Planning Your Basement Remodel Construction & Design

According to Zillow, a basement remodel can recoup roughly 70% at resale. Before you go scrolling through the gram and Pinterest for design direction and ideas, there are a few things you’ll need to know about planning your basement remodel construction and design and decide, such as: 

  • The type of basement remodel. 
  • Permits. Depending on what you will include in your basement remodel, a variety of permits will need to be pulled. 
  • The professional you will be hiring. Do they specialize in basement remodeling work, or are they general contractors, interior designers, architects, etc.? 
  • The overall design direction of your project. What amount of detail will your basement remodel entail?

In this blog, we cover: 

  • The different types of basement remodeling projects. 
  • The phases of a basement remodel
  • The different kinds of basement professionals. 
  • What to ask during the hiring process in regards to permits and more. 

We have also completed some basement remodel projects that will provide you with a point of reference when determining the amount of detail for your project.

The Different Types of Basement Remodels 

Often, our clients are interested in transforming their unfinished or partially finished basements into a living spaces. That ranges from a simple bonus room to a guest bedroom/bathroom suites to an entire ADU that can be rented out for supplemental income. Common projects include: 

  • Relocating stairs to improve layout and flow between your ground level and basement floors. 
  • Digging down or lifting to increase the ceiling height of your basement space.
  • Adding square footage through bathrooms, bedrooms, or additional living space.
  • Creating an ADU for a multi-generation family or rental.
  • Turning a traditional basement into a daylight basement.

Regarding the cost of a basement remodel, two major factors impact the budget: the scope of work and the materials used. 

The more complex the project, the larger the cost. Major layout changes (like adding bathrooms, bedrooms, or additional living space) will always prove to be more complicated than a cosmetic upgrade to an already-finished basement. 

Material costs vary just as much. There’s a wide range in price and quality between the custom, high-end end of the spectrum compared to budget, builder-grade quality. If you intend to live in the space for several more years after a remodel, we recommend investing in at least mid-grade quality materials. They’ll last longer.

The Phases of a Basement Remodel 

Although these phases of a basement remodel can overlap, there are major basement finishing phases you will likely experience.

  • Framing work, such as partitions.
  • Electrical work, such as electrical wiring to support entertainment systems. 
  • Plumbing to support wet bars, bathrooms, etc. 
  • Installing drywall.
  • Painting basement ceilings and walls. 
  • Trim & Doors
  • Installing the type of flooring you choose.
  • Setting up the home theater. 

Different Kinds of Basement Professionals 

The Architect 

Architects can—but won’t necessarily—handle a range of responsibilities in a basement remodel. Many homeowners fail to discuss their expectations outside of the design and are caught off guard once the remodeling begins. Here are some of the services architects might perform:

  • Drafting plans
  • Getting creative with the design 
  • Helping you choose fixtures and finishes

Some architects have contacts in the industry and may be able to point you in the right direction when hiring professionals to do the work. They can also help keep you within your budget by making suggestions to keep the project on time. However, during construction, they primarily serve as a project manager. The actual construction aspect is left to the general contractors and sub-contractors. 

The Contractor 

Contractors are more involved during the construction process. However, many homeowners must discuss their expectations when designing and selecting the products and material phases. As a result, they are caught off guard during that project period. Here are some of the services contractors might perform:

  • Drafting plans 
  • Assistance with selecting certain products and materials
  • Coordinating all sub-contractors and keeping the construction phase running smoothly

Some basement contractors can help with the design of your basement remodel. Others will point you in the right direction based on meetings, ask you to visit showrooms, and then provide them with the products and materials you choose. Suppose you want a professional who will make suggestions, help you choose the best items for your basement remodel, and design the space for you. In that case, you must ask your contractor these questions to avoid common misconceptions.

The Design/Build Company

When you work with a design and build company, all parts of a basement remodel are planned for, coordinated, and executed. As the name implies, they will design and build your basement remodel. However, the cost of your basement remodel will depend on the scope of work performed. 

Design/build companies offer different service packages. As a result, some homeowners may expect more than they pay. Here are some of the services design/build professionals might perform:

  • Drafting plans
  • Design coordination 
  • Material and product selection 
  • Oversight of all phases of construction 

It is important to review your expectations for each remodel phase: design, planning, and construction. In doing so, you’ll receive the coverage you expect. Ask the design/build company you choose what their policy is for change orders or revisions. Some companies charge extra if you request those items after the work has begun or the product has been ordered. 

As for planning, ask how many drawings are included and how many revisions. For construction, ask if you will receive a designated project manager and how often you can expect updates. 


Basement Remodel Designs

Having a vision is one thing, but knowing what your finished basement remodel will look like once it is completed can provide peace of mind. Please look at two basement projects we have completed and gather basement remodel ideas and inspiration for your own. 

Westfield, NJ, basement remodel & bar 

North Plainfield, NJ, basement remodel home office

Have questions? That is completely normal. We’re happy to schedule a free no-obligation consultation to discuss your visions and answer questions.

Get a Free Remodeling Consultation & Project Quote

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