Quoting a basement reno

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Posted by: from Barrie
9/1/2013 at 8:24:33 PM

I am finding it difficult to price out full basement renos. I have been told by some that it can be done for $19 a square foot, without flooring or baseboards, with a basic finish. And I have been told $30 a square foot complete. Now I am not sure, for some reason I haven't asked, if these numbers include tax or not.

Here is an example,

1100 sq.

Dri core subfloor

Laminate flooring

12 to 16 pot lights, 20 plugs and switches

Standard 3 pc bath

Open concept

New insulation, framing, board and tape, paint, trim, a few doors

Just looking for some ball park numbers, rough ideas



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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time9/1/2013 at 9:17:07 PM

Your job for electrical must be done to code, not only to home owners request. You need to include minimum.... 1 receptacle for every 10 linear feet of usable wall space, plus any space that has more than 4 linear feet with some codes discrepancies. not in closets, behind sinks, dedicated for any appliances, etc..

switches and lighting must be minimal as well and include GFCI, AFCI where applicable with 3 and 4 ways possible for stairs.

All work MUST have an ESA inspection to be done legally.

Cost will range from $2600-3200.

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Date/Time9/1/2013 at 9:20:13 PM


The reason the estimates (not quotes) vary is that there still is a lot on information required. (A quote is a firm price, an estimate is subject to change).

Some questions that should be answered are: the height of the ceiling, is the ceiling open or covered, will you require additional circuits for the power ... of perhaps a larger breaker panel, are the walls (exterior) to be 2x4 or 2x6, what type of insulation ... batt, solid ... foam, what plumbing is already in place, what price tag have you alotted to bathroom items (including accessories) be aware that your contractor may have to sub-contract electrical and plumbing if he/she isn't licensed to do the work, what type of paint ... and so on.

Steve, I would suggest that you take some time and write down as much detail as you can and even go to a local Home Depot/Rona/other home building supplier and get some prices. The flooring can vary quite a bit as too the bathroom fixtures.

The labour should be fairly similar between contractors. Ones that have done this work before may charge more but will have it done quicker. If you have two estimates (based on comparing all materials being equal) and they are wide apart, request additional contractors to estimate. It all takes time but you want the job done properly, with the qualityy of material you budget for, and for a fair labour cost.

Again, I must stress the importance for you to do some research to make sure everything is crystal clear.

Hope this helps.



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Date/Time9/1/2013 at 11:12:45 PM

Hi Steve,

It is tough to come up with a dollar figure per square foot due to all the options available these days in finishes, flooring, fixtures, etc. but a good guideline to start at here in Alberta is $45 - $50 per square foot based on your example. In my experience, the materials alone would exceed $20 per square foot. I often suggest to clients that they finish the portion of the basement they can afford to do properly now and finish the next phase later.

My own basement is missing a bathroom as it wasn't in my budget at the time but I'm glad I finished the other rooms as I did, it's tough (and expensive) to upgrade a basement once it is finished.

If you work with a good contractor that communicates well and is willing to understand your needs and wants clearly, you will end up with the finished product that you hope for.

Almost forgot, my numbers above do not include tax, and I would doubt that the numbers you have already received do either.

Hope this info helps,


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Robert from Alair Homes Toronto in Toronto
Date/Time9/2/2013 at 12:31:57 PM

As a contractor yourself you should be getting quotes from all the other sub trades to make sure the pricing is accurate and real and not just guessing. There is no such thing as a general price per square foot as every basement is unique. You need to do your home work first before pricing any jobs. If not you may find yourself losing money or having an unhappy homeowner.

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Date/Time9/2/2013 at 12:45:40 PM

Hi Steve,

As other posts have mentioned, there is no way to give you an accurate price without a lot more detail.

But if it helps. my finish in my own basement ran about 24.00 per square foot for all of my materials and sub contract labout for electrical and plumbing. My Bathroom materials ran another eight thousand dollars (all high end). And my labour would have been about twenty thousand....had I charged myself!

I finish basements for clients from about twenty dollars per square foot complete, with a decent finish and materials. Based on your 1100sq'.

And have finished the same sq' up to fourty two dollars per sq' complete, with high end finishes.

With an accurate list of what you want, I can give you an accurate quote. Others can as well.

I look forward to reading it.

James Fram

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Date/Time9/2/2013 at 3:00:05 PM

Hello Steve

It may be a good time to consider the mechanical workings. Having a comfortable enviroment, is going to

have a impact on the occupants. Heating/Cooling combined with Air Quality from season to season will determine how much time is spent enjoying the space.


Browns Home Htg & A/C

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Tory in Toronto
Date/Time1/4/2014 at 1:07:35 AM

It's very hard to provide an accurate price details without seeing the renovation project. I, also agree with Steve that heating and cooling from season to season will determine your enjoyment of staying. So, always maintain your ac and heater during summer and winter respectively.

Read [url=]this post[/url] for more valuable information.

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