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How To Finish A Basement On A Budget

We’re always looking for more space in our homes, it seems — room to watch the big game, to work on our hobbies, or room for the kids to play around. Lots of homes have basements, which seem like the perfect place to expand into, but an unfinished basement is a cold, harsh expanse of hard concrete and exposed piping that’s not much fun to be in.

Finishing a basement can be quite a chore. Between framing, flooring, drywall, electrical, and finishes, your basement project can easily run into the thousands of dollars — and that’s not to mention new decor, fixtures, electronics, and whatever else you put down there.

Luckily, you can partially finish your basement — giving you a way to enjoy all that extra square footage without taking out a second mortgage on your house to afford the upgrades. Here are a few tips for making your basement livable without breaking the bank.

Go For An Industrial Look

Industrial chic is all the rage recently — lucky for you, it’s also less expensive. Framing and finishing a ceiling is expensive, so don’t! Leave beams, ducts, and wiring exposed in the ceiling of your basement space. It’ll make wiring easier to access and add some depth and texture to the ceiling, as well as making it look higher — especially if you paint the ceiling a dark, bold color like black or midnight blue.

You can also save money by avoiding drywall. Framing a whole basement and putting up drywall is difficult, time-consuming, and pricey, so skip the sheetrock and simply paint the concrete walls directly. Use a bright color like white to make the whole room appear lighter.

If you do want to subdivide parts of the room, using OSB or plywood — typically used for subfloors — is a good way to save on building materials. These materials are usually used in places where they’re out of sight, but they can be painted or finished to make a bold statement.

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Use Carpet Irregulars To Save On Flooring

You don’t have to finish a basement floor, but we all know how harsh a cement floor can be on bare feet — it’ll make your space a lot cozier, not to mention warmer and less echo-y and cavelike, to lay down some carpet.

When you do, carpet irregulars are a great way to save on the cost of basement flooring. Carpet irregulars are essentially batches of carpet — either smaller pieces or whole rolls — that have tiny defects from the manufacturing process. These slight irregularities don’t affect how the carpet feels, often aren’t visible, but they mean that the carpet can’t be sold at full price.

A Sloane’s, we have over 40 years of experience in finding those tiny irregularities and buying them from factories, then passing the savings on to you! Carpeting can be one of the bigger costs of finishing a room, so the savings you’ll experience by getting irregular carpet from Sloane’s are substantial.

Go Bold With Decor

Most basements are big, open spaces with not much to break up your line of sight, but you don’t want to spend thousands on furniture for a space that’s mostly out of sight. That’s where bold accent pieces come in.

Paint a section of wall in a bold color, or add stripes or other patterns in a corner where your workbench or laundry machines live. Thrift stores and consignment stores are a great place to get colorful, bold artwork that will draw attention and brighten up your basement space.

You can also throw a daring, vivid area rug over your basement carpet to make it stand out — deep colors on a light-colored carpet will pop and draw the eye in a very pleasing way.