Cheapest way to finish basement


Old 02-03-06, 09:59 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2
Cheapest way to finish basement

I want to finish our basement on the cheap side because I don't plan on livinging here but for another 4 0r 5 yrs. We need another beed room as we now have a 3rd child and 3 bed rooms is not enough. I would also like to have an office so I can move the computer out of our living room. I would also rec/play room for the kids so we can get all of the toys out of the upstairs. I wanted to find out what the cheapest way to make walls and finish the ceiling would be and still make it look nice. I also would like to carpet the area with some nice but inexpensive carpet. What I would like from everyone is materials I should use to keep it inexpensive but still look nice. The area I have to finish is a 24x40 and part of this needs to stay the laundry area. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-03-06, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,268
Almost impossible to answer

Given the information you've supplied. Are you going to do it yourself? What skills do you have? What type of budget are you looking at?

I just finished a new basement addition of about the same size - doing all the work myself. If I were to compare my addition to what you're describing - I would have to deduct the new bath and wet bar that I installed along with the project (those were the spendiest parts). My total, including the bath and bar was $8100 - with a very nice, high end finish (if I do say so myself - and my real estate agent concurs)..... Deducting the bath and bar - the cost (excluding my free labor) was around $5K.

framed the walls - insulated same - drywalled walls and ceiling - wood floors - french doors leading in - light fixtures (7) - electrical work - HVAC runs -
Old 02-03-06, 11:29 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
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Check your local Building Codes office. If you put a bedroom in the basement, you are required to have an egress window with certain dimensions. Since you have future plans of selling your house, you will want it up to code and have permits. When you sell your home this will probably be brought up in the Disclosure Statement. If you go ahead and remodel without permits, you may get caught and have to tear it all out. Especially if you run electrical (wall switches etc). Should you do it without permits and something goes wrong and there is a fire, your insurance will most likely not pay the claim. Just having your family living in the house should be enough to get the proper permits and inspections. Good luck.
Old 02-03-06, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,268
He's right...

And the permit was $349
Old 02-03-06, 02:51 PM
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I know budget is a large item, but it may not be to your best long term benefit to finish it "cheaply". This is an investment you will realize the return on when you sell it in a few years. Carpet, yeah, you can get a cheap grade of carpet,and the new owners will probably change it out any, since they don't like the color, or style. No big deal. But wall finish, trim, doors, etc. should be first quality. Electrical, HVAC, water access, etc. can't be skimped on, either.
I just finished an estimate on a basement about your size, and it will run about $15K with drop ceiling, sheetrock walls, some pocket doors, some swing doors.
Old 02-03-06, 05:48 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2
Well I don't have a real budget at this time. I just wanted to do it in the most inexpensive manner possible. I was thinking of not doing drywall because I remodeled the bathroom and gutted it completely. Well I had to have someone come in and finish the drywall for me as I couldn't get it done right. Is there anything that would look as nice as dry wall that I wouldn't have to finish. I wanted some good ideas for the ceiling to, the basemeant was in progress when I bought it some of the studs are up and the ceiling is somewhat done. But I tore down a bunch of the panels running wires for cat5 and suround sound. So I'm not real sure what to do there cause the I don't know where the ceiling came from or how to even find out. I was thinking I could maybe patch it with drywall and then just fill in the groves that the existing ceiling has to give it a smooth look. Just give me some ideas on what to do with walls, ceiling and flooring.
Old 02-04-06, 05:58 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: allen park, mi
Posts: 187
gotta drywall...

even if you hire someone to mud it. Drywall is $6 a sheet vs. $20 a sheet for that crappy panel wood board crap. Plus, it is sturdier for the long a haul, people will see the basement as REALLY being finished, and ...well I don't know but I am sure there are more advantages. Heck if you get it down into the basement, it might even be cheaper to hire someone to hang it and mud it since it is $14 less a sheet.
Old 02-16-06, 07:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: canada
Posts: 17
maybe you could try paneling?? or even just wall boards and paint them......this way all you do is cut them to the right height and nail them up. You can always paint them to the colour you like and i think it could look great! cheaper than drywall and no need to deal with taping and sanding!

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