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Finishing Your Basement and How to Keep the Cost Down

Unless you have unlimited funds it is always necessary to “count the cost” before beginning a major project like finishing your basement. The key of course is to know where you can and where you can’t “cut corners”. Whether you do all the construction work yourself or hire help costs can really add up. Here are a few steps to help keep costs down and still be able to have a basement that is beautiful, and a wallet that is just as full.

The Flooring

One place to reduce costs is in basement flooring, flooring in your basement doesn’t need to be expensive since you won’t use it as much. One thing to keep in mind is that most basements already have a concrete slab floor. This obviously precludes any kind of flooring that requires nailing. Even regular carpet usually has nail boards around the edges so you might consider gluing thin “commercial” carpet down or going with something that “floats” (i.e. is not attached to the sub-floor) like “Pergo” (aka. laminate flooring or floating wood tile).  Laminate flooring is easier to install and maintain than more traditional surfaces such as hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring is packaged as a number of tongue and groove planks that can be snapped together.

The Ceiling

dropped_ceilingWhen you finish off your basement, you will probably want to add a ceiling in the space. When you put in the ceiling, you can use a drop ceiling simply by suspending a frame from the joists and dropping in panels. A drop ceiling is easy to take care of, looks good and installs quickly and easily even by non-professionals. Drop ceilings are also called a T-bar ceiling, false ceiling, suspended ceiling, grid ceiling, drop in ceiling, and dropped ceiling. Modern drop ceilings help absorb noise making that concrete chamber known as a basement much more pleasant while also reducing the noise that reaches the house above.

The Furniture

You can move your furniture around the house to make sure you have enough for the basement. This part of the house can be a place to put older furniture, or you could even pick up some furniture at a local second hand store. The furniture that you put in the basement can be inexpensive, but needs to be functional, sturdy and something that will bring the space together.

Prevention and Maintenance

The fixtures you add to your basement space will need to be cared for, and if you don’t use your basement often it’s best to prevent damage before it occurs. A small kitchenette with Calgary kitchen counter-tops can be protected with products like Hard Rock Developments which will keep counters hard and durable.


Deciding how to finish the walls can make a major difference in the cost of refinishing the basement. If the walls are cement block you can opt for the cheapest method which is simply a coat of paint (although it will probably take several coats to fill in the pores and make a smooth surface).  Alternatively, depending on your budget, you could opt to cover the walls with studs and drywall, run electrical wiring and make it very similar to the rest of the house.

Your basement can be finished for a small amount of money if you use the right techniques. You can use old furniture, paint the walls, and put in flooring that is easy to install because you are on the lowest floor of the house.

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