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Basement Redo - cheap

abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 16,774 Senior Member
edited January 2010 in Parent Cafe
Well, maybe I should say "inexpensive". :)

Would love to re-do our basement. Our house was built in 1925 and it's not a "scary" basement, but one that's not that attractive to hang out in. We have a tv and couch down there and it is used sometimes by someone who wants a tv and the other 2 are in use, but would love to have it decent for the kids to take friends down there and WANT to hang out.

Currently the walls are a crabby old knotty pine (sorry, I don't like it) - the baseboards are in bad shape. The floors are not the most even, but are covered with a tile square that is old and scuffed but not cracking or anything. Only time we have had any water down there is a couple times we had torrential rain for an extended period we had a couple of very small drips/mini-puddles of water. The space we would do over is not large, kind of "L" shaped with the largest part of the "L" being say, 8 x 15 or so.

I don't want to spend a fortune. My husband COULD probably do much of the work, but don't know if he WILL, so thought about calling in a basement refinishing place at least for an estimate. What I picture is just some drywall with beadboard on the bottom half and some neutral berber carpeting. My husband redid the ceiling tiles a few years back so those are fine.

The basement is the coolest place in the summer (we don't have central air just units) and the cozy place in the winter (we have radiator heat and the big furnace of course is in the basement) so it sure makes sense to be able to use it more. Plus, now that the kids are older, we'd sleep alot better not hearing them on the main floor when it's late at night.

What can you advise me as I build up the nerve to pursue this idea with my husband? Ideas on wall type choice, who do get to do it (a basement expert vs. handy man perhaps), cost you might have incurred for a similar re-do, etc.

Post edited by abasket on

Replies to: Basement Redo - cheap

  • OnwardOnward Registered User Posts: 2,806 Senior Member
    I can't give you any real advise but you might want to check out gardenweb- go tho their home forum then to the decorating forum. Search there and also when you are in the decorating forum select the gallery button and look in there. Those people have lots of ideas and you could even pose your question there. There are usually many pictures on the site too.
  • sistersunniesistersunnie Registered User Posts: 689 Member
    Since you already like the beadboard look, paint the existing knotty pine paneling. I've painted paneling in several houses and it looks good. According to what furnishing you use, the look is cottage, contemporary, eclectic, country, etc. Wash the paneling, use liquid sandpaper, wipe well and prime with kilz and several coats later, a new wall! That would save considerable vs drywall work, etc. I've seen some huge bound and unbound carpet sections at places like Ollies. Big enough they would cover wall to wall in a space your size. Unroll directly over the existing tile floor. Not expensive so if they get yucky and dont come clean or you do get water in there, roll and discard. Replace when things dry out.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 12,483 Senior Member
    We have a painted basement, you already have upgrades on us! A fresh coat of paint does wonders. Adding carpet would be nice- don't forget remnants from any local carpet store. For those with totally unfinished basements- I went to Home Depot and used the wall and floor paints they have after thoroughly cleaning the space, including bleach solution with good ventilation (not a winter project). Covering the porous concrete helps with summer humidity and spills despite the humidifier. I chose a creamy color for walls and a blue-gray for the floor (H said not to stick with the concrete color- ours was done and then we saw the same colors at the local Y) plus a royal blue for the posts and stairwell foundation. The next owner can improve upon my work- only wish I had done it years before I got around to it- before instead of after the neighbor kids and son outgrew riding the little kid toys well beyond their age range.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 16,774 Senior Member
    I have thought about painting the knotty pine - don't know how to describe it but it's not a typical paneling knotty pine, it's like real wood, CHUNKY knotty pine!! Probably would look better painted though, maybe I should just try a small section.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,733 Senior Member
    If you put carpet directly on your basement floor it's likely to get musty. You might want to consider using something like DRIcore Subfloor Basement Flooring Home Page as subfloor. It will be warmer on your feet and will keep your carpet dry.

    If it's chunky knotty pine painting won't look as good as the cheesy smooth stuff (which we have all over our house and looks surprisingly good painted.) If you put drywall down there make sure you put a solid foam on the walls and have a mildew resistant version and keep it off the floor. They also make other materials for basement walls. Can't say I love the way they look though.
  • NewHope33NewHope33 Registered User Posts: 6,208 Senior Member
    Since you don't have a clear vision for what you want, and also because you want to do the job economically, I also think the right first step is painting the pine. My Mom painted her kitchen knotty pine a pinkish creamy color ... it made a HUGE difference. Asphalt tile on basement floors is common in the Midwest. You might consider putting a fresh layer over the old. Modern tiles are available in many colors, and of course you can use your imagination mixing and matching. If you MUST have a different material, I'd choose and engineered wood (maybe bamboo?) rather than carpet. Basements can get damp.
  • mapesymapesy Registered User Posts: 1,048 Senior Member
    You might consider wood laminate flooring instead of carpet. When H finished our basement 12 years ago, he installed wood laminate flooring over a thin underlay laid directly on concrete. It looks awesome, and after all these years it still looks brand new.

    Wood laminate is extremely moisture resistant, and many manufacturers warrant their product for basement installation.
  • anothermom2anothermom2 Registered User Posts: 1,753 Senior Member
    I vote for painting the wood, too. Unless you do the drywall yourself, it costs $$$ for installation, paint etc. Good wood can be painted almost any color (if you use enough coats of primer, etc.). New baseboard would not be too expensive, and you can paint it semi gloss to go with the walls. For floor, I had a great carpet that was water resistant (oelefin or something like that), but it did get wet in a big storm (the sump pump went out.) I would not use wall to wall again for just that reason. A big remnant that goes all the way to the walls over your old tile would hide a multitude of sins. I like bound remnants.
  • dmd77dmd77 Registered User Posts: 8,663 Senior Member
    Paint is cheap and it's easy to change. And it doesn't take long to see if you like it or not. And a bound remnant is also cheap and relatively easy to get rid of if you don't like it.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,733 Senior Member
    ^And if it gets wet you can roll it up and put it in your driveway to dry out.
  • bookiemombookiemom Registered User Posts: 1,914 Senior Member
    My sister has a basement family room like this in her house that is from the same era. It's painted a light blue-gray, with darker blue-gray carpet and a very comfy, velvety, navy-blue sectional sofa. She has nice end tables and coffee table,lots of lamps, nice art, some hanging plants (silk) and a nice TV mounted on the wall. Her sons like to watch TV down there, and that's where the guys who stay over sleep. (Pillows and quilts handy for the guests.) It's a nice feature of her house for her college-age sons. Lots of their old football buddies show up when everyone is home on break.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 16,774 Senior Member
    I like the rolled remnant idea. Kind of the best of both worlds. We can even put a foam padding underneath (one of the lesser expensive ones) - they don't cost much and provide some comfort on the hard floor.

    We have original hardwood throughout the rest of the house and my kids often like sitting on the floor so the carpet down there might be nice.

    Anyone else have tips on painting the knotty pine? There's ALOT of knotty pine down there!
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,988 Senior Member
    If you decide to paint the pine (which I agree you should do), you will first need to deal with a primer that will prevent the stuff on the wood from bleeding through the paint. Go and talk to the folks at the paint store. They will have a recommendation. Also, I would suggest a semi gloss finish as I think that will look nice...but that is my opinion.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 16,774 Senior Member
    Anyone want to come help me paint?! :)
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,733 Senior Member
    You can get rollers for different finishes. There should be one that works better with rough surfaces.
This discussion has been closed.