DIY Basement Finishing

basement-finishing-contractorIf you’re looking to make better use of your basement without breaking the bank, a partial basement renovation may be the best option.  You can also save money by doing part or all of your basement renovation on your own.

 Here we discuss some potential basement renovation options that will make your basement more inviting, but are also inexpensive and easy to install.  For a cheap basement renovation, you may also opt to only install some of the options and leave other features unchanged.

 DIY Basement Flooring

 The most important aspect for any basement floor option is that it be waterproof in the event of a flood.  This protects your investment and helps to prevent costly water damage.

Stained concrete is among the cheapest and easiest basement flooring options.  This involves prepping the surface such that it is smooth and doesn’t show seams using a sander and perhaps a thin layer of special finisher concrete, and then applying a specialized concrete stain and sealant.

If you’re looking for a more advanced but inexpensive option, laminate flooring is another potential basement flooring option.  Advanced amateurs can typically install laminate flooring, but if you’re inexperienced in home repair it may be best left to professionals.  For basement renovation Toronto homeowners have many excellent basement remodeling contractors available.

 DIY Basement Walls

 Simply painting bare walls can significantly improve you basement’s appearance, and the color scheme can be customized to your personal preference.  This is an easy job even if you’re fairly inexperienced in home renovation, and can usually be completed within a day or two.

For a more polished but inexpensive look, you can also use wooden side panels or house siding.  These options are typically a few hundred dollars, and are easily installed by intermediate amateurs.

 DIY Basement Ceilings

 Exposed ceiling are actually quite stylish at the moment, so a simple coat of paint could be an excellent finished basement ceiling option.  We recommend opting for darker colors that minimize contrast.  A paint sprayer might make this job easier.  Most local hardware stores offer fairly inexpensive paint sprayer rental.

If you’re after a more polished look, you can also install a drop ceiling, similar to those seen in office buildings and schools.  This is easily installed by most amateurs, but if you don’t have much home renovation and repair experience, it may be best to consult a professional.

We’d love to hear about your own DIY basement finishing experiences and ideas as a homeowner.  Tell us all about it in the comments section.

Basement Ceiling Options

basement remodelingMost houses are sold with unfinished basements that have bare ceilings, leaving unsightly duct work and plumbing exposed.  For a basement to be considered finished, the ceiling must be covered.  There are many available basement ceiling options, and your budget, decor and intended usage for your finished basement will dictate which basement ceiling option is right for you.

Multilevel Ceilings

With some creative planning, you can contour your basement’s ceiling to cover the ducts and pipes with drywall paneling.  You can coordinate these levels with the floor plan to define different activity zones of your basement.

Siding Panels

One of the more simple basement ceiling options is to simply cover the ceiling with siding panels.  You can select the paneling to fit your desired decor.  This creates a uniform ceiling that allows your basement to appear just as finished as any other room.

Tray Ceilings

Another option is to box in duct work, which is usually on the perimeter of the basement, and create a tray ceiling.  You can accent the perimeter of the tray with molding to create a more finished, refined look.

Cover with Paint

If you’re looking for cheap basement finishing, you can simply cover the entire ceiling with a uniform coating of paint.  Darker colors are best for this option, as they put less emphasis on the contrasts of the duct work.

Laminate Planks

Laminate planks are another potential basement ceiling option.  Laminate planks are available in many different designs, and can be customized to fit your basement’s decor.

Drop Ceiling

Drop ceilings, which are commonly found in office buildings, schools and other institutional buildings, provide a finished look but keep duct work accessible for maintenance and renovations.  This option is also more economical than some other basement ceilings, so may be best if you’re on a budget.

Your basement’s ceiling can be customized to fit your decor, budget, and intended usage for your finished basement.  A qualified basement finishing contractor can help you to select the best basement ceiling option.  Fortunately for basement finishing Toronto area residents have many available well-qualified contractors.

What Exactly is a Finished Basement?

services_basementsThe term “finished basement” has become somewhat of a buzz word as of late, and is often tossed around as a selling point.  As such, the definition has become somewhat muddied, and there’s a lot of confusion as to what exactly constitutes a finished basement.  It’s important to be aware of these distinctions as a homeowner looking to remodel, or as a potential home buyer.

Independent Point of Egress

Most provinces and local ordinances require an independent exit (i.e. not through the main house) for a basement to be considered fully finished.  This is mostly for safety concerns, and also makes the basement more convenient and user friendly.  To meet building code in Toronto finished basements must have a separate exit.  Many building codes also require windows, and some also require at least a half bath.

Finished Basement Design

Most new homes are sold with unfinished basements, wherein the floor is concrete, the ceiling is exposed and the walls are bare cinder block.  In order for a basement to be considered fully finished, all of this must change.  There are many basement ceiling options, but the bottom line is that the ceiling must not be exposed.  Basement flooring is also important: carpeting, vinyl flooring, linoleum flooring, engineered wood flooring, stained concrete or tiling are all options depending upon your home’s decor.  The walls must also be covered and painted.

Climate Control

In order to be fully livable, a finished basement must be insulated, heated and cooled.  New homes vary in the degree of climate control already present, so the amount of work necessary to meet this requirement will vary.

Building Code and Legal Concerns

For Toronto basement remodeling, electrical code, plumbing and fire safety must all be carefully observed, particularly if you are considering renting out a basement apartment.  It may be a good idea to find a contractor experienced in basement finishing, so that you can be sure that your finished basement meets code.  Also, when the time comes to sell your home, a professionally remodeled basement that fully meets building codes will be attractive to appraisers and potential buyers alike.  Fortunately for basement finishing Toronto has many well-qualified contractors.

Basement finishing has many benefits, and can increase your home’s value as well as livable square footage.  However, it’s a big job, and it’s important to find a well-qualified contractor and manage your project carefully.