Your Basement Material Lists:

Aristotle said that “The whole is bigger than the sum of the parts” and I think that is so true when it comes to a basement finishing project. I mean…you got this big list of building materials needed for a

Basement Finishing Materials | How to Finish a Basement

basement finishing project, you put these materials together and this incredibly beautiful, functional, new Living Space comes to life inside of what used to be an empty, ugly, masonry vault of a space!

I’ll admit there really is a lot of “stuff” that you need to purchase to finish a basement. And it can get a little overwhelming for most of us to know just what all we need to buy and when we need to have it on site for the project.

So… to keep it all straight in my head, I have devised individual material shopping lists for each of the major stages of the basement project. This way I’m only buying exactly what I need, at the exact time I actually need to use the stuff! This way I don’t have a million and one things in my road that I’m tripping over that aren’t needed on the job-site yet. It makes the job flow soooooooo much easier!


So here’s the breakdown of the 9 project material lists and the order that I purchase and deliver each to the basement job-site:

  • H.V.A.C
  • TRIM

The way I deliver the materials on these lists to the job-site is as follows:

First I have my FRAMING materials delivered by Home Depot on their delivery truck Day 1 of the project. This is all my wall studs, wall top & bottom plates, soffit lumber, banding lumber, etc.. This is a home-depot-decal-installation-lgbig order and takes up some space down there so I don’t need any other lists down on the job until the framing is mostly completed!

Next I have what I call my Mechanical Lists picked-up and delivered to the job-site. These include the ELECTRIC, PLUMBING, and HVAC lists. The materials on these 3 lists do not take up to much space on the job-site and kind of all go hand-in-hand with the projects natural progression.

Next it’s time for the INSULATING list to be picked-up. I normally order between 5 and 8 bags of R-13 3.5 ” insulation for the job. The bags are pretty bulky and will take a mini van or car several trips to haul. A pickup truck can get it all at once. You may want to have this delivered with the framing lumber on the 1st delivery if you have a garage or a large storage space in the basement to store it so you do not have to haul it in your car.

Next it’s the DRYWALL order delivery. This will have to be delivered unless you own a pickup truck. We own trucks and still have it delivered and stocked from a local drywall building supply company…they bring it…and stock it right down and into the basement for a $100.00 charge, and believe me it’s worth the 100 bucks! They will bring all the joint compound, cornerbead, tape, and drywall adhesive on the same delivery for you if you order it that way.

Once drywall is completed…next we get our TRIM and PAINTING material lists delivered. This delivery includes all out base trim, window and door trim, all the project doors, and all other misc. trim needed to finish the trim project 100%. This is a lot of long material items…generally 16′-0″ long and it’s easier to have a delivery setup with your suppler to deliver this extra long material…your not picking this up in your car, your mini van or even most pickup truck unless your making 3-4 trips and have ladder racks on top of your truck.We have our paint mixed and we pickup the paint material list ourselves. This usually consists of about 10-15 gallons of wall and ceiling primer and paint, 3-5 gallons of trim and door paint, roller naps, paint pans, shop rags, etc., which is all easily transported by us or you to the job-site.

Last but not least it’s time for the FLOORING material list to be delivered. I use Carpeting on about 40% of my basement floor and another 35% synthetic flooring and another 25% ceramic tile on the rest. If it’s going to be carpet an outside subcontractor will deliver and install (I don’t do carpet installations),If it’s going to be ceramic or synthetic we send a pickup truck to pickup one last delivery…usually can get it all on the truck in one load. If you have a large basement full of tile or synthetic (700 sq.ft. or more)flooring you can simply have Home Depot or whoever just deliver it right to your house fro a small fee usually under $100.00.
Now…there will also be some misc. smaller material lists like for bathroom fixtures if you got a bath going in or cabinetry and tops material list if you have a bar or a kitchen going in these two list would be delivered after you drywall is finished and painted so it’s not in the way for the drywall stage. Both of these materials lists get delivered by the supplier directly to the job when we are ready for them.



Now it would take me longer than I care to spend on this post to tell you what the EXACT materials are on each of the 9 lists for your basement project….let’s just say there’s a bunch of stuff on each list.

The exact materials for each list will also depend on the size and shape of your project as well as what specific “ZONES” you’re including down in your new living space (Bathroom, Bar, Home Theater, Gym, etc.).

Also…for a lot of “newbie” diy’ers you will be adding a nice selection of power and hand tools that you do not own yet, so you will have the ability to complete each stage of your project professionally. So I guess we should add “TOOLS” to our lists as well.


I’ve just passed my career 600th basement finishing project this month! I’ve been finishing basements since 2002, so that’s roughly 25 basements a year for the last 24 years! Now that’s a lot of basements

But my point here is not how many basement I’ve finished, it’s how many basement finishing material Basement Finishing Materials | How to Finish a Basementlists I’ve had to make and get right the first time! Because… nothing sucks more than over or under ordering building materials! I for one do not like having to return over ordered materials to the service center, or having to drive back to the building supply store 16 times to get more materials because I under ordered!

Now even the guys and I will make a few extra trips for a few “odd items” but the BIG STUFF, like your framing lumber, or your drywall, or your Flooring order, you definitely want to get right the first time around. Because, it’s a royal pain in the butt running back to the store for those types of materials, not to mention if you don’t have a truck…you will need to have it delivered and pay the delivery fee once again!

Inside the Basement Finishing University(BFU) I do offer complete and very specific basement finishing material and tool lists for anyone needing a done-for-you shopping list to guide you when you’re making all your material delivery purchases. MATERIAL AND TOOLS LISTS

Most new diy’ers have no idea where or how to begin their material order lists. These lists are needed to make your project run “smoothly”. This post doesn’t get super detailed about what’s EXACTLY needed on each of these project lists, but it’s my hope that this post opens up your a eye’s a little and helps you create detailed lists before you swipe your credit card at the Super Store register. Good luck with your project shopping lists!

“It’s Time To Put Your Tool Belt On!”


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