How to Remodel a Basement for $500


An inexpensive basement remodeling project benefits from a clear design plan. A $500 project doesn't have to look cheap, but throwing things together without forethought can result in a basement that looks like a dorm room. Decide what style you want and adapt that style to how you plan to use your basement. Doing the job yourself eliminates labor costs and gives you the opportunity to hone your design skills without breaking the bank.

Things You'll Need

  • TSP
  • Paint
  • Paint rollers and trays
  • Carpet or tile squares
  • Lath or metal strips
  • Frames
  • Fabric
  • Spring rods
  • Remove and discard worn floor coverings. Pull up carpet tack strips. Scrub the concrete floor and walls with a mixture of warm water and a strong detergent, such as TSP. If you discover water damage, determine the cause and fix it before you continue.

  • Check out the discounted paints at a home improvement store if you need to redo the walls. Discounted paints are colors that the store mixed for customers who changed their mind and didn't buy the paint. These colors are available at deep discounts.

  • Purchase concrete paint for the floor or look for inexpensive carpet squares or peel-and-stick tiles from a discounter, such as Big Lots. Use a combination of paint and squares in different parts of the room to separate play areas from entertaining areas.

  • Create a modern, industrial look, if you have no ceiling, by nailing inexpensive wood lath or metal strips in a crisscross pattern to the ceiling joists. Leave space between and inside the squares so that plumbing and ductwork is visible.

  • Make inexpensive art for the walls by having photos blown up. Find frames at thrift stores and paint them to match your décor, or leave them unfinished for a rustic, antique look.

  • Sew accent pillows by cutting two squares of fabric, pinning them right sides together and stitching three of the sides. Turn the fabric right side out and stuff the pillow cover with batting available at fabric stores. Sew the fourth side closed.

  • Hang inexpensive curtains. Buy two spring rods for each window. Measure the inside height of the window. Buy fabric that is that length plus 3 inches. Sew hems at the top and bottom of the curtains. Thread one rod through the top hem and the other through the bottom, then insert the rods inside the window frame at the top and bottom.

Tips & Warnings

  • Furnish your basement with thrift store finds. Look for cheap fabric in the remnants bin at the fabric store or at secondhand stores. Build an inexpensive desk by placing an unfinished door on top of two two-drawer file cabinets. Check the garden department of home improvement or discount stores for inexpensive outdoor furniture sets to use in the basement.

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  • Photo Credit Apartment Therapy
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