Can an old basement be finished?

Asked By: Sanya Luttcke | Last Updated: 28th January, 2020
Category: home and garden home appliances
5/5 (39 Views . 32 Votes)
Some basements are natural candidates for finishing. Others will require structural work before walls and plumbing can be installed. If the structure is old or poorly built, there may be issues with the foundation, ceiling height, electrical, plumbing, or other fundamental features.

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Subsequently, one may also ask, how can I finish my basement cheaply?

How To Finish Your Basement On A Budget

  1. Start Small—But With Flair. When people use up their budget on redoing the entire basement, the result may look bland, says Leah Smith of Ohio-based contractor Buckeye Basements.
  2. Keep It Dry.
  3. Get Creative With Flooring.
  4. Don Your Painting Clothes.
  5. Change It Up.
  6. Clear The Air.
  7. Check The Codes.

One may also ask, can you finish a basement that gets water? If you have a damp or wet basement, you have to fix it before you start any finishing work. The good news is that most water problems can be remedied by two measures: grading the soil to slope away from the foundation and adding or repairing gutters and downspouts.

In this manner, what makes a basement finished?

A basement is finished when the entire level is complete and similar to the upstairs living areas. It generally includes an electrical system, heat, finished floors, an accessible entrance/stairway, level ceilings, and finished walls. Below are some questions that can help determine the state of a basement.

How do you fix an old basement?

If you're looking to fix up your basement, here are five ways to upgrade your space on a budget.

  1. Cover the Walls. Installing drywall to your basement's exposed frame can be an easy way to improve the look of your space.
  2. Add More Lighting.
  3. Install Storage Solutions.
  4. Get Some Area Rugs.
  5. Consider New Flooring.

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How can I make my basement livable without finishing it?

Here's how:
  1. Stop the Moisture. The biggest anti-cozy factor in most unfinished basements is moisture.
  2. Add Some Area Rugs. Now that your basement is moisture-free, you can cozy up that concrete floor.
  3. Throw Down Some Pillows. When in doubt, add throw pillows.
  4. Add Tasteful Lighting.
  5. Hide Unsightly Spots.
  6. Paint the Ceiling.

Is it illegal to finish a basement without a permit?

As long as you have egress, there are a lot of locations that don't require a permit for finishing a basement, unless electrical is part of it. Adding a bedroom requires an egress window if you don't have one and may require inspection. Some places use renovated space as part of their tax calculation.

Is sleeping in the basement bad for you?

Health risks to tenants
Some health risks to people who live in basements have been noted, for example mold, radon, and risk of injury/death due to fire. It has been suggested that a basement suite is the last type of dwelling a tenant should look for because of the risk of mold.

How can I make my basement livable?

Simple Ways to Make Your Basement More Livable
  1. Seal the Walls. Basements often feel damp and chilly and sometimes contain an unpleasant smell.
  2. Improve the Floor. The hard concrete floor in most basements makes the space uncomfortable, but you may not want to spend the money necessary to install nice carpeting.
  3. Brighten Things Up.
  4. Put in Furniture.

How much does it cost to finish a 1000 sq ft basement?


How Much to Finish a Basement: DIY vs. Pro
Size DIY Cost Professional Cost
Small (< 700 square feet) $5,500 $15,000
Average (700-1,000 square feet) $8,000 $18,500
Large (1,000+ square feet) $15,000 $35,000

Is it worth finishing a basement?

If you are planning on staying in the home for several years, or longer, finishing the basement may make more sense. You should enjoy your home while you are living there. If a finished basement will improve your living experience over the long-term, it could be worth the money and the effort.

Do I need a permit to frame my basement?

Yes, a building permit is required to create any finished space in the home. You will be required to provide a simple floor plan showing the proposed finished and unfinished areas of the basement. Generally the Building Official will make a pre-inspection of the basement before the construction begins.

How do you split a basement without walls?

These will also help to divide the space in the absence of actual walls.

12 Finishing Touches for Your Unfinished Basement
  1. Lay Down Foam Mats.
  2. String Some Lighting.
  3. Throw Down Area Rugs.
  4. Install Storage.
  5. Paint Your Cinder Block.
  6. Hang Curtains.
  7. Create an Art Studio.

Do bedrooms in basement count?

HUD further elaborates specifically on basement bedrooms that: As a rule basement space does not count as habitable space. If the bedroom does not have proper light and ventilation, the room can not be included in the gross living area. The appraiser must consider the intended use or function of the room.

How much does finished basement add to home value?


In the United States, on average, finishing a basement will give you a return of 70 to 75% of your investment. For example, if you spent $1,000 on improvements, it would increase the value of the property by about $700. If you spent $10,000 on improvements, it would increase the value of the property by about $7,000.

Do basements count in an appraisal?

As a general rule of thumb, listing agents and appraisers don't count a finished basement toward the overall square footage, especially if the basement is completely below grade—a term that means below ground level. Whether an appraiser includes basement living space ultimately depends on which state you live in.

Does a walkout basement add value?

Some of the benefits of a walkout basement are added value, increased useful living space and additional natural light.

What is an illegal basement apartment?

When an apartment is illegal, the space should not be used to live in, a landlord or owner can't collect rent. Basement Apartments: not all basement apartments are illegal. But, the most common of all illegal apartments are in the basement of a building.

Does finished basement count as living space?

While a finished basement is considered living space where your property value is concerned, it's only in rare instances that this living space is counted towards the square footage. Even if your basement is not an exception to the rule, a finished basement is an asset to your property value.

How much does a finished basement increase taxes?


Finishing your basement will increase the value of your home by 70 percent of the remodeling costs, according to Remodeling Magazine. But that doesn't mean your property taxes will go up by that amount.

What does unfinished basement mean?

An unfinished basement is a type of basement that is not prepared for use as a living space and often has a number of features that can make it rough or somewhat uncomfortable to be within. The basement of a house or other building is generally an area that is wholly or partially located underground.

Does a daylight basement count as square footage?

Below grade spaces (basements, dens, etc.) do not usually count toward a home's square footage. Even a finished basement can't be counted toward a home's Gross Living Area (GLA) but it can be noted separately in the listings total area.