How to Finish a Basement in Your Home

I’m planning on finishing our basement myself at little at a time. How should I go about it? -Tony

Hi Tony,

When finishing a basement, you should tackle the job in this order:

  1. Check your local building codes for requirements such as ceiling height, stair proportions, and the location and size of egress windows and doors.
  2. Make sure the envelope around your basement is waterproof, and correct any moisture or humidity problems that may exist.
  3. Test the basement for the presence of radon gas, and take steps to lower it if needed.
  4. Draw a detailed plan for the space.
  5. Frame up any interior walls.
  6. Rough in the wiring, plumbing, and ductwork.
  7. Hang and finish the drywall on ceiling and walls.
  8. Install interior door units.
  9. Install trim molding.
  10. Paint walls and trim.
  11. Install any built-in cabinets.
  12. Finish up plumbing and wiring.
  13. Install flooring.

Good luck with your project,



  1. Hello,I Have A Big Problem With Dampnesss In My Basement Walls. Theres No Water Runing In. Just Dampness,The Dehumidifier,Has Helped. I Allso Had Damtite Allong With Some Other Sealent Added, In Less Than Two Years, The Dampness Along With Lots Of Mold With big Dark Bubbles.. Is there anything that will work without diging??

    • Russell,
      Start by being sure the drainage is good around your foundation with the grade sloping slightly away from the house. Next, install gutters to divert water from your roof away from your house, and extend the downspouts to keep it further away. If you’re still having problems, the only solution might be to dig up around the house and waterproof the exterior walls. Watch our video on What to Consider When Remodeling Your Basement for more information.

  2. Hi Danny, our basement is partially finished, it has drywall in most of it but there is some wood paneling still down ther I want to tear it out and put drywall and it already has a drop ceiling, but we would like recessed lighting and new carpet down there and some nice doors. We would also like to build a bedroom downstairs and have a wet bar put in. Do you about how much it will cost us. We would like to do a little at a time.

  3. We are putting a drop ceiling in our basement. Instead of boxing in the heat duct runs we framed the ceiling around it and now the pieces that go upright won’t stay in place. Any ideas???

  4. My question is, before I put up the ceiling, what is the best way to provide a sound barrier between the basement and the main floor. in 2020 we installed a new HVAC system with an 80% efficiency rating. It is louder than we like. Any suggestions?


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