Once you’ve tallied up the cost of your basement remodelling project, the final price tag can be shocking. As with any home improvement project, staying within a certain budget means clarifying your priorities.
We have seen just about every possible way to spend money on a basement remodel. These are our tips for getting the most out of your dollar, though at the end of the day it’s all about personal preference and putting your money into what you want most.
Where to Splurge
Install a fabulous bar. For the entertainer, a great basement bar with coffered ceilings and pillars is a must. These details lend a pub-like atmosphere that’s great to gather in.
Consider cultured stone. We swoon for stone. It can be expensive but dramatic, lending character and warmth to the space.
Add ceiling insulation. Adding insulation keeps upstairs noise from ruining your theater experience or your ability to work, if you have a home office. Footsteps on hardwood floors upstairs can be maddeningly loud.
Make the most of your lighting. In the basement, natural light is hard to come by. Once you’ve spent the money on all those beautiful features you’re going to enjoy, it’s important to make sure the room is lit properly to highlight them. You’ll need task lighting in work areas, focal lighting to play up great details, and adequate ambient lighting to set the mood.
Install Ethernet. This isn’t even much of a splurge. Simply have your electrician wire in your Internet connection before the drywall goes up. Wireless connections in basements can be spotty.
Where to Save
Skip the fabulous bar. If you’re not a hardcore entertainer, you can alternatively install a bank of prefab cabinets and a fridge so you can occasionally host downstairs – you don’t need to install a sink you’ll use once a year. Design the space primarily for elements you’ll enjoy regularly.
Avoid the guest bedroom. An extra bedroom is a must only for those who have frequent guests. A simple sleeper sofa downstairs might make a better choice, freeing up space for the media room you always wanted.
Have an open space instead of separate rooms. If you don’t have a burning need to close off your home gym or office, don’t. The price of doors, studs and drywall adds up.
Buy standard sizes. Use standard-size cabinets and prefab countertops where you can – adding or subtracting a few inches can save you big time.
Downsize in general. Do you need a whole new house downstairs? You don’t have to finish the entire basement just because the space exists. If your budget is straining at the seams, make your plan smaller. You won’t enjoy your new space any less.
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