Homeowners in search of a warm, professional look for their basements often turn to drywall. Drywall ceilings help the basement look as good as upstairs living areas. Drywall can be treated with a variety of textures that are applied by roller or spray applicator. One difficulty associated with drywall ceilings is the necessity of framing in duct work.
The average cost to install an HVAC system in the basement is $4,000 to $6,400 with new ductwork costing an additional $1,500 to $3,000. You might not have to install a separate HVAC system for the basement if the existing unit upstairs can handle the extra workload. If it can’t, then either upgrade your existing unit or install a second unit downstairs. You’ll have to install new ductwork and ventilation either way, unless you install a mini-split system.
When it comes to basement remodels, the most costly way is to start with bare bones. If all you have is concrete walls and floors, you need to add framing, electrical, plumbing, flooring and trim. Basement finishing in a newer home that already has plumbing and electrical roughed in, a watertight foundation and some insulation installed—but no final finishes (like drywall or paint or carpet)—usually costs less than remodeling an already finished basement. This is because when you already have a finished basement, the pros will need to do demolition at the beginning of the project, which can add $500–$1,500 to overall costs.
Do it yourself (DIY) basement finishing costs mostly depend on the cost of materials used. Materials for a 1,200 sqft basement with a small kitchen and bathroom will cost about $19,000 for an open-plan and about $27,000 for one with rooms. DIY basement finishing can save at least 30% of your finishing cost, but you’ll still have to pay for plumbing and electrical work.
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] .
Partitioning your basement into separate rooms transforms it from a storage and utility area to an inviting, warm living space. Framing the basement walls and ceilings makes a tremendous difference in the basement’s appeal. Installing interior walls in a large basement helps to hide expanses of empty space, instantly providing a feeling of coziness. Rooms that can be used for a media room, home office or bedroom will result in extra square footage, increasing the value of the home.
"We love that the basement now has a cozy feel yet is very on-trend and modern. It has doubled our square footage with very usable space and given us an additional bedroom and full bathroom. We used a beautiful door from the 1800s to line the wall behind the urinal in the bathroom, and we burned the cabinets in the dry bar and the bathroom countertop with a blowtorch to achieve a unique look. We lightly etched the concrete floors and then used a urethane, making a mirror-like finish that reflects light."
Accounting for variables such as square footage, materials, electrical and plumbing, the average basement remodel ranges from $11,034 and $29,226. Some cost as little as $5,000, with top of the line remodels costing over $40,000. The average cost to homeowners is $20,126. Expect to spend between $10 and $35 per square foot depending on the changes made.
When it comes to basement renovation, the national average price for a finished basement ranges between $5,000-$70,000. That said, unless you're adding in an elaborate home theater or building in separate rooms with high-end finishes, most Thumbtack customers report paying, on average, between $5,100-$7,150 for their remodeled basement. A finished basement provides you additional living space, increases your home’s value, and offers great return on investment when it comes to home improvement projects.
Because a basement is prone to moisture problems, consider installing steel floor joists and cross-bridging and cover with board sheathing for a total of $4.08/SF. The best flooring for a basement is vinyl or laminate which should be installed as a floating floor to allow for changes in the concrete caused by moisture and temperature. Below are the least expensive options for each flooring material.
The cost of a basement remodel can be significant, but your potential return on investment is just as considerable. In addition to adding to your living space, the average basement remodeling project also increases your home's resale value. The National Association of Realtors considers basement remodels to be among the most valuable home renovations.
Basement remodeling adds value to your home, increases your useable living space, can protect your foundation from moisture damage, and looks great. Many people remodel a basement to create space for an aging parent or to make room for more children. Another reason for basement remodeling is to create a rentable space that is separate from the rest of your home for a long-term renter or for short-term renting.
Any project involving electrical, plumbing, or turning the basement into a livable space, requires permits. Plumbing must be done to code for proper drainage to avoid health issues. It also has to ensure flushing certain waste back into the sewer. Electrical issues can cause short-circuits, blown breakers, and fires. The chance of something happening increases if installation is not done properly from the start, including acquiring the proper permits. If creating a bedroom or other regular living space, permits are required. Emergency escape avenues (for fire and other emergencies) need to be in place as well.
Stucco can be applied directly to cinderblocks, and the process is fairly easy. Since masonry walls are strong, a support system is not required. All that is needed is application of a concrete bonding agent. Traditional application requires a scratch coat, brown coat and finish coat. Advantages of stucco include the unique patterns and textures that can be created to add interest to the basement space. The material is durable and able to accept numerous colors.
Basements can be daunting spaces for remodeling. Cluttered, dark, and chilly, basements often convince homeowners to turn their attention to other projects in the home. But basements don't have to stay that way. They can be remodeled and finished so that they not only integrate with the rest of the home, but become a beautiful and valuable asset to the property.
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