How much would it cost to Reno a 1000sq ft basement.

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Posted by: from Toronto
9/27/2018 at 1:22:34 PM

How much would it cost to Reno a 1000sq ft basement. Has Kitchen and bathroom but very outdated. All plumbing and electrical is there. Needs proper insulation since it's cold in winter.

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Paul from PJV Contracting in Kamloops
Date/Time9/28/2018 at 3:41:19 AM

Hi Ana,

To properly calculate what your renovation may cost, you would have to provide more information.

-Above or below ground basement?

-High-end reno, or a lot of refurbishing?

-Is the space completely finished now or bare studs?

-What is the cause of the heat loss?

-Forced air or baseboard heating?

-Is the basement damp?

-How have you confirmed that the electrical and plumbing is adequate?

One can assume that with the exception of the kitchen and bath, the space is bare studs (hence the need for insulation and vapor barrier).

A full renovation could run you around $20 per square foot on the very cheap end (assuming a small kitchen and 1/2 bath), to $100 (or more) per square foot, it all depends on the scope of the work, and finishes you desire.

First, try to answer the questions I listed for you above, perhaps get a friend with some experience to help you. This will better prepare you regarding what to expect when you begin calling contractors in for a quote.

Get at least 3 (or more) quotes. Check the contractor's online reviews, get references and call them all. Remember that you are not just getting a quote, you must interview the contractors for your job. Do not necessarily go for the cheapest quote, as in this business, you often get what you paid for.

Lastly, you may want to consider doing a portion of the renovation yourself if you are able and handy. You would still have to call-in an electrician and plumber, but you can save yourself some money in the process.

Good luck with your reno! P.S., you may want to wait until spring to do your reno. Reno's are obtrusive at the best of times, but they are particularly obtrusive in the winter months.

Cheers from PJV Contracting!

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Date/Time9/28/2018 at 5:07:12 AM

Good Morning Anna, I usually charge around 25.00 to 30.00 per square foot, depending on the quality of kitchen and bath you are looking for. So I would say somewhere in the 25 to 30,000.00 range.

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Dave from Crown Choice in Nanaimo
Date/Time9/28/2018 at 7:53:37 AM

I agree with Ron with the exception of his low end price, it needs to be higher. Bathroom renos just removing and replacing fixtures, painting etc start at 8,000 Kitchens at 15,000 flooring 3,000 insulating wall means walls need to come apart that can be anyone's guess 1500 - 10,000 if any plumbing or electrical needs moving or updating 3,000 - 20,000.

You need to get estimates.

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Date/Time9/28/2018 at 8:34:45 AM

Its always hard to estimate site unseen. If you to do it from scratch $50 a sq ft. A renovation would be around $15,000 if not replacing anything.

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Date/Time9/28/2018 at 9:29:57 AM

Hi Ana , I recommend you contact 2 or 3 local trusted professionals to get a free quote on your basement renovation. It is almost impossible to give you a fair quote without viewing your basement project. All contractors would need to know what you were using for finishes especially in your bathroom and kitchen and flooring and whether or not you're spray foaming for insulation. More than likely all the electrical needs to be updated to today's code as well as Plumbing an HVAC. Jeff

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Shannon from ACT Home Services in Wetaskiwin
Date/Time9/28/2018 at 10:24:21 AM

The best answer so far has been from Paul.

The problem with getting several quotes on a renovation that is not thoroughly planned and designed is that each contractor will have to figure out what you want and will invariably be different from the previous one.

Each contractor should invest 5 to 20 hours on such an estimate if it is to be at all accurate. That means 10 to 40 hours will be wasted by the other contractors.

The solution to all those problems is to pay for a designer if you are serious about getting the reno done. That way, contractors can look at the design and quote it in a couple hours, you can compare apples to apples, you will get the reno you want and most of the guess work will be removed at several levels.

And the biggest benefit is because so much leg work and guess work is removed in this process, quotes often come in much lower more than paying for the cost of the design work.

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Date/Time9/28/2018 at 11:13:19 AM

It's all depend on how much work involve and what you are looking for. I would prefer to invite 2-3 contractors for an onsite visit and quotes better than just guessing.

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Jeremy from Obec Homes in Barrie
Date/Time9/28/2018 at 11:53:15 AM

Shannon from ACT home services has my bare:-)

The only way to do a job right if you don't have someone you already know and trust in the field who can do the project for you is to get a designer and make all of your decisions up front.

This will ensure you get what you want, recieve accurate quotes from those that bid, and will allow you to focus on which contractor you trust the most to get the job done rather then whether they know what you want.

We wish you the best on this project and that you get everything you want and more!

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Paul from PJV Contracting in Kamloops
Date/Time9/28/2018 at 4:09:50 PM

Hi Ana,

Paul again from PJV Contracting. Calling in a designer at this point is putting the cart before the horse. I believe the first and most important issue to address is the basement being too cold in the winter. Determining the cause and remediation of this issue needs to be done first before moving onto a renovation. I re-read your post, you stated that "It needs proper insulation", which tells me that the space is finished and that there is already insulation installed. While having spray foam insulation installed would significantly increase the exterior wall's r-value, this is a very costly remedy, when it actually may not have to be done. Removing the old drywall and reinstalling/re-finishing is messy and not cheap. If the exterior walls do not have drywall, and it is obvious that the insulation is in-adequate, spray-in foam insulation is a very good idea, but before that is done, you will need to complete all electrical and HVAC work first (see below for what I mean).

1. Check that all window casings are caulked properly, and that any doors have decent weather striping. Single pane windows/sliding doors also provide for a poor thermal barrier (an expensive fix to update). If cold air gets in (gaps), by means of convection, the heat will rise to the upper floors, leaving the basement cold. The hood-fan above your range (assuming it exhausts to the outside) may not be baffled, thus another point of heat-loss.

2. If you have forced-air heat, the location of your thermostat may be the culprit. If your thermostat is on the upper floors, it will shut-off your furnace once the temperature reaches the desired setting on that floor. You can try to remedy this yourself by restricting the air flow of the heat registers/vents on the upper floors, and verify that the basement vents are wide-open. If that doesn't help, then you will need to call-in an HVAC professional to professionally "balance the system". You may also lack a "cold air return" in the basement. An HVAC professional can help with this.

If those solutions don't work, then it is time to look at replacing your insulation, or you may have to upgrade to a higher out-put furnace (hopefully you have a drop ceiling, it will make the installation of additional vents easier if they are needed). While costly, furnaces are far more efficient then they where even a few years ago, which means long-term savings on natural gas.

Your service (gas)provider or the province may also offer rebates (Fortis gas provides rebates here in BC).

If your basement has a wood fireplace, a gas insert is a great investment. A high-efficiency gas insert will heat 1000 sq. easily, and it looks great too (I have installed one in my home and it heats the entire 2000 sq' top floor when it is -20c outside). If you do not have a fireplace, you could get a free-standing gas fire place that directly vents to the outside through the exterior wall (no chimney needed). For a quality unit, it will cost around $4000.00 to $5000.00 installed.

Another solution to your cold issue is to install an independent heating system in your basement, electrical baseboard heaters with thermostatic control in the basement. This is when you will determine if your electrical system is adequate or not. This process can also be expensive, because it will likely require upgrading your electrical service.

Additionally, drywall will need to be removed in places to allow for wiring. Avoid using space heaters as they are highly in-efficient and pose a fire hazard.

Is the current layout of the basement satisfactory? If you want to relocate walls, then you may need the services of a structural engineer.

Once you have addressed these issues, then (if you are so inclined) call in a interior designer/contractor for an accurate estimate for the renovation, however an experienced contractor should be happy to assist with design, he/she would know what products / materials work best for your situation and needs. The internet is the best place to find inspiration and design ideas for your home. Another great place for design ideas are all the home-improvement / renovation programs on TV.


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Date/Time10/1/2018 at 12:15:05 AM

If you have an older home with a kitchen in the basement odds are you have an 'illegal suite'. If your intention is to keep and redo the kitchen and to have a basement suite your first step is seeking development approval.

Once development is approved there are many Code aspects to consider including: independent heating and ventilation (no mixing of air from upstairs), drywall with joints taped on walls and ceiling in mechanical room, egress compliant bedroom windows, etc, etc.

All these factors will affect the sq. ft. price - unsure if the contractors responding to your question took this into account.

If you can live with a 'wet bar' instead of a 'kitchen' it would make life much easier.

Regarding the basement insulation; new Energy Codes have recently been introduced and probably you will need to have minimum R-20 'effective' insulation value for the basement walls.

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