How Much Does It Cost to Finish a Basement?

The Bottom Line on The Cost to Finish a Basement.

Understand and budget for the costs to finish your basement before you start

If you have an unfinished basement, your home has untapped potential.

The applications for this below-ground space are nearly bottomless, and it’s often large enough to add considerable square footage to your home.

Could you use a guest suite, including a bathroom and efficiency kitchen, for visitors or even a live-in relative? Would your family enjoy a rec room, with a pool table, wide-screen TV and comfortable sectional? Maybe you’ve longed for a home office that isn’t the dining room table or a fabulous, climate-controlled wine cellar.

Step one to making your dream a reality is discovering the cost of your vision and setting a budget. Nationwide, estimates for finishing a basement usually range from just over $6,000 to nearly $20,000, but be aware that costs vary considerably, depending on where you live and what you plan to do with the space. Taking your basement from dark and dank to comfy and cozy can easily exceed $30,000 if you want higher end details and finishes.

Invest in an Inspection

You need to know what you’re working with, so have a thorough, professional inspection done first. Find out if your basement has moisture, structural or other issues and repair those right away. Even if you wind up not finishing your basement at this time, it’s wise to take care of any problems that can get worse with time or even compromise the integrity of your home.

The cost of a home inspection also varies, but it usually runs a few hundred dollars. The payoff and peace of mind are well worth it.

Learn the Code

Depending on your local building codes and the age of your home, you may need to make some changes to bring your basement up to code before you can begin your construction project.

You’ll need to find out things such as required ceiling height, plumbing needs and electrical requirements. You may need to lower the flooring to accommodate ceiling height, for example. And if you are considering adding plumbing in the basement, you’ll need to invest an additional $1,000 to $1,500 in a backup sump pump, as well. Again, this is money well spent, as it can prevent your basement from flooding should your primary pump fail because of a power outage or mechanical failure.

These preconstruction costs are also totally dependent on what your space already has and what you plan to do with it, so you’ll need to have a trusted contractor provide you with an estimate. The company you hire can also apply for all permits and licenses needed to begin the project.

Maximize Value; Minimize Costs

Taking your basement to a new level will certainly add value to your home, and your contractor will be able to help you maximize the value and minimize the cost.

You’ll find the biggest ticket items are flooring and wall coverings, accounting for up to 15% of the cost. You may have to level your existing flooring before installing carpet, ceramic tile, engineered wood, vinyl or laminate, or you can opt for the least expensive option: simply staining or painting the existing concrete.

Since basement walls are underground, moisture is a common problem. To remediate this, most remodels include building new walls inside the existing concrete walls, finishing with a wall covering, such as sheetrock or paneling. Keep in mind that it’s smart to use moisture-resistant materials in the basement; in fact many local building codes require it.

Count on electricity, plumbing and carpentry to add another 10-15% to the cost each. Of course, these expenses vary significantly, depending on the features of your remodel. A bathroom or wet bar, for example, means additional plumbing costs, while your carpentry percentage is elevated by built-ins, cabinetry and specialty trim work.

The rest of the cost comes from things like painting, insulation and other extras you may specify, as well as typical construction costs such as prepping and cleaning the site.

Make A Valuable Connection

Hiring a contractor can seem daunting. There are many companies advertising remodeling services, but not all are qualified to perform them or some may not be insured in the event something goes awry.

Finding a company you can hire with confidence and assurance is absolutely critical.

Contractor Connection is ready to help, and only a click away. You simply enter your ZIP code and the type of project on our website, and you’ll receive a call from a fully vetted contractor who has special expertise and experience in finishing and remodeling basements. You can rest assured the company is properly licensed and insured, and backed by a five-year workmanship warranty. We see to that before we allow them to be part of our network.

And while you’re still doing the math on potential costs, know this: Both the matching service and estimate are free and you are under no obligation to complete the work.

So before you go underground with your remodel, get an aboveboard referral through Contractor Connection.

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