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I have a concrete basement with concrete walls. I'm thinking about just painting the basement and not have to put up dry wall because I want to save money. Is that a good idea or should I really install the dry walls? My basement doesn't have a water problem.

My basement ceiling is also exposed with nails wire. I will need to cover that up. I will eventually install some type of flooring too.

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just a thought, but if you are seeking to save money and just dress up the walls a bit, paint is a sure way to do that -- later if you want a more finished space, you can always add the drywall. Rory has some good points as to why. Check with your paint supplier for the best product for the task. –  Borzio Apr 17 '12 at 4:59
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up vote 8 down vote accepted

What drywall will give you includes:

  • Insulation. Concrete is not a good insulator, so drywall will help here, and as @ChrisF points out in the comment, you can add insulation behind drywall for some extra.
  • Soundproofing. A bit of soundproofing, anyway
  • Somewhere to run cables behind, so they aren't exposed. Depening on where you are this may be a requirement
  • Simplified shelf mounting etc.
  • Much easier to cover/paint - you can use normal paints on drywall
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Don't forget that you can install insulation behind the drywall for added heat retention. –  ChrisF Apr 16 '12 at 21:20
    
To your last point about being easier to cover/paint, it is also much, much cheaper. A 5 gallon bucket of concrete paint will cover a small area and cost $100. A 5 gallon bucket of regular latex drywall paint will cost slightly more but cover all the drywall in your basement with two coats and have half the bucket left over. –  John Gaughan Apr 18 '12 at 1:52
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