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We have a partially finished basement that was in place when we moved into our house in 2007.  The previous owners finished off two rooms towards the back of the house.  They did it pretty barebones, putting up walls, drywall, basic paint, a drop ceiling, and a finished floor.

We haven't put this space to use as it's had some significant drawbacks.  My wife and I had originally talked about expanding the space, as the current design has you walking through unfinished area to get to the finished part.  That would involve taking down a wall, putting up a lot more framing, drywall, and drop ceiling.

The current space offers about 400 square feet of space, 330 of which is the ‘main area' and 70 square feet is currently being used as an exercise room.  Expanding the space would have yielded an extra 300 square feet that would have been added to the main area.  It would have been nice and would have given us a lot more options, but after discussing it and living with things for a couple of years, we came to the realization that we didn't really need to expand the space.

We do, however, want to use the main finished part as a play area and gathering spot (sort of a second family room) and this would require some work to be done to fulfill our wishes.

I've began putting together a budget so that we can begin work and hopefully have it ready this winter.  With Little Boy Beagle being cooped up inside, having this space available will make the winter months a lot easier to deal with.

Here's a breakdown of what we have come up with so far:

  • Electrical Wiring ($135) – I want to add a couple of dedicated circuits and make a few changes to the current electrical work that is there.
  • Lighting – ($100) – The lighting in the ceiling isn't adequate.  We discussed this with a friend that will do the work, and adding a couple of extra recessed cans will give us the basic lighting that we need, and we can fill in the rest of the space with floor and table lamps.
  • Heater ($50) – One of the main drawbacks of the space as it stands is that our basement gets very cold during the winter, typcially sitting around 55 degrees.  I've done some digging and a safe, reliable heater can be had for $50 that will warm the room up while we're in there.  Some of the electrical work above would be to install a dedicated circuit which would dramatically reduce the chances of the heater causing a fire, as placing it on a circuit with other stuff running is the cause of most related incidents.  We also will only use this when in the room.
  • Paint ($100) – I will be doing the painting but this is for the cost of paint and supplies needed.
  • Cable TV Upgrades ($140) – We need to run a couple of new boxes so that we can have TV in the main room as well as add it into the exercise room (the only upgrade this room will be getting), as well as upgrade the splitters to accomodate the extra ports, and do so in a way that won't degrade the signal throughout the rest of the house.
  • Carpeting ($1,500) – We haven't gone carpet shopping yet so I'm hoping that we can get this chepaer, but I want to make sure we get something that's durable as well as resistant to moisture given that it's in the basement.
  • Furniture ($1,000) – Again, we haven't gone shopping yet and I'm hoping we can come across something gently used or in a clearance center, but we definitely want some furniture that is comfortable and durable.
  • Miscellaneous ($400) – Things like lamps, storage for toys, wall art, and other stuff that always comes up are listed here.

This would put the total cost at $3,425.  To add an extra 330 square feet of living space that we can use for years to come, I'm thinking that's a pretty good bargain.

I will take some ‘before' and ‘after' pictures and post before we get started.