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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Construction & Renovation > Basement Remodeling

Basement Remodeling Cost

How Much Does Basement Remodeling Cost?

low costDo-It-Yourself: $500-$5,000average costAverage: $30,000-$50,000
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With proper planning and attention to detail, a remodeled basement can provide living space that's every bit as attractive and welcoming as the rest of the house.

Typical costs:

  • Contractors' estimates should include a number of basic factors such as moisture control. Insulation is also a must and it's important to check for radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is common in some parts of the US.
  • For $500-$5,000, Do-It-Yourselfers can waterproof the walls with a brush-on compound, then add carpeting, paneling, a dropped ceiling or other touches to make a basement into a more usable living area. Actual costs depend a great deal on what shape the basement is in at the start of the project, and whether the upgrades include such items as ground-level windows; improved lighting; a full- or half-bath; and a laundry area. The upper end of the price range includes hiring contractors to install proper ventilation, electrical wiring or plumbing.
  • Converting a basement into a reasonably comfortable and legal rental unit averages $30,000-$50,000, according to[1] .
  • Nationwide, basement remodeling costs average $52,931-$74,974 for a project which includes a 20x30-foot entertaining area with wet bar, a 5-x-8-foot full bath, 24 feet of partition to enclose a mechanical area, painted walls, ceilings and trim throughout, exterior insulation, doors and electrical wiring, according to the annual cost vs. value report by Hanley Wood[2] .
  • A lot depends on how much is included and the quality of the final project. Finishing a basement in a relatively new home can start around $20 -$35 a square foot, or $30,000 -$70,000 for 1,500-2,000 square feet -- but it can cost $100,000 or more to create a fully-finished space.
Related articles: Garage Doors, Home Addition, Bathroom Remodeling, Attic Remodeling

What should be included:
  • Finishing an unfinished basement is similar to building an addition or a new home, but generally the project is smaller and a lot less expensive. Waterproofing and insulation is key; the US Department of Energy gives a detailed overview complete with cost estimates for a range of options.
  • Local planning departments usually have specific regulations on ceiling height, access doors, radon ventilation, waterproofing and other details of the basement remodeling process. Many building codes now require upgrades such as residential fire sprinklers for new construction or major remodeling projects. Ask about local requirements and get all required permits (or make sure the contractor does this). Depending on the location, permit costs can be next to nothing or extremely expensive; find out exactly what they are and include them in the project's budget.
  • Foundation walls and floors are almost never straight and plumb, which can make remodeling difficult. Companies such as Owens Corning[3] and Basement Systems [4] sell complete basement-finishing systems which many contractors use.
  •[5] looks at the remodeling process.
Shopping for basement remodeling:
  • Be clear about how the new space is going to be used and, if the basement is currently a storage area, where everything will go once the project is done. Better Homes & Gardens[6] offers design ideas to keep in mind. For inspiration, provides a quick photo gallery[7] of one basement's sparkling transformation.
  • Contractor referrals are available through the National Association of Home Builders[8] and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry[9] .
  • Get estimates from several companies; request and check references. Understand exactly what is (and isn't) included in each estimate, and whether the contractor will do the paperwork for required building permits. Ask about the contractor's length and type of experience, especially if there's anything unusual about your project. Be sure a company is properly bonded and insured and licensed in your state[10] . See if there are any complaints with the Better Business Bureau[11] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Basement finishing
Amount: $38,000.00
Posted by: RARP in Suffolk county, NY.Posted: June 7th, 2015 10:06AM
Contractor: Square Feet: 900
One large great room, Utility room, small 3 piece bathroom, laundry room and pantry. Wood 2x4 and drywall construction. Vinyl wood look plank floor.
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Converting half finished basement to apartment
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: PaulaRN in Middletown, DE.Posted: October 25th, 2013 12:10AM
Contractor: Friends & familySquare Feet: 700
Having friends and family ( each with particular trades) Sheetrock and sparkler, carpet installer, electrician, plumber etc. just wondering if anyone knows how much this will cost us in total?? Half the basement is finished, just need to frame one bedroom, add a kitchen and a bath. That's it! Please email me @ for your opinions.
Want to have it finished for my daughter and first grand baby due in march!
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Basement Gut and Remodel
Amount: $52,000.00
Posted by: Clarendon-Arlington, VA in Arlington, VA.Posted: February 11th, 2013 06:02AM
Contractor: MNKBSquare Feet: 975
Complete remodel of our walk-out basement. Gutted and replaced literally everything, from the framing to new custom windows and solid doors. Reconfigured plumbing and remodeled the 3-piece bathroom with high-end finishes; completed the laundry room, guest bed room with walk-in-closet, and family room with solid wood custom cabinetry/wet bar, island, built-ins, and gas fireplace with granite surround. Also demolished and rebuilt exterior concrete steps to basement entrance. All finishes are high-end and remodel included many upgrades (in-cabinet/under cabinet lighting, stainless-steel beverage center, central speaker system, etc.) Love the end-result but process was extremely long.
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basement finishing
Amount: $95,000.00
Posted by: jack-of-all in Princeton, NJ.Posted: August 7th, 2010 09:08AM
Contractor: self general contractingSquare Feet: 2200
Finished basement on high end house. I designed all of it and spent some time managing the process. Already had lots of windows (walk-out). Used high end materials and design features ( plank laminate flooring with some granite/marble, rope lighting, recessed panels,heavy finish trim molding, recessed lighting, rope lighting, central audio/speakers, full kitchen, full bath,fireplace, zoned HVAC, etc). Took almost 9 months to complete fully. Great finished product.
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