Add Square Footage with a Finished Basement

Making the most of your basement doesn't have to mean costly contractors and expensive remodeling scenarios. Several easy DIY projects (with the aid of the right tools) can help you gain precious square footage. 

Ready to get started? Give these projects a try:

Build walls.
Use 2-by-4s to mark where the walls will stand and place studs 16 inches apart. Then nail the panels to the wall where the edges meet the studs and cover the seams with drywall tape. Once the walls are up, mud the seams and areas where nail pops appear. A drywall saw or power saw will help you shape your drywall perfectly, but if you don't own one, simply rent it. Don't forget to add drywall stands to your rental list.

Freshen up your floor.
If your basement is completely unfinished, you probably have cold, concrete floors. How you improve them is up to you, but if you want a polished, marbled look, rent concrete floor finishing equipment. If you’d rather have the appearance of hardwood, laminate flooring panels are inexpensive and easy to install. If you want the feel of carpet beneath your feet, don't forget to add the pad first.

Eliminate odors.
Dehumidifiers can help eliminate musty or stale odors in your basement. You can purchase one at your local home goods store and when you get it home, try to place it near the washtub sink if your basement has one. This will allow you to drain right into the sink and save you from having to empty the dehumidifier regularly.

Install a sump pump.
Don’t let water damage ruin all your hard work. A sump pump can protect against flooding issues. Most new homes have a location marked for a sump pump; it will look like a small well. Follow the water pipes in your home and you can find it. Once you do, purchase a sump pump from your local hardware store and install.

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