The toughest part about finishing your basement is just getting started.
Thinking about how you could use that extra space, all the fun you could have down there, what great shape you'll be in and how you might design your basement. That 's the easy part.
Trust me though. As fun as it is to dream and cut out pictures of your ultimate basement, it's even more fun to build it yourself.
If you finish your own basement you will never look at another basement or even another house for that matter the same way again.
7 posts to help you get started:
Finishing a Basement - There a 8 major phases to finishing your own basement. This article will give you an overview of each and links to detailed posts. Plus, the one secret skill that you'll need to complete the job. Hint: You used to have it when you were a kid!
Imagine the benefits - Increasing your home's value by thousands. Complete design flexibility.
Basement Permits and Inspections - Don't let the permit process scare you. Read through this post to put your mind at ease.
Design Time - I loved the design phase. Once I learned how to do the design and how helpful it was to have a design I spent tons of time planning my new basement space.
HVAC - Will you need to expand your heating and cooling to make sure your basement is comfortable? How do you do that? What does it cost? I'm still writing this section but there's a start at least. 3 options for heating your basement.
Working Solo - Tips and tricks for literally finishing on your own. As in 1 person. As in, my wife is upstairs pregnant and watching movies.
One Small Wall - Get going already. Forget all the stuff above and just build a wall for kicks. You can hang some pegboard on there and have a spot for some tools - here's how.
Perfect Basement Finishing Weekend - What's that you say...? You can only work on the weekends? Welcome to the club. No problem, if you follow some of these tips you can still finish your own basement even if you only work on it on the weekends.
Once you get started and gain some confidence in your ability you'll be ready to tackle the other major basement phases electrical, plumbing, and finishing.
2 Areas People Always Ask About
Here are two things I was worried about before I got started with my basement project. These really kept me up at night and prevented me from getting started. Put your mind at ease, these are not hard to solve. Here's everything I know.
Basement Waterproofing - Does your sump pump go off a lot? Have you had a basement flood before? Does your basement smell like a gym locker sometimes? I had all of the above and solved them. HOW I solved them may surprise you.
Radon Gas Testing - Are you freaked out about Radon gas? Don't worry... well, worry a little. Radon can cause cancer. Even if you're not ready to finish your basement you should test your house for radon. I researched the inter-webs for 4 days and boiled it all down to these key points.
The only big phase that I contracted out was the drywall phase. When I priced it out I just couldn't do the work for less and I knew I could save months and months of time by letting the pros do that step. It took them about a week and they did a fantastic job.
Cheers - Jason
Not quite ready to start? But you'd still love to get some inspiration, some ideas and some money saving tips? Signup for the email newsletter. I usually only send about 1 email a week and it's chock-full of home improvement and basement goodness.