The average cost of basement remodeling varies based on the square footage of the basement space, if structural changes are needed, and if you are adding in elements such as electrical work for a kitchenette or plumbing for a half bath. Other factors in cost include whether you have design plans already and what work you want done on the finishes such as trim and flooring. Here’s a breakdown of the various cost factors.
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.
In most cases, your HVAC system should already extend to the basement. If not, however, plan on running additional ducts or vents to ensure the finished rooms are adequately heated. Running new ductwork through your basement will cost around $2,000. Radiant heat is another option for basements, as it can be controlled separately and used only when the basement is. Radiant heat costs around $6,000 - $14,000 depending on the method used.
Installing a bathroom in a basement costs more than installing a bathroom above ground. Costs can range from $2,500 to $5,000 on average, depending on the number of fixtures and whether the plumbing must be installed from scratch or if it’s roughed in already. Basement plumbing requires special considerations to ensure proper drainage and tie-in with the main sewer line, which may not be deep enough to allow the basement bathroom plumbing to use gravity the way above-ground plumbing does. Virgil Miranda’s Construction subcontracts all plumbing work. Miranda says that sometimes the toilet alone in a basement can cost up to $2,500 because sometimes homeowners need to invest in a toilet that does not use gravity but instead a macerating function to grind waste down to prevent clogging. Miranda estimates that each bathroom fixture in a basement costs $800–$900 on average, so a full, three-piece bath could cost $3,000 for the fixtures alone. Adding a kitchenette or wet bar sink adds more to overall refinishing costs. In addition, some basements require a French drain with one or more sump pumps, which can cost up to $10,000 on average, depending on how much ground the drain covers.
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.
About this calculator: This tool will give you a ballpark estimate of the cost to finish your basement. There are a LOT of variables associated with determining an exact value. This calculator does as good a job as can be expected given a single input variable: square footage. Obviously your cost will be determined on your exact choice of design, number of rooms, type of rooms, number of bathrooms, quality level of materials, who does the work, who manages the work, etc, etc.
This online basement remodeling cost calculator is here to give you a basic estimate for finishing your basement. Finishing your basement includes many different variables, so it’s a good idea to get a good idea of the cost as early as possible. Circumstances, materials, and the like can change over time, but a good “ballpark” estimate will give you a basic idea of where you’re starting from. We provide you with this calculator so you can get a better understanding of roughly what finishing your basement will cost.
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.
The ceiling of this Connecticut basement was very unattractive. Wire, pipes, and insulation were exposed to the room below. Connecticut Basement Systems recommends installing a drop ceiling when finishing basements. These allow easy access to shut off valves, wires, and pipes that lead to the rest of the home. The tiles of our drop ceilings are made of mineral wool, making them completely inorganic. Mold can only grow on organic material, so mold or mildew will never be an issue on our ceiling tiles. They will not sag from moisture in the middle, giving an eternal crisp, clean finish. Our tiles even come with a 30 year warranty against mold and sagging. After the installation of the new drop ceiling, the basement was much brighter and had a clean appearance. The stylish crown molding around the perimeter of the room gives a beautiful transition to where the wall meets the ceiling.
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Another choice is to apply a stucco surface. Stucco is inexpensive, comes in a few different earth tone colors, and makes a durable an attractive surface. Applying it requires some skill, however, so you may need to pay a masonry contractor to stucco your walls. Otherwise if you mix or apply it incorrectly the surface could crack and deteriorate over time.
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.
Failure to obtain proper permits can result removing (demo-ing) any current finishing work or remodeling already installed. You could also face fines. A "stop work order" may be issued, which usually causes double the fees when you do, eventually, apply for the permit(s). If you have to file an insurance claim and can't produce any permits, the insurance company may deny the claim. Finishing a basement without permits also can affect the home's resale value.
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.