Dec 10, 2021 : Remodeling Your Basement on a Budget

Home improvement projects can cost thousands of dollars, so many homeowners prioritize their renovations. Rooms that get a lot of use, such as kitchens and bathrooms, are usually at the top of the list, while basements land near the bottom. In fact, unfinished basements are very common in the United States.

Remodeling your basement shouldn’t be last on your list, however. There are several reasons that homeowners see this project as a worthwhile investment. You should consider a basement renovation if you want to enjoy: 

  • Added Living Space: A finished basement can be used as a home office, living room, guest room, and more! In some cases, it can double your home’s usable square footage.
  • Increased Home Value: Having that extra living space makes your home more valuable and attractive to potential buyers.
  • Improved Organization: Rather than piling boxes up in a damp, dark basement, you can create organized storage for your seasonal items, children’s toys, or collectibles.
  • Extra Income: Would you like to make rental income without investing in another house? A finished basement complete with a bathroom and kitchen could be the solution!

Despite the advantages of a finished basement, the cost still stands in the way of homeowners and this renovation. You don’t have to let money stop you from updating your unfinished basement, though. There are several affordable solutions available. In fact, many skilled contractors know how to remodel a basement on a budget.

In this article, you will learn more about the factors that impact the cost of your basement remodel. We will also go over the different areas where you can save money so that your project fits your budget.

Factors that Contribute to the Cost of a Basement Remodeling Project in New Jersey

Size of Basement Renovation

When you pay for a project per square foot, then the size of the basement is certainly one of the biggest factors. If you’re working with a limited budget, that means that a larger basement would require more cost-effective solutions. A smaller basement could mean that you have more room in your budget for better materials. You also have the option of doing a partially-finished basement. 

Waterproofing Solutions

Next, you will want to consider any waterproofing costs. Most unfinished basements are damp and lacking in this area. Therefore, you will need to talk to a contractor to determine which waterproofing solution is the most effective for your home. You don’t want to skimp on this part of your renovation. A wet basement could lead to costly and dangerous mold problems. 

Labor Costs

When you hire a contractor to assist with your renovation, you will have to add that cost to the grand total. The price could vary greatly based on a contractor’s experience and your location. However, this is another area where you don’t want to cut corners. Hiring an inexperienced contractor could add up to expensive repairs down the road.

Basement Design 

Your remodel cost also depends on what you choose to include in the design. As we mentioned, you can add a complete kitchen and bathroom, but that will significantly increase the cost. If you prefer to turn it into a simple living room, it will be much more affordable. You might also want to include windows for natural light and safety reasons. 

Material Selection

The type of materials you use is another factor. You can choose from a wide variety of options. As an example, you can select products in standard sizes instead of custom-built alternatives. With all of the choices you have, this category is the easiest place for you to cut back on your expenses. 

Cost of Building Permits

Last but not least, you always have to factor in the cost of obtaining your building permits. These costs largely depend on where you live. Each city has its own laws and building codes. In some rare cases, you might not be required to obtain any permits. Regardless of where you live, a contractor can take care of all of this for you. 

Where You Can Save

While there are many expenses to consider, that also means that there are many ways to save. As we covered, materials are usually the easiest place to cut costs, but it’s not the only place. We suggest that you start with the following areas.


When it comes to basement flooring, it must meet two criteria: durable and water-resistant. With just those two requirements, it’s easy to find several inexpensive flooring materials. In many situations, we recommend saving money by using vinyl or carpet instead of tile. You can also skip a flooring installation and simply paint your concrete floor.


You have two main options for basement walls. You can install drywall over top of them, or you can paint them. We only recommend the latter if you already have sound, waterproof walls. Otherwise, you should cover the cinder block with insulation and drywall. This step is especially important if you plan to use the basement as living space since it will make the room more comfortable. Curtains are another affordable alternative to separate open spaces.


Depending on the style you’re going for, you might be able to leave the ceiling alone. However, an upgrade usually doesn’t cost much. As a simple solution, you can paint it, or you can drape fabric to create a canopy effect. 

Extent of Renovation

Partially finished basements are much more affordable than fully finished. If you don’t plan to use the whole space, it makes more sense to split the room. You can make the finished part as big or small as you need. Meanwhile, the unfinished part can still create a perfect space for storage. 

Hire a Professional

It might sound counterintuitive, but hiring an interior designer and basement remodeler can actually save you money. While you might be tempted to DIY the project, the costs can quickly add up, especially when you don’t know what you’re doing. The average homeowner usually isn’t up on the latest building codes. If you happen to violate these codes, you could end up spending thousands of dollars to pass the inspection. 

That’s not all! 

When you cut corners, you could find yourself needing to make frequent repairs or replacements. For example, poor drywall installation could lead to costly repairs. In the end, you could spend more than you would have if you had hired a contractor from the start.

Contact a Basement Remodeler for Your Project

Are you ready to start planning your budget-friendly basement renovation? Then, you should contact Magnolia Home Remodeling Group Right away. We have more than 30 years of experience with remodeling projects of all types and sizes. Therefore, you can rely on us to bring your dream, finished basement to life. 

You can get in touch with our friendly service representatives by calling and scheduling a consultation. We also have a convenient online form that you submit for a complimentary quote. 

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