How Much Does It Cost to Renovate a Basement

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Renovated basements provide a unique space that is highly beneficial to your home. Having a private gym, a beautiful entertainment space or an additional guest room are just a few of the many perks about renovating your basement. Nonetheless, renovation is a big financial undertaking. Homeowners often worry about basement renovation costs when they are looking to upgrade.

What you should know is that having a set budget for your basement renovation project is essential. This way, you and your renovation contractor can agree on the caliber of work without breaking the bank. You will surely get a bang for your buck if you know exactly how much you’re willing to spend on a renovation.

One of the most common mistakes people make when they’re renovating is not doing their homework in terms of budgeting. When you’re contacting renovation companies for quotes, you should have some expectations regarding renovation expenses. Therefore, before you determine your budget, it’s good to have a general idea about the cost to renovate a basement. It’s the best way to narrow down your options and decide where you can cut corners.

Basement Renovation Cost Factors

Although the general costs for basement renovations are about the same in a certain city, many factors can drastically change the total price.

  • Quality of material 
  • Labour and installation
  • The size of the basement
  • The condition of your basement
  • Basement upgrades 
  • The complexity of renovation design

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The cost to renovate a basement can range depending on the scale of the project and the materials used. The average basement renovation cost ranges between $35-$55 per square foot. To put things into perspective, if your basement is 1000 square feet, then it would likely cost $35,000-$55,000 to renovate your basement. Of course, there are always other factors to consider, such as the cost of materials and basement upgrades you’d like to install.

Another essential factor to consider is the additions you are implementing into your new basement. Building a bathroom does not cost the same as installing a kitchen. Each room adds up to a different price, and it all depends on the scale of each project.

Bathrooms are something that everyone will likely include in their basement renovation. Before installing the bathroom, you want to decide on the size and scale of things. Do you want a more spacious bathroom with a tub or shower, or do you prefer a more simple half-bath? Other factors that impact the overall cost include plumbing, materials, and electrical. Once it’s all said and done installing a basement bathroom will likely run you between $10,000-$15,000.

Breaking Down the Cost to Renovate a Basement

While the renovation labor fees vary from one contractor to another, the prices for the materials are generally similar.

Framing

When creating rooms in a basement, the first step is usually to build wood frames and studs that outline the room. During this stage, features such as door placement, window locations, and closet additions are all laid out. Materials needed for framing include wood and hardware to secure everything in place. On average, framing your basement will cost anywhere from $15 – $30 per linear foot of the wall, including the materials and labor.

Plumbing

Having a water supply in your renovated basement is essential if you want to install a bathroom or kitchen. Plumbing is the first order of business in a wet basement renovation. Plumbing costs to consider include labor and materials and are calculated by the fixture. Plumbing installation in your basement will cost $1,500 – $15,000+ depending on the number of fixtures.

Keep in mind that plumbing prices range depending on your area and plumbing setup, so it’s best to get in touch with a professional renovation company to clarify the expenses.

Drywall Installation

Once all the framing is in place, the next step is to fill it all in with drywall. A basic drywall panel is 8-feet tall and 4-feet wide and ranges from 1/4″ to 5/8″ in thickness. Installing this drywall will likely cost $1.50 per square foot. If you factor in the materials and labor, installing drywall in your basement will cost around $40 – $60 in total. Of course, there are always more expensive drywall panel options that can include features such as mold resistance and soundproofing.

Ceilings

Installing ceilings is a finishing touch that gives your basement a completed look. There are many different ceiling options to consider for your renovated basement.

  • Drop ceilings use acrylic panels to imitate more expensive materials or create appealing designs. These will roughly cost $2 – $6 per square foot.
  • Sheet paneling is some of the more common costly ceiling installations. Sheet paneling costs around $12 – $30 per panel.
  • Tongue and groove wood is another beautiful ceiling option to consider. These panels will roughly cost $1 – $3 per square foot.

Flooring

There are a few different options to consider when selecting the flooring material for your basement. For a budget-friendly option, consider vinyl flooring, which costs between $1 – $8 for an average basement. Other elements to contemplate include carpeting (around $7 and $12 per square foot), porcelain or ceramic tiles (around $5 – $20 per square foot), or engineered wood floors ($3 to $5 per square foot).

Painting

The cost to paint a basement ranges from $3 – $7 per square foot. Bear in mind that the painting price ranges based on the quality of paint and the complexity of the design. If you wish to add an accent wall or patterned paint features, the cost of painting your basement, in this case, will go up.

Electrical

Lighting is crucial for your basement. It’s best to hire a professional electrician for the job, which will likely cost $50 – $100 per hour.

Additional Costs to Consider

Beyond the construction of the actual rooms of the basement, lie additional fees that also factor into the basement renovation costs. These factors include:

  • Building permits ($300 – $1,900)
  • Foundation repairs (up to $10,000) 
  • Waterproofing (up to $7,000)

Not all of these factors are essential, but they are something to consider depending on your basement’s condition. The following table shows a clear breakdown of basement renovation costs.

Basement Renovation Step

Average Price 

Framing$15 – $30 per linear foot
Plumbing$1,500 – $15,000+ per fixture
Drywall Installation$1.5 – $3 per square foot
Drop ceiling$2 – $6 per square foot
Vinyl flooring$1 – $8 per square foot
Porcelain or ceramic tile flooring$5 – $20 per square foot
Engineered wood flooring$3 – $5 per square foot
Carpet flooring$7 – $12 per square foot
Painting$3 – $7 per square foot
Ceiling sheet paneling$12 – $30 per panel
Tongue and wood ceiling$1 – $3 per square foot
Electrical$50 – $100 per hour
Building permit$300 – $1,900
Foundation repairs up to $10,000
Waterproofingup to $7,000

FAQs about Basement Renovation Costs

Yes, it does indeed. The average basement renovation can have up to a 70% return on investment. Potential buyers are willing to pay more for a home with a finished basement because all the added benefits that come with the additional living space.
A basement between 500-600 square feet will likely cost $17,500 - $21,000 to finish.
On average it will take around three weeks to complete a basement renovation.

In conclusion, the cost to renovate your basement will depend on the scope of work, the materials you install, and the contracting company you hire. All in all, setting a clear budget for your basement renovation project will make the process much easier. Communicate with your renovation contractor about what you’re comfortable spending. This way, the renovation fees do not go over your budget, but you still get the best quality for the resources available.