How Much Does It Cost To Finish A Basement?
How Much Does It Cost To Finish A Basement?
$30 – $50 cost per square foot
$15,000 – $75,000 average total cost to finish (500 – 1,500 SF)
$3,000 – $12,000 cost to finish one bedroom in a basement
Average cost to finish a basement
The average cost to finish a basement is $30 to $50 per square foot or $15,000 to $75,000 total, depending on the size and number of rooms. Renovating a basement with an open floor plan costs less than adding multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. Partially finishing a basement costs $2,500 to $20,000.
|Basement square feet||Open plan finish||Three rooms finish|
|300||$9,000 – $12,000||$12,000 – $15,000|
|400||$12,000 – $16,000||$16,000 – $20,000|
|500||$15,000 – $20,000||$20,000 – $25,000|
|600||$18,000 – $24,000||$24,000 – $30,000|
|700||$21,000 – $28,000||$28,000 – $35,000|
|800||$24,000 – $32,000||$32,000 – $40,000|
|1,000||$30,000 – $40,000||$40,000 – $50,000|
|1,200||$36,000 – $48,000||$48,000 – $60,000|
|1,500||$45,000 – $60,000||$60,000 – $75,000|
|2,000||$60,000 – $80,000||$80,000 – $100,000|
Choosing an open floor plan could save you thousands in lumber, drywall, and insulation.
A basement room must have a window, closet, and door to be considered a bedroom.
Cost to finish a basement bathroom
A basement bathroom addition costs $10,000 to $25,000, depending on the size. A small basement may only need a half-bath, while a larger basement with bedrooms may need a full bathroom.
Labor costs to finish a basement bathroom may include:
Plumbers charge $45 to $150 per hour, depending on their experience level.
Adding new plumbing costs $450 to $1,800 per fixture or $4 to $6 per square foot to rough-in piping.
Compared to adding a new bathroom to a basement, remodeling a bathroom costs $120 to $275 per square foot or $2,500 to $15,000 total for a small full bathroom.
Cost to finish a basement room or partially finish
Partially finishing a basement costs $2,500 to $20,000, depending on the room type and size. Living rooms and kitchenettes are typically the most expensive additions.
|Room||Average cost to finish|
|Living||$6,000 – $16,000|
|Bedrooms (each)||$3,000 – $12,000|
|Bathroom||$2,500 – $12,500|
|Kitchenette||$5,000 – $20,000|
|Hallway||$1,000 – $2,500|
Basement finishing cost calculator
Basement finishing costs depend on the basement size, features, materials selected, and whether any structural changes take place.
|Waterproofing||$1,900 – $6,300|
|HVAC||$5,000 – $11,000|
|Electrical||$2,000 – $13,500|
|Plumbing||$2,500 – $20,000|
|Framing||$1,100 – $4,500|
|Insulation||$600 – $4,600|
|Drywall||$750 – $8,300|
|Painting||$800 – $2,500|
|Ceiling||$1,000 – $6,000|
|Flooring||$1,000 – $36,000|
|Egress window||$2,000 – $5,000|
|Staircase||$xxx – $xxx|
|Door||$225 – $1,900|
|Lighting||$100 – $650|
Construction and labor costs
Labor costs for finishing a basement are typically $6 to $20 per square foot, $3,000 to $30,000 total, or 20% to 40% of total costs. Large structural changes require different specialists.
Contractor – General contractors charge $50 to $150 per hour or 10% to 20% of construction costs and are responsible for coordinating subcontractors and overseeing the project.
Architect – An architect charges $100 to $250 per hour and helps with layout and structural design.
Structural engineer – Hiring a structural engineer costs $100 to $220 per hour to ensure the project doesn’t impact the home’s structural integrity.
Demolition – Gutting or demolishing a house costs $4 to $10 per square foot, depending on whether the foundation needs to be removed or if a wall is load-bearing.
Foundation / raising – Replacing a foundation costs $5 to $33 per square foot or $5,100 to $19,400. Raising a house costs $10,000 to $40,000 or $20,000 to $100,000 to raise it and replace the foundation at the same time.
Permit – A basement finishing permit costs $200 to $1,000 or 1% to 2% of total costs.
Basement HVAC and electrical costs
Replacing an HVAC system costs $5,000 to $11,000 with installation or $7,000 to $16,000 for HVAC and new ductwork. Adding ductwork costs $25 to $55 per linear foot with installation or $1,800 to $3,100 for basements.
An electrician charges $50 to $130 per hour, depending on the project and their experience level. Adding electrical wiring costs $4 to $9 per square foot with labor or $2,000 to $13,500 for an average basement.
Basement framing and insulation cost
Basement framing costs $18 to $24 per linear foot installed, depending on the layout and number of rooms. Basement insulation costs $1 to $3 per square foot of surface area installed and helps regulate moisture, temperature, and sound.
Basement drywall and painting cost
Basement drywall costs $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot of surface area installed, depending on the number of rooms. Drywall texturing costs $0.80 to $2.00 per square foot and is optional but commonly used because it hides surface flaws.
Interior painting costs $1 to $3 per square foot of surface area or $350 to $850 per room, depending on the paint and surface type.
Basement ceiling finishing cost
A drywall ceiling costs $2 to $4 per square foot installed or $1,000 to $6,000 total depending on the basement size. A drop ceiling costs $4 to $20 per square foot and is sometimes used in basements for easy access to utilities.
Basement floor cost
Basement flooring costs $4 to $15 per square foot installed on average, depending on the material. Carpet is the cheapest but is hard to clean. Hardwood flooring costs more but adds more value and lasts longer.
|Material||Average cost installed (per SF)||Average total cost (500 – 1,500 SF)|
|Carpet cost||$2 – $8||$1,000 – $12,000|
|Polished concrete cost||$3 – $15||$1,500 – $22,500|
|Epoxy floor coating cost||$3 – $7||$1,500 – $10,500|
|Tile floor cost||$7 – $24||$3,500 – $36,000|
|Laminate floor cost||$3 – $8||$1,500 – $12,000|
|Hardwood floor cost||$6 – $15||$3,000 – $22,500|
|Bamboo floor cost||$5 – $10||$2,500 – $15,000|
Basement kitchen cost
A basement kitchen or kitchenette costs $5,000 to $20,000, depending on the size and features, and requires plumbing and electrical circuits. Custom jobs and premium materials will cost more than a simple wet bar or prefabricated materials.
Counters – New countertops cost $50 to $150 per square foot installed, depending on the material.
Appliances – Kitchen appliances cost $2,500 to $6,800 for a full set with installation, depending on the size, brand, and quality. Common appliances include a refrigerator, dishwasher, range, microwave, and garbage disposal.
Wet bar – A basement wet bar costs $2,000 to $30,000 with installation and often includes a sink, countertop, storage, and sometimes a mini fridge.
Additional finishing costs
Additional basement finishing costs include stairs, doors, windows, and lighting:
Staircase – Building a basement staircase costs $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the number of steps, material, and whether the basement is finished or unfinished.
Egress window – An egress window costs $2,000 to $5,000 installed. Basement bedrooms or living spaces must have an egress window or door.
Door installation – A basement door installation costs $225 to $825 per door for interior doors and $500 to $1,900 for exterior doors.
Lighting installation – Light fixtures cost $100 to $650 per light installed, depending on the type and size. A pendant light costs $100 to $300, while recessed lighting costs $125 to $300 per light installed.
Basement waterproofing costs $4,500 to $15,000 on average or $6 to $15 per square foot and includes sealing walls as well as adding a pump and drain.
A sump pump costs $600 to $2,500 installed.
A basement drainage system costs $10 to $25 per linear foot or $1,000 to $4,000 total.
Total Basement Finishing system cost
Total Basement Finishing costs $60 to $75 per square foot and is a basement finishing brand that specializes in flooring, walls, and waterproofing. This system offers a 50-year transferable warranty for water damage and mold.
Cost to remodel vs. refinish a basement
Remodeling a basement costs $30 to $75 per square foot on average. Renovating or finishing involves cosmetic changes, while remodeling includes more expensive structural changes. Finishing a basement for the first time often costs less than remodeling a finished space.
DIY cost to finish a basement yourself
The DIY cost to finish a basement is $10,000 to $30,000, depending on the basement size. Professionals recommend hiring help for plumbing or electrical work to prevent costly mistakes and injuries. Some homeowners save money by finishing part of the basement themselves and hiring contractors for the rest.
Frequently asked questions
What is a finished basement?
A finished basement has flooring, drywall, lighting, HVAC, waterproofing, and a window or door in every room. Many finished basements have a bathroom, kitchenette, wet bar, or bedrooms. The ceilings in a finished basement must be 7+ feet tall.
What is the most expensive part of finishing a basement?
Material costs are the most expensive part of finishing a basement, accounting for 60% to 80% of total project costs.
How much value does a finished basement add?
A finished basement increases the value of a home and typically has a 70% to 75% return on investment (ROI). Finishing a basement makes a home more appealing to buyers because it adds square footage of living space and may add an extra bathroom, bedroom, or living room to the listing.
Does a finished basement count as square footage?
A finished basement adds more square footage to a home only if it’s properly finished, heated, and has the required number of egress windows or exits.
Do you need a permit to finish a basement?
You will need a basement finishing permit before work begins. This permit costs $200 to $1,000, though some cities charge 1% to 2% of total costs instead of a flat fee.
How long does it take to finish a basement?
It takes 4 to 16 weeks to finish a basement, depending on the number of rooms, basement size, and scope of the project.
How to pay for finishing a basement
You can pay for finishing a basement in many different ways:
A home equity line of credit (HELOC)
A personal loan
A financing plan through your contractor
An FHA 203k loan
Cash or check
A credit card
Getting estimates from basement finishing contractors
Before hiring basement finishing contractors in your area, make sure to:
Compare several bids from companies with 5+ years of experience.
Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Confirm they are licensed, insured, and bonded.
Beware of the lowest quotes as they usually result in low-quality work.
Ask for a written estimate and contract before work starts.
Only make the final payment after the job is complete.
Questions to ask
Ask the following questions to help you find the best basement contractor:
How many years of experience do you have finishing basements?
Can I see photos of past projects?
How long will the project take?
Do you offer a warranty?
What types of building materials do you recommend?
Does this estimate include materials, labor, delivery, and cleanup?
Will you need to hire any subcontractors to help you?
What unexpected costs usually come up for this kind of project?
Will you handle the necessary permits?