Are you tired of your basement looking bad? Are you embarrassed to have people see it when they come over? Are you putting off renovating your basement because of costs? We are here to share with you how we did our basement remodel on a budget.
We didn’t have a lot of money to spend, so we had to be creative. You don’t have to gut your basement to make it livable and look nice. There are other options if you just don’t have the money to spend but want it to look a lot better.
We decided to only fix up one side of our basement and leave the other side unfinished.
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Before we started doing any actual renovations, we had to first go through all of our stuff (we had a lot!). If your basement has a lot of stuff in it, you will need to decide what you are actually going to keep and what you want to sell, donate, and throw away.
We got rid of a bunch of stuff. Everything that was left, we moved to the other side of the basement that was unfinished. A few things were too large to put on the other side, so we had to work around them.
When going through your stuff, we recommend throwing away only the things that are actually trash and then either donating the other things or selling them at a garage sale, flea market, or online like on eBay. Depending on what you want to get rid of, you might actually be able to make some money towards your basement remodel.
Clean & Begin Prep Work
After you take everything out of your basement (or at least the part you’re renovating), you will need to clean it and do any prep work like removing wall paper, peeling up flooring, etc. Do these things before cleaning otherwise you’ll have to clean a second time.
First we washed all the walls and floor. We had old linoleum self-stick tiles on the floor. Many of them were no longer sticky and came up easily. A few had to be scraped off the cement with a paint scraper. We were able to throw these old tiles out with our garbage since it took 3 weeks to get most of our project finished.
Our basement already had old, cheap paneling over the cinder block walls. One section had gotten wet and had some mold. We removed that section and painted the cinder blocks with a sealant. We then put new boards over that area.
Another wall wasn’t finished, so we had to put boards up (instead of dry wall because that costs more).
Paint the Walls
Once all the cleaning was finished, we primed the walls with primer. I didn’t have to buy any paint because I keep old paint (if there’s a lot left) from other projects. I had a gallon of primer that was almost full.
Next, I painted the walls with semi-gloss latex paint. I also had 2 gallons of almost full paint. One gallon was a light peach and other was a cream/tan shade. I used all of the tan first. Then, I used the peach on a different wall. It really isn’t that noticeable.
I used many colors on a small section where I have a table. I wanted to paint some Star Wars scenes on this section. To do this, I found some coloring book pages and traced them on clear projector sheets with a permanent marker. I then projected them on the walls with an overhead projector (a $2 garage sale find!). Then, I just painted over the projected image to create the scenes.
Redo the Floors
The next step was working on the floor. We chose multicolored carpet squares. They were cheap, and I could lay them however I wanted. We bought two extra boxes in case some get damaged in the future.
When putting down the carpet squares, you should find the center of the room and work from there. If you start along one wall, the tiles may be crooked if your wall is not perfectly straight.
Decorate the Walls
The next step after you finish the walls and flooring is decorating the walls.
We used stuff that we already had to decorate the walls. We bought a new couch, but you could always buy a used one if you wanted to save more money. Our basement door is really narrow, and we were unable to find a used couch that would fit after many months of looking.
We also bought an electric fireplace since our basement can get cold in the winter.
How Much We Spent
- Carpet Tiles were 75¢ a square foot, & we had a $25 Home Depot gift card, so it was $320
- Fireplace Heater from Menards was $127
- Paint was $0 because we already had it leftover from other rooms in our house
- Couch was $329 from Ashley’s Home Furniture
- Trim was $127
- Wall Panels were $27 from Lowes
- 2 Fluorescent Lights were only $6 because we got them from a garage sale
- Ceiling Light was $35 from Amazon ⇒ check out a similar light
- Sconce Light from Menards was $24
Total Cost (approximately): $995
Before & After Photos