Basement wall, floor & ceiling pricing per SF?

15 years ago

So what sort of pricing are you all getting for your basement remodeling job??

Please list any X factors such as region, specialty material finishes (liked Plyboo etc...), ceiling height , a X lineal feet of casework etc...


Comments (52)

  • blue_fastback
    15 years ago

    $19 a square foot sounds cheap. I have that in materials alone.

  • ravlegend
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Just wondering, you must hv a super luxury/classy basement finishes because for a 1000sf basement, that's $19000 (!)... or your basement renovation is tiny to take advantage of the economy of scale (and that's not even including the flooring materials).

    For my 1500sf basement, I did some preliminary material cost at:
    -150 drywall boards (wall & ceiling) at about $1800
    -tub/sink/sink base/toilet at about $1000
    -framing maybe $1500
    -20 recessed cans $400
    -base maybe another $750

    So far the materials here is about $5000, even if I double that, it's still no where close to $28500 if calculated at $19/sf. What am I'm missing? (the big stuff...)

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    Mmfunkyd, The estimate didn't cost any money, as the work was done by the contractor who was already building a two-car garage and gutting and remodeling my kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom. I did get engineer's plans for the permit and they were reviewed by my municipality. I would NOT do this without an engineer, but I think that was about $1000. The engineer was a great guy - everyone really liked him, but he ended up having some issues with follow up. Things get very delayed because of his lack of responsiveness. As you can see - this is still a yucky old basement. It is just a little over two feet deeper. Now it works for my 6'4" 16 y.o., and his 6' + baby brother. Before even I couldn't stand up straight, and I am only 5'10"! The floor is poured now, and steel columns have replaced the wood supports. We did have some shifting in the house, which was worrisome, but nothing since the steel supports were installed, and I that was at that was at least 3 months ago. My advice to anyone interested in something similar, who is also having other work done, is this - look for a decent contractor for the other jobs and be upfront about what you want to achieve. Find someone flexible, and see If they are interested in doing this just b as an add-on. In the end, it was very labor intensive, but NOT rocket science. Any decent contractor would have been able to do it. I don't think my contractor works in NJ, but I really think any decent contractor can do this job. Photo is from before the floor was poured. I can't get a better photo now, because the RTA Barker kitchen cabinets, and everything that will eventually go on the garage is being stored there.
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  • ravlegend
    Original Author
    15 years ago


    FWIW- my builder is asking $32K (including a full bath) for a finished basement so I have a "goal" of not exceeding that.

    I was hoping to knock $10K off at a minimal if I contracted out.

    Will get a few estimates first but it seems liked I might join you guys in this 2 years or so adventure.

  • jimbo60
    15 years ago

    I have a 2200 sq ft basement and finished off about 1700+- of it. It's now considered a "lower level".

    I have a wet bar with granite and semi custom base cabinets. My brother in-law did all of the framing (metal studs) and recessed ceiling labor for free. I purchased all material and GC'd the rest through people I knew in the business.

    My cost for material and labor other than what labor was free (major portion) was about $33,000. I was told that $30 per sq foot or more would have been a good deal buy those in the business in this area. I have 2 unfinished storage areas and 5 finished rooms and a foyer area. Also a coupleo of 5 ft wide hallways. My neighbors paid the builder of this area $50 to $60 per sq ft to finish their basements. These are considered reasonably high end houses. Most people did not go low end on the finish.

    Either way $19 is a great deal to have someone finish for you.

  • legardhome
    15 years ago

    We're finishing our 1500 sq ft basement. It's all DIY. So far we've spent ~$2000 for prime framing lumber and another $2000 for drywall and insulation. When finished we will have a home theater with wetbar, guest bedroom with bath, playroom, home gym, hobby/homework room and a large entry/mudroom. We are using nice finishes, ie. slate entry, travertine and granite bath, kohler plumbing fixtures - so I figure another $12,000 - $14,000 for trim, doors, cabinets, countertops, hardwood, carpet, tile and lighting fixtures.
    If we keep to budget that's about $12 per sq ft. Of course, it's materials only as we will do all the labor ourselves.

  • metphan
    15 years ago

    Did any of you ever think that a contractor might just have to make a living. Tell you what take how much your job currently pays you per hour and multiply that by how many hours it takes you to complete this job to get a better understanding of what the cost is. Contractors have to pay liability insurance, workmans comp, health insurance, licencing costs, labor costs, etc.
    All these white collar desk jockeys do not understand that blue collar workers need to eat.

  • juggernaut
    15 years ago

    I don't think anyone has a problem with paying contractors to work. I think the problem here starts with the contractors price. When you are looking at anywhere from 12k to 20k worth of material and a two or 3 week job. People start to have issues with paying another 15k to 25k for labor costs. Most of the time what people are paying for is the downtime the contractor palces into their cost of not working. IE I can't find jobs for 2 months so my next job will make up for my cost of living for those moths. Contractors can easily charge 2k to 3K per day in labor and not many people in this world make that much per day. Why spite people for shopping around? Is it our fault that the average contractor is a guy who did not pay attention in HS thus could not get into college so he had to take a job as a laborer with the local contractor which in the end became their career. Look I'm not saying contractors are dumb or stupid, but fact is most have a skill that will feed them for the rest of their lives and they have no idea what it means to asnwer to a corp boss everyday who if they have a shitty day could end up firing you. You mention blue collar workers need to eat. Funny I see more blue collar guys wives driving a 50k car then I do white collar guys wives. Not to mention the 60k trucks they claim they need for the job, when in fact is just a simple show peice to let the other contractors think you have made it big. We all know a simple F-150 will do the job but contractors love to drive those 350's. Don't even get me started on the average 500k homes they are sleeping in.

  • dominogold
    15 years ago

    I have about 1100+ sq ft basement I just finished.

    I just finished the job with doing part of it myself and it came to $14,000. That price includes a top of the line wet bar with 8 maple cabinets including glass doors, wine racks and granite tile countertops and tile floor. 27 recessed lights on dimmers, track lighting, 2 piece bathroom with tile, built in 11' foot long desk with 3 cabinets, top quality carpet with upgraded pad, 2x2 reveal drop ceiling at 3 separate heights, 15 light french doors and quality arched doors on all other doors.

    If I would have hired this out it easily would have been $25K-35,000 with those features mentioned above.

    My advice is to act as your own general contractor. Even if you hire out each phase of the project individually it WILL be cheaper than hiring someone to do the whole thing.

    For example here's how mine broke down...

    Wall prep - did it myself
    Framing - did it myself, buy a framing gun it goes fast
    Insulation - Did it myself
    Electrical - Did 75% of it myself and hired an electrician on an HOURLY rate to come out and make sure it was code compliant and hook it up to the panel
    Plumbing - Found a plumber who worked on an HOURLY rate to plumb for a wet bar and bathroom
    HVAC - Found a HVAC that worked on an HOURLY rate to extend heat ducts to floor and add 1 heat duct and 2 return airs
    Drywall - Hired out completely
    Drop ceiling - Hired out completely although I would have done it myself if the guy didn't give me such a good price
    Finish Trim & Doors - Did it myself
    Installing cabinets and wet bar - Did it myself
    Finish plumbing and finish electrical - Did it myself really it's not hard
    Tile - My wife did it she's good at it
    Bar countertops - Did it myself - built it out of plywood and hardiboard and put granite tiles on it looks fabulous at a fraction of the cost
    Carpet - Hired out from Home Depot

    So here I am at the end of the project with a top-shelf basement and I'm only out about $3500 in labor costs... about $10,500 we're materials. Not so bad... and it looks bettery than every basement I've ever seen in person.

  • subywu
    15 years ago

    I am having my basement finished currently. The GC charges $15/sq.ft. for finishing. I paid extra for wall and ceiling insulation, 5 glass block windows, and some upgrades for the bath (although still very basic). All told, $20k for 1250 sq. ft. Nothing fancy though.

  • bronwynsmom
    15 years ago

    We just finished our 1,375 sq. ft. basement redo, and the cost was $32 per sq ft. In our area, finished walk-out basement space is valued at $75/sq. ft. or more when buying or selling a house, so we felt justified. I did the design work and the drawings. We hired a very finicky small contractor who did everything, including using the subs I specified for HVAC and plumbing and tile. The job included 2" rigid foam insulation on all the exterior walls, complete insulation and drywall in the garage part (walls and ceiling), complicated framing, drywall walls and ceiling, a large coat closet, a larger storage closet, a cedar closet, a pantry closet, a wine closet, niches for the second fridge and for a file cabinet...also a 12 X 15 den with an existing fireplace, a large tiled bath with synthetic marble shower, a tiled laundry room with a sink, a U-shaped work bench and garden/flower area with a untility sink in the garage part, and a complicated lighting plan. The only thing we did was the painting. It took ten weeks, and we are thrilled with it.

  • sofia
    15 years ago

    The first quote I got from a contractor was $39,500 for my 750 sq ft basement ( unfinished). That includes just plain work with a half bath ( I have to get the vanity & toilet bowl). Also, it does not include the flooring. I really thought that was outrageous.

    I called another guy who did my wood flooring last year and he is charging me $20,400 ( excluding flooring and materials for the half bath). I don't have the detail break down, but here is a general idea.

    1. Drywall for walls & ceilings with access panel for all
    areas as needed.
    2. Recessed lighting
    3. Rough in for half bath & installation of floor/vanity &
    toilet bowl.
    4. Wet bar area with cabinets ( Countertop, I have to pay)
    5. Wiring for surround sound.
    6. All electric/plumbing work
    7. All materials like doors/panels etc.

    I am going to ask him to do full bath rather than half and install an electric fireplace in this price.

    For my 750 sq ft unfinished basement, its coming around $26 / sq ft. Plus still need to shop for counterto/bathroom materials and cabinets.

    Is it expensive? Just for FYI, my husband and I are not at all handy.

    I would appreciate any input.

  • sofia
    15 years ago

    Sorry. Forgot to mention fe things in the last post.

    The price $20,400 also includes a new sump pump & a back-up sump pump ; a new water heater and insulation of my crawl space.

    Thanks in advance for the inputs.

  • mike_kaiser_gw
    15 years ago

    The problem with comparing prices in an online community such as this is that prices vary widely around the country and even within the same geographical area. Then itÂs imperative that you compare apples to apples. You can spend $69 for a toilet or $690. You can spend $29 for a door or $290.

    The biggest problems with basements is there is almost invariably obstacles to work around  pipes, ducts, sewer lines, mechanicals. Every time a wall changes direction it adds to the price. It takes longer to frame, longer to drywall and finish. Are their soffits that need to be built and finished? Even the shape of the stairwell can affect costs. If the contactor can only get 8 sheets of drywall down the stairs itÂs going to be more expensive than if he can get 12 sheets down the stairs because there will be fewer seams to tape. Bathrooms really drive up per sq. ft. costs, especially in smaller basements. It doesnÂt cost any more to build a bathroom in a 700 sq. ft. basement than in does in a 1200 sq. ft. basement but the price per sq. ft. goes up considerably.

    So just comparing square foot costs doesnÂt always work.

    Sight unseen and not knowing where you live, $39,500 sounds high. $20,400 sounds a little low when you but it doesnÂt include bath materials. IÂd suggest going back to the higher price contractor with the bid of the other contractor in hand (black out the prices if you want to) and ask, "Is there anything you are giving me that the other guy isnÂt?" Go to the low price contractor and ask, "So is there anything this other guy giving me that you arenÂt?" A responsible contractor will be willing to sit down with you and explain his bid.

    Good luck!


  • sofia
    15 years ago

    Thanks Mike. Just for FYI, I live in IL.

  • lg68jcu
    14 years ago

    My question is are you guys building your basements out of gold or just all super high end stuff?? I priced out my basement and I am going to do the work all myself for $4,300. I am finishing 600 sq feet. I am making a 8X12 office with french doors, 16X16 living room which has a 6X8 hallway leading into my 13X19 movie room with double french doors. This includes carpet, drop ceiling, drywalling, doors, molding, base boards, screws, permits, inspections, primer, paint etc. you name it (No furniture though) Thats $7.16 a square foot. I am sure if I had the work done it would at least double it or so but thats still only $15 or 16$ a sq foot. $20,000-$40,000. Whooaaah!

  • cheerful1_gw
    14 years ago

    We just got our basement finished (525 sq ft of living space). Our friend who is handy did it for us and acted as general contractor. It has heat, electric, carpet, drop ceiling, sheetrock, doors, moulding,paint, permits, etc. (no furniture). Total cost came to about $16,000, or $30/sq. ft. It's basic, but very nicely done.

  • ravlegend
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    I'm about 75% done on this 13 months odessy.

    My estimate completion would cost me approx. $25k for a 1550sf basement ->approx. $16sf.

    Some of the itemized cost (labor/mat'l):

    -framing - 1500 labor /1700 materials
    -mechanical - me / 200
    -plumbing / electrical / drywall (hanging/mudding) - hire out at 5200 / 2000
    -insulation - me / 120
    -finish drywalling - me / 150
    -8 ' bar base cabinets - me / 1000
    -painting - me / 600 included overage of $100 of paint (arggg)
    -subfloor - me / $2300 (dricore)
    -floor & wall tiles - me / 2000

    to do:

    -6 doors / frames/ trim - me / 700
    -countertop by others / 2500 (marble)
    -carpet by others - 3200
    -light fixtures - 400
    -hardwares - me / 180

  • handymancan
    13 years ago

    I have never had the pleasure of engaging in a forum but I read somthing here that disturbed me a bit. I am a contractor and have a college degree in home remodeling and design. I work every day of the year except for weekends and holidays. I have never known a reputable, well established contractor to be out of work for any length of time, and certainly never thought of making up losses on a customer. I think the very notion that a contractor sits around waiting for some one to call and fill his schedule is ridiculous. The people you work for make a good profit in order to cover overhead and put away profit for the business so they can insure lasting stability for themselves and thier employees. When you take into account wages for four men at $2600 per week, work comp which tends to run $10 for every $100 payed out, soc.security which tends to run $10 for every $100 payed out, business insurance, and vehicle insurance around $220 per month, advertising (which all business' have) around $400 per month, company attire $100 per month, tool replacement easily $200 per month, disposables like saw blades, bits, glue, nails ect. add another $150 per month, Fuel at $160 PER WEEK, Vehilce maint, Phone, fax, internet, shop costs, Software, and continuing education. You do the math! I am not saying that anyone is wrong but everyone knows that without profit a buisenss will not last long and the only contractors would be short lived, fly-by-night companies that won't be there when you need warranty work or someone to just do a good job. I hope you do not call contractors with the idea that without you they would be at home watching tv or studing for thier GED because they couldn't graduate high school. Believe me, when all costs are figured in, the profit isn't paying for any new boats or Carribean vacations. As for the cost of finishing a basement a simple finish should run around $23 to $25 per sq. ft. add $6,000 for a nice bar, $2,500 for a full bath with tiled floor, figure more for higher quality trim like crown, and wainscotting.

  • andrelaplume2
    13 years ago

    after reading all this I think I am going to just drylok my poured concrete walls, put in a drop ceiling, add a few carpet remnamts and pay and electricitan to do some wiring. I figure it may cost $2K. I guess thats not exactly finished but I doubt the kids will care. In fact my son already suggested we paint the poured concrete white and every two feet where there is a line, paint that navy blue. I suggested adding the numbers of retire NY Yankees to the walls.

  • yatesd
    13 years ago

    I just received two quotes for completing my basement with 1,000SF of finished space.

    I read somewhere that a basement should cost about 50% less than new construction expansion. So if houses are going for about $100SF, then a basement finished to the same level should cost about $50SF.

    Somewhere else I read that an average basement remodel costs about $50K which includes 1,0000SF, wet bar, and bathroom and that a homeowner can expect a 90% when it is sold.

    I had two quotes done on my house and both had some variations. The range in price depending on flooring, painting, and whether a bathroom was included ran from $20K to $42K.

    In the end, we chose to spend $40K on the project or about $40SF on a basement that includes a full bath and will look just as nice as the rest of the house. Our bathroom did not have a rough-in so this added considerably to our costs.

    So my point is it is hard to compare apples to apples. Our contractor provided a professional design and a level of organization that I feel comfortable with for the amount spent. The cost of permits were included and once started should take approximately 4 weeks.



  • carolbarrel07
    13 years ago

    I'd like to get part of our basement done, since we have such nice high ceilings (10-11 ft high in some spots). Would 450 sq ft of basement space make a good exercise/playroom and also could we possibly squeeze in a bath (would love another toilet plus a shower)?

  • maxq
    13 years ago

    Handymancan, I understand where you're coming from. The problem is there are a lot, A LOT, of substandard contractors out there that overcharge and do shoddy work. I don't mind paying good money for good work, but it can be difficult to hire the right people (even when you get references). Speaking of which, has anyone here ever watched Holmes on Homes--need I say more.

  • terryhahn
    13 years ago

    I too am troubled by some of the responses here. I have been a carpenter for 35 years because I love my work. Ive seen the type of work that the inexperienced homeowners have done "themselves" or the work of a handyman or fireman. Sure the price was right but the quality??? Oh well if Home Depot says you can...You would think that with all that education you would know better. Construction abilities are acquired thats why they are called skilled trades. No, I dont drive a fancy truck and my wife does not drive a fancy car but I do live in a nice house. I built it myself. If you really want a good job for a fair price try shopping "integrity" some have it most don't. It's not something you learn in school.

  • onmiown3
    13 years ago

    I'm in the Chicago 'burbs and the going price seems to be about $58-$65 a sq ft for a "no frills" basement. We've gotten two quotes so far and the third will be coming out tomorrow.

    My basement is only about 285 sq ft and we do not need any plumbing work done. Nothing needs to be moved to make the space usable. We asked people to quote on the following:

    Spilt the basement into two rooms and add a closet under the stairs where we have a lot of dead space. The heating/water heater should be hidden behind bi-fold doors.
    Room 1: Create a 9 x10 laundry room where the existing laundry equipment is located. Do not relocate any equipment. We'd like the contractor to:
    Put up walls
    Add Drop ceiling
    Add vinyl flooring
    Add can lighting
    Paint the room

    Room two:
    Create a 12 x 10 bedroom/den. The room should include:
    Drop ceiling
    vinyl flooring
    can lights
    small closet
    One phone jack
    One cable jack

    Also, replace the window in the window well in this room, as the seal is going bad.

    No outlets need to be added in either space as we had the electric in the basement upgraded.

    The basement is a walk-out basement, so three side of it are not underground. It is accessible from the garage without the use of stairs, making access to the space easy.

    The quotes have all put us in the $16-19K range for this job. FYI, in our area resale townhomes are going for about about $160 to $185 a square foot.

  • charliedawg
    13 years ago

    We will finish 1000 sf of our 1500 sf walkout basement.

    It will have tray ceiling, full bath, wet bar, wired for home theater area and game room. Plus an additional 500sf of bare bones storage. Also a mixture of carpet/fake hardwood.

    We were quoted $35,000 to have it done professionally.

    But my hubby is handy so this will be a DIY project. His estimate was $8800.00.

    I crunched the numbers and included the inevitable overages and came up with a $12,000 budget.

    None of these figures include extras such as TV's, appliances, furniture etc that will be brought in once it is complete.

    I'm in KY

  • hary_2008
    13 years ago

    New to the forum... great info here.

    Just to add my $0.02... I'm in the Chicago NW suburbs (Buffalo Grove). I put a finished basement job up for bids on several websites and got 15-20 quotes ranging from $8,500 to $15,000. There is 850sq ft "no frill" to finish, just a couple of rooms, no bathroom.

    The contractor I've decided to hire is charging $9,000, so that's around $10/sqft. Adding a Bathroom would cost around $5,000 more.

  • onmiown3
    13 years ago


    Would you mind telling me who you are using? I'm near Schaumburg and I can't believe every contract quoted me about $60 a sq ft for 285 ft with NO plumbing and that you are getting 900 sq feet at $10 a foot.

    If you don't want to post it to the board, please e-mail me at onmiown3 at yahoo dot com


  • aviator711
    13 years ago

    Can anyone comment on the cost of adding (cutting) a walk up exit into an existing foundation?

  • joan22_2008
    13 years ago

    Hi Harry_2008/onmiown3,

    I am also in the schaumburg area and want to finish 600 sq feet of basement. Please forward me the contractor information at contactfamilymember@yahoo.com if thats okay with you guys. Would really appreciate it.

  • mike_kaiser_gw
    13 years ago

    $10 per sq. ft. for basement finishing? That sounds too cheap, way too cheap. Seems to me that 1) the guy is a fool, 2) he'll be cutting every corner possible, and 3) there will be a lot of surprise "add-ons".

    Remember that when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

  • framer
    12 years ago

    Hey guys and gals, I am a licensed and insured construction company in IL (northern). I do a lot of basements normally 2 a year for the past 8 years. We start right around 35 dollars a square foot. That is no thrills walls,carpet normally not to exceed 20 bucks a yard, drop ceiling(2'x2' tile). I do the drawings in AutoCad. I do free estimates. You can email me with any questions and I will walk ya through problems your having too if you choose to do it yourself. Hallisseydesign@yahoo.com Thanks

  • rosario1960
    12 years ago

    Could somebody tell me how much do you charge per sq ft of drop ceiling. I have a 3400 sq ft ceiling. Reg white tile and white grit. thanks

  • chinze
    12 years ago

    Here is my breakdown --
    Locality -- Milwaukee, WI
    Project --Finishing a 800sf area in my basement 70 sq ft is a full bath, includes a 6ft area of cabinets with under the counterfridge. Basically me and my wife are doing all the grunt work (i.e. broke of the concrete, removed all the concrete, repoured the concrete, demoed half bath to add full bath).
    Bathroom --
    Bathroom Vent w/ light decorative $90
    Rental to drill 4" hole through my brick house for vent $66
    Tub -- Kohler Cast Iron 325
    Toilet -- Kohler Cimarron 219
    Vanity w/ top -- HD Special 200
    Plumbing Materials(also re-ran my plumbing upstairs) --$450
    Labor for my plumbing friend $650
    Nice Tile (13x20) includes area outside by bar and tub surround ($576) Tile labor myself
    Glass Block Window $316
    Fixture $68
    Living Space
    Electrical $1550 (Includes 14 canned lights and sub panel)
    HVAC, moving a support pole 2ft out of the way, Framing, Drywall, Texturing, permits, moving a gas piping into the ceiling -- hired out labor and materials was $6,100
    Cabinets/Countertop/Under-counter fridge -- $750 --Basic white cabinets in-stock from lowes -- 6ft total lowers
    labor by my finished carpenter friend -- free/wedding gift
    Casing/Base/Fire Place Mantel Trim, pole cover, various other trim $400 -- Labor Wedding Gift
    Carpet Local Store -- got contractor pricing -- $1654 regular 4.33 sq ft installed got it for around $2.65
    I got 3 bids for electrical and plumbing took the cheapest price.
    MISC other costs $560 (paint, etc...)
    Total costs around $13,974 doing a lot work myself,and general contracting. Total timeline is going to be about 5 weeks. Not bad-- It will be a mid grade space. My realitor estimated that with an extra bath in my house and the finished basement she could sell it for about 35 more K, but this also included about 3k worth of renovations I did upstairs (took out a wall, whole different story)

  • beer_geek
    12 years ago


    If you are adding walls, you will need to have receptacles added for your basement to be up to code.

  • kc-contractor
    10 years ago

    all i have to say is if you are going to have work hired out, be carefull of the low bidder, if you watch HGTV, Holmes on Homes, he is always fixing the "low bidder" jobs.
    the stuff you cant see is the most important in your house. all the finish work is just for show. i live in minnesota, and there was a tornado that ripped a house off of its foundation, the contractor didnt put any anchor bolts to hold the house down to the foundation, a 4 year old girl was killed.
    a good conractor usually is higher priced because of all the business expenses, making sure the job is done right takes time, you must also be efficient be able to compete.
    one more thing about a comment about people working in the trades that they couldnt "couldnt get into college" so they settled for this kind of work. your body takes a beating doing this kind of work, that is something that is never figured into a bid. and if you are a GC, the one that is doing the estimates. you probly went to college, not that a person needs to go to college to be able to bid jobs, most times experience is the best schooling a person can have

  • cooperscreations_bellsouth_net
    10 years ago

    I agree with the last post. DonÂt hire the cheapest contractor. I love Holmes on Homes. If you watch you will learn a lot. If you don't know what youÂre looking for as you hire subs or attempt to do it yourself, you could end up in a lot of trouble. It is not worth it. Hire a Professional. Someone that specializes in certain areas is the best. Ask the right questions and listen to what they have to say. Don't be "cheap" trying to get the professional to come down on their prices is wrong, not to mention, asking them to do anything extra once you have talked them down so far there is no room to breathe. Respect their knowledge they have sweat blood and tears to deserve it. Never expect a professional to break down bids for you, before they are awarded the contract. Be ok with an estimate ask if it is close to the actual costs. If they are an honorable person it should be close to the finished price, "with no changes or hidden surprises". They are not stupid and they know where youÂre going with that, plus have you ever thought of the time that is involved into bidding on a job that you may or may not get. If your boss asked you to come to work today but he was not going to pay you. I think you would tell them to take a hike. Think about all the time that is spent researching, designing, ordering, scheduling, and pulling permits... There is a lot involved to complete a job behind the scenes not to mention all the licensing, insurance, workers comp... plus being self employed is scary especially in this day when everyone is getting 3 to 5 bids for a job. It is exhausting, and if you don't have work there is no paycheck coming in. It can be a rewarding job but after reading several of the posts above some of you have no clue what it's like. I know there are two sides but sometimes you have to put yourself in someone elseÂs shoes to appreciate what they do.

  • janosko1_yahoo_com
    10 years ago

    So .. Im in northeast ohio and am getting quotes on my basement remodel. We've already got the floor done with nature stone (hope its worth the price!) And now Im working with contractors trying to get the walls framed ceiling in and 1 wall built really nothing fancy. Most of the electric is already there just cable run and a few lights put in. 1 set of french doors, 1 block window to frame and of course duct work and pipe to frame around. over all I think 750 sq feet. Ive gotten quotes from 9 to 32 thousand. AND im comparing apples to apples. I do like the contractor for the 9 thou for other reasons. (he got me an estimate back in a timely manner and has always answered questions quickly and efficiently.) Im almost scared to accept because of shoddy work in the past from contractors who I liked and trusted. Any other things I should look for or ask so I dont get screwed again???? One contractor that did my upstairs had pipe fitting burston more than 1 pipe that flooded my house!!!)

  • a2b2c21_hotmail_com
    10 years ago

    I am not a handy man, but I do pretty many things. Not trying to touch this basement finish work and want to hire someone to finish. Here are my requirements and dimensions.
    19x12(19 faces the front), One side(12) is concrete to ceiling, other side 12 is half concrete half, space for crawling space. An electric panel sits on the upper half and a window to get into crawling space.
    plus 6x3 hallway.
    19 foot entrance covered by regular garage door and a small door. The Garage door should go and be history replaced by a glass door(sliding). The side door will be used as an entrance.
    No drop ceilings(its just 8 foot height ceiling, don't want to lose more height). Exists Sheet rock.
    6x3 hallway has one door going to a small storage area(no need to finish)as the walls are insulated and painted too. the other side of the hallway has a door to upstairs.
    This hallway will be painted the same as 12x19 (my basement room).
    Put some baseboards for heating, some nice lighting and few outlets according to codes.
    I live in New Paltz, New York. Are there any one who can estimate for me? And of course you can do the work, once I get an idea of pricing.
    The inner 19 feet wall is half done(covers my small storage room), open space for hallway.

  • joe_mccrone_yahoo_com
    10 years ago

    What was the approx cost per sqft for nature stone in your basement? Looking at doing the same - also in NE Ohio.

  • Jhurst_summithealthcare_com
    10 years ago

    Trying to get ballpark cost. Basement is 2800+\- sq ft. Would like to finish 1500 or so. Already has hvac, finished bath, electrical. I need nice wet bar with granite, framing, drywall, flooring will be mostly carpet, can lights, minor electrical as most is already installed. Thanks.

  • rgbc50_gmail_com
    10 years ago

    I am in Central Jersey - just got a $55/sq ft quote from a contractor to put in the Owens Corning basement system for a 700 sq ft two room basement. Just the walls, drop ceiling, doors - no dry wall, but the fabric covered fiberglass panels that fit right into steel brackets. There has been a lot on the internet about being wary about their sales tactics, but I am more concerned about the quality of the work. Is this way too high to pay for that OC system?

  • Tristanzack
    9 years ago

    Hi as far as the O.C. basment finished system goes. I feel its very similar to a mobile home interior, they try to sell you on the waterproof and mildew/mold resistance. I have been a property damaged repair contractor in Ohio, Mich and Indiana for more than 20 years. The O.C. System doesnt hold up any better in a heavy moisture/waterdamage/flood situation. I would go with a standard studwall, wood or metal and drywall walls and ceiling. We finish 20 basements per year on average and build more than 30 additions on top of our fire and water work. If you have a serious moisture issue, deal with that first then finish the basement. The price is also high for what your are getting.

    As far as the rest of your do it your selfers. I have nothing against you save the fact you like to compare your work/quality/knowledge and cost to that of a licensed reputable contractor. Maybe you should try building your own vechicles, filling your own teeth, mending your wounds, butchering your meat and so on. Sure many of you can trip your way through a remodle project with varing results, especially in todays world where there are a million web sites to explain how to do just about anything. Home improvment seems to be the career many of you just can't seem to accept as a legitimate way of making an honest living. The real story is folks in the trades work all day long in the field, go home have dinner with their families then leave to visit homeowners like yourselves, most who wouldnt think of leaving work early to meet prospective contractors during business hours, but dont think a thing of "in the one case above" calling out 15-20 contractors for a free estimate more than likely at nite or on a weekend. Btw our professionaly finished basements start at $35 to $40 per square foot based on the scope of work and yes we dont feel comfortable with a gross profit of less than 30% much less than your mechanic, grocer, doctor, lawyer, or your local gas station. The average age of our employees and contractors is 52. Based on that in twenty years you will get to do all your home improvment projects your self and avoid paying a qualified contractor a well earned wage. Look out for that roof replacment!!! YOUR IGNORANT TO COMPARE YOUR SWEAT EQUITY TO A QUALITY CONTRACTOR If your employer did'nt earn a profit you wouldnt have a JOB

  • Randyalex
    8 years ago

    Many people get sucked into paying very inflated prices for contract work because they have heard from so many other people that it costs so much to get work done.

    Most contractors are fishing to see your budget, they they try to get as close to your budget as they can. Most of the time people will pay 40% more than they should for basement development.

    I have to say that $7000 dollars is the cheapest I have ever seen for cost of a basement reno. $15000 -30 000 would be the range that my company averages. The only difference are the selections of the homeowners.
    Pay attention to what products are being quoted for the job.. Contractors do not work for cost, thats the bottom line. I recommend that people do their homework so they know when you are being suckered. If a contractor is way too high on his quote, just get another quote from someone else. Construction work is not worth rushing during the planning stage.

  • mike_kaiser_gw
    8 years ago

    I saw a $7,000 basement remodel job once. The recovering, drug addicted cousin missed a few things in his original estimate so the job turned out to be closer to $10,000. There were a few code violations, mainly with the electrical work, but the homeowners saved a bunch of money...

  • shakham
    8 years ago

    Dunno...I can't bring myself to pay some guy gluing pipes together $125/hr just because the system prevents competition.

    We're thinking of get a basic middle-level basement done..about 1200sq/ft:

    Debating whether to go with a contractor, or just hire out the guys directly (aka framing, sheetrock, electrical, etc).

    At least I can take a minimum of 30% off the labor this way ;).

  • cheapdad00
    7 years ago

    Just finished off my basement. Did most of the rough work myself which included design, re-routing ductwork, pipes, and wires to perimeter of rooms, all framing, all plumbing, all electrical. Hired out new HVAC install, spray foam insulation, drywall, trim, painting and carpet. 1500 sq. ft. with full bath (tile), home theater, fireplace, coffered ceiling, 20 recessed lights, all with LED bulbs, 9 ft drywall ceilings. Total price before furnishing was $27.5K.

    Most time was spent on decision making at/during framing process, sofitt construction and anything else which happened at the ceiling as it required a ladder to reach 9ft. I think inspections and permits added 2 months and $10K to the project (new basement HVAC, spray foam insulation, AFCI breakers on the 6 new circuits in the basement and 3 existing circuits which had outlets in basement). Very happy with how it turned out, especially watching football on the 12ft screen.

  • kabir
    7 years ago

    I own a lot of houses and have my own crew. Our cost of finishing a 1600 sq ft basement is approx $12000. it includes full bath with tile. Kitchenette with granite counters, open plan with storage area where furnace is. Takes us three weeks start to finish.

  • Bcconstruction
    7 years ago

    Kabir i would have guess as to your business going under in about the next 3 months. Its impossible to finish a basement for them kinds of amounts and make money to stay in business.

    Your cost of $7.50 per SQFT is vastly less than my material costs alone on a 1600sqft area. I see figures like this all the time in my parts and yeah people say they can do it for these amounts but i have yet to see one completed. To have a basement finished by a professional who pulls permits and builds to code, carries valid insurance holds a license and knows what he's doing will be an absolute min of about $24sqft this wont include painting or flooring. with paint and floor coatings your gonna hit the $32-35 sqft in no time. This includes no wet bar either. that alone can range from a minimum of $2500-$5k on avg for a basic one depending on size.

    Also please do go with the cheapest quote. It gives me a great pay check each month pulling out the previous contractors work to do it all correctly. I also promise never to say i told you so.

  • jj0747
    5 years ago

    Great thread!

    In NY and looking to get an egress window or a walk up basement out in. Any sense from folks what that costs?

    Also, need to open up the space and replace 2 wood beams with steel or flitch plates.

    1400 to 1500 sq ft space costing me $75k from start to finish including 3 piece bathroom, wet bar, media area and family room. Not looking to put up much if any interior walls but maybe some half walls. Not sure how it's so much money given there isn't much unique in the space!

    Appreciate any feedback.