An unfinished basement is an untapped source of bonus square footage that can be put to good use with a quality basement finishing job. However, basement renovation cost can add up, so if you’re on a limited budget you must plan your renovation carefully. These pointers on cheap basement finishing will help cut your basement renovation budget without compromising quality and safety.
Cheap Basement Flooring
Because basements are typically quite large, flooring can be a major expense of basement renovation, so simplifying your basement flooring cuts costs. Stained or painted concrete is by far the cheapest option, and is exceptionally easy to install. If that’s not your style, consider laminate flooring or vinyl tiling. Just steer clear of carpeting, as it can be quite problematic in the event of a flood.
Cheap Basement Ceiling Options
An unfinished basement will have an exposed ceiling wherein ductwork and plumbing are exposed. One of the most inexpensive options is to leave the ceiling open but paint it black. You can also use sheets of faux wood paneling for a rustic look. Drop ceilings are another option, and have the added bonus of easy access to plumbing and ductwork.
Cheap Basement Wall Treatments
Your unfinished basement likely has bare cinderblock or brick walls, which should be finished for a full basement renovation. Framing and insulating walls provides a more finished look and is energy efficient – just make sure to solve any moisture problems and select basement-appropriate insulation. If you’re looking to cut your budget, you can simply paint your walls, or perhaps cover them in paneling, although these options aren’t as energy-efficient.
Setting Realistic Expectations
There are many potential basement finishing features, and at the outset of your project, it may be tempting to go for all of them. However, if you’re on a limited budget, it’s important to carefully prioritize which features you’ll get the most use from, and leave the rest for later. You can also opt to finish only part of your basement and use the rest as storage space.
Also resist the temptation to do everything yourself in order to save money, particularly with plumbing and electrical work. A contractor may cost more at the outset, but it’s well worth avoiding potential safety hazards or costly damage to your home that may result from faulty work.
If you’re currently planning your own cheap basement finishing job, we’d love to hear your own money saving insights. Leave us your thoughts in the comments section.