There is no shortage of modern basement ideas to borrow from. Unused basements tend to get filled with every old and unwanted item in the house from worn out furniture to childhood memorabilia. Unfortunately, this is letting precious square footage go to waste. The basement is a perfect space that could be transformed into a warm and welcoming area for your family and friends to enjoy.
There are several types of basement remodeling depending on the outcomes you want. Whether you have nothing but damp concrete walls and floors or you have a finished basement with painted walls, a pool table and a wet bar will determine the scope of work for your basement remodel and the cost. Here are some common basement remodeling projects that homeowners take on and their related costs.
Additions & RemodelsAcoustic CeilingsArchitectureCarpentryCarpet CleaningCleaningDecks & PatiosDemolitionDesignersDoorsDrywall & InsulationElectricalEngineeringFencingFlooringGaragesGlass & MirrorsGuttersHandymanHome SecurityHome TheaterHome BuilderHome InspectorsJunk RemovalHVACLandscapingMasonryPainting & StainingPavingPest RemovalPlumbingRoofingSidingSnow RemovalSolarSwimming PoolsTesting & AbatementTile & StoneTree RemovalWindows
Concrete will always crack eventually, and any existing foundation must be inspected before a basement finish to see if it’s in good condition. Minor foundation crack repairs cost $620 or more to fix, while major repairs that require hydraulic piers can cost $10,000 to $15,000. If your foundation is sinking, mudjacking costs $3 to $6 per square foot to raise the slab.
Pipes will have to be brought down, and a sewage pump and backwater valve might have to be installed to ensure proper drainage of effluent and bath/shower water if gravity doesn’t work in your favor. Take care to ensure moisture prevention with a dehumidifier and vented fan system. Many building codes have minimum dimensions regarding how close each fixture can be to the next.
The basement depicted here had unused space underneath the stairs. Why not transform this area into a storage or display area instead? These homeowners found some usable square footage in their home by remodeling their basement into a space-conscious hangout, an inventive and creative strategy that shows you don’t have to substitute style for function.
Before using this basement remodeling calculator, understand that its pricing is based on a few basic assumptions about your floor. The calculator is assuming that you’re starting with a concrete floor in an unfinished basement. Anything beyond that, including removal of old flooring materials, is not taken into account in this estimate. You should keep this in mind.
Finishing a basement can cost between $25–$50 per square foot on average, depending on how the basement is finished, whether any challenges come up or whether there are special circumstances with the project. For this reason, a 1,000-square-foot basement can cost up to $50,000 or more to finish. Virgil Miranda of Virgil Miranda’s Construction, a general contracting company based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, says it can be tricky to estimate remodeling jobs based on square footage alone, due to the variance in each job. Larger basements may have a lower cost per square foot than tiny remodel jobs.
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.
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.
You can fit a full bathroom with tub/shower combination in a room that measures 40-square feet. However, on average, a smaller bath (with just a stand-up shower) or a half-bath usually needs to be about 30-square feet for comfort and functionality. Depending on the basement space and layout, you may be able to go with a larger 60-square feet or more bathroom space. Creating bathroom with a separate water closet may require 100-square feet or more.
Take care of some initial insulation in the basement by adding slip foam insulation on your cold-water pipes to prevent condensation from building up and then dripping inside your drywall or ceiling. Put slip foam on the hot-water pipes to prevent the loss of any heat. This should be done before boxing in any of the pipes in the basement. Tube pipe foam insulation costs approx. $1.50 – $3.70 per six-foot piece, which can range from ½” – 1” in thickness.
Adding carpet to your extra bedroom is a great way to separate this space from your basement, and make the room feel like an escape. There’s nothing like getting up and putting your feet on a soft carpet. Another pro of carpet is that it’s cheaper than hardwood flooring, or other popular flooring options. The average cost to install carpeting is $1,628, with homeowners reporting prices between $862 and $1,831.
If time is critical, consider a basement finishing kit. A finishing kit has insulated wall panels, and some include a walkable flooring surface and ceiling material for DIY installation. Depending on the size of your basement, these kits can be installed in a weekend. However, the floor won't be carpeted, the walls won't be painted, and there will be no electrical or plumbing. Other features such as doors, trim work, and more also need to be added.