How much does it cost to finish a basement? (2023)


  • Typical range:2,800 to 34,500 US dollars
  • National average:18.398 $

Finishing a basement is an excellent way to create more space in a home. A finished basement can also offer a return on investment of up to 70% and be an asset to potential homebuyers. But how much does it cost to finish a basement? AccordinglyProhibitedEHomeCounselor,The average cost to complete a basement ranges from $2,800 to $34,500, with the national average being $18,398. Homeowners looking to transform an unfinished space with a concrete floor and exposed plumbing into a comfortable, livable space can expect to pay an average of $25 per square foot. Costs can range from $7 to $23 per square foot for basement finishing, with the total depending on the type and quality of materials, intended use of space, and contractor labor costs. On average, the amount of work represents about 20% of the total project costs. Contractors typically include labor in the total price rather than charging by the hour. Homeowners should therefore check with their builder how they calculate their rates. It is useful for homeowners to obtain multiple estimates from several of thebest home improvement companiesto compare costs. Before moving forward with their finished basement ideas, homeowners need to consider several factors that affect the overall cost.

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Basement expansion vs. conversion vs. renovation

Although many people use the word "done","refurbish" and "renovate"interchangeably, they don't mean the same thing. An unfinished basement is an area that is not habitable. It usually lacks plumbing, drywall, and insulation, and often has concrete floors and possibly walls. Converted basements, on the other hand, are considered occupancy-ready and look just as finished as the other areas of the home. A remodel takes a finished basement and guts it for a complete makeover. Typically, a renovation changes the design and structure of the space by adding or removing walls, changing the functionality of the area, or changing the layout of the space. Wine cellar conversions are almost always subject to approval. While a makeover can change a room's purpose, a makeover simply updates the room's appearance. Renovating a basement typically involves painting, installing new flooring, or replacing light fixtures.

Factors in the cost of finishing a basement

Calculating the cost of finishing a basement depends on a few factors. Prices may vary from the national average due to labor costs, license fees, basement size, project scope, geographic location of the home, quality of materials used, and compliance with local building codes.

basement size

The larger the area to be completed, the more expensive the project will be. While the average cost to finish a basement can range from $7 to $23 per square foot, the total price depends on the quality of materials the homeowner chooses, the contractor's labor costs, and the space's intended purpose. Many homeowners want to divide larger basements into separate areas by adding walls or partitions, which increases costs.

type of basement

There are three types of basements in a house: unfinished, partially finished, and finished. For homeowners wondering how much of the basement will be completed and what the final cost will be, the answer largely depends on what items have already been installed and what needs to be added. This can include plumbing, insulation, electrical and HVAC systems.

Although unfinished basements are common, they are not habitable. Unfinished basements are usually spaces for the oven, water heater, washer, dryer, exposed pipes and ductwork, and maybe an extra freezer. An unfinished basement rarely has insulation, drywall, or finished floors, but it might have plumbing. Remodeling a completely unfinished basement by adding these features is the most expensive type of basement finishing project.

A partially completed basement is sometimes called a semi-finished basement. It may include a bathroom, shower, laundry room, exercise equipment or furniture. It may have some drywall installed, plumbing, insulation, and heating and cooling, but it's not a fully finished space like the rest of the house. It usually costs less to finish a semi-finished basement as part of the work has already been completed.

A finished basement looks as complete as the rest of the house and ready to move in. It is a fully livable space that can be used as a living room, office, bedroom, gym or home theater. Some homeowners decide they want to reconfigure the area and opt for a remodel.Basement renovation coststend to be lower than the cost of finishing basements because features such as plumbing, heating, and air conditioning are already installed.

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To work

Contractors can charge up to $34,000 to complete a basement, with the average labor cost being 10-25% of the total project cost. Homeowners should keep in mind that labor prices tend to be higher in densely populated urban areas, where the cost of living is much higher than in rural areas.


A building permit can cost around $1,350 on average, with the price depending on the home's geographic location, basement size, and project scope. The price of a license usually includes any required inspection fees. If the basement project involves installing plumbing or electrical work, or involves making the space habitable, the homeowner will likely need a permit. Plumbing and electrical work must comply with regulations to ensure proper drainage and prevent blown fuses, short circuits and fires. It's always best to get the necessary permits when you start renovating a basement. Homeowners who initiate a basement renovation without a permit risk a city work stoppage, as well as additional fines and fees. The owner may even be required to remove unauthorized works before the project can proceed. If a homeowner needs to file an insurance claim on the renovated area, the insurance company may request copies of the work permit or deny the claim. The property sale process may also require copies of renovation permits.

(Video) How much does it cost to finish a basement (Updated for 2022)

project scope

The overall project scope includes all necessary renovations. Does concrete work need to be done to replace pipes? Does the plan call for the addition of a bathroom, kitchen or wet bar to the basement and therefore require plumbing and electrical work? Additional lighting, ceiling fans and light switches also require additional electrical work. Additional considerations include HVAC, framing, drywall, flooring, painting, ceiling work, tiling, and cabinetry.

Geographic location

The national average for completing a basement is $18,398, but the home's geographic location will affect the cost of completing a basement in the area, as the local cost of living affects labor prices. For example, homeowners in the Midwest can pay around $30,000, while a homeowner in New York can expect to pay up to $100,000. The location of the house also affects the quality, type and accessibility of materials.

material quality

Using inferior materials is a way to save on the cost of finishing a basement, but it risks compromising the integrity and longevity of the work. Communicating with the contractor is the best way for the homeowner to know where they can cut costs. Since contractors know how to finish a basement, they can offer the homeowner good advice. In the long run, it usually pays to use higher quality materials to make the conversion or renovation last longer.

compliance with building codes

When homeowners are finishing a basement, compliance with local building codes is a major concern. The home's electrical system must be able to handle the increased demand from the converted basement. A contractor will know if the current amperage or intensity of electrical current is strong enough. If not, the owner will need to increase the amperage or install a subpanel. If the basement renovation includes the addition of a bedroom, the contractor must install a separate emergency exit (an escape door or window) that must meet specific dimensions. A contractor knows the codes and ensures the project is in compliance.

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Additional costs and considerations

The sections above cover the most common factors that determine how much homeowners pay to finish their basement, but additional costs may apply depending on the basement and the homeowner's preferences.

interior designer advice

Some homeowners decide to seek the advice of an interior designer to help them plan their basement finishing project. While in most cases the contractor can create a basic blueprint for the space, interior designers can advise homeowners on how to make the most of the space, both functionally and aesthetically. Interior designers typically charge around $50 to $200 an hour.

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(Video) How much does it cost to finish a basement?

damage and repairs

If a homeowner suspects existing damage or problems with the basement, it can be helpful to have the basement inspected and any repairs addressed before beginning any upgrades. These repairs cost more, but dealing with potential water damage, structural issues, or termite infestations will save you money in the long run. It's better to educate yourself about the necessary repairs and take care of them before starting basement construction than to discover a major problem midway through the project.

Inspection and disposal of hazardous materials

Depending on when the home was built, you may need an inspector to test for asbestos or lead paint. If these or other hazardous materials are found in the basement area, professionals should be called in to safely remove or remedy them. It is not recommended that owners independently resolve these situations due to the potential health risks associated with their removal or sanitation.


A fancy basement will cost more than a finished basement with contractor quality materials, fixtures, and floors. A homeowner's decor choice ultimately comes down to how individual they want to personalize the space. How the owner intends to use the space also affects the total cost. If they plan on using the space as a wet bar to entertain friends and family, they'll need plumbing and sink drains. If the basement is used as a home theater, you need a WLAN router, enough outlets and built-in lights.


Once the basement construction is complete, it's time to add furniture and other finishes to complete the space. The average cost of putting together a basement is around $2,100, but that number depends entirely on the space itself. A basement with just a small bathroom and living area requires relatively little furniture and costs less furniture, while a basement with a kitchen or wet bar can cost as much as $45,600 for all the necessary furniture and appliances.

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Cost of finishing a basement by project type

To convert an unfinished basement into a suitable space, a number of features need to be introduced, such as: B. Insulation, plumbing, and electricity. Each of these projects adds to the total cost of the finished basement.



Waterproofing is the first step a homeowner should take when finishing a basement.Basement waterproofing costsaround $4,500. If water damage is already present, homeowners can expect to add $2,850 to fix basement drainage. Leaking basement water can cause serious damage as well as significant health risks associated with mold growth. Certain types of insects are also attracted to standing water and damp areas in the home. When a foundation leaks and water seeps in, it develops cracks which are just the beginning of an even bigger problem. is it worth renting oneThe best basement waterproofing companiesfor prevention, repair and waterproofing to avoid these problems in the future.

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How much does it cost to finish a basement? (12)


How much does it cost to finish a basement? (13)

Sump pump installation

Part of the basement finishing process is installing drains and a sump pump. A sump pump is one way to troubleshoot pool water problems due to leaks, foundation seepage, or poor drainage. The type of soil around the house will determine the need for a sump pump, as certain types of soil do not drain as well as others. A sump pump may also be required if the home is in an area prone to flooding. The average price for a sump pump installation is $575. It may also be a good idea for the homeowner to have onefoundation inspectionperformed to ensure there is no underlying damage before starting the project. OThe best companies to repair foundationsnormally charge around $5,000 for itFoundation repair costs.

Electrical wiring installation

Electrical work for a finished basement averages $1,325. Many cities do not allow homeowners to install wiring or wiring on their own. A professional electrician or contractor licensed to do electrical work will install new wiring to finish a basement. Homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $500 to install outlets. The more outlets and switches installed, the lower the average cost per item. The homeowner should also consider the cost of a permit and inspections to ensure the electrical work is in compliance - a reputable contractor can take care of this.

sanitary instalation

The entire installation of the house passes through the basement. When a homeowner is renovating or renovating a basement, it's important to make sure the blueprint matches the plumbing. Boilers and water heaters are often found in the basement, as are sump pumps, furnaces, and HVAC systems. Moving these items may not be affordable or advisable. If the converted basement includes a laundry room, bathroom, or kitchen, new plumbing will be needed. A licensed contractor or professional plumber can safely install all the necessary plumbing and ensure that it complies with regulations. The average price is usually $450 to $1,000 per device. The total price of plumbing work depends on whether the room already has plumbing or whether new plumbing needs to be installed. The quality of materials and quantity also affect the price. The cost of finishing a basement with a bathroom can range from $8,000 to $15,000.

Output-Installation Window

If the basement is converted into an apartment or bedroom, then a suitable exit in the form of an exit door or window is required. An escape window, which averages $3,900, provides an alternate escape route from the area in the event of a fire or other emergency. A professional may need to excavate the ground and redesign an exterior wall to meet building codes. This results in additional costs for basement expansion. For a window to be considered an escape window, a uniformed firefighter must be able to pass through it.


Homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $11,000 to install a heater and air conditioner in a basement. If the home's main air conditioning system is not powerful enough to accommodate this extra space, it may be necessary to install another unit in the basement for an additional $2,000 to $5,000. A mini-split system (a ductless system that allows residents to control the temperature in a specific room) may be the best choice for a smaller basement; This option tends to be cheaper at around $660 to $4,500.

structure and insulation

It costs an average of $1,795 to frame a basement, not including insulation and drywall. Framing alone is about $7 to $16 per linear foot, but $20 to $30 per linear foot with drywall. The cost of insulation is $1650 when using 3 ½ inch impact and roll barriers. Insulation helps the HVAC system so it doesn't have to work as hard to heat and cool the home.

(Video) Basement Finishing From Scratch, Remodel Time Lapse

ceiling mount

Building and cladding a basement ceiling costs about $1,700. Professional contractors often consider ceiling drywall pricing on room drywall and framing costs as part of the overall project. Some municipalities may require specific measurements for basement ceilings to comply with regulations. If the ceilings do not meet height requirements, the homeowner may need to install ductwork and piping to raise the ceiling.

floor installation

Completing a basement averages between $1,500 and $4,500, with 500 square feet of flooring typically costing $3,000. For hardwood, homeowners can expect to pay up to $22 per square foot and between $3 and $11 per square foot for laminate and carpet. It is crucial that basement floors have moisture barriers installed to protect them from damage. The cost of completing the basement floor by painting or staining the existing concrete will likely be less than the cost of installing a new floor over the concrete.

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How much does it cost to finish a basement? (14)


How much does it cost to finish a basement? (15)

drywall installation

Installing drywall can cost around $2 per square foot, or an average of $1,750. A 400-square-foot basement costs around $800 for drywall, while a 1,500-square-foot basement costs around $3,000. Contractors typically include labor costs in the total installation price. Homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $12 to $20 each for sheets of drywall. Adding drywall to basement walls helps homeowners reduce energy bills and carbon footprint when heating or cooling their home.


Painting a basement costs an average of $1,800. Renting a paint sprayer typically costs around $100 a day. Hiring a professional to do the job costs between $300 and $500. Many homeowners design and decorate around pipes and plumbing ducts, painting them the same color as the walls and ceiling.

Benefits of Finishing a Basement

Finishing a basement is a great way to turn unused space into a beautiful area for entertaining friends and family. The benefits of a finished basement include additional property space without additions, added value, energy cost savings and potential rental income.

Added versatile space

An unfinished, unused basement is a huge waste of square feet. Converting this unused area into livable space creates an area that homeowners will enjoy for years to come. There are many ways homeowners can use the extra space after finishing the basement. Some practical ideas include using the area as a game room, craft or recreation room, bar, home theater, bedroom, apartment, office or laundry room, or even a combination of these if the space is large enough.

additional storage

Many homeowners have experienced the horror of pulling a box out of the basement only to discover the contents are infested with water damage, mold or mildew, or pests. Although many people use their unfinished basements for storage, a room that is temperature controlled and free from excessive humidity provides a safer environment for your belongings.

Added value and return on investment

The average basement finishing project can achieve a return on investment of up to 70%. Many homebuyers are looking for a home with a finished basement, and some may even up their bid by purchasing a home with one. Adding this home improvement adds value by creating more living space. When the home hits the market, it will differentiate itself with a game room, a home theater, an additional bedroom, or a separate apartment. Potential buyers will appreciate the fact that they don't have to do any work to finish the basement and can immediately enjoy a move-in ready space.

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How much does it cost to finish a basement? (16)


How much does it cost to finish a basement? (17)


An unfinished basement is at risk of radon gas penetrating through unfinished walls and floors. It is also more accessible to insects, rodents, mold, mildew and unpleasant odors. Completing a basement reduces or eliminates the possibility of these problems and saves the homeowner from inconvenience and safety hazards.

(Video) How Much Does It Cost to Build a Basement Bathroom (List of All Materials & Prices)

Workaround for zoning restrictions

Due to the home's location and property zoning restrictions, expanding the home may not be as easy. Completing a basement adds valuable usable space without breaking zoning restrictions. While the homeowner still needs to obtain permits, there aren't as many permits to obtain and inspections to complete as there are when building a home extension.

energy cost savings

Completing a basement will help make the home more energy efficient. An unfinished basement often allows air to escape and enter the home, affecting heating and cooling bills. Drywall, insulation, and new flooring help regulate temperature so the home's HVAC system doesn't have to work overtime to keep the space cool in the warmer months and warm in the winter.


Completing a basement can bring in additional potential income. By adding an apartment with a full bathroom and kitchen, the owner can potentially rent out the space to long or short term renters. This extra income can help offset the cost of the repair project and generate additional income over time.

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Finishing a Basement: Do It Yourself vs Hiring a Professional

There are many steps to finishing a basement and they require experienced, licensed professionals to do the job. It is recommended to leave this project to basement finishing companies or carpenters. To take on this project, a DIYer would need to be skilled at a variety of tasks like hanging drywall, laying floors, installing insulation, and more, not to mention having the right tools for the job. It is also impossible to know what unexpected problems may arise.Crack in basement wallor a broken pipe. When these issues arise, the homeowner may not have the skills or tools needed for the job. Even if they take on some of the smaller projects that make up a basement completion project, they still have to hire a plumber and electrician to install pipes, drains, outlets, and light fixtures to make sure everything is up to code and passes an inspection.

While the cost of hiring a contractor may seem exorbitant at first, there are some unseen savings that can be made. For example, professional contractors have connections to purchase materials at a discounted price. They are also experienced in calculating exactly how much of each material is needed, which helps them to avoid going over budget. Homeowners should also keep in mind that having a contractor licensed and insured reduces their own liability should something go wrong in the basement finishing process.

Taking on a residential project is a big decision and it is important for homeowners to have a thorough understanding of the task at hand. Unless the homeowner has extensive remodeling experience, do-it-yourself basement finishing will likely result in a longer time period, a higher budget, and an unsatisfactory result. The cost of this major project is already covered by the homeowner, so why not search for "basement builder near me" and let a professional do the hard work?

How to save money on the cost of finishing a basement

The cost of finishing a basement can be high, and the additional costs associated with the project can add up quickly. One way to save on finishing your basement is to buy the cheapest materials for the project, but there are other ways to save money without sacrificing quality.

  • Choose medium quality materials.One way to save on basement finishing costs is to opt for medium-quality materials. Occasionally, these materials may be purchased as secondary or support models. Consider cheaper options for light fixtures, switch boards, and more.
  • DIY some projects. To save on labor and material costs, consider painting the newly completed basement yourself or dealing with tile or flooring if you have experience and the right tools for the job.
  • Opt for an open floor plan.The more framing and drywall needed for the project, the more expensive it becomes. You can reduce framing, drywall, insulation, wiring, and door costs by eliminating extra walls.
  • Get multiple estimates.Getting at least three estimates from reputable contractors can help you find a price that fits your budget.
  • Use fewer rivets.When new walls are put in the basement, they don't stand a chance. Fewer studs are needed for non-load bearing walls, which can result in savings.
  • Don't waste it on the floor.While it may be tempting to opt for wood or carpet, laminate or vinyl tile is a wiser choice for a basement; it is cheaper and also moisture resistant.
  • Forget the blanket.While some finished basements have drywall or false ceilings, there is often wiring or ductwork that is only accessible through the ceiling. Consider painting the ceiling instead, which is less expensive and has the added benefit of keeping these features easily accessible.
  • Use existing pipelines.Diversion of pipelines is a huge expense. If there is already plumbing in the basement, consider placing a toilet or kitchen fixture nearby.
  • Save space for storage.If a small portion of the basement is used for storage, it doesn't necessarily need to be finished to the same extent as the rest of the room. Buyers also tend to prefer a home with lots of storage space; therefore, if the space is only partially completed or even unfinished, it will not negatively affect the home's value.

Questions about finishing a basement

Asking a professional the right questions about basement finishing costs can help minimize misunderstandings, save money, and get you the results you want. Here are some questions to ask a basement refiner.

  • Do you have references?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • What are your formal certifications?
  • Do you award your work?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Who is finishing my basement?
  • Will you obtain permits for this project?
  • What is the project timeline?
  • How will you communicate with me during the project?
  • Do I have a word to say about the materials used?
  • What is done to keep moisture out of the basement?
  • Are existing water supply lines and drains sufficient for a new bathroom or kitchen?
  • Will you be making any changes to the HVAC system?
  • Will current electricity work with the added load of the finished basement?
  • What are the best ways to save money on this project?

common questions

Deciding to take on a basement completion project while staying on budget can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about basement completion costs to help homeowners in their decision-making process.

Q. How much does it cost to finish a 1,000 square foot basement?

A 1,000-square-foot basement costs an average of around $15,000 to complete, with costs ranging from $7,000 to $23,000. If the homeowner is interested in hiring an interior designer, they can expect to pay around $50 to $200 an hour.

Q. How much does it cost to remodel a basement?

A basement renovation ranges from $11,000 to $30,000 depending on the materials, size, layout and purpose of the space. If the owner wants to convert it into an apartment with a laundry room and kitchenette, the price could be upwards of $63,000.

Q. Do I need a permit to finish my basement?

Yes, in most cases a permit is required to convert a basement. Any home improvement project that involves plumbing, electrical work, or converting a basement into a living space requires a permit. A licensed contractor can advise the homeowner on whether the basement finishing project requires a permit and can obtain the necessary paperwork on the homeowner's behalf.

Q. How much does it cost to add a bathroom in the basement?

On average, the cost of completing a basement with a bathroom is about $15,000. For luxury or high-end devices, that cost can be as high as $90,000.

Q. Does finishing a basement increase home value?

Most homeowners see a return on investment of around 70% for a basic basement finish project. This number may vary depending on your geographic location.

Q. Do I need an exit window in a finished basement?

In most regions, basement exit windows are required for security reasons. Homeowners can check local building codes for specific rules and regulations in their area to ensure the space is in compliance.


renovate basement?

Find local basement remodeling companies in your area and get free, no-obligation estimates for your project today.

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