Armchair Builder

Five Tips to Save Money on Your Finished Basement Design


With the state of the economy today, people are looking for ways to save money.  Many people have moved in with relatives until they can get back on their feet.  So what is the least expensive and quickest way to add finished space to your home?  Finishing your basement is the quickest, most cost efficient way to add living space to your home.  Here we will give you five tips for saving even more money on that new space.

Increase Wall Stud Spacing to 24″: The new framed basement walls you are adding are non-load bearing or non-structural.  This means they support drywall, wiring, trim…etc. but no loads from above.  This allows you to increase the spacing of the studs to 24″ instead of the typical 16″.  At $2-3 per stud, the savings can add up.

Open Ceiling: Instead of drywall or a suspended ceiling with tiles, you can leave your ceiling open and paint it black as they do in modern lofts.  We used this design in our latest finished basement and it came out great.  The biggest benefit of this type of finish is the cost savings.  A suspended ceiling can cost $2000-$3000 depending on the type of tile you use and the size of your space.  The other issue you run into with suspended ceilings is…what do you do at the beams and low HVAC trunk lines?  If you lower the ceiling to the lowest point, your head room can diminish to a ridiculously low point.  And if you drywall, you end up with soffits around those areas…which typically makes the ceiling look choppy and takes away the character.  The other great benefit to the painted open ceiling is the extremely easy access you have to mechanicals in the future.  If you need to add a cable or phone outlet later, the open ceiling makes the job simple.

Minimize Doors: In our last finished basement design we eliminated a duplicate door to the storage area.  We saved $350 on the door, door knob, jamb, casing, and labor to set, trim, prep and paint.  The other great thing…by eliminating a door, we created more wall space for art and furniture.

Place Sinks by Existing Floor Drain: It can add hundreds of dollars to a finished basement project to cut, remove and replace concrete when under slab plumbing needs to be added.  You can minimize this by locating your sinks by an existing floor drain.

Stain Your Concrete Floor: Staining your concrete floor is a great way to provide a high quality finished look without adding a ton of cost.  Along with cost savings, you get a floor that is resistant to moisture and is extremely durable.

For more information on finishing your basement check out our new finish your basement videos.  Have you ever thought about building your own home?  Be sure to stop by the Armchair Builder How to Build Your Own Home resource page.


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