How much is the cost for finishing basement?

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Posted by: from Milton
3/7/2012 at 10:41:36 PM

Hi all,

My husband and I are planning to finish the basement, and would like to get an estimate of how much the cost will be if we have a basic finishing done!! The size of our home is 2661 SQF.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. Looking forward to hearing from you.



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Date/Time3/7/2012 at 11:24:14 PM

Hi Lana,

The range for finishing a basement is from $35 to $75 per square foot. This can vary depending on other items you may want to add such as a washroom, bedroom, laundry facilities, etc.

A project of this size is also going to require plans and a few different permits and inspections. This may also add a little.

Hope this helps with your budgeting.

Jim Kuzma

Kettleby Handyman Services

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Date/Time3/8/2012 at 3:01:30 PM

Hi Lana,

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.

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Harry in Edmonton
Date/Time3/24/2012 at 6:02:53 PM

Lana, I would be careful, about going on the cheap side. Look at the product that they are offering first. The last time I looked at a $35.00 square foot job the people that got it were not in a good mood. The company that did the job was not willing to come back for any service.

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Date/Time4/14/2014 at 10:38:09 AM

Hi Lana,

Very budgetary pricing that you should be getting at the moment so your husband and you can start your discussion, before contact companies to come in to provide more accurate pricing would be as follows:

Approximately $35-$45/sqft for all open areas (rec room, bedroom, storage, etc.).

If you want to add a 3-pc bath (shower), you should add another 8-12K.

Add kitchen/kitchenette varies on size but budget another 6-10K.

There are other items as well (ie. fireplace, media centre, etc.) that would be discussed during a consultation.

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