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How to Finish a Basement: Plan Your Basement Renovation

A basement renovation is a great home improvement project because it not only can increase the value of your home – it also gives your family more space for living and storage. And, as with any renovation, the most important stage is the planning. Here are a few simple steps to help you get started.

Skill Level: Intermediate
  1. Step 1 Decide How You Want to Use Your Basement

    Decide How You Want to Use Your Basement

    First, think about your family’s needs and how you want to use the space. Maybe a laundry room, game room or guest bedroom. Think long-term, as well. A family room could easily become a rental unit a few years down the road. Make sure to plan rough-ins for plumbing and a kitchen if you’d like to make your basement a rental unit later on.

  2. Step 2 Draft a Detailed Basement Floor Plan

    Draft a Detailed Basement Floor Plan

    Next, draft up a detailed floor plan and use it to figure out how your finished basement will fit together, right down to furniture placement. Add detailed measurements and make sure to consider any hard electrical or plumbing needs, as this may factor into your floor plans. At this stage, you should also visit your local building inspector to check in on any required remodelling permits or code considerations such as framing, electrical, and plumbing.

  3. Step 3 Look for Signs of Moisture in Your Basement

    Look for Signs of Moisture in Your Basement

    Check for signs of excess moisture. Look closely at the foundation walls and floor and repair any cracks that may be contributing to the problem. Professional assistance may be required at this stage. Once your plan is in place, make sure you aren’t going to cover up or hide an issue that could become a problem over time. Install a backwater valve or sump pump to prevent flooding.

  4. Step 5 Consider Your Electrical and Plumbing Needs

    Consider Your Electrical and Plumbing Needs

    Consider your electrical and plumbing needs. Whether you’re planning a home theatre or lighting installation, always make sure you hire a certified electrician for any electrical work. For any plumbing needs, be sure to check if you need a permit before starting.

  5. Step 6 Choose Your Basement Insulation

    Choose Your Basement Insulation

    Decide what type of insulation you’ll be using, spray foam or sheets of extruded polystyrene. You want to avoid moisture problems that could lead to mould, so talk to a Home Depot associate to ensure you get the right insulation for your needs.

  6. Step 7 Frame Walls & Choose Your Basement Drywall

    Frame Walls & Choose Your Basement Drywall

    Your next step is framing walls. Make sure you seal foundation walls beforehand. Moisture-resistant drywall is a great option for basements, as areas below grade are prone to excess moisture especially bathrooms, laundry rooms and utility rooms.

  7. Step 8 Choose Your Basement Flooring

    Choose Your Basement Flooring

    Decide which flooring you’d like to install and repair any cracks in your subfloor before installing anything new. You might want to consider waterproofing your concrete as well. Certain materials such as hardwood flooring aren’t recommended for basements because of the potential moisture, which is why vinyl and laminate are popular choices.

  8. Step 9 Finalize Your Budget: Cost to Finish Basement

    Finalize Your Budget: Cost to Finish Basement

    Now that you know what you want, it’s time to figure out how much it will cost. Start by considering all the connections for installations and additions such as: vents, windows, drywalling, flooring and lights. Save decorating and furniture expenses for last.

  9. Step 10 Get Professional Help

    Get Professional Help

    Finally, decide what you can do yourself, and what requires a contractor’s expertise. The Home Depot Home Services team is always here to help with the trickier parts of a project, with a range of services such as: carpeting; heating, ventilating and air conditioning installation; hot water tank and furnace installation and more. For work you’re doing yourself, our Rental Centre is the perfect place to get professional grade tools.

What You Need for This Project

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