We stayed close to our $7,500 budget by using these tricks:
DIYing most of the work. My husband and his dad did all the framing, insulation, and sheetrock hanging. They installed all the cabinetry and the doors. We hired subcontractors to lay the flooring and finish out all the paint and trim work detail. We also hired a friend who is an electrician for all lighting and electrical. The painted stairs were done by yours truly. :)
Shop for bargains and use what you've got. We found a discontinued floor display at a local cabinet shop for just $750, so we bought it and delivered it ourselves then my husband reassembled it after the floors and walls were finished. The granite was a scrap piece that we got at a huge markdown. All the furniture was either hand-me-down or purchased used from Craigslist. The wall art was my own photography enlarged to poster size at Costco and framed in Hobby Lobby discounted frames. I work in the construction industry, and had the flooring material leftover from another job so we only paid for labor.
Use free programs such as Sketchup to draw out the space before construction to see how it will look afterwards. It's better for everyone to see things in 3-D to you can all be on the same page with how it is supposed to look.
Now my husband has a great place to escape all the cartoons that play on our living room tv for our 5 year old. It's also a fun place to host Polar Express showings every Christmas. The kids love the arcade and the foosball coffee table.
We scored this cabinetry for just $750 from a local cabinet maker with a floor sample that had been discontinued.
One of a kind poster from a vineyard in Long Island. They weren't for sale but we got them to sell us one anyway!
The lamp is an old meter that actually spins whenever it's turned on.
Before final decorations were complete.
Rope Lighting on a dimmer switch above the crown molding is great for movies.
Before and after of staircase leading to basement.
Water heater plumbing access- the other side is wide open to the unfinished part of the basement.
They boxed in around the ductwork and got creative with the ceiling heights and trim to get as much height as possible.
DH framed out the cheap mirror with decorative trim for a nice effect.
Slide out pantry storage
Sketchup drawing before we started construction
To see more: http://unskinnyboppy.com/category/basement-remodel/