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Help. I am getting ready to redo my basement flooring and have incredibly low funds.

My basement is about 2000 square feet. The flooring in it is horribly outdated. What would my best options be, and what would be the cost? I just need something basic. At first, I wanted to put down vinyl flooring (either the wood look or tile, but then started researching the cost and found it really costly ...) We are willing to do the work ourselves. Please help.
  • December 31 2012 - Lohman
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Answers (5)

If youre looking to imporve your home and are low on funds, one option is a second mortgage, I wouldnt normally recomend this, but as long as the improvments add a significant value to the home and better the property this could be a potential option. would not recomend this for anything other than home improvement adding significate value to the home.. other options are speaking with your bank or credit union for a line of credit to posibly help with funding, just be carefully with interest rates on approval.

  • December 31 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Is floor replacement an emergency (a "need") or a want?       You mention "horribly outdated" but don't mention if there are any safety hazards or if it is rotten or other condition that means something needs to be done soon.

If the only issue is that it is  outdated and money is tight, some low cost options may be to get some throw rugs from thrift stores, or room sized carpet remnants to provide some coverage while you save up the money.    Another option is to remove the current flooring and spiff up the concrete underneath (including throw rugs etc).  Yet another option is to replace the flooring in the basement one room at a time.  

I would not borrow money for updating the basement flooring.



  • December 31 2012
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There are many options for updating the floor, but there may also be some help for a low or zero interest loan through HRA, TRICAP, NSP Funds and if you are in Minnesota MHFA.  These all have income caps in order for you to get these funds.  Regarding the flooring If it is tile and appears to be old tile that is reminscent of old school flooring it may have asbestos in it.  Usually they 6 in or 8 in. tile.  It is best to leave it where it is and go over the top of it.  There are some great flooring paints that you can use and with a little creative stamping or marbleing technique you can make your old linoleum tile come to life.  I would rarely recommend a laminate or carpet until you make sure there is no water sepage from the walls or floor.  Good Luck!
  • December 31 2012
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FYI, DIY'er here, not a real estate guru....

I'm not sure of the details of the "horribly outdated" flooring or what is underneath it, but if you have concrete, one option that is an easy, low cost DIY is to stain your concrete floors. Then to add some warmth you could use area rugs under furniture. There are many different color options, from grey, to tan, to dark brown, even "tiled" patterns. Here is a link: http://www.younghouselove.com/2008/08/how-to-stain-a-concrete-floor/

There are also a lot of people DIY'ing "paper bag floors" now-a-days, which is also rather cheap, although I don't know as much about it. Helpful link: http://lovelycraftyhome.com/2011/11/09/the-ultimate-brown-paper-flooring-guide/

If you google either of these things you can find a lot of information about both of them. Just make sure, as with all DIY projects, to take the time to prep properly, and seal/finish them. Good luck! 
  • January 22 2013
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Since I haven't seen your floor it's hard to say but if you are low on funds why don't you look at painting it? It would depend on the surface and what it looks like now. Also, I have seen people strip a floor to the concrete and they painted it. Since the cost for materials is the most expensive thing here, try doing something or getting suggestions through google for what to do with a floor like yours. Painting or stripping would be the cheapist thing and might in fact look great. I bet you could find some suggestions on google.
  • January 22 2013
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