Hammond Residential Real Estate
Michael Rothstein, GRI , Hammond Residential Real EstatePhone: (617) 470-3165
Email: [email protected]

4 Important Tips for Finishing Basement Walls

by Michael Rothstein, GRI 01/31/2022

There are many steps that go into “finishing” an unfinished basement. One of the biggest challenges is renovating the basement walls in order to create a living space. Whether you hire a contractor or do the work yourself, there are some key things to consider in your process. Here are some expert tips for finishing your basement walls.

Get a Permit

If you plan to build brand new walls rather than seal the existing ones, you will need a permit. It might tempt many homeowners to skip a permit because the basement is invisible from the outside. However, avoiding fines from your local building authority is worth the effort. A lack of building permit may also come back to cause problems in the future if you decide to sell your home, leading to failed inspections and inconsistency with official building records. Contact your local housing authority to get a permit before you do any significant construction work in the basement.

Use the Right Materials

When finishing basement walls yourself, it’s crucial to use materials that are specifically meant for basement construction. Not only will this make your finished basement rot and moisture-resistant, it will keep you in compliance with building codes. Some examples of materials to use include treated wood, moisture-resistant drywall and insulation. Using the correct materials for the job will save you time, money and frustration by ensuring your basement stays dry, mold-free and building code-compliant.

Don’t Forget Pipes & Wiring

If you’re adding plumbing and electricity to your basement, account for things like wiring and pipes in your walls. This includes planning the location and number of electrical outlets and whether you need to reroute existing pipes rather than add new ones. Many experts suggest adding brand new pipes rather than try to change existing ones, but this requires accounting for the extra space the construction will take up. Besides pipes, adding wire needs to be done in a safe and efficient manner both to abide by building codes and protect against potential fire hazards.

Try a Modular Wall System

If you want a comfortable middle ground between pure DIY construction and hiring professionals, consider a modular basement wall kit. This option lets you install ready-made walls by attaching them to floor and ceiling tracks. These walls can be removed or adjusted later if needed and are far quicker and simpler to install than building new walls from scratch. Check your local home improvement retailers for modular basement wall kits for a quick and inexpensive DIY-friendly alternative to hiring a contractor.

As with any home remodeling project, safety is of the utmost importance. Always use the proper tools and equipment, including protective gear and don’t be afraid to hire help if you find yourself overwhelmed. However, with these tips you will be on your way to finished basement walls and increased value for your home.

About the Author

Michael Rothstein, GRI

Active in residential brokerage since 1985, Michael enjoys a loyal following of past buyers and sellers. Prior to entering brokerage, he studied culinary arts and managed restaurants in the Boston area. Born and raised in Newton, Michael is very familiar with the Greater Boston area. His seven-day-a-week commitment to his profession serves his clients and customers well. His educational background includes The Johnson & Wales Culinary Institute, The Lee Institute for Real Estate, and The Tom Hopkins and Floyd Wickman Sales Training courses. 

In recognition of his completion of the prescribed courses in real estate practice and ethics, Michael has earned the distinguished GRI (Graduate, Realtor Institute) designation. He continues his long-standing membership in the National Association of Realtors and is an avid fly fisherman, musician, and outdoor enthusiast. 

Michael was awarded the International President's Circle Award for sales expertise, market knowledge, and dedication to clients for 2020 and 2021. In 2022 and 2023 he was awarded the International Presidents Elite Award, representing the Top 2% of Hammond Residential & Coldwell Banker Agents Worldwide, for demonstrating exceptional sales production, ambition and his commitment to the Real Estate Industry.