Finishing a Basement in 2013

2013 cost of a basement

Finishing a basement is large project and most of us aren’t as rich as the dowager of Downton Abbey. But if you want to finish your basement in 2013 it can be much less expensive than you might think.

Yes, if you hire a contractor to finish your basement then you might be spending around $35,000 dollars for a 1,000 square foot basement with a bathroom. But, if you were as bold as the dowager, you would do what I did and finish your basement on your own.

Doing the work yourself you could finish the same basement for about $12,000.  That’s $23,000 in savings.  That’s a pretty decent mid-size car.  A semester or two of college tuition for your kid (yikes that is scary expensive) Or 10 summers of nice beach vacations.  $23,000 is a lot of money.

Where are the Savings ?

The savings in doing it yourself is in the labor.  Especially the labor for the electrical work (which is not as hard to do as you might think). Tiling a bathroom is expensive, but not if you tackle it yourself.  Even the framing of the basement is something you can do on your own.

About the only area I didn’t find savings was in the drywall phase. I have a strong suggestion on what to do there.

What about Tools?

This is the best part.  The $12,000 that I spent on my basement included a $1,000 or so worth of tools.  Tools which I get to keep and use going forward.

Air compressor, nail guns, table saw, chop saw, impact driver – I didn’t have any of these.  I found a great website for buying power tools at a deep discount, don’t pay retail prices!

You’re Not Handy Around the House?

Can I take a stab in the dark here… You’re not very handy around the house?

Am I right?

You have to call a plumber, electrician, handyman whenever you want something done? Am I on the right path here?

You can barely hang picture straight?  I’m going to far now… right? Am I?

If there’s one thing I can attest to it’s that finishing your basement on your own will empower you.  If you’re reading the website then you’re smart enough to learn everything you’ll need to know.

Don’t think of it as a giant home improvement project.  Think of it as series of small learning experiences. Mini classes. Classes where you can take as long as you please to learn a new skill, apply it and then immediately enjoy the benefits of having it.

It’s the basement, it’s not like you’re disrupting your regular living space.

How Do You Even Start to Finish a Basement?

So this was the tricky part for me.  Starting.

When would I have time?  What do you do first?

The good news is that I’m a freak about taking notes. I’m like the Anne Frank of basement finishing. I wrote down everything I did and took pictures – lots of pictures!

If you want to read my entire basement finishing story, plus learn how to get starter on your project, check out my book. It’s an electronic full color book that you can download and read today!

The book has:

  • tips for saving money on tools
  • basement design ideas
  • basement design files
  • a detailed line by line budget
  • 3 chapters on what to do about drywall
  • 10 pages on saving money if you do hire a contractor
  • and a bunch, bunch more

how to finish a basement JasonI’m not pretending that this project is for everyone. But even if you’re just curious about what “might” be possible. How it “might” work. Then this is the best way to find out.

Plus, people tell me it’s funny. I’m not sure how a home improvement book is funny but that’s what they say.

Cheers –  Jason


finish a basement book coverFinish Your Basement is your 234 page guide to finishing your basement on your own.

Check on my video on the next page, plus some free bonus material. Even if you’re not sure about doing everything yourself, this book gives you an detailed account of the project so you’ll know what’s entailed.

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  1. Jason,

    Your website is amazing especially for someone who is interested in taking on this task. I am currently in the phase where all I have been doing is researching and now that I found your website I feel like I stumbled upon the only place where I found proper guidance. I orginally planned on paying someone to do this for me, up until I seen this website and seen how helpful your are and I’m not even done searching through it all. I am currently deployed (the main reason is to save money for the basement) so I’ll be spending the rest of my time planning so I can hit the ground running when I get home. I am not an expert at construction, I am a beginner but this gave me confidence to try myself. Question is, does your book give instruction starting from day 1? If so, how much in detail. I looked through the table of contents and it looks pretty detailed, but if I am going to accomplish this then I will need as much help as possible. Any insight on this would help, if your book is detailed from start to finish, you pretty much sold another copy. Thanks!


    • What up Carl – The book is a mix of overview, planning and detail. I would still recommend some subject specific books, like framing / electrical. If fact I tell you in my book exactly which books I recommend.

      What my book does is help you through the tricky concepts, avoid all the mistakes I made and save a lot of money. The book also comes with access to over 20 videos, showing you step by step how to finish your basement. In the videos I literally show you how to frame a wall or run wire and wire an outlet. Plus a bunch of other stuff.

      In my opinion is definitely worth the money, you’ll easy save 10 times what you pay for it through tips in my book. Probably even more. If I had read my own book before I started I would have saved at least $1,500 on my basement project.

      Hope that helps. I have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Very few people have ever asked for a refund, but when they do it’s no questions asked.

      Cheers –


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