(Topic ID: 208898)

Finishing a basement, on a budget?


By the96stang

2 years ago



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  • 57 posts
  • 33 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by JBK
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    There are 57 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 2 years ago

    SO, I just closed on my first house, which has a 1000 square foot unfinished basement. I am looking to give it a semi finished/finished look as cheap as possible. Does anyone have any advice? Any tips or tricks? Any pitfalls to avoid? The cedar closet will be coming out, and I plan on relocating the washer and dryer to closer to the furnace so that I can wall off that area as a workshop/laundry room/Utility room.

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    #2 2 years ago

    I had a painter spray the bottom of floor/joists. This gives the feeling of higher ceiling, and hides the wiring and plumbing. It also gives kind of that industrial look. I added can lights before the paint, and used the LED inserts in them.

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    #3 2 years ago

    It’s tough to do cheaply, but I painted my joists, added canned lights, dry walled and insulated outer walls, and added a bunch of electrical circuits and outlets. I did most of it myself, but it turned out great and way cheaper than outsourcing!

    One other thing we did was inexpensive Home Depot carpeting with the extra thick mildew resistant padding.

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    #4 2 years ago

    So, I had a similar dilemma, and what I ended up doing was putting in a raised waterproof subfloor (our basement gets puddles on super rainy days occasionally).

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    Then we just stapled down some cheap indoor/outdoor carpet (looks better than it sounds), and for the walls, we just made a wall frame kinda thing, put some inexpensive foam insulation, and stapled on some wall panels over the top. Doing that, we avoided having to paint or drywall, and the results look decent enough. Truth be told, I have so many pinball machines, you don't even really see the wall

    We didn't even bother to finish the ceiling. On one small section of wall, instead of faux wood paneling, we actually stapled up a darker shade of indoor/outdoor carpet, and use it as a giant pin board. We pin bumper stickers, beer signs, and all sorts of other odds and ends. It's kinda like a poor man's feature wall.

    I don't have any pictures on hand of my basement, but if I remember, I'll post them. It really doesn't look bad, and it saved us tons of money.

    #5 2 years ago

    If you have the ability to do the work yourself you can really keep the costs down. I am currently in the process of converting my basement over to a finished game room that my Dad and I have been working on since September. It takes a while to do but I can’t imagine how much more this would cost to have outsourced. I bet 4x the cost I have paid.

    #6 2 years ago

    I stapled outdoor weed fabric for your flowerbed to the ceiling to kill the reflection from the floor joists on the machine glass. It worked really well for my cheapass project.

    #7 2 years ago

    It also keeps garbage from the ceiling off the pool table. My ceiling has fiberglass insulation between the joists, so I couldn't just paint them.

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    #8 2 years ago

    I sprayed the ceiling flat black painted the walls, and stained/ sealed the floor in low gloss clear. I have around a grand invested.

    #9 2 years ago

    I would:

    - Spray paint the ceiling. I did mine a flat black, like others here have done.

    - Stain the concrete floor. It's not expensive and gives a finished look to the floor.

    - Paint the walls.

    - I would bring in some track lighting to finish it off and I think that's it.

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from the96stang:

    SO, I just closed on my first house, which has a 1000 square foot unfinished basement. I am looking to give it a semi finished/finished look as cheap as possible. Does anyone have any advice? Any tips or tricks? Any pitfalls to avoid? The cedar closet will be coming out, and I plan on relocating the washer and dryer to closer to the furnace so that I can wall off that area as a workshop/laundry room/Utility room.

    Congratulations on your house purchase!!!!

    I don't have any advice for you since I've been going all out on my basement since purchasing our house. But I'm thinking that's why it's taken me 2 years to get where I'm at now. Hopefully one day.....

    #11 2 years ago

    100% spray the ceiling BLACK. Do not spray it white. It will always look dirty. Spray black and you will never notice it again. Flat is best, if you get a black tint with a bit of the color from your walls, it will blend better.

    If you have water moisture, you can do the raised floor - "DriCore" is what it's called. I used it in my office where I have all our electrical stuff (computer servers, etc) and the rest of the basement is where we had the water issues! Lol.

    Get rid of the oil tank - it takes up way more space than it looks, and will cost you $600 for a junk hauler to take it. If they can get it out of your house in one piece, they can re-sell it and you'll have 2-3 guys asking to haul it away.

    You're in Connecticut - you will want insulation. There's a cheap way to insulate - using fiber batts (the rolled stuff that comes in those huge bags), but this can contribute to mold if it gets even a LITTLE wet. So better to use Foam boards - the R-value isn't quite as high but you can put them right against the walls, and no mold. You will want insulation if you are putting pins down there.

    I wouldn't even worry about the floor unless you have moisture; depends on how livable you want your space to be. My basement is 800 ft2, cost me $21000 to do the whole thing, floor, ceiling, paint, drywall, move the furnace, and we added a bathroom as well.

    #12 2 years ago

    I just completed my budget basement build not too long ago. I knew I was going to fill the space with games, so wasn't too concerned about seeing brick or having it be a "finished" space. In the end, I'm super happy with how it turned out.

    The space was complete unfinished when I started. Here's the quick rundown of what I did to complete the room:

    - Painted cinder block with drylok
    - Walled off utility room
    - Found recessed lights on craigslist
    - Painted ceiling (and lights) black
    - Reused 4x fluorescent lights for blacklights
    - Painted drywalled walls
    - Had blacklight carpet and pad installed. (Pad glued to concrete, carpet installed normally with nail strips)

    Again, I couldn't be happier with the outcome. Given this is the arcade room, or in the future just a rec room; I'm fine with it not being completely finished. We moved in last December, so I took that winter to see how cold it got without directly heating the space; and it was fine. You could be in the unfinished space in short and a tee-shirt and be comfortable.

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    #13 2 years ago

    As always black cieling. You can buy a cheap sprayer and get the cheapest paint they have and save a lot of cash.

    Brother in law borrowed my sprayer and did his... Wait for it.... Sky Blue. Uff the horror

    #14 2 years ago

    Now we have to see pics of that TheLaw !

    #15 2 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    As always black cieling. You can buy a cheap sprayer and get the cheapest paint they have and save a lot of cash.
    Brother in law borrowed my sprayer and did his... Wait for it.... Sky Blue. Uff the horror

    LOL!! It is worth it to get the good paint, as it's easier to clean, but the most important thing is to get it covered.

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    Get rid of the oil tank - it takes up way more space than it looks, and will cost you $600 for a junk hauler to take it. If they can get it out of your house in one piece, they can re-sell it and you'll have 2-3 guys asking to haul it away.

    What's he supposed to store fuel oil in for the furnace?

    #17 2 years ago
    Quoted from tomdrum:

    What's he supposed to store fuel oil in for the furnace?

    I should have specified: I’m assuming it’s been disconnected - if the furnace still runs on oil, keep it!

    #18 2 years ago

    I envy you guys with basements.

    #19 2 years ago
    Quoted from the96stang:

    Does anyone have any advice? Any tips or tricks? Any pitfalls to avoid?

    Other posts have covered the tips and tricks, so I'll hit the pitfalls to avoid (and try not to make it sound like a lecture!). You've got a nice, big open space. I'd say keep it that way. Adding rooms means framing, wiring, drywall... While it's not rocket science, straight walls with no visible seams is one of the first indicators of a professional job.

    Also, I wouldn't leave the concrete uncovered. I imagine in Connecticut that stuff gets pretty cold in the winter, just like Colorado. Rolling out an inexpensive, commercial carpet will go a long way in improving the look and climate of the space. If you choose to do this, be sure it's not a patterned commercial as that will make the seams stand out less. Don't bother with pad or adhesive unless you want the edges to look finished.

    Quoted from AndHart120:

    If you have the ability to do the work yourself you can really keep the costs down. I am currently in the process of converting my basement over to a finished game room that my Dad and I have been working on since September. It takes a while to do but I can’t imagine how much more this would cost to have outsourced. I bet 4x the cost I have paid.

    That's the trade-off....time vs money. For a professional basement finish, figure about $30/sf to get a base number (Colorado price). That'll get you a full bathroom and wet bar too, if its pre-plumbed. It also depends on the quality of finished products you select. Measurement to completion could take 6 weeks or less depending on material shipping and inspections.

    If you're good with tools, you can definitely do this yourself for less. With most DIYers, I find they don't do a complete finish by themselves. They contract out the parts that are out of their wheelhouse and do what they can themselves. That gives them a good value for their budget.

    The pics in this thread look really good. I love the black light! Good luck and be sure to post updates as you go.

    #20 2 years ago

    I used Rustoleum epoxy garage paint (I made a video on my Brewers Arcade YouTube channel). You can buy black light reflective paint chips to add in and it came out great. Make sure you do the clear coat on top of it. I want to spray my ceiling...has anyone done it with all their games in there? Did you just cover them in plastic? Any recommendations for a sprayer?

    #21 2 years ago

    Sticky carpet tiles, straight on the concrete. That's what's in my basement from previous owner. I like it.

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    If you have water moisture, you can do the raised floor - "DriCore" is what it's called. I used it in my office where I have all our electrical stuff (computer servers, etc) and the rest of the basement is where we had the water issues! Lol.

    I looked at dricore, its easy to install buts its kinda expensive for what it is. A cheaper alternative thats just as effective is a product called delta floor. Its a roll of plastic material similar to whats on the bottom of a dri core panel. You roll it down and tape the seams. Then you can put plywood on top or to save even more money just put laminate flooring over it. With the laminate you have tons of looks and price ranges to go with. The little air gap it has between the concrete and and top is enough to keep it from getting as cold as just carpet over concrete.

    I did this in my basemnt and then a few years later we had a pipe burst. The laminate I has was fairly cheap so it wasnt a big deal to pull it up and just put new laminate down. You can re-use the delta floor since its rigid plastic. Just let it dry out. If we used dricore the plywood on top of it would have gotten soaked and we would have had to replace it.

    #23 2 years ago
    Quoted from the96stang:

    SO, I just closed on my first house, which has a 1000 square foot unfinished basement. I am looking to give it a semi finished/finished look as cheap as possible. Does anyone have any advice? Any tips or tricks? Any pitfalls to avoid? The cedar closet will be coming out, and I plan on relocating the washer and dryer to closer to the furnace so that I can wall off that area as a workshop/laundry room/Utility room.

    I done quite a bit of remodeling for customers. My thoughts:

    1) Moving the washer / dryer is a big job. The 220V line for the dryer will need to be run from the breaker box. A drain is needed for the washer. An outside wall is needed for the dryer vent. Plus you'll need supply water lines for the washer. If you can do the work yourself it could run $200-300 in materials depending on the location of the electrical box and drain pipe. A pro could charge $500-1,000+ for that.
    2) The block exterior walls could have furring strips installed and foam board installed between them. You could cover that with paneling. That's the cheapest way to gain some insulation and finish the walls.
    3) Throw cheap carpet on the floor. Down the road you could upgrade.
    4) As others posted, painting the ceiling is cheap. However boxing the beam & posts and installing drop ceiling would add a bunch of resale value. Again down the road.

    Congrats on getting your 1st!

    #24 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    LOL!! It is worth it to get the good paint, as it's easier to clean, but the most important thing is to get it covered.

    I have heard that but It didn't seem like it to me. I bought the cheapest shit they had, "we sell this to schools to paint stage sets with" was strangly the quote
    Of course it was a work zone and I didn't care hat I got on the floor.

    #25 2 years ago

    As everyone else said, it would help to know how handy you are. I did everything myself and saved a ton, but you may not have that luxury. If you can't wire for example that would affect what people suggest to you. My basement was pretty cheap, but I splurged on certain things like thin brick in one room and a nice theater. I did everything myself and didn't do the full sound deadening package. Keep in mind that if you ever go to resell, being up to code and having it look nice is important

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    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from AndHart120:

    If you have the ability to do the work yourself you can really keep the costs down. I am currently in the process of converting my basement over to a finished game room that my Dad and I have been working on since September. It takes a while to do but I can’t imagine how much more this would cost to have outsourced. I bet 4x the cost I have paid.

    Agreed. You can finish that yourself for around $4-5k in materials and about 3 months of work. Carpeting will be your biggest expense. If you don’t know how to do electrical work, the cost will go up. I wouldn’t touch the washer and dryer, just build a closet around it. Tiled ceilings are better, imo, as you still have access to wiring and future expansion.

    #27 2 years ago

    My basement came with this 500 square-foot finished section. It is Sheetrock

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    #28 2 years ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    So, I had a similar dilemma, and what I ended up doing was putting in a raised waterproof subfloor (our basement gets puddles on super rainy days occasionally).

    Do you need to attach that Dricore to the floor? I'm due for some new carpet soon and that looks like a good option for me.

    #29 2 years ago

    More pins... less finish...

    #30 2 years ago
    Quoted from Brazy:

    More pins... less finish...

    Mine started out as unfinished also...dyi er so I've learned allot along the way..via many mistakes.. lol

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    #31 2 years ago

    Wet carpet stinks... if that's an issue then do the drylok or plastic down on top of vinyl faux wood flooring.. that's what mine is

    #32 2 years ago

    What are your thoughts on these requirements?

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    #33 2 years ago

    Permits are good and bad. In my area, if you get a permit, your property taxes will go up as they raise your assessment. If you aren’t sure what you are doing entirely or you have a contractor doing the work, you should pull the permits as they come with inspections at each stage, framing, electrical, etc.

    #34 2 years ago

    My first house had a semi finished basement which I basically gutted and finished wihtout a permit (s), even put in a bathroom with the existing plumbing roughage. I took a risk and thankfully when I went to sell the house the inspectors did not have anything other than a minor citation for plumbing that was easily remedied. I think I got lucky. Either way congrats on purchasing a home and holy crap that is a big basement.

    #35 2 years ago

    Do it yourself and do it right. You need to do it according to code but it is your choice if you choose to pull a permit or not. You can also pull what is called a homeowners permit if you are planning on performing the work yourself. Go to Home Depot and buy a NR83A5 framing gun, box of 3x131 framing nails, compressor and air-line, couple hundred 2x4 studs, enough pressure treated 2x4 to cover floor plates with adhesive and a box of 60D spike nails to float the walls. Layout your room and snap lines with chalk reel. Tons of videos on Youtube nowadays you can do anything you set your mind to. It is not that difficult and you can sub most of it out. Find a good plumber and drywall guy. Sheetrock and can lights are cheap, finish it right with insulation and it will not only help with heating and cooling the room but also helps with soundproofing the game room. It will also help if you ever sell the home and it has a 'finished basement'. As for flooring you could just use concrete stain and finish or I prefer thick plush carpet with a nice thick pad. It helps your back and posture when standing and playing games for an extended period of time. Good luck!

    #36 2 years ago

    Definately go with the permit. It's cheap and forces you to have your work checked. The blueprints were the worst part for me as I hadn't done anything like that before. Most of the rules in that permit notice are code things, so you would be doing them anyway. Your property taxes may go up, but that's because your home value also just went up.

    #37 2 years ago

    Since you have plumbing and a drain in your basement already, the biggest investment you can make is to put a half bathroom in. It will cost you another $5k, but it it’s the best thing you can do. If you don’t do it immediately, keep it in mind when laying out your space.

    #38 2 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    I have heard that but It didn't seem like it to me. I bought the cheapest shit they had, "we sell this to schools to paint stage sets with" was strangly the quote
    Of course it was a work zone and I didn't care hat I got on the floor.

    It doesn’t really matter that much for the ceiling and floor joists - the better paint sticks better, which is important, but nobody’s messing with stuff up there for the most part. It does make a difference on the walls - it is thicker and you can do more square footage with fewer cans of paint.

    #39 2 years ago
    Quoted from Strummy:

    Do you need to attach that Dricore to the floor? I'm due for some new carpet soon and that looks like a good option for me.

    No, it literally sits atop the concrete. Watch out if it’s not pretty level, though, it will conform to the concrete eventually and you may have some weird dips. It locks together like tongue and groove. It is pretty expensive - $500/ square I think? But it’s a good option and way cheaper if you have moisture coming up from the floor

    #40 2 years ago
    Quoted from the96stang:

    What are your thoughts on these requirements?

    Well those are fairly standard spec for my area. Insulation, proper electrical code, plumbing, make sure you have enough space for the furnace to get the necessary amount of air. All good stuff, and will make it easier to sell the house later. You don’t want to cheap out and then end up on the Darwin Awards

    #41 2 years ago
    Quoted from the96stang:

    SO, I just closed on my first house, which has a 1000 square foot unfinished basement. I am looking to give it a semi finished/finished look as cheap as possible. Does anyone have any advice? Any tips or tricks? Any pitfalls to avoid? The cedar closet will be coming out, and I plan on relocating the washer and dryer to closer to the furnace so that I can wall off that area as a workshop/laundry room/Utility room.

    Congrats! Even more room for pins no?

    #42 2 years ago
    Quoted from the96stang:

    What are your thoughts on these requirements?

    Permits

    #43 2 years ago

    The manufacture says that dricore should be attached to the floor. You run a few tapcons in around the perimeter and a few in the center.

    I hired a certified electrician to check my design and layout before I started. He made sure I wasn’t over loading any lighting / outlet circuits and verified how I was planning on wiring. I had him come back after I was done to wire the panel and re-check that I did it correctly. I also had a plumber in to do the same thing.

    Before I started my basement finishing project I had never cut a 2x4 in half. I didn’t even own a saw. I paid $99 for some online “How to finish your basement” videos and it was the best $100 I ever spent.

    #44 2 years ago
    Quoted from PinballTilt:

    As everyone else said, it would help to know how handy you are. I did everything myself and saved a ton, but you may not have that luxury. If you can't wire for example that would affect what people suggest to you. My basement was pretty cheap, but I splurged on certain things like thin brick in one room and a nice theater. I did everything myself and didn't do the full sound deadening package. Keep in mind that if you ever go to resell, being up to code and having it look nice is important

    nice penny table!

    #45 2 years ago
    Quoted from Spyderturbo007:

    The manufacture says that dricore should be attached to the floor. You run a few tapcons in around the perimeter and a few in the center.
    I hired a certified electrician to check my design and layout before I started. He made sure I wasn’t over loading any lighting / outlet circuits and verified how I was planning on wiring. I had him come back after I was done to wire the panel and re-check that I did it correctly. I also had a plumber in to do the same thing.
    Before I started my basement finishing project I had never cut a 2x4 in half. I didn’t even own a saw. I paid $99 for some online “How to finish your basement” videos and it was the best $100 I ever spent.

    With respect, Dricore is supposed to be floating. In extreme circumstances, they do say you can attach to the floor, but doing this can wreck the benefits of the product, since the little feet are now pierced

    #46 2 years ago

    pinballtilt where did you get that pinball sign?

    #47 2 years ago

    “An ounce of prevention”. Safety and insurance needs trump cosmetics.
    Its wise to pull the permits, get inspections, use approved labor etc.
    You can always start enjoying the game room before it’s finished too.
    I’m sure everyone here has gone over budget. The game room you deserve or of your dreams may be hard to obtain initially, but you should certainly protect your investment.

    Dricore installs easily, you can use self leveling cement and/or tapcons to help level your floor. Roxul insulation helps with sound and is fire resistant etc etc.

    Hate to see any unfortunate event happen and then have home insurance voided by unapproved and not-to-code construction.

    My two cents

    #48 2 years ago

    Put so many pinball machines and arcade games down there that nobody notices if it's finished or not.

    #49 2 years ago

    I have 1200 sqft basement that is not finished, full span with no post. Has a full bath from previous owner. Want to make a 14x14 guest room and the rest game room and work shop. Work shop has stud walls up just need to be finished. Loving all the floor ideas. The floor is smooth finished concrete.

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    #50 2 years ago
    Quoted from Bricarus:

    Put so many pinball machines and arcade games down there that nobody notices if it's finished or not.

    This.

    And its all about lights and lighting... try to get away with keeping most of it in the dark.

    Carpet tile is good for unfinished floors and keeps the dust down.
    Got mine from the office reno

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