Most cities and towns will require a permit for basement remodels. In addition, there are several codes that dictate what can be done in this area. For example, a basement must have a ceiling height of a minimum of 7-feet. If your basement has a ceiling height lower than this, it may not pass code if remodeled. In addition, plan the cost of the building permits, around $430 on average, into your budget.
Any project involving electrical, plumbing, or turning the basement into a livable space, requires permits. Plumbing must be done to code for proper drainage to avoid health issues. It also has to ensure flushing certain waste back into the sewer. Electrical issues can cause short-circuits, blown breakers, and fires. The chance of something happening increases if installation is not done properly from the start, including acquiring the proper permits. If creating a bedroom or other regular living space, permits are required. Emergency escape avenues (for fire and other emergencies) need to be in place as well.

The first step in finishing your basement it keeping it dry. Basements often deal with a lot of moisture vapor and hydrostatic pressure, which allow water into an unprotected basement. Because of this, any finished basement has to be waterproofed first. First, test your basement for moisture vapor so you know how much moisture you’re dealing with. There are homes tests you can do yourself or you can hire a professional to do the test for you.
A finished basement is not always the same thing as a designed basement. Sometimes, the basement begins with the basics: walls, a ceiling, lights, and a floor. Gwen Hefner and husband Micah wanted to turn their tiny, airless basement space into a comfortable mancave. They had the basics to start with. The next step, Gwen says, would be a true test to her design skills.
How fast the job needs to be completed has a significant impact on the final price. A professional team can take a basement from framing to complete in about 45 days. A DIYer typically needs more time. If things need to be inspected, inspectors work on their own schedule, and if concrete needs to be poured, time must be allotted for it to properly set.
It was the start of a year-and-a-half basement finishing project, but it was well worth all of the effort. Jamin and Ashley of the home design blog The Handmade Home began by installing drywall over the cinderblock walls, applying spray foam insulation, and enclosing the necessary but ugly supporting adjustable steel posts. Next came paint, flooring, and furniture, all fusing together to make a lovely daylight basement for work and play.

Flooring and wall coverings like paneling are the biggest expenses, making up approximately 15% of the total cost to finish a 1,200 square-foot basement, Sebring says. Plumbing and electricity are next, at around 14% and 11% of the cost, respectively, while interior carpentry needs — like trim and railings — account for about 10%. Remaining costs may include things like drywall and insulation, cabinets and countertops, painting and even cleanup.
You can fit a full bathroom with tub/shower combination in a room that measures 40-square feet. However, on average, a smaller bath (with just a stand-up shower) or a half-bath usually needs to be about 30-square feet for comfort and functionality. Depending on the basement space and layout, you may be able to go with a larger 60-square feet or more bathroom space. Creating bathroom with a separate water closet may require 100-square feet or more.
House plans with basements are desirable when you need extra storage or when your dream home includes a "man cave" or getaway space, and they are often designed with sloping sites in mind. One design option is a plan with a so-called day-lit basement -- that is a lower level that's dug into the hill but with one side open to light and view. This lower level can open to a covered outdoor space below an upstairs deck or porch. As a result, these types of designs are sometimes called house plans with walkout basements or walkout basement house plans. To see more basement plans try our advanced floor plan search.
Add to this any custom work that you may want to have done to turn the basement into the type of room you have in mind, and the labor could continue to mount. Most people also find that they need a painter ($20-$35 per hour), and in older homes, asbestos 10 testing and removal ($1,500) is also recommended before the work can begin. For these reasons, many homeowners often choose to use a basement finishing system, which often has one set price for materials and labor (around $50,000 per basement) and decorate later as they choose.

But if the moisture is due to a lack of ventilation and inadequate drying on the inside of your basement, that should be an issue that you can address as a DIY project. A dehumidifier can remove lots of water from the atmosphere of your basement to dry it out, and running a dehumidifier in your basement is probably a good investment. You can buy a heavy-duty one for around $200-$250 that can literally remove 3-4 gallons of moisture from the air each day, if necessary.


Your foundation should be inspected prior to finishing your basement. You don’t want to cover up any structural damage that would be identified in an inspection by installing framing and drywall. If items such as pipes have rust, the problem may be humidity instead of a leak, but it can be just as damaging. Waterproofing the basement and using a dehumidifier helps reduce dampness and the risk of mold development.
Determine your budget and costs to finish a basement will help get bids before you make a final decision. For example, you may find a cheaper drywaller than you expected, and can use that extra money to add a bedroom. Or you may find that carpet was more expensive than planned, and you will have to make a dry bar with no sink instead of a wet bar. The budget is a guideline for what goes into your basement, and is really the major factor in determining what your space will be. The costs of labor and material will begin to shape your basement within your budget. One final note on your budget. Unless you plan to spend a long time in the home, you will want your budget to be lower than the value it will add to your home. You can determine the general value added by talking to realtors or appraisers and using comparable sales in your area. This is very important because you don't want to spend $25,000 on your basement and only add $15,000 to the value of your home.
Accounting for variables such as square footage, materials, electrical and plumbing, the average basement remodel ranges from $11,034 and $29,226. Some cost as little as $5,000, with top of the line remodels costing over $40,000. The average cost to homeowners is $20,126. Expect to spend between $10 and $35 per square foot depending on the changes made.

Since this basement is not entirely underground - it includes a walk-out entrance on one side -- new egress windows bring natural light into the basement. A simple Roman shade in fun fabric softens the space and brings all the colors of the room together. Egress windows provide an emergency exit; most building codes require one in every bedroom and in habitable basements. Adding one will likely increase the value of a home, as it provides safety, natural light, and increased airflow.

Old homes may suffer from sagging foundation beams as a result of shifting ground or decay and deterioration of the original building materials. Foundation beams can be raised and shored up successfully, but the right tools, like a pneumatic jack, are essential. Depending on how much the foundation beam must be raised, this job may require several days of incremental steps to complete - which means increased labor costs. Hiring professionals is the best option for this job. Expect costs to run about $10,000 for repairs like a shifted foundation.


Complete remodel of our walk-out basement. Gutted and replaced literally everything, from the framing to new custom windows and solid doors. Reconfigured plumbing and remodeled the 3-piece bathroom with high-end finishes; completed the laundry room, guest bed room with walk-in-closet, and family room with solid wood custom cabinetry/wet bar, island, built-ins, and gas fireplace with granite surround. Also demolished and rebuilt exterior concrete steps to basement entrance. All finishes are high-end and remodel included many upgrades (in-cabinet/under cabinet lighting, stainless-steel beverage center, central speaker system, etc.) Love the end-result but process was extremely long.
Simply finishing the floors, walls, and ceilings of the basement can help increase the value of your home. But putting extra thought into what you want to use the space for now, will save you on fees later. For example, if you intend to use this as a children’s playroom, then building shelves into the walls, adding egress windows, and putting down carpeting can all be done at the time of the remodel, rather than added later.
For added convenience you may want to put a mini fridge in your basement along with a microwave, and you can illuminate the basement with floor lamps or use track lighting or similar fixtures installed along the ceiling. Decorate to your taste and according to your budget, and you’ll have a new living space that didn’t cost much but can add a lot of value in terms of useful square footage.
Of that amount, $15,000 on the labor cost and the rest on material. all walls demolished, cracks in the wall fixed, then insulated and rebuilt, new windows, new electricity wiring, new floor tiling, new web bar, new stairs build from scratch replacing the old. Also, built two closets, one with shelves and the other for clothe-hanging, two utility rooms, one of them where the burner is fire proofed, all walls plastered and painted, wood stained etc. The contractor worked 10 hours a day and finished the entire project in five weeks! (I cooked lunch and provided cold drinks.) could have build a bathroom for $3000, but I decided to do that another time. 
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