The average cost of finishing a basement is between $10,000 and $35,000 depending how large the basement is. In this post reddit user kidculli shows us how to finish a basement on a budget – and that budget was only $3500. This basement transformation speaks for itself, so without further ado, let’s take a look.
Final pic first… So we have a huge basement that was way underutilized. Dry as a crypt with only half the walls that are subterranean. The overall layout is three equal sections of about 500 sq ft each. We decided to redo one third of it for a movie/ living room. All in all I think the total cost was about $3500 to redo the room and then furnishing it was about $5000. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
We have two sets of stairs to the basement. One comes from the kitchen and the other directly from the garage. These are the garage stairs.
Kitchen stairs and opening to another third of the basement which we made into a playroom.
Decided to build a wall here and use the space under the stairs as a mini wine cellar.
Stairs from kitchen and walled off portion with door
Mapped out and installed all the electrical on dimmer switches and zones.
Now the fun begins. We deconstructed about 15, 15-20 pallets (they were used to carry vinyl siding). The two type of board we harvested were 3.5” and 5.5” wide and about 15’ long. Some were rough cut, others were smoother witch yielded a great variety.
Here’s the magic stuff. White vinegar and steel wool. It reacted differently with each board and kept them all in a “family” of colors. Rarely did we use a touch of diluted stains with mineral spirits.
This is a dried piece that was new construction yellow. Looks ok but not awesome.
Enter wire brush. This is a rough cut side and turned out nice but not my favorites.
Smooth cut side. Just vinegar and steel wool.
Brushed with a touch of sanding.
Stained piece but not used bc it looked too artificial.
I used this board for the head board on the barn door.
Wall going up.
Garage stairs walled in.
Just laid the grid for the drop ceiling but forgot to take pictures of the Rockwool Safe n Sound, sound proofing but that was done before the grid.
Couple tiles in…..
Time to build a door. Here are some scrap pieces.
1/4” board to nail/glue pieces on.
Always paint the back. Did this with junk paint and paints the pallet wall too just in case there’s some gaps.
Marked tree door on half both lengthwise and hieghtwise.
The diagonals required a little brain power but turned out nicely.
Door up, furniture in. Also I tiled the closet but that too about two hours and isn’t anything special.
Used my airline points for the surround system ($1000) and the tv was on special for $1k.
Ran surround sound to the back of the room. Time for thrones……
The budget debate: Yes I budgeted high. All in all the room cost me around $3500 to build. I felt like I was on a budget because of I were to contract that room out, it could’ve ran me $10-15k. I should have chose a better title or perhaps omitted “budget” all together. Sorry.
Wall color: Sherwin Williams Slate Tile
Why carpet? Three main reasons
- It’s cold in the winter here and carpet makes the room warmer.
- We have lil kiddos and love to wrestle around.
- It was an attempt (along with the soundproofing in the ceiling) to dampen the noise. We didn’t want it to be an echoey chamber.
Also our basement is only underground about 4 feet. It’s also poured solid concrete into the cinderblocks. Lastly, our house is on a hill and all downspouts run away from the house, far.
I agree with most of the negatives on putting carpet into a basement as I’ve seen first hand plenty of disasters. Well keep a humidifier running in the summer and monitor humidity closely.
How tall is the ceiling? 7’3” We used Mono Serra and it only required 3” clearance for installation.
Yes we will put a handrail down the stairs. I saved the old ones and just need to paint them.
The garage stairs don’t disappear. The top goes to the garage. The bottom goes to another section of the basement. Here’s a picture:
- $2100 carpet
- $800 ceiling
- $250 soundproofing
- $100 paint
- $200 miscellaneous
- $175 dimmable lights
- $300 barn door hardware
- Free pallets
All in all under $8k for 500sf of finished space.
The sectional is this model. Not from here but here ya go.