We recently contributed to a post by the Redfin Blog, about basement remodeling costs and found the information on the post to be very useful so we are highlighting some of the areas of the posts as well as linking to the post so you can read the full post! The article Redfin wrote is well worth reading so we encourage you to check out the full article as well as the Redfin Blog for other useful information.
How much does it cost to finish a basement?
The cost to finish a basement will vary greatly depending on your location, current state of your basement, type of materials, and any extra features you want to incorporate like a bathroom, bedroom, or movie room. On average, homeowners spend anywhere from $22-$50+ per square foot when finishing their basement. If you’re planning on finishing your basement, you should plan on spending about $20,000 – $45,000.
Keep in mind that this is just the average cost. If you’re looking to add several specialty rooms, buy high-end flooring and fixtures, or if you have a very large basement, you could end up spending $100,000 or more. With such a large variation in how much it costs to finish a basement, you may be wondering how you can afford it and make sure you stay within your budget. Here’s a breakdown of the main costs you can expect and other optional costs.
Hiring labor or a basement contractor
Hiring a trusted and high-quality basement contractor will likely be one of your biggest costs. You could spend anywhere from $25-$100 per hour for labor. The price of a contractor will vary based on your location and the scope of your project. For example, a quote from a contractor in New York, NY is likely very different from one in Omaha, NE.
A common rule of thumb is to portion off about 20-35% of your budget for labor. To get an accurate estimate, it’s best to reach out to a contractor and get a personalized quote. Make sure to check to see how they charge, some include the price of their labor in the project while others charge hourly.
When hiring a basement contractor, Go Pro Construction advises people to “thoroughly research and interview your general contractor. They should treat you like a partner throughout the process, by not only providing you with an all-inclusive budget upfront, but also discussing options with you at every stage of the project. Unforeseen obstacles can always come up, so make sure to also discuss how much of your budget is set aside for contingencies. Open communication will keep the project moving forward on time and on budget, keep stress levels down, and will result in a project you’ll love.”
Lumber prices have recently skyrocketed making basement framing more expensive than it’s been in the past. The estimated cost to frame a basement is about $7-$16 per linear foot. This includes the cost of lumber and other small materials like nails and studs. This number will increase if you plan on framing basement walls with steel instead of wood, or if you’re creating a load-bearing wall.
Finishing basement walls and ceiling
After framing, you’ll need to finish your basement walls by installing drywall and insulation and adding a coat of paint. The average basement drywall cost is about $2 per square foot while insulation is around $0.80-$2 per square foot. The cost of paint will vary, but expect to spend anywhere from $2-$4 per square foot. Keep in mind that you’ll likely have to include the square footage of the ceiling into the total square footage of your basement remodeling project.
If you’re starting your remodel with concrete flooring, you’ll need to waterproof your basement to keep out moisture and protect it from flooding. Waterproofing will “prevent future flooding and helps protect your investment. One of the first steps in any basement remodeling project is to contact a qualified waterproofing contractor. They will provide you with an accurate assessment of how to avoid basement floods in your home.” – 20,000 Leaks.
A contractor will likely need to install a subfloor before any flooring is added. The material cost for subfloors is about $2-$7 per square foot and it’ll help insulate the basement. Flooring prices depend on the type of flooring you want. Some homeowners choose carpet since basement floors can get pretty cold, while others choose a water-resistant floor like tile or engineered hardwood. Depending on which flooring you pick, you could spend as little as $1 per square foot for vinyl or ceramic tile, or as much as $25 per square foot or more for high-end wood flooring.
No matter what flooring you choose, it is crucial to keep your basement dry. EquipSupply wants to remind homeowners that “having a dehumidifier is a great idea for keeping condensation out of your basement. This will help prevent mold from forming and preserve your remodel. If you have carpet in your basement, this is especially important.”
Lighting and electric
Some unfinished basements already have lighting or electrical lines installed. However, there are typically only a few light bulbs or outlets. It’s best to have your contractor or electrician install adequate lighting to your finished basement. Adding lighting and electric outlets can cost you anywhere from $500-$3,000 depending on the current electrical lines and size of your basement.
Furniture and decor
The final step when finishing a basement is to add decor and furniture. The cost of furniture and decor can add up quickly so be sure to allocate money in your budget for it so you can start enjoying your basement as soon as construction is over.
The Redfin post goes on to cover optional basement remodeling costs such as a basement bedroom, sump pump, heating and air-conditioning, building permits, foundation inspections, adding a bathroom or specialty spaces.
They also discuss how to save, money during your basement remodeling and steps to finishing a basement.
They close by answering the question everyone wants to know when thinking about remodeling their basement, does a finished basement add value to your home?