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Basement Finishing Cost

$28,000Typical Cost
Homeowners in the US usually spend between $7,500 and $40,000 on basement finishing.
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What others are spending on basement finishing:
Typical Cost$28,000
Typical Range$7,500 - $40,000
Low End$3,500
High End$100,000

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Cost to Finish a Basement

How much does it cost to finish a basement?

The typical cost of finishing a basement is around $28,000. While the cost of a finished basement can range from around $7,500 to $40,000, a high-end project can cost upward of $100,000. The total cost of your basement project will depend on the size of your basement, the scope of work you do, the materials you use and labor costs in your area.

Table of Contents:
  • How much does it cost to finish a basement?
  • How much does it cost per square foot to finish a basement?
  • How much do common basement features cost?
  • What are some additional costs of finishing a basement?
  • How much value will finishing a basement add to the value of your home?

Though some small upgrades to your basement may be doable without assistance, most basement renovations require the expertise of a professional electrician, plumber, designer and general contractor or another combination of contractors.


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How much does it cost per square foot to finish a basement?

Basic work to turn an unfinished basement into a usable living space usually includes framing, flooring, drywall and ceiling work, which can cost anywhere from less than $10 to $40 or more per square foot. While materials for creating wood frames, studs and drywall for basement spaces and openings are relatively cheap (typically less than $2 per square foot), things get more expensive when it comes to ceiling finishes and flooring. These numbers vary widely depending on local labor rates, square footage of the space and material costs.

Ceilings

Some homeowners choose, or are required by building codes, to leave low-hanging basement pipes and ductwork exposed or painted. Drop ceilings, which generally enclose mechanical equipment with lightweight panels or tiles, can cost around $6 per square foot or up to around $30 per tile depending on the type of material and grid used. Basic drywall ceilings can cost around $1 to $3 per square foot. Drywall panels or sheet paneling can cost around $15 to $60 per wall panel.

Flooring

Basement flooring can cost around $2 to $20 per square foot depending on the materials used. Carpet — which typically costs about $2 to $4 per square foot, plus about $1 to $3 per square foot for installation — is comfortable underfoot and acts as a layer of insulation. Linoleum and vinyl are durable and kid- and pet-friendly, and generally cost around $2 to $7 per square foot. Hardwood and engineered wood flooring typically cost around $6 to $20 per square foot including installation. Because of moisture that often gets into basements, not all floor types are appropriate for a basement project. A subfloor, sometimes added over an existing concrete floor, can cost anywhere from about $2 to more than $20 per square foot.


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How much do common basement features cost?

Permits

Getting the required state and local permits can tack on an extra $50 to more than $1,000 to your basement cost depending on where you live and how much work you’re doing. Every community is different, but a permit may be required if you’re planning new construction, a major remodel or an addition, or taking on structural, plumbing or electrical work. Permits are intended to make sure any construction is up to public health and safety codes and local quality standards. Failing to obtain them can mean fines, having to restart a project entirely or losing real estate property value.

Foundation Work

The average cost of foundation repairs is typically around $2,000 to $6,000 or more, depending on the scope of the project. Minor foundation repairs can cost around $500, while major work can cost up to $10,000 or more. Building materials can deteriorate and foundations can sag over time in older homes especially. Foundations should be inspected before any basement finishing construction gets underway to prevent potential safety hazards from being covered up and higher costs later on if issues get worse.

Egress Windows

Egress windows, or basement windows people could escape through in case of an emergency, are required by building codes in many cases if there will be a bedroom or family room in the finished basement, and they typically cost around $2,000, though they can start at several hundred dollars on the low end and go up to $4,000 or more in some cases. Installing an egress window can vary widely in cost depending on how much work is required. If a lot of excavation, foundation cutting, drainage setup and well sealing is needed, expect costs to go up. Permits and inspections to ensure utility lines aren’t disturbed in the installation process may be necessary. Checking with a contractor or an engineer to make sure that the work won’t damage the home’s structural integrity is also smart.

Electrical Work

Electrical inspection, rewiring or upgrades like adding outlets or fixtures can cost anywhere from around a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars or more.

Plumbing

Plumbing work, which can include rerouting pipes and drainage for a new bathroom, wet bar or laundry room or moving existing pipes, typically costs a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for something like a sewage pump all the way up to $10,000 or more for a new bathroom or replacing an old piping system.

Waterproofing

Removing water from or preventing water from getting into moisture-prone basement walls can cost anywhere from around $500 to up to $10,000 or more depending on the amount of work needed. Simple preventative measures like installing a dehumidifying unit or rerouting a gutter can cost a few hundred dollars to around $1,000. This type of work protects against mold formation and other problems. Remedying an existing interior water leakage issue may mean installing a drainage system or sump pump, which can start at around $2,000. Major basement waterproofing measures like fixing cracks in the foundation or extensive exterior excavation work can be pricier, up to $15,000 or more in some cases.

More: 11 Ways to Finesse Your Finished Basement

What are some additional costs of finishing a basement?

Bathroom

Adding a standard basement bathroom can cost anywhere from around $5,000 to around $20,000 and up, including labor. Moving existing pipes to the right place can be costly, so building a bathroom under an existing bathroom can save money. It’s also typically less expensive during basement remodeling to add features like bathrooms and other amenities while walls are still open during the initial finishing process, so no demo work will be required.

Guest Suite

A livable basement bedroom can cost anywhere from around $2,500 up to $60,000 or more for a full suite. Creating a functional bedroom in your finished basement typically requires adding at least an egress window and a closet, though including a bathroom or kitchenette is also common.

Wet Bar

A standard wet bar or kitchenette starts at around $1,000 and can cost up to $12,000 or more.

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Laundry Room

Depending on whether pipes and hookups need to be installed or moved, adding a laundry room can cost anywhere from around $2,500 to $10,000 or more, including labor.

Home Theater or Media Room

Movie and TV fans can enjoy a media room or dedicated home theater for around $3,000 to $50,000 or more, respectively.


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How much will finishing a basement add to the value of your home?

Finishing a basement typically earns a little more than a 70 percent return on investment in terms of resale value, making it one of the most cost-effective remodeling projects, behind kitchens and bathrooms. It also adds livable space to a home without requiring an addition.

Contact a basement remodeler near you to get started