How do you finish a basement – 7 major steps 1 critical skill
The way I count it there are 8 major basement finishing phases. They occur in this general order, although they can overlap.
Framing – You build the ‘frames’ of the walls of your rooms out of wood, typically 2 by 4s. There are about 3 key concepts that you’ll have to learn but after that it’s just rinse a repeat.
Electrical – Yes, you can do you own electrical. This is one of the more expensive parts of finishing your basement but if you tackle this phase yourself you can save a ton of money.
Plumbing – Once you’ve tackled electrical, plumbing is a piece of cake. It’s a different piece of cake so there is a decent amount of learning, trying, failing to go around but you’ll be the king of the castle with your wife if you can fix plumbing issues.
Audio Visual – O yeah, pump up the jams and crank out some pixels. For very little money you can pre-wire your basement to be the hottest night spot in your neighborhood. Or, sit back and enjoy some Yanni, with that glass of red wine by the fireplace as you sink your feet into a soft white rug.
Drywall – Sorry, got a little off track there. Drywall! It’s heavy, it’s dusty, it’s awkward and it takes forever to learn to finish correctly. So, don’t do it yourself. Hire a contractor. If the room is small and you really want to torture yourself, go for it, you can do it. But I just couldn’t find enough savings to make it worth it.
Painting – Yes, do this yourself. Learn to be a painting ninja. No masking tape, that’s for babies and tweens. Cut down the time by getting a bigger 12″ roller. Trick some friends into helping you. Sing while you paint. Own the Zen of painting, save big bucks.
Trim and Doors – WARNING: Learning curve ahead. But don’t go around it. Trim especially is a skill you can use all over your house. Once you learn to install a door, doors will open for you. Sorry, couldn’t help it.
Flooring – The final frontier. I stained my floor and tiled the bathroom myself. Except for installing carpet I would consider tackling the flooring yourself. Unless you’ve got some budget left, then let the pros handle it. It can be hell on your back.