Steps to Finishing a Basement (Simple and Easy Guide)

Basement is usually used as a place to store our stuff and sometimes we abandon it. We don’t realize that the basement offers us a lot of space that can be used more than just storage and can add valuable space to your home.

If you know how to finish your basement, you can have a cozy place for your friends and family. The critical things you need to prepare first are inspiration, plan and execute. After you get an idea, you need to plan when and how to do it, and finally, execute it.

Simple and Easy Guide to Finishing a Basement Step by Step

Steps to Finishing a Basement Simple and Easy Guide

The basic steps to finish your basement are insulating walls, choosing the flooring and adding a ceiling to transform your lower level into an additional living area. Let’s get started!

Step 1. Get Your Inspiration

An idea or inspiration is important so you know how you will change and finish your basement. It will help you to set plans so you will not waste time. You can get the idea of basement everywhere, be it from a magazine, by visiting places or by browsing the internet.

You may go to your friend’s house and find something special and unique that you can apply for your basement and adapt it like your style. You can get the inspiration everywhere, just take one and you are ready for the plan and execution.

Step 2. Plan Your Inspiration

Once you get your idea, try to put it into a piece of paper. Draw what kind of basement you want and make note of everything. Make a draft or basement diagram to ease you when you want to execute your plan.

Measure all the walls accurately and apply it on your diagram. It does not have to be a perfect scale, just a rough layout is enough. You also need to consider the concrete. Try to not break the concrete, you have to minimize your work.

Step 3. Clean Out Your Basement

After finding an idea and already make the rough layout, now it is the time for the execution. Yet, before you do it, you need to clean out your basement. Get rid of all the junks from your basement. Remove all boxes, bins, trash, and appliances before getting started.

Step 4. Moisture Test

A moisture test is needed to perform so you can check the waterproof level of your basement. By this, you can decide whether you need to waterproof your basement before remodeling it or not. Otherwise, you will have a leaking problem after renovation.

Step 5. Preparation

You need to prepare the material and tool used to finish your basement.

Tools you will need

  • Caulk gun
  • Circular saw
  • Masonry drill bit set
  • Masonry drill
  • Dust mask
  • Hearing protection
  • Safety glasses
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Sawhorses
  • Stepladder
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Framing Nailer or Nail Gun
  • Drywall jack

Materials you will need

  • Adhesive foam board
  • Polystyrene foam insulation
  • Duct tape
  • Caulk or foam filler
  • Two-by-four boards, enough to frame all exterior walls
  • Cement Nails
  • Framing nails
  • Wall screws
  • Drywall
  • Ceiling Tiles (if needed)
  • The flooring of your choice
  • Wire
  • Shims
  • Plywood
  • Wire cutters

Step 6. Build the Wall and Frame It

After preparing the tools and material needed, the first thing to do is to build your wall. The simplest thing to do is adding polystyrene foam insulation directly to your foundation wall. Then frame your wall. Framing is ‘skeleton’ outline that will help you to install a new wall.

You can do it faster if you realize your plan. By this, you know how to set the layout. You also need to consider the electrical plan when installing the wall frame. Next, install drywall. Paint your drywall, so your basement will look stunning.

Step 7 Electrical Installation

This is the time to install the electricity. You do not need to call an electrical contractor. You just can do it by yourself if you want. Take time to learn about this. It may take a couple of days and you can do the electricity installation by yourself. However, if you are unsure about your skill or you are in hurry to finish your basement, just call the electrical contractor to help you.

Step 8. Plumbing

A pretty bathroom will make your basement more special. First, start it with the design. What kind of bathroom you are desired. Plan the model of your bathroom and then make a draft. Installing a bathroom includes installing the features in it.

You need to frame your bathroom, where do you want to have the bathroom. Next, you need to do your plumbing. You can do it by yourself or just call a plumber. Finally, do not forget the electrical work. You need a special circuit for your bathroom and of course the lighting.

Step 9. Install the Floor

After you have done with wall installation, electrical and plumber, now it is your time to finish your basement floor. Waterproof floor is best to use to prevent damage of flood or leak that may happen. The first thing to do in installing the floor is deciding the flooring.

There are three types of flooring, such as:

  1. Vinyl, it is easy to install and water resistant.
  2. Tiles, it is easy to clean up if there is flood or leak and gives your basement a polished look.
  3. Carpet, when you have water issue, you can lift it up to dry it up.

After that, you can install the flooring directly into the concrete subfloor, or build a new subfloor with plywood and polystyrene sheets.

Step 10. Finish the Ceiling

Before installing your ceiling, choose the ceiling you want.

  1. Drop ceiling, cheap and easy option in lots of homes. It can cover exposed pipes.
  2. Drywall ceiling, it looks better but you need extra work to allows access to pipes and ductwork.

Then, install your ceiling.

For drop ceiling, replace the damaged tiles as needed. While drywall ceiling, you need extra work to leave an access hole in the drywall for pipes and ventilation.

Once you finish your wall, floor, and ceiling you are ready to use it. Decorate your basement and it can be a good space to spend your time.

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