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Community and Q&A

Finishing a basement before remodeling

PLIERS | Posted in General Questions on

Hi, hope everyone is safe and well. I’m going to be doing major remodeling over the years. This summer I plan on completing an addition but I will be far from finished with everything I would like to complete. It’s going to take me a number of years to complete everything and in the meantime my basement remains a dungeon. I have plenty of ideas on how to finish and utilize the space but fear everything will be torn out when I continue to remodel. If I plan on leaving the basement ceiling exposed and my main sewer line in unfinished storage space can I finish my basement before remodeling everything else? I mean adding walls, electrical, and flooring will I just have to wait until everything is done or is getting around it easier than I think for contractors as long as ceiling is accessible.

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  1. Patrick_OSullivan | | #1

    Plan, plan, and plan some more. Most things can always be worked around, but a couple things to keep in mind:

    1. Never underestimate the wear and tear that even a well-disciplined and moderately careful construction crew can put on finished space.
    2. Renovating is truly 'building a house with a house in the way'. It is twice or more difficult than new construction.
    3. Anything you view as 'finished' or 'but I just did that' will be irrationally more difficult to undo even if doing so is the best course of action. It's classic sunk cost fallacy. So, the more you do now that could have the risk of needing to be changed, the higher the probability you will in the future make a wrong decision about something in conflict with that work.

  2. Expert Member
    NICK KEENAN | | #2

    I pay about $2 a square foot to have drywall hung and finished. Just tell yourself that every time someone wants to make hole in the drywall, it's not that big a deal. People in the trades essentially consider drywall a temporary covering.

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