall, studs, wiring, and doors, which can add up quickly.

However, you can take advantage of the open space and make the basement multi-functional.

Without walls limiting the individual spaces within your basement, an open floor plan will allow your basement to transition through life with you, while also being a space of possibilities to any potential buyers, too—a win-win!

Find an interior demolition specialist near you to assist in your basement remodel

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