Steps to Finishing Your Basement

For some reason, basements in new homes still don’t come finished. For decades, homeowners have been finishing basements on their own and creating more livable space. Surely, home builders know this by now. So, why haven’t they started including finished basements in new construction? They could make a lot more money and keep people from having to wait for years to do it on their own. Until that glorious day comes, you are on your own to finish the basement. There is a sequence in the steps to finishing your basement and they must be done in order.

Remove Everything

If you are using a licensed remodeling contractor or doing the work yourself, you have to clear the space. Get rid of everything in the basement, all the way down to the dust bunnies in the corner. That way, you don’t have to work around or trip over anything during construction. You are going to need the space to put lumber, drywall, and hardware and to work as well.

Frame the Basement

Once your basement is all clear, it’s time to frame the space. Standard pine 2x4s are used to build an exoskeleton in the basement. You will need something to attach the drywall and lighting to. The framing also boxes that HVAC runs, so they are hidden from view and everything looks good. This is also the time to create closets, storage, or additional rooms.

Put in the Hardware

Once the framing is done, it’s time to add the hardware. This includes all the lights, outlets, plumbing, and anything else that is going to be covered up by the drywall. Take some time to map out where you want everything. Think ahead to where you want the TV and furniture and put outlets and lights in accordingly. If you want a mounted TV, then consider putting an outlet up high so that there aren’t any hanging cords.

It’s Time to Insulate

After all the hardware is in, it’s time for insulation. Basements are always cooler than the rest of the house. You want that in the summer but not so much in the winter. Pink insulation is made to fit perfectly between the studs. Consider putting some in the ceiling to keep the noise of heavy footsteps down.

Hang the Drywall

One of the last steps to finishing your basement is to hang the drywall. By this stage, it’s all starting to come together and look like a finished room. Start with the ceiling, then work your way down. Try to avoid long seams when piecing the sheets together. The hard part comes after the drywall is up—mudding and taping. It takes a steady hand and a good eye to make sure everything is smooth and perfect. After it’s had time to dry, slap some primer and your favorite color of paint on the walls and enjoy.

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