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.
If you decide to go with a pony wall, you may be able to handle the project yourself (saving money). However, if you’re going to expand your house and need to install weight-bearing walls, you’re better off leaving it to the pros. Additionally, you or your pro will need to investigate building codes and local requirements to ensure you comply with structural guidelines.
Material Costs - In addition to the cost of framing and installing drywall to a basement bathroom, material costs can include: ceiling, flooring, paint, trim, toilet, sink, vanity, all fixtures, tub/shower surround, lighting, and all finishes like towel racks. Plumbing and electrical supplies also factor in to the final budget. Many material costs depend on type of product selected, the brand, and how high-end it is. Heated ceramic floor tiles cost more than basic vinyl tiles.
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.
With a level, smooth surface you also have tons of other flooring options, based on your decorative scheme and your budget. A relatively inexpensive and easy option is carpet, with a carpet pad beneath it for added comfort and to keep your feet warmer in winter. Peel and stick vinyl tiles are another option, and they come in various styles, colors, and price ranges for any budget.
After your new bathroom is complete, or you have remodeled an existing space, get it inspected to ensure all plumbing and electrical installation are done correctly. If your bathroom needs to be installed from the ground up, expect to pay somewhere between $6,000 and $15,000 for the entire project. If your basement is already finished but does not yet have the necessary plumbing for a bathroom in the space, you can expect to pay between $200 - $500 to hire a plumber.
If time is critical, consider a basement finishing kit. A finishing kit has insulated wall panels, and some include a walkable flooring surface and ceiling material for DIY installation. Depending on the size of your basement, these kits can be installed in a weekend. However, the floor won't be carpeted, the walls won't be painted, and there will be no electrical or plumbing. Other features such as doors, trim work, and more also need to be added.
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.
Hardwood, laminate and tile flooring significantly increase the cost to finish a basement. Sebring, who calls carpet “the king of basement flooring,” says many people are scared about the consequences if a carpeted basement floods. But even top-of-the-line vinyl and tile has to be pulled up if there’s serious water damage, he says, and you can replace carpet multiple times for the same cost of installing hard flooring once.

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.

With a level, smooth surface you also have tons of other flooring options, based on your decorative scheme and your budget. A relatively inexpensive and easy option is carpet, with a carpet pad beneath it for added comfort and to keep your feet warmer in winter. Peel and stick vinyl tiles are another option, and they come in various styles, colors, and price ranges for any budget.


When putting a wall over a recently constructed frame, sheetrock is the industry standard for a durable option, that can be painted easily. It can help insulate the room due to its density and generally lasts a long time when maintained. If you’re trying to significantly drive down costs, using paneling for the walls is an effective option. It’s very light, inexpensive and pre-finished in a variety of different sizes and types. Labor costs may also decrease because paneling is easier to transport and work with.
Get 'labor only' bids and buy the materials yourself. This allows you to use a 10% off coupon at Home Depot or Lowe's (available on eBay). You can also use a 5% cash back credit card like Discover when buying materials. (BONUS: Our readers get $50 free when they get a Discover card - sign up here.) And be sure to join ebates first to save an additional 1%. These are all small percentages but when taken off potentially very expensive items they really add up.
Adding carpet to your extra bedroom is a great way to separate this space from your basement, and make the room feel like an escape. There’s nothing like getting up and putting your feet on a soft carpet. Another pro of carpet is that it’s cheaper than hardwood flooring, or other popular flooring options. The average cost to install carpeting is $1,628, with homeowners reporting prices between $862 and $1,831.
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.
Because basements are usually below ground level, water seepage and moisture issues have to be resolved before construction can start. Prior to creating a project bid, most contractors will inspect the area to check the interior floor and walls for dampness and make sure the exterior of the foundation is in good shape. Depending on how watertight the basement and foundation are, it may be necessary to protect the basement from future water damage after it’s finished, often through the installation of sump pumps. This work can cost anywhere from $700-$3,000, depending on what needs to be done. Learn more about basement waterproofing. To help prevent moisture problems, homeowners can clear downspouts and gutters of debris to ensure that they help keep moisture away from the foundation.
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.
×