How to Finish a Basement in Your Home

By: Danny Lipford

I’m planning on finishing our basement myself at little at a time. How should I go about it? -Tony

Hi Tony,

When finishing a basement, you should tackle the job in this order:

  1. Check your local building codes for requirements such as ceiling height, stair proportions, and the location and size of egress windows and doors.
  2. Make sure the envelope around your basement is waterproof, and correct any moisture or humidity problems that may exist.
  3. Test the basement for the presence of radon gas, and take steps to lower it if needed.
  4. Draw a detailed plan for the space.
  5. Frame up any interior walls.
  6. Rough in the wiring, plumbing, and ductwork.
  7. Hang and finish the drywall on ceiling and walls.
  8. Install interior door units.
  9. Install trim molding.
  10. Paint walls and trim.
  11. Install any built-in cabinets.
  12. Finish up plumbing and wiring.
  13. Install flooring.

Good luck with your project,

Danny

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4 Comments on “How to Finish a Basement in Your Home”

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  • teresa Says:
    November 5th, 2015 at 10:09 am

    We are putting a drop ceiling in our basement. Instead of boxing in the heat duct runs we framed the ceiling around it and now the pieces that go upright won’t stay in place. Any ideas???



  • Dawn Root Says:
    October 20th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Hi Danny, our basement is partially finished, it has drywall in most of it but there is some wood paneling still down ther I want to tear it out and put drywall and it already has a drop ceiling, but we would like recessed lighting and new carpet down there and some nice doors. We would also like to build a bedroom downstairs and have a wet bar put in. Do you about how much it will cost us. We would like to do a little at a time.


  • Official Comment:


    Ben Erickson Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Russell,
    Start by being sure the drainage is good around your foundation with the grade sloping slightly away from the house. Next, install gutters to divert water from your roof away from your house, and extend the downspouts to keep it further away. If you’re still having problems, the only solution might be to dig up around the house and waterproof the exterior walls. Watch our video on What to Consider When Remodeling Your Basement for more information.



  • Russell Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Hello,I Have A Big Problem With Dampnesss In My Basement Walls. Theres No Water Runing In. Just Dampness,The Dehumidifier,Has Helped. I Allso Had Damtite Allong With Some Other Sealent Added, In Less Than Two Years, The Dampness Along With Lots Of Mold With big Dark Bubbles.. Is there anything that will work without diging??


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