3/8/2012 at 3:01:30 PM
Jim is right. While the price per square foot range is where typical basement finishing falls, it is a useful starting point for design considerations. The reality is regardless of what is being built, the square foot price is only determined by taking the total cost of the project and dividing it by the square feet.
This is not meant to sound disheartening, but it is the truth. The most common question we get asked is "how much will it cost per square foot?" We have built homes from $120.00 per square foot up to $480.00 per square foot.
The best course of action (which you have probably already done) is determine a wish list of what you want to achieve with the basement reno. Then work from there.
Important things to consider with basements:
1) Bedrooms are a big deal! They must have there own dedicated wiring with ARC fault circuit protection and an egress point. In a lot of cases this means a larger window and in most cases a window well. This means excavation all the way down to the weeper and repairing waterproofing.
2) Sub-floors: A big consideration when finishing a basement is the cold concrete floor. The best solution to deal with this is an insulated sub-floor. Not only warm and comfortable throughout the year, it is also more resilient and forgiving then carpet or wood flooring applied over the slab.
3) Stairs: Adding an insulated sub-floor or some other types of flooring raises the floor height of your basement. This means that unless you leave an area around the base of your basement stairs open, you will reduce the riser (vertical part of each stair) which will create a variance that technically no longer meets minimum code requirement. This can lead to a new set of stairs (not a great deal of money and very worthwhile).
4) Plumbing: Is your basement bathroom rough in exactly where you want it? Are the laundry facilities? If not, where these go can have a big effect on the overall price.
5) HVAC: The odds are that your houses heating and air conditioning were not designed for the added living space. This means 9 times out of 10 that you will require a certified design and modifications to your existing system.
6) Ductwork and posts: Is there a post right where you want that pool table? Are the ducts affecting head room?
These among others are all things to seriously consider before starting.
First ask lots of questions. Then bid.