What You Need to Know About Basement Finishing

If you’re reading this then you’re already interested in having a finished basement that will add value to your property and a significant amount of usable living space. You may be able to add a bedroom or two, a bathroom, and an extra living space, which can turn that slab of a concrete basement into a bright, cozy, and comfortable space your whole family can enjoy. 

With so much space to work with, you pretty much have endless possibilities and potential – and of course, money as well when it comes to the resale value of your property. Depending on the intentions you have for the future of your home, there are a number of factors to consider before getting started with your finished basement, and we’ve compiled some ideas and topics to consider. 

Basement finishing design

Sure, having a big home theater would be great for Friday movie nights with the whole family or watching ball games with friends. But is that going to be an ideal basement for people looking to buy your house in 3 years after the kids move out and you want something else? You can simply purchase a large TV and a great sound system to get a similar experience without alienating a large pool of future potential buyers. 

When Googling finished basement ideas it can become very daunting with so many options and opinions out there on the internet. However, it is also smart to have some ideas in mind before bringing in the experts, which is why we’ve put together a few basement renovations tips to consider:

Basement storage space

It can be incredibly valuable to have a small (or large) space for extra storage in your basement. Not only does this feature move all your upstairs clutter to a hidden location, but it also appeals to future buyers as well. Since storage areas usually have unfinished walls, you will also save on a bunch of costs when finishing your basement. 

Lighting, lighting, lighting

More basement lighting is almost always better. Typically, unfinished basements are dark and gloomy spaces nobody wants to hang out in. A fully finished, beautifully lit basement can transform an undesirable space into a place you or anyone would want to go to for holiday festivities, a birthday party, a Sunday afternoon of football, or simply to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet.

Practical flooring

Finished basement flooring can be tricky because you need to consider all the moisture that collects on the bottom of your house. When choosing the flooring, it is important to consider how it will dry out. In most cases, you’ll want worry-free and durable options like inorganic materials that resist mold, mildew, and rot. Flexible options include carpet, tile, engineered wood, matte subfloor, and insulated subfloor.

Basement windows

It probably goes without saying that finished basement windows are a must-have for anyone looking to turn their downstairs into an enjoyable and safe place. Not only do egress windows provide an emergency escape route, but they also give you natural light so that you don’t feel like a cave dweller. If possible, you’re going to want as many windows as possible without breaking the bank. 


In addition to these design inclusions, you’ll want to consider if your finished basement matches the rest of the house. Sometimes people design a very stylized basement with trendy finishes or components that will likely be dated very quickly and/or contrast too starkly with the rest of the home. Perhaps it would be better to lean towards conservative finishes if you plan to sell within 1-3 years. 

Finished basement layout

After you have figured out what you want to be included in your finished basement, the next step is to plan your layout. Think about traffic flow, how you go about your everyday life downstairs, which things you use most, and how it will function if you have guests over to stay the night or socialize. Here are some helpful tips to remember when you plan your basement layout:

  • Put the main socializing area in a place that gets the most natural light to draw people into an inviting space.
  • Bedrooms need a window for an escape route, so they’ll need to be located at the perimeter.
  • The TV-viewing zone can be in a darker area to reduce glare and create a home-theater feel.
  • Store food and beverages in an area you can access without crossing in front of the TV/entertainment area.

For a lot of people, it helps to tape off the floors of the basement so you can get a better feel for how things will look and fit when the finished basement is complete. Knowing the width between walls and being able to move things around helps paint a better picture of the space and what you can do with it. Also, if you know the size of your furniture, appliances, and equipment before starting the project, you can tape off those areas as well so you won’t be surprised later on. 

Lucky for you, Summit Edge Builders provides a 3D walkthrough for our clients so that they’re able to “walk” through their finished basement. A 3D walkthrough is a technology that allows you to view the interior of your future finished basement and plans of construction. You’ll be able to get a vivid interpretation of the construction along with all the details with our virtual basement walkthrough. 


Part of the reason renovations are so stressful is that they can do a number on your daily routine. It’s important to know what you are getting yourselves into before starting a project like a finished basement. Here are a few factors to consider:


For 6-8 weeks there will be contractors in and out of your house. There will be noise from below during the day and materials being brought in and out. Here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself – Do I work from home? Do I have an alternate site to work temporarily? Is the disturbance manageable? 

To make things easier, you might want to consider having a portable toilet placed in your side yard or in the driveway. They are not exactly attractive to you or your neighbors, but that might be a small price to pay rather than having a bunch of contractors using your hall bathroom. Also, there will need to be a dumpster in the street at the curb or in your driveway, which may take up parking space. 

However, to make things easier on you, our basement finishing team works efficiently and productively to finish your basement in a timely manner so that you don’t have to put up with these inconveniences for an extended period. 

Design flexibility

Sometimes with a basement finishing renovation, changes have to be made due to obstructions in the ceilings or walls. That could perhaps mean a lower ceiling than anticipated or a break up in an otherwise clean line. Being prepared for these kinds of alterations can take the surprise and stress out of these moments when they pop up.


Tradesmen (and women) sometimes cancel or don’t show up. Perhaps you stayed home to open up to allow contractors in only to find out from the general contractor that the electrician had to reschedule. Or maybe the city inspector never showed up.  Construction is a very fluid environment, seldom does everything go according to plan. It might be wise to set aside vacation time or figure out a way to have a member of your family available or on-call to handle availability issues. 

But what about the cost?

The average cost of a finished basement renovation will vary depending on the scale of the project at hand. Some homeowners choose a very simple finish option with plans to upgrade at a later time. We often hear, “just get me a finished bedroom and simple bath and the rest an open area”. While others want high-end features like wine storage and a full kitchen with high-end custom cabinetry and ceiling treatments. 

There are a few ways to keep finished basement renovation costs within a reasonable budget range.

1)    Use materials similar those used by your builder.  They tend to be readily available and not special order.

2)    Keep the bathroom simple. 

3)    Flooring – There are vinyl floor options that are durable and waterproof and have a great finished look in addition to affordable carpet options.

4)    Be flexible with your schedule – Let your contractor know that you have flexibility on the timeline.

It also helps to be strict with yourself in regards to your original plan. There is a classic tendency for people to expand their vision once ground is broken – and while it’s okay to aim your sights high, too many extra basement upgrades can really expand your budget. As a recommendation when it comes to negotiating a better price with your contractor, it’s easier if you offer to be more flexible with the schedule.

Either way, finishing your basement is an excellent and inexpensive way to add usable square footage to your home that gets you more value and a lower cost per square foot than adding an addition to get the same square footage.

Completing your basement project safely during a pandemic

In case you were wondering about any safety concerns that come with taking on a finished basement project during this coronavirus pandemic, Summit Edge Builders has strict policies for our contractors to follow to ensure a safe workplace. We are working to ensure that we are following the protocols established by various health organizations to guide employees and subcontractors on how to keep themselves and our customers safe and healthy at all times. 

Fortunately, basement finishing and remodeling projects involve very little human contact and, best of all, you would be supporting local businesses. The majority of the money spent on finishing a basement goes to materials that support jobs within the supply chain, and small businesses that are paying their employees. It’s a win for all parties involved!

Build the perfect finished basement with Summit Edge Builders

Our basement finishing team proudly services primarily among the following cities:  Erie, Lafayette, Boulder, Louisville, Superior, Longmont, Firestone, Frederick, Dacono, Broomfield, Westminster, Thornton, Northglenn, Brighton, Arvada, Golden, Berthoud, Littleton, and Denver. 

If you are anywhere in those areas, our experts are here to help you with basic plans to get you a finished basement at budget-friendly prices. You should have a newly finished basement space that fits the needs of your growing family’s lifestyle and needs. We will take the time to meet with you to decide the features that are most important to you. Our goal is to create a finished basement that completes your existing home and gives you the completed look and feel of the home you’ve always wanted. 

Are you interested in finishing your basement with a company that specializes in affordable housing solutions? Contact Summit Edge Builders at 303-481-2005 or fill out a contact form for more information.