What Does it Mean to “Finish” a Space?

When a homeowner wants to “finish” space or room within their home, it means that they want to transform a room into an additional living space. This means that there’s electricity, a ventilation system, finished floors and walls, a level ceiling, and an accessible entryway. Finished spaces add value to your home, but they also give you an extra bedroom, game room, or man cave.

1. Garage

The garage isn’t typically the first space that homeowners think about finishing— unless they don’t have an additional space they’d like to finish. Another reason is that the majority of people use their garages to park their cars, as well as for storage if they have the space. Finishing a garage takes a lot of handy work, but it’s not as difficult as it may seem. To finish a garage, you’ll need to:


  • Add blocking and framing.
  • Drywall the ceiling
  • Install weather-strip doors and windows.
  • Insulate it and also add a ventilation system.
  • Reroute your current wiring and add additional outlets.

Garages can be converted into a variety of functional spaces, depending on its size. You can transform your garage into an extra bedroom, a workout room/home gym, or just a simple hangout space, complete with a mini kitchen and bar.

2. Basement


Basements are one of the most popular spaces that homeowners choose to finish. They’re perfect for creating a man cave, extra bedroom, or even an entire living space with a small kitchen and bathroom. Although many homes don’t have basements, the majority of the ones that do have basements have large, spacious ones that can be easily transformed into a functional living space.

Completing a basement is similar to completing a garage since they’re both concrete spaces used for storage. However, when it comes to basements, you may need to complete a moisture test to make sure that it’s waterproof before you begin remodelling it. Many basements tend to flood during the winter months and rainy seasons.

3. Attic


If you don’t have a basement or garage (or you’re using them both), you can add some flooring in your attic. However, finishing an attic is a little more tricky than finishing a basement or garage. Generally, when converting an attic, you must follow the rule of 7s, meaning your attic must be at least 70 square feet, at least 7 feet wide, and 7 feet high. Flooring in your attic will also need to be reinforced, unlike the flooring in your basement or garage.

Attics are almost always turned into an additional bedroom, but some can be converted into full living spaces— depending on the size. Also, keep in mind that if you live in a residential neighbourhood, building codes may not allow you to completely finish your attic. This may also be true about finishing your basement, so make sure that the job is actually feasible before you start making plans.

Bonus – Adding on to Your House

Adding on an additional room or level to your home would be considered a major remodel, unlike the first three options which are minor remodels. Like finishing an attic or a basement, you’ll have to research the building codes in your area to ensure that this is a project that can be done. It may be easier to create a “bump-out” addition (expanding a small room without altering other rooms of the house), rather than attempting to create a new addition to an entire side of the house. The most complicated addition to a home is adding another level to it, and not many homeowners choose this route.

If you have a back porch or patio in your backyard, you may even be able to close this in and create another living space. Enclosing a porch or patio is similar to enclosing a garage, except that you’ll have to build walls and add windows in addition to adding insulation and a ventilation system. This and all of the other projects will add extra square footage to your home, as well as provide an extra living space.

All of these remodels will require the help of a licensed professional contractor. They’ll know how to obtain certain building permits to meet all required building codes, and they’ll know exactly which walls can be knocked down to provide extra space. These remodels may also take a while to complete, but they’re definitely worth it when wanting to add more space to your home.