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Finishing Basements – How to Turn a Cold Concrete Floor Into a Living Room

Finishing Basement Lehi is a great way to add livable space and value to your home. However, it’s important to plan the project carefully before starting.

Finishing Basements

A finished basement must be directly accessible from the rest of the house. If it only has a basement level door then it’s not considered finished.

A finished basement can add living space to a home without the expense of building an addition. It can also increase the value of a property, reduce energy costs and serve as a great place for entertaining family and friends. However, this project can be expensive. If you are planning to finish a basement, it is important to develop a budget and stick to it. This will help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure that the project is completed on time.

The most significant costs in finishing a basement are related to labor and materials. You should include a contractor’s estimate in your overall budget. Generally, a contractor will charge 10 percent to 25 percent of the total project cost for labor. However, the specific price will depend on how much work is required and whether it includes plumbing or electrical work.

Another major expense will be the drywall and painting. The cost of drywall depends on the material you choose. Laminate and carpet are more budget-friendly options, while hardwood floors will add a higher cost. Paint is also an additional cost and can add up quickly.

A basement can be used for a variety of purposes, such as a playroom, living room, home bar or bedroom. When deciding which type of room to create, consider the amount of traffic and light requirements. For example, bedrooms require a window for egress, which can cost $3,900 on average. This is a necessary safety feature, so be sure to plan accordingly.

The amount of lighting and ventilation that you install in your basement is important for safety and comfort. You should plan layered lighting, including ambient, task and accent lights. Ambient lighting is essential for the general illumination of your basement, while task lights are ideal for working or reading. Finally, accent lighting can highlight architectural features or artwork in your basement.

Keep in mind that it is essential to get a permit for any renovation work. Without a permit, you could run into issues when selling your home or in case of an emergency. A permit will allow the work to be documented and will ensure that the work is up to code.


Everyone wants a little more space. Whether you’re looking for an entertainment room, a home gym or an extra bedroom, finishing the basement is one way to get the space you want without the price tag of a major addition. From framing and running whatever mechanicals are needed to putting the finishing touches on a drop ceiling, we’ll walk you through the process of turning a cold concrete floor into a living space that you’ll be proud to show off to guests.

Framing basement walls is a critical part of any finishing project. You’ll need to insulate the walls, frame soffits and partition walls as necessary, and build around obstructions like pipes, vents, and valves to keep them accessible. On average, this portion of the project will cost about $5,000.

After your walls are framed, you’ll need to install any electrical, plumbing, or air ducts that will run inside the walls. It’s also important to make sure your basement is moisture-free before moving forward with the finishing work. Moisture problems can lead to wood rot, mold, and odors. The easiest way to tell if you’re dealing with condensation from humid interior air or if your walls are leaking from outside is to tape a 2-ft. square of plastic to the masonry wall and check it in a few days. If you see moisture on the plastic, you’re dealing with moisture that needs to be fixed before proceeding.

If your drywall contractor is installing a dropped ceiling, they’ll need to leave access to pipes and vents in the ceiling. You can then either paint over the exposed utilities to mask them, or you can cover them with a paneled ceiling. For a finished look, you’ll probably want to go with the latter option.

If you don’t have the funds to finish your basement yourself, there are many financing options available to help you. You may be able to take out a personal loan to pay for the work or opt for a home equity loan that uses your home’s value as collateral and typically offers lower interest rates than credit cards.


Finishing a basement is an excellent way to add living space and increase home value. However, it’s important to understand the necessary steps for a successful project. This includes working with a licensed contractor and complying with permit requirements. In many cities, basement renovations without a permit are illegal and may result in fines or legal action.

In NY, basement finishing permits are obtained by submitting applications and construction drawings to the Department of Buildings. The plans should clearly depict the scope of work and meet all applicable codes and regulations. Additionally, you will need to obtain plan approval from the Department of Buildings and pay the required filing fees.

The process for obtaining a basement permit can be complex, but it’s essential to get started as early as possible to avoid any delays. It’s also important to work with a design professional who has experience with basement finishing. In addition, you should verify their licenses and disciplinary history with the Department of Buildings.

Some work does not require a permit in NY, including ordinary plumbing work, emergency work, and minor alterations. Other work that requires a permit include moving a bearing wall, electrical work, gas fittings, and mechanical equipment. It’s important to consult with a design professional or the Department of Buildings to determine whether your basement renovation project is exempt from permit requirements.

Not obtaining a permit for your basement renovation can be a major problem and expensive. It could also lead to costly fines and legal action. Moreover, if you decide to sell your home in the future, the mortgage lender will likely refuse to approve a loan if they find out that the basement was finished without a permit.

If you have already completed the renovation and are unable to close out your permit, you can still do so by having a licensed inspector complete an interior inspection of your home. This will allow the inspector to make sure that your basement meets all code requirements before closing out the permit and issuing a Certificate of Occupancy. Alternatively, you can also choose to pay to return the basement to its unfinished condition before selling your home.


Finishing a basement gives homeowners a space to live, work, play or entertain in ways that wouldn’t be possible in the rest of their home. This addition can also add value to a property and increase the appraisal value of the house when it comes time to sell.

Before beginning the project, contractors will collaborate with the homeowner to develop a design that meets their needs. This plan may include partitioning the space, addressing issues like moisture concerns and electrical and plumbing requirements, and creating a layout that meets zoning regulations.

The contractor will then install the drywall and insulation, and connect the HVAC system. Some projects will require the installation of new plumbing or drainage systems. These installations typically cost more than rerouting existing lines, and they should be performed by licensed plumbers.

Once the construction is complete, contractors will obtain a letter of completion or Certificate of Occupancy from the DOB. This step is crucial for ensuring that the basement is legal and safe to use. The contractor should also contact their insurance partner to make sure that the project is covered.

Many states require specialty trades to maintain licensing for their work. Be sure to ask your contractor for proof of their credentials and check with your state’s DOB website to confirm that they are up-to-date.

During the construction process, it is normal for changes to be made to the original plans. However, it is important to set expectations about how these changes will be handled and to communicate clearly with your contractor throughout the process.

It’s also important to choose flooring that will hold up to a humid basement environment. Some materials, such as solid wood, can be affected by humidity and will swell or buckle when exposed to moisture. It’s best to choose vinyl planks, ceramic tile or engineered wood products that can resist the effects of moisture.

How to Choose the Right Materials for Your Bathroom Remodel

The materials you choose for your bathroom remodel should not only look great, but also be easy to maintain. Consider options like durable tile, linoleum, or wood laminate.

Depending on the scope of your remodel, you may need to obtain permits and building board approvals. Sweeten can help you find vetted contractors and streamline the process for a seamless remodel experience. Contact Bathroom Remodel Lexington KY now!

The layout of the bathroom determines a lot of what can be accomplished during a remodel and how much it will cost. The more complicated the new design, the more costly the changes will be. It is important to determine what your priorities are and plan accordingly so that you don’t go over budget.

For example, if you are planning on moving plumbing, it will add a significant amount to the project cost and may even make your renovation impossible. Before starting the remodel it is a good idea to have a floor plan of your current bathroom, as well as one of your desired layout. This will help communicate the new layout to your contractor and ensure that they are on the same page. This can be done using a free tool such as RoomSketcher.

A simple layout that works in a small space is to place the shower, tub, and sink(s) on the same wall, opposite the door. This allows for the best use of the available space and saves on plumbing costs because the water lines are all in one location. This was the layout that Tiffany White, a designer with Mid City Interiors, used in a recent remodel of her own home.

Another way to maximize the usable space in a small bathroom is by replacing hinged doors with sliding or folding doors during the remodel. This will allow more room for the toilet and limit the chances of a door interfering with fixtures like a shower or bathtub. This is a great option for older bathrooms that will be converted to handicap accessible spaces. It is also a good idea to consider safety features such as grab bars, a non-slip shower floor and non-slip floors in general.


Storage is a major part of any bathroom design. Without it, towels, toiletries and cleaning products can quickly get out of control. That’s why it’s important to consider storage options as you work on your renovation plans.

One of the easiest ways to add more storage space during a bathroom remodel is by using tall cabinets or floor-to-ceiling shelving units. These maximize vertical space without taking up floor space, allowing you to store things like towels and toiletries. Another way to take advantage of unused space is by installing shelves or cubbies in the wall. These can be used to store items like decorative accessories, bins or storage baskets.

Hanging organizers can be a great way to store small items like cotton balls, Q-tips and hair ties. These can be hung on the back of doors, inside cabinet drawers or on the walls. This type of storage is a great option for small spaces because it eliminates clutter and keeps items easily accessible.

If you’re going for a more modern or minimalist style, try incorporating built-in niches and cubbies into your bathroom design plan. These can be used to store items such as decorative accessories, storage bins or towels.

Another creative idea for bathroom storage is a pull-out hamper in the vanity. This is a great way to keep dirty laundry out of sight while providing easy access for family members and guests.

A full bathroom remodel is a more invasive and expensive project than a makeover or fixture replacement because it changes the footprint of the room. This can involve moving existing plumbing fixtures and altering wiring. It’s essential to find a licensed contractor with experience managing this type of project.


When it comes to your bathroom floors, you have a wide variety of options. From style to function, these materials are designed to be both attractive and moisture resistant. Porcelain and ceramic tile are popular choices, especially for their durability. They are relatively inexpensive and very easy to clean, and they resist water and stains well. Tile floors work great with radiant heat systems, too!

While they may not be as durable as tile, vinyl and luxury vinyl flooring (LVT) also look good. Both come in a wide range of styles and colors, from traditional wood patterns to modern designs. They are also inexpensive and easy to install, making them a popular DIY choice for many homeowners.

Laminate and engineered woods are not recommended for bathrooms, as they are often not fully water-resistant. If these are used in a wet area, the wood can swell and warp. In addition, it is important to make sure that your bathroom has proper ventilation, either through an operable window or a fan.

Once drywall and flooring are installed, it is time to move in the plumbing and electrical systems. This will take a few days to a week, depending on the complexity of your project and how much of a makeover you are doing.

Once the plumbing and electrical are in place, it is time to put in the tub and shower, as well as any fixtures you have selected. This step is usually the longest, since there is a lot of cutting and fitting for all the components. This is also a good opportunity to add more outlets and light switches, as needed. If you are doing a complete remodel, it is best to have a professional electrician handle this work for you.


A well-designed lighting plan is crucial for your bathroom remodel. It can help create the space you want, make small bathrooms feel larger, and play with proportions. Lighting can also radically change the mood, running the gamut from dramatic and energizing to soft and relaxing.

Bathroom lighting is usually provided by recessed downlights. “However, the positioning of these is key,” says Sally Storey, Design Director at lighting specialist John Cullen. “Rather than just a grid of lights dotted around the room, use them to highlight features and create focal points,” she says. “For example, place two or three lights over the bathtub to create shafts of light, which accentuate the tub and add depth to the space.”

For task lighting, consider using sconces. This technique can help reduce shadows and create a flattering light for applying makeup and shaving. You can even incorporate a mirror into the wall-mounted sconce to save space. Another option is to install a chandelier. If you’re considering this, be sure to check with your building and contractor regarding the appropriate ceiling height.

Depending on the scope of your project, you may need a permit or co-op/condo board approval to renovate your bathroom. For projects that don’t change the layout or alter plumbing fixtures, a Type 2 permit is typically all you need.

Once all the permits and approvals have been acquired, it’s time to start construction! This phase of the remodel can take anywhere from 5-12 weeks, depending on material section and building approval timelines. Once construction is completed, your new bathroom will be ready to enjoy. Be sure to check with your contractor regarding how to handle common areas and the elevator during the renovation.


Bathroom fixtures play a crucial role in the design and functionality of your bathroom. Whether they are sinks, toilets, bathtubs or faucets, the right ones can transform your bathroom into a functional, stylish space.

When selecting your bathroom fixtures, consider the overall style of your remodel. Do you want a modern, minimalist look or a more traditional, opulent feel? The fixtures you choose should align with your vision and complement the rest of the room’s décor.

If you are going for a contemporary style, consider sleek faucets and showerheads that will add to your bathroom’s visual appeal. If you’re opting for a more traditional look, try freestanding tubs and pedestal sinks with intricate details. Once you have selected your fixtures, choose materials and finishes that are durable and resistant to watermarks and stains.

In addition to style and functionality, think about the number of people who will use your bathroom. If you have children, you may want to choose more durable fixtures that can withstand rough handling. You may also want to install grab bars and other safety-related fixtures if you have elderly family members living with you.

Once the walls, flooring and cabinets are in place, you can install your fixtures. Remember to leave the toilet for last so that you don’t damage it while working on other parts of your bathroom. Then it’s time to install the trim and decorate your new bathroom! From window treatments to decorative storage containers, there are endless ways to personalize your bathroom. Now you can finally enjoy your new bath! After a long day, what could be better than soaking in your new tub while sipping some wine?