Local planning departments usually have specific regulations on ceiling height, access doors, radon ventilation, waterproofing and other details of the basement remodeling process. Many building codes now require upgrades such as residential fire sprinklers for new construction or major remodeling projects. Ask about local requirements and get all required permits (or make sure the contractor does this). Depending on the location, permit costs can be next to nothing or extremely expensive; find out exactly what they are and include them in the project's budget.
Most homeowners tend to neglect or overlook the potential of their basement, using it only as an extra storage room. But many homes have basements that are fully capable of being converted into more livable and adaptable space. That adds additional square footage and can significantly enhance your quality of life and the marketability of your home.
There are several types of basement remodeling depending on the outcomes you want. Whether you have nothing but damp concrete walls and floors or you have a finished basement with painted walls, a pool table and a wet bar will determine the scope of work for your basement remodel and the cost. Here are some common basement remodeling projects that homeowners take on and their related costs.
If the water is coming from an external source such as poor landscape drainage or basement walls that are not properly constructed, that can require extensive preliminary work. In that case you’ll likely need a contractor and a professional evaluation of the problem, plus someone qualified and trained to eliminate the problem. You should address this problem as soon as possible to prevent further damage like rotting wood or flooding, and then return to your basement refinishing project once that issue is cured.
Plumbing - Check locally for required permits and any zoning law regulations about adding in plumbing, or whenever working with septic and sewer lines. Planning your basement bathroom directly below or close to the pipes of an existing bathroom may help reduce the overall labor and costs. Remember that all drainage lines require a downhill slope to sluice away waste water. If this isn't possible, a sewage injection pump must be installed. An approximate cost of these pumps ranges from $150-$3,000.
Finishing a basement can cost between $25–$50 per square foot on average, depending on how the basement is finished, whether any challenges come up or whether there are special circumstances with the project. For this reason, a 1,000-square-foot basement can cost up to $50,000 or more to finish. Virgil Miranda of Virgil Miranda’s Construction, a general contracting company based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, says it can be tricky to estimate remodeling jobs based on square footage alone, due to the variance in each job. Larger basements may have a lower cost per square foot than tiny remodel jobs.
Installing all of the necessary plumbing and electrical work while walls and floors are unfinished will result in savings.Starting from scratch doesn't require demolition, which can save you around $2,000. Framing may be necessary to define rooms and spaces. System upgrades usually call for minor expansions to the HVAC and electrical systems, but not adding plumbing. The bulk of the cost, however, is in flooring and finishing. After wrapping things up with carpeting, drywall, and ceiling material, you can expect to pay anywhere from $6,500 to $15,500.
This before and after photoset is of a raised ranch basement. In the before picture you can see the outdated and unappealing wood paneling on the walls. The room also looks dark because the window is not allowing natural light to flow in. In the after picture you’ll see that our crew turned this dark and outdated basement into a bright, naturally-lit functional space.
When it comes to basement remodels, the most costly way is to start with bare bones. If all you have is concrete walls and floors, you need to add framing, electrical, plumbing, flooring and trim. Basement finishing in a newer home that already has plumbing and electrical roughed in, a watertight foundation and some insulation installed—but no final finishes (like drywall or paint or carpet)—usually costs less than remodeling an already finished basement. This is because when you already have a finished basement, the pros will need to do demolition at the beginning of the project, which can add $500–$1,500 to overall costs.
Bedrooms – A common strategy is to set up a couple of extra bedrooms in the basement for guests. This is especially beneficial for families that love to entertain on a regular basis. You can easily have guests stay over without disrupting the family space above. Basement bedrooms can also come in handy if you have older kids that cannot share bedrooms any more. Plus, you could also add a small kitchenette and bathroom for convenience.

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.

Support beams are common and necessary in most basements. Connecticut Basement Systems provides a bright, attractive, detailed column wrap to transform these unattractive poles into a sophisticated design choice-- SmartPost Column Wrap. Crown molding along the top and bottom makes these especially beautiful. They are made of durable, long-lasting materials, and have the ability to transform your basement into an attractive living space!
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