How to Save Money on Your Northern Virginia Basement Remodeling Project

Filed Under: Basement    by: Steve Kayhill

Finishing the basement provides extra living space and an organized, convenient area for storage. But you’ll want to tackle your Northern Virginia basement remodeling project in the right way, with quality materials and sensible design. How can you save money on a basement renovation and still enhance lifestyle and property value?

Good Planning Reduces Mistakes

No doubt about it—mistakes cost money. Errors or accidents often require replacement materials or extend the renovation schedule, adding to overall labor costs. Sometimes mistakes show up after the remodel is complete, while others arise during construction. No matter when the homeowner or contractor becomes aware of them, mistakes push the budget higher.

Plan your basement remodeling project well to avoid these errors. A detailed sketch of the framing, electrical and mechanical features allows for efficiency and accuracy during installation. Access to local building codes also cuts down on errors and omissions in that area. Even the simple rule of “measure twice, cut once” helps to reduce the risk of wasted materials and wasted time.

Work at the plan before construction starts, and keep the plan updated during your project. Changes and alterations happen, but smart homeowners alter the plan and trace how far those changes spread to help avoid problems later on.

The Affordability of Drywall

Some people assume that drywall costs more than other wall-finishing options. You’ll need to budget for framing behind the drywall sheets, as well as mudding, primer and paint to properly finish the walls. But this basement renovation package is often cheaper than other alternatives.

In past decades, wood paneling was used for cheap Northern Virginia basement remodeling. Modern quality wood paneling has gone up in price and you’ll still need to budget for framing and possibly insulation.

Quality drywall runs at $4 to $8 per sheet. The cost for drywall mud and painting supplies adds to that figure, and installation rates drive it even higher. But attractive wood paneling comes in at $15 to $20 per sheet and higher.

Drywall also creates a more comfortable, livable area downstairs. Decorating is easy and using this building material often helps to increase property value, as the basement is considered valuable living space.

Use drywall on the ceiling to cut costs. You’ll need to plan the electrical and mechanical design well and provide access for repairs. Drop ceilings allow for simpler access, but cost double the price of drywall ceilings. Plan and compare to discover how affordable drywall can be when finishing the basement.

Remember the Value of Light Fixtures

Lighting is vital in the basement. Quality lighting provides illumination and creates a more inviting, open space in the lower floors. Remember to allow for adequate lighting and opt for fixtures that blend into the ceiling and walls.

This is not the place for expensive, trendy lighting. Look for simple builder’s grade styles that provide decent coverage at a good value. It’s important to include enough lights, or else this space feels cramped and gloomy. And adding a few lights and mirrors in strategic places costs much less than adding a new window.

DIY may seem like a smart way to save money on your Northern Virginia basement remodeling project. But unless you have the skills and experience to make this space comfortable, safe and inviting, it makes sense to hire an experienced contractor. They will provide ways to shave the budget without sacrificing the quality your family deserves.

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