Ashburn, VA

How Much Does It Cost To Finish A Basement?

$32 – $47 Per Square Foot
$22,000 – $46,000 Average Total

Basement finishing costs an average of $38 per square foot with most homeowners spending between $22,000 and $46,000 on average. An open-plan finish will cost about $2,000 to $5,000 less than a basement finish with rooms. Get free estimates from basement finishing contractors near you or check out our cost guide below.

Average Cost to Finish a Basement

The average cost to finish a basement is $32 to $47 per square foot with most homeowners spending $22,000 to $46,000. A 500-square-foot basement costs $20,000 to refinish, while a 1,200 sqft. basement runs $45,600. Prices depend on if it's an open-plan or plan with rooms and a kitchen.

Average Cost To Finish A Basement

Cost to Finish a Basement
National Average Cost $35,000
Minimum Cost $16,000
Maximum Cost $75,000
Average Range $22,000 to $46,000

Basement finishing usually includes lighting, built-in shelving, waterproofing, framing, plumbing, wiring, drywall, flooring, an HVAC system, and egress windows, thereby turning the unfinished basement space into usable living space. According to Remodeling magazine, refinishing a basement adds resale value to your home and gives you a return on investment of 70%.

The total cost of your basement project can be considerably lower if your unfinished basement space is already fully waterproofed, or if you are doing the work yourself.

Table of Contents

  1. Average Cost to Finish a Basement
  2. Finishing a Basement Cost Estimator
  3. Basement Finishing Cost Calculator
  4. Basement Remodeling Costs
  5. Additional Basement Renovation Costs
  6. Basement Finishing on a Budget
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
  8. DIY Basement Finishing
  9. Hiring a Basement Finishing Contractor
  10. Basement Finishing Contractors

Finishing a Basement Cost Estimator

When putting together a basement finishing estimate, the family room or living room (at 204 – 480 square feet) will come in at the highest cost at around $10,000 to $20,000. On the lower end of room size is the bathroom (at 45 – 72 square feet). The closer you get to high-end materials, the higher the cost, i.e., hardwood flooring, copper plumbing, imported marble, but a 600-square foot basement finish should cost in the vicinity of $23,960 to $28,240 with average-quality materials.

Finishing A Basement Cost Estimator Chart

Cost to Finish a Basement Per Square Foot

The average cost to finish a basement is $32 to $47 per square foot or about $39 per square foot on average. A small, open-plan, 500-square-foot basement will cost about $20,000 while a 1,500-square-foot basement with three rooms and a bathroom costs around $57,000 to finish. Basement construction costs can be double or triple this if the work requires high-end material costs.

Cost to Finish A Basement Per Square Foot

Cost to Finish a Basement Per Square Foot
Square Feet Open Plan 3 Rooms DIY Cost
500 $18,000 $23,500 -$8,000
600 $22,000 $28,200 -$9,600
800 $28,000 $37,600 -$12,800
1,000 $32,000 $38,000 -$16,000
1,200 $38,400 $45,600 -$19,200
1,500 $48,000 $57,000 -$24,000
1,800 $57,600 $68,400 -$28,800

Labor Cost to Finish a Basement

The average labor cost to finish a basement is $16 per square foot, or around 30% to 40% of your remodeling project. The labor cost to finish a 500-sq.-ft basement is $8,000 on average. This covers all professional labor—carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and general laborers. The more expert help you need, such as a master carpenter or master electrician, the higher the cost.

Family or Living Room Basement Finishing Project

Basement Cost Estimator

Use the following table to calculate your basement materials and renovations cost.

Basement Cost Estimator
Finishing Average Cost
Framing $1.00
Trim $3.09
Drywall $1.60
Plumbing $1.00
Wiring installed $7.79
Ceiling $1.60
Flooring $1.00
Insulation $2.00

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Basement Finishing Cost Calculator

The cost to finish a basement can vary significantly according to how many walls you plan to install or if you’d rather have an open-plan basement instead. Note: no labor

Basement Finishing Cost Breakdown

Basement Finishing Cost Breakdown
600 SF Basement Open Plan With Rooms
Framing $796 $1,485
Trim $306 $572
Drywall $1,274 $2,376
Plumbing $80 $80
Wiring Installed $771 $1,441
Electrical Panel $800 $800
Ceiling $931 $931
Flooring $582 $582
Doors $60 $240
Fridge and Stove $1,200 $1,200
Bathroom $2,500 $2,500
HVAC 1.5 Ton $1,700 $1,700
Insulation $2,756 $4,134
Egress window $600 $600

Small 500 square foot basement refinish into home theater

Basement Finishing Cost Breakdown
1,200 SF Basement Open Plan With Rooms
Framing $1,074 $2,272
Trim $335 $710
Drywall $1,718 $3,635
Plumbing $160 $160
Wiring installed $1,044 $2,212
Electrical panel $800 $800
Ceiling $1,883 $1,883
Flooring $1,177 $1,177
Doors $60 $240
Fridge and Stove $1,200 $1,200
Bathroom $2,500 $2,500
HVAC 1.5 Ton $1,700 $1,700
Insulation $4,502 $6,898
Egress window $600 $1,200

Cost to Frame a Basement

The average cost to frame a basement is $1 per square foot for the materials and $2.70 to $3.39 per square foot installed with drywall and ready for painting. When framing an existing basement, you are installing a wood framework in preparation for insulation packing, wiring, and plumbing. These are all installed between the wall and the layer of drywall.

Cost To Frame and Drywall A Basement Chart

Cost to Frame a Basement
Square Feet Materials Cost Framed and Drywall Installed
500 $500 $1,525
600 $600 $1,830
800 $800 $2,440
1,000 $1,000 $3,050
1,200 $1,200 $3,660
1,500 $1,500 $4,575
1,800 $1,800 $5,490

Framing Basement Walls

Framing basement walls with 2’ x 4’ wood costs approx. $2.50/SF of wall space installed. When building interior basement walls, the first thing you do is frame the concrete walls with a wood frame (most-used framing material). The frame will extend about 3” from the wall and will be anchored to the floor. The boards will have studs attached in preparation for the drywall. Areas are left open for windows.

Insulating Basement Walls

Insulation will help to control the temperature and moisture, and it can act as an additional soundproofing agent. Spray-applied closed-cell foam insulation prices range from $700 to $4,000 or $32 – $80.50 per cubic square foot, per 1” of thickness sprayed. Foam is recommended for basement insulation because it is not air permeable—it won’t cause condensation to build up between the insulation and concrete walls.

Cost to Drywall a Basement

The cost to drywall a basement and finish it (with joint tape, mud/compound, and sanding) starts at around $1.60 per square foot installed. Basement drywall calculations depend on how many walls you have in your basement plan. To calculate how much drywall you’ll need, add the width of each wall together to get the total perimeter and then divide that total by 4’ (panel width) to find the total number of panels needed.

Cost to Drywall a Basement
Basement Size Open Plan With Rooms
600 square feet $1,273 $2,376
1,200 square feet $1,719 $3,635

You’re best off installing moisture-resistant drywall in a basement, and costs range from $11 – $25 per standard panel.

  • Blue, purple, and green board drywall: $11 – $16
  • Cement board drywall: $10 – $11
  • Paperless drywall: $25

Spacious Basement Room Remodel in Pastel Blue Tones

Basement Ceiling Costs

An average basement ceiling installation cost is $3.50 to $4.30 per square foot when installing ceiling joists and adding R-11 insulation batts plus ceiling drywall. While the price of the drywall is the same, installing ceiling drywall is more complicated and usually requires additional equipment for the best working access. For example, ½” drywall on walls costs $1.13/SF, while ½” drywall on ceilings runs $1.35/SF.

  • Wood or tile ceiling – Tongue and groove wood or tile panels and plates will cost $2.59 – $4.88/SF installed on your ceiling.
  • Popcorn ceiling – Spray popcorn on the taped drywall for $0.34 – $0.70/SF depending on how heavy you want the coverage.
  • Textured ceiling – Add texture for $0.33 – $0.89/SF, with the highest cost being for a troweled appearance.

Cost To Install Drop Ceiling In Basement

Drop ceiling – A ceiling suspension system with lath, so it’s ready to plaster or cover, costs $22 – $26/SF, or install a suspended ceiling grid system that’s ready for tile or panels for $0.60 – $0.84/SF.

Cost To Paint Exposed Basement Ceiling

Forgo a basement ceiling and paint the exposed ductwork the same color as the walls, but this can cause you to miss out on effective insulation. The cost to paint an exposed basement ceiling is $1.16 per square foot for a smooth surface and $1.60 per sqft. for a rough surface. Spray painting will be 15% – 30% lower.

Basement Refinishing Into Entertainment Room with TV

Basement Flooring Installation Cost

Scoring and polishing the existing basement concrete floor costs $2 per square foot while painting the basement floor with epoxy costs $3 per square foot or more. For other floorings, install wood flooring joists for $1.74 to $3 per linear foot installed and a plywood subfloor for $0.99 to $1.49/SF installed.

Because a basement is prone to moisture problems, consider installing steel floor joists and cross-bridging and cover with board sheathing for a total of $4.08/SF. The best flooring for a basement is vinyl or laminate which should be installed as a floating floor to allow for changes in the concrete caused by moisture and temperature. Below are the least expensive options for each flooring material.

Basement Flooring Installation Cost
Material Cost Per Square Foot 600 SF 1,200 SF
Carpet $1 $582 $1,177
Polished Concrete $2 $1,164 $2,354
Epoxy Paint $2.50 $1,455 $2,943
Ceramic Tile $2.50 $1,455 $2,943
Porcelain Tile $3 $1,746 $3,531
Vinyl or Linoleum $3 $1,746 $3,531
Laminate $6 $3,492 $7,062
Engineered Wood $6 $3,492 $7,062
Bamboo $7 $4,074 $8,239
Hardwood $10 $5,820 $11,770

Finishing a Basement for Game Room: Pool Table & Darts

Average Cost to Finish a Basement Room

The average cost to finish a basement living room is $19,000 while a small 12x12 room costs $4,600 to $6,800 to finish. A bathroom or kitchenette will cost the least at $3,000 if the rough-in plumbing is already done. To be considered a bedroom, real estate agents and home appraisers say a bedroom must have a closet, door, and a window.

Sample Basement Room Layout & Costs (1,200 SF)

Cost to Finish a Basement Room
Room Square Feet Cost % of Total
Living 480 $18,930 41%
Bedroom 1 168 $6,626 14%
Bedroom 2 154 $6,073 13%
Bedroom 3 176 $6,941 15%
Hallway 39 $1,538 3%
Bathroom 72 $2,840 6%
Kitchenette 72 $2,840 6%

Additional Rooms and Features

Consider turning the space into rooms you have a particular need of and design the space accordingly.

  • Home Theater Room – Home theaters are popular to install in basements. Install all the wiring below the subfloor for speakers and subwoofers — design space for reclining chairs and snack tables.
  • Game Room – Wire for the gaming system and add everything teenagers might want—snacks, a booming stereo system, and adequate storage for headphones, controllers, speakers, etc.
  • Laundry Room – Create space for all unwashed clothes, hangers for recently dried clothes, shelves for baskets, a folding shelf, and a wipe-easy station for detergents. You might also want a sink for washing mud or stains out of clothes before putting them in the machine.
  • MIL Suite – Customize the space to give a family member an independent living space within the home, complete with kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living room.
  • Hidden Passageways – Add hidden rooms or passageways behind bookcases—for the young at heart.
  • Walk-out Basement – Because the house is built on a slope with the front of the house on the higher part, the basement looks like the first floor of the home from the back of the house and you can “walkout” of the back door into the yard. A walk-out basement gets a lot of natural light. A deck has to be built from the first floor to the ground out back.
  • Garden Basement – This happens when about half of the basement height looks out over the backyard. A deck also has to be built from the first floor to the ground for this one.

Home Basement Converted Into Luxury Home Theater

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Basement Remodeling Costs

A 1,200 square foot basement remodel costs $30,230 on average, or $25 per square foot for materials and installation with most homeowners spending between $19,100 and $36,000.

Ultimately your basement remodeling can cost about 30% less than a refinish. The plumbing and electrical work is already in place, so if you don’t move any major plumbed or wired fixtures or walls and less paid labor is required.

The cost of a small basement remodel—changing flooring and moving one wall—can cost a few thousand, whereas a major remodel of adding another bathroom and bedroom or an entire downstairs apartment can cost tens of thousands. You might have to move walls and plumbing, pull up flooring, tear down ceilings; and upgrade the sump pump, HVAC, and electrical amperage.

Basement Remodeling Costs
Remodel Average Cost
HVAC $3,300 – $5,900
Drywall $1.60 – $2.35/SF
Flooring $6 – $10/SF
Plumbing $2,000 – $5,000
Sump Pump $490 – $1,170
Electrical Panel $851 – $1,707
Interior Painting $1.50/SF
Wet Bar or Kitchenette $3,000 to $15,000
Bathroom $2,500 and up
Closet $1,000 and up
Gas Fireplace $2,000 and up
Demolition $1,900 – $8,700

Basement Kitchen & Living Room Renovation With Hardwood Flooring

Basement Demolition Costs

Basement demolition costs for your existing walls and flooring ranges between $1,900 to $8,700 for 600 sqft, and between $3,400 to $11,900 or more for a 1,200 sqft basement. For a complete demolition of the existing walls, stripping back to the framing, and ripping up the existing flooring, you could be looking at an additional cost of between $2.70 – $10.10 per square foot. Depending on the extent of the remodeling to be done and the ease of access for the construction crew, your costs will vary.

Basement Refinishing

The cost to refinish a basement will range between $22,000 to $46,000 for a 1,200-square-foot home or around $38 per square foot for most homeowners. Basement refinishing can be easier for significant changes because no demolition is required and the framing is open, so all electrical and plumbing work can be done first without any need to drill into or cut open drywall.

Basement Refinishing Kits

Basement refinishing kits cost $50 to $70 per square foot and come with everything you need to finish out the basement—framing, moisture-repellant drywall, insulation, floor joists, and ceiling joists. Some even include windows and flooring. The wall panels are removable and can lock in place easily.

Cost to Build a Basement

The cost to build a basement foundation and walls, along with installing adequate moisture prevention and drainage, for a 1,200-square-foot basement is about $25,000 to 28,000. This is before any of the finishing-out work begins.

  • A foundation investigation will cost an average of $2,280. A soil engineer will assess the soil-bearing value to determine the drainage and grading needs and wall-bearing needs before pouring the foundation and walls.
  • Waterproofing system sheeting costs $3.50 – $6.50 per square foot or $6,000.
  • A poured foundation is $4.63 per square foot or $5,560.
  • Concrete walls with steel rebar are poured for $3.30 – $5.52 per square foot or $5,290, or ICF/EPS walls with concrete cost $8.12 per square foot or $9,740.
  • Hot mop the basement walls for thermal and moisture protection for $2.73/SF or $3,280.
  • Installing interior and interior drain tiles to drain away any water that might pool near the foundation costs $2,500 – $5,000.

Basement Waterproofing Cost

Basement waterproofing costs about $1,480 for simple crack filling with an average of $2,000 to $6,000 for drainage improvements. Costs range from a minimum of $250 up to $20,000. Most homeowners waterproof after they discover water in the basement from poor drainage around the foundation and walls. Waterproofing will be a lower cost if it's included in a larger basement finishing project.

The main reasons for water or damp conditions in a basement, and the cost to fix them are:

Cracks

  • Cracks Around Windows – Dig out a larger well space and fill it with gravel, so water drains away from the window. Install a window well cover, $30 – $85 for the cover. Caulk window for $1 – $3.70/SF.
  • Cracks in Walls and Joints – Waterproof the cracks, and cracks and gaps around pipes, by filling with hydraulic cement, which expands as it cures.
  • Cracks in the Foundation – Foundation repairs run from $500 to $15,000 if needed.

Condensation

Take care of some initial insulation in the basement by adding slip foam insulation on your cold-water pipes to prevent condensation from building up and then dripping inside your drywall or ceiling. Put slip foam on the hot-water pipes to prevent the loss of any heat. This should be done before boxing in any of the pipes in the basement. Tube pipe foam insulation costs approx. $1.50 – $3.70 per six-foot piece, which can range from ½” – 1” in thickness.

Shower or Bath Moisture

  • Install a bathroom vent that sends humid air outside. (Add $50 to $100 if water pipes are needed.)
  • Adding a dehumidifier is $250.

Poor Soil Drainage

  • If any earth leveling is required to help with redirecting water away from the home, that could add
    • Another $5.50 per cubic yard of earth to be moved by a backhoe operator with a minimum charge of $500
    • If the work is to be done by hand with a shovel, between $33 and $67 per cubic yard depending on the density of the soil when removing it
    • $11 per cubic yard to spread that soil in a different part of the yard
  • Install a drain tile system to drain away any water that might pool near the foundation at the cost of $2,500 – $5,000. This involves digging a 2-foot space for gravel, drain tiles, and a basin so incoming water can be pumped away from the basement.
  • A sump pump with the accompanying electrical work costs an average of $480 – $790 A sump pump without the electrical work costs $140 to $205 and $105 for installation.
  • A water-powered backup pump starts at around $200.

Flooding

  • Repair or install gutters with downspouts that direct water at least 10 feet away from the basement and foundation.
  • Install drainage pipes inside the basement walls and have water pumped out by a sump pump. Install a second wall, so this new drainage system is enclosed between the old and new walls.
  • Clearing debris from gutters and redirecting flow away from around basement is $300.
  • Porous concrete walls - Waterproof your walls with masonry sealer, but this can only be painted on bare concrete. Any existing paint or efflorescence must be removed first. $0.61 – $0.87/SF to have it done. Five hundred gallons covers 500 square feet.

Cost to Add a Bathroom to a Basement

The average cost to add a bathroom to a basement is $7,600 or between a range from $2,500 to $12,400. A basement bathroom addition can add 10% – 20% to the value of your home. Drainage and plumbing will be your two most significant cost factors. For a small basement, a half-bath with no shower or tub is adequate, while a bedroom suite needs a full bathroom.

Full Bathroom Addition In Basement Finishing Construction

Pipes will have to be brought down, and a sewage pump and backwater valve might have to be installed to ensure proper drainage of effluent and bath/shower water if gravity doesn’t work in your favor. Take care to ensure moisture prevention with a dehumidifier and vented fan system. Many building codes have minimum dimensions regarding how close each fixture can be to the next.

Toilets

  • Pressure-assisted toilet – Gets rid of effluent with air pressure. $125 – $450
  • Up-flushing toilet – Connects to the upper floor’s sewer line. $400 – $1,300
  • Sewage-ejector system – Has a small tank that holds effluent and wastewater temporarily but pumps waste to the main sewer line.                $940 – $4,400 installed
  • Composting toilet – Turns effluent in the holding tank into compost for use outdoors. $200 – $1,100

Showers

  • Fiberglass and tub combination $1,070 – $1,180 installed
  • Shower stall $823 – $1,720 installed

Fixtures

  • Sink faucets  $150–$750
  • Showerheads, shower panels, and faucets  $90–$10,000
  • Light fixtures, shower lighting, sconces, ceiling lights  $10–$4,500
  • Mirror                                               $12–$3,000
  • Towel bars, hooks, etc. $40–$160

Fan Vented to the Exterior

  • $80 – 400 for the fan—a building code must-have
  • $250 – $500 for installation

Basement HVAC System Cost

The average cost to install an HVAC system in the basement is $4,000 to $6,400 with new ductwork costing an additional $1,500 to $3,000. You might not have to install a separate HVAC system for the basement if the existing unit upstairs can handle the extra workload. If it can’t, then either upgrade your existing unit or install a second unit downstairs. You’ll have to install new ductwork and ventilation either way, unless you install a mini-split system.

Basement HVAC Cost
HVAC Unit MBtu Average Cost
2 Ton 71 Heating $4,050
3 Ton 89 Heating $4,600
5 Ton 107 Heating $6,400
  • New HVAC Unit – One ton of AC is required for every 400 – 600 square feet and homes typically require 30 to 60 BTUs per square foot. Buy according to how many BTUs and tons of AC you need.
  • New Ductwork – On average, ductwork costs $24 to $38 per linear foot to install in walls. Add $1.90 per square foot of surface for insulation.
  • Ductless Mini-Split System – If you only need to add cold air to one room, consider installing a ductless mini-split which is a small heating and cooling system with an outdoor compressor/condenser, and an indoor air-handling unit. Depending on the size and model, typical costs are between $660 and $4,500.

Rather than with a joint AC and heating system – Consider heating the basement with radiant heat—a heating element under the floors—or a vented fireplace.

  • Radiant heating can cost about $5,000 or $4 – $5 per square foot installed for a plate-type system.
  • A prefabricated electric fireplace generally costs about $280 – $1,100 installed.
  • A vented gas fireplace can cost between $1,600 to $4,200 and $130 for installation.
  • Wood-burning stoves cost between $500 and $2,750 for entry to medium quality and $3,000 – $4,000 for a high-quality stove. Installation ranges between $842 and $3,050.

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Additional Basement Renovation Costs

Additional basement renovation costs relate to any restoration and repairs done to the basement, which could include

  • Mold Removal – The average cost of mold remediation is $2,330, with most homeowners spending between $1,500 – $3,150 or $15 to $31 per square foot. A small mold removal job costs an average price of $500 – $1,500 while a larger job costs around $3,000 – $6,000.
  • Asbestos Removal – The average cost for asbestos removal is $20 to $65 per square foot with most homeowners spending between $1,210 and $2,820. Complete whole-basement abatement for siding, tile, insulation, ceilings, and pipes can run anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000.
  • Foundation Repair – The average cost to repair foundation problems is $4,510, with most homeowners spending between $2,320 to $6,750. Minor foundation crack repairs cost $620 or more to fix, while major repairs that require hydraulic piers can cost $10,000 to $15,000.
  • Plumbing Repair – Small plumbing repairs like unclogging a sink or drain cleaning cost around $75 to $250, while larger jobs like fixing a water heater or sump pump run $500 to $800.
  • Electrical Repair – The average cost to hire an electrician for small jobs to repair or install outlets, fans, switches, or lights is $141 to $419, while extensive electrical work such as replacing a service panel ranges from $2,000 to $6,000. Electrician rates start at $40 per hour and fluctuate depending on experience.

Basement Foundations

Basement foundation costs could well account for the biggest expense of the basement refinishing project.

Existing Foundation

Concrete will always crack eventually, and any existing foundation must be inspected before a basement finish to see if it’s in good condition. Minor foundation crack repairs cost $620 or more to fix, while major repairs that require hydraulic piers can cost $10,000 to $15,000.

New Foundation

The basement foundation cost for 1,200 square feet is approx. $17,200. The average price to pour a concrete basement foundation is $11,560 or $9.64/SF for a 1,200-square-foot basement. This cost includes excavation, foundation, concrete, retaining walls, and backfill, but the final cost includes:

  • A soil engineer’s report for about $2,300
  • Soil grading for $3,300

New Foundation Under Existing Home

The cost can go even higher.

  • When the basement is to be created under the existing home, it will cost an average of an additional $10,000 to jack up the foundation during the dig.
  • Difficult soil excavation (rocks, hard clay, sloped ground) or the need for retaining walls can drive costs up an additional $5,000 to $20,000.

Basement Finishing Permit Cost

The average basement finishing permit cost is usually a percentage of the total construction cost at approximately 0.65%. Inspections and re-inspections average out at $50 per hour. Permits are typically needed for any electrical or plumbing work, and each bedroom must have an egress window.

All basements must have at least two exits, one being the stairs. Any work done without permits could delay the project or cause it to come to a halt. Some basement refinishing work has had to be completely demolished and redone according to code because of the lack of permits. Different building departments and cities will have different ways to calculate your permit fees, and below are two different examples of permit fees calculations using a formula based on the total construction cost:

  • Permit fee = (Construction cost) X 0.0065 (or some other modifier)

OR

  • Permit fee = $300 for first $25,000 + (remaining value / 1,000) x 10 + first $300

AND

  • Plan Review Fee = (Permit Fee) X 0.65

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Cheap Basement Finishing on a Budget

Affordable basement finishing works well with an open-plan design, like a studio. Instead of hiring a general contractor, managing the job on your own and hiring subcontractors will save money. However, it can be a full-time job to manage and make sure construction is up to code.

  • One of the best ways to save on property taxes is to only partially finish out the basement, as it will not be included in the appraised square footage for taxing. Finish it out properly right before you sell instead.
  • Keep sections of the room separated with tracked wall dividers, panels, and curtains rather than walls. This cuts down considerably on the cost of framing, adding walls with wiring and plumbing or finishing costs.
  • Avoid using higher-priced drywall texturing.
  • Carpet everything, or install laminate, or score or epoxy the concrete.
  • Don’t add ceiling tiles or ceiling drywall. Spray all the pipes and ductwork the same color instead.
  • Only finish out part of the basement.
  • Spray paint the entire space yourself.

Small Basement Finishing Ideas

The cost to finish a small basement can be as little as $19,000. In addition to our Additional Rooms and Features suggestions, consider refinishing the entire space in your small basement as one room for a

  1. Craft Room – build in plenty of cabinets and shelves for supplies.
  2. Playroom – Build in plenty of storage, reading corners, and secret spaces.
  3. Music Room – Soundproofed.
  4. Cellar – Store all your wine or cigars in a perfectly cooled room.
  5. Home Office or Workshop – Provide plenty of 22V power to the workshop space for power tools, or your desk and computer setup.
  6. Climate-Controlled Storage – Especially useful if you have no garage.
  7. Study – Install multiple outlets to handle technology needs.
  8. Gym – Put foam mats on the floor instead of other materials.
  9. Dance Studio – Install dance floor tiles.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Finish a Basement?

It typically takes 4 to 8 weeks to finish a basement from start to finish. Before construction starts, you will need to pull permits.

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Electrical Outlet in a Basement?

The cost to install an outlet in a new location averages about $120 – $150 and will range between $60 to $125 to replace an existing outlet.

How Much Does an Owens Corning Basement Finishing System Cost?

An Owens Corning Basement Finishing System will cost $50 to $70 per square foot. These finish systems include a choice of two different types of suspended ceilings, but they do not include any flooring.

How Much Does an Impressive Basement Systems Cost?

Impressive Basements says: “We do not price our basement finishing by the square foot, but rather by the linear foot of the wall, how many doors, lights, vents, pole wraps, type of flooring and so forth... Most of our basements are in the $17,000 to $25,000 range without a bathroom, kitchenette, or bar.”

Is Finishing a Basement a Good Investment?

According to Better Homes and Gardens, the return on investment (ROI) on basement refinishing is $0.75 for every dollar spent because of the extra livable square footage in the home.

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DIY Basement Finishing

Do it yourself (DIY) basement finishing costs mostly depend on the cost of materials used. Materials for a 1,200 sqft basement with a small kitchen and bathroom will cost about $19,000 for an open-plan and about $27,000 for one with rooms. DIY basement finishing can save at least 30% of your finishing cost, but you’ll still have to pay for plumbing and electrical work.

How to Finish a Basement

You can plan out how to finish a basement by putting together a weekly plan. According to Craftsman, a typical basement finish-out construction schedule project plan for a 1,200 sqft basement includes two bedrooms, one bathroom, a wet bar, and a fireplace. The following plan is split up into what to expect each week:

Week 1

  • Days 1 – 2: Framing
  • Days 3 – 5: HVAC, plumbing rough-in, electrical rough-in, gas rough-in, set fireplace unit

Week 2

  • Day 8: Deliver drywall, install insulation, rough stage inspections
  • Days 9 – 10: Hang drywall
  • Days 11 – 16: Tape, mud, and texture drywall

Week 3

  • Days 17 – 18: Install trim, doors, windowsills, mantle at the fireplace
  • Days 19 – 23: Painting

Week 4

  • Days 24 – 26: Install lights and electrical trim, HVAC registers and trim, shower and floor tile
  • Day 29: Install cabinets, door hardware
  • Days 30 – 31: Masonry at the fireplace, template for countertops, mirrors and glass shower door

Week 5

  • Day 32: Drywall touchups, finish setup and start fireplace
  • Day 33: Install countertops
  • Day 36: Install plumbing trim, install shower door and mirror
  • Day 37: Install carpet

Week 6

  • Day 39: Final inspections, painting touchups
  • Day 40: Final cleaning, final walkthrough

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Hiring a Basement Finishing Contractor

You want the best contractor for the project at a price within your budget, but don’t take the lowest bid unless the contractors you’re researching have most of the following:

  • Are A/A+ rated members of the Better Business Bureau
  • Have been finishing out basements for at least five years
  • Offer a warranty on labor and materials
  • Are insured and bonded
  • Are rated highly on HomeGuide
  • Include all cleanup in the quote
  • Offer exact begin and end dates

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