Ladies and Gentlemen, I need some help. My wife and I have decided that it's time to finish the basement. This is our first house and we will be in it for another 6 years (all kids graduated by then). We will refinance the house at a lower rate and use the current equity to put back into it. I would like to spend about 30k for the 1270 sq.ft. we have down stairs. The basement has a laundry room, storage under the stairs and a rough-in for the bathroom. Ceiling height could be almost 9'. I'm looking to get two bed rooms, large 5-piece bathroom, full utility laundry room and theater area out of it. My dilemma: Who do I call to get the ball rolling once we get the money? A contractor? General Contractor? Architect? Will we need a building permit from the town? And etc. I am so afraid of getting screwed out of the money since I really don't know what to do. Our problem is that we have 3 teenage kids (daughter in her own room and boys sharing a room) living in 1270 sq.ft. of space. No one seems to have any privacy when it's needed. Any help is greatly appreciated! Cliff notes - need to finish basement but don't know who to hire or call.