Basement water leakage can cause serious problems for a homeowner. Standing water can lead to mold growth, which poses health issues. It's also a haven for bugs and other pests. Over time, concrete blocks and foundations can sustain hairline cracks. While they may appear small on the surface, they can be the start of an enormous problem, so early repair is key. The only way to rectify a basement water problem is to remove the water and seal the leaks. This may involve removing existing paint or wall coverings as well as replacing soggy beams.
All but the most skilled and motivated homeowners should leave basement finishing to the experts. “You run the risk of not understanding the building codes and having to tear it out and redo it,” Sebring says. Hiring subcontractors and managing the job on your own, rather than hiring a general contractor, could save some cash, but be prepared to treat it like a full-time job, he says.
An unfinished basement serves as a valuable blank canvas. The finishing process begins with basics such as hanging and painting drywall and installing plywood floors at a relatively low cost. Basement finishing means taking a space that currently is not livable and transforming it into a space you can use and enjoy. In an unfinished space, there may be nothing but a concrete floor, exposed pipes and electrical, and no walls or only the barest of wall framework in place. On average, the cost to refinish will fall anywhere between $6,500 to $18,500, or more for larger spaces.
Your basement will likely need to be fitted with additional wires to support more lights and electronics. You will need to hire a licensed electrician if you plan to install additional overhead light fixtures, outlets and other components that require additional wiring. The cost of electrical installations depends on the exact project, but licensed electricians tend to charge between $50 and $100 per hour.
Estimate the overall cost to install drywall in the basement at approximately $1.50 per square foot. The basic drywall panel measures 8-feet tall and 4-feet wide and is available in thicknesses that range from 1/4" to 5/8". This standard panel usually costs between $10 and $20. Price will vary depending on the brand, panel's thickness, and if it has any special features like mold resistance which may be beneficial for a basement space. Other material costs when adding drywall include the hardware to secure it to the framing, joint tape, and drywall mud.