Steps for Finishing Your Basement

Many of us want to transform our basements into a more usable space where we can either work full time or spend our spare time having fun or just relaxing with our friends and family.

In addition to plumbing, electrical work, and flooring, you have to consider the ceiling, insulated walls, and so on to nail the finishing touches to your basement. Remember to always formulate a plan and calculate your budget before you start working on the basement. This will enable more smooth functioning of the overall project. So, let’s get to it!

Get the framing done

One of the best ways to get started with your basement is to build the frames of the basement walls. Think of this as creating a ‘skeleton’ outline that can help you when you install a new wall making it stronger and durable.

Use 2 by 4-inch frames to set up the wall frame for the basement. This will help to take care of the basement wall insulation before framing. Remember: framing walls requires solid planning and research so don’t forget to refer to basement plan ideas off the Internet.

It is also recommended that you start to lay out your electrical plan before framing is completed to get a clearer picture as to how you want to layout your electrical wiring within the walls.

Get the electrical work completed

Contrary to popular belief, learning electrical work is actually not a hard task provided you put your heart into it. For instance, you can complete up to 95% of the electrical work once you’ve learned some useful electrical skills in just a couple of days.

For the remaining 5%, you will need the help of a professional to install a subpanel for finishing the electrical wiring job. 

Otherwise, there is always the option of having an electrical contractor to help you install the panel from scratch. And frankly, the latter option will take a shorter time, making it a better choice for people who want to finish the work sooner.

Get the plumbing done

Installing a bathroom is going to take about 20% to 30% of the total budget for your basement. First, focus on the design that you want and then start working accordingly. The first step involves framing the bathroom which should comparatively be easy since you already framed the basement walls. Remember to choose the right dimensions for your bathroom and then proceed with the plumbing work. 

The last step for plumbing requires setting up electrical work. You need a circuit for the Ground Fault Interrupt that needs to be on an electrical circuit of its own. This is also a requirement by local municipal laws.

Don’t forget to take into account the lighting of your bathroom as well.

Get the basement walls insulated

If the walls of your basement are made of bare concrete, you have to get insulation added and drywall painted. This will help to add a warm and inviting aura to the entire space as well.

Once the electrical and framing inspection is over, you can get started with the drywall. While it is true that you can do the drywall by yourself, it is quite a grueling task that requires advanced-level skills.

Instead, hiring a contractor might be your best bet since they have access to drywall sheets at a much better price than you normally would. The tools, cost, and other nuances involved make it better to leave the task of installing the drywall to a professional.

Get the painting done

Instead of taking the traditional path of hiring professionals for your painting job, you can assemble your friends and family to help you over the weekend, which can actually make for some fun memories too.

Before you start painting, understand the correct way to “cut-in.“ In other words, you should paint the topmost part of the wall that is usually hard to reach with a roller and then use a 3-inch angle brush, cut-in to make it look more professional. You can use a 12-inch roller brush for the rest of the wall area, as well.

Don’t forget to install proper lighting to make sure that the painting is smooth and nice, especially during the night. Also, a primer is very important to ensure a perfect paint job.

Get the flooring done

This step starts with choosing the correct flooring for your basement depending on the floor material, durability, and ease of installation. Again, it is recommended that you enlist the help of a contractor to make sure that your flooring is good and flawless. After all, faulty flooring is not worth the effort and will only lead to a lot of wastage.

Get the doors installed

In case of the doors for your basement, you need to be serious where you want your door to go even before you start with renovation. A lot of us make the mistake of waiting right towards the end to get the doors installed which can lead to a lot of chaos, which is precisely why you need to avoid this mistake. 

For your doors, you have to take into account two things: the placement of the door handle and the door size.

For your door handle placement, figure out whether you want your door to push in or out and do you want to open right or left. This will help you to get a basic idea as to where the handle should go.

Coming to the size of the door, the standard size of one is 32 inches wide. But, we would recommend that you opt for the 36-inch door. Not only is the latter more aesthetically pleasing but it is also way more durable and sturdy. The only thing that remains uniform is that the framing of the door needs to be 2″ larger than the actual width of the door. This will make sure the door has room for the wood expansion that takes place during the warmer months. 

Always buy a solid core door that is longer-lasting and is of higher quality. Non-solid core doors that are cheap will result in a lot of expenditure in the long run. 

Resources – Mancave Master, Budget Dumpster