How much does it Cost to Finish my Basement?

A finished basement will create a liveable space out of an unused space and increase the value of a home. The cost of material and labor depends on a number of factors: How many square feet of a basement should be finished? Is it a do-it-yourself project, or is the cost of a contractor included in the plans? The home-owner must also look beyond fixing up an empty storage space and determine whether a finished basement will increase the value of the home. This will help determine the scope of the project.

Cost breakdowns begin with the most basic items. The cost of new walls, floor, ceiling, doors and windows are the first things to consider in the finished basement project. Homeowners should take into consideration the presence of mold and seepage in the basement and noises from the furnace, hot water heater and laundry machines. A good finished basement resists mold and moisture, blocks out unwanted sounds and is well insulated. Saving energy and increasing the comfort of the home is an important goal. The whole family should enjoy the space.

The finished basement makes a great home theater, a terrific play room for the kids or a home office. The cost of the basic finished basement could range from $15-per square foot to $30-per square foot. A new tile floor system will start at $6-per square foot and could go up to $20-per square foot. The framed walls will cost anywhere from $14-per square foot to $18-per square foot. The cost of an electrician to wire the walls could cost thousands of dollars. The wiring in a finished basement is much more complicated than the wiring in an unfinished basement. A new basement window will cost $60 to $100, and a new door will cost approximately $150 to $250.

This is just the cost breakdown of the basic finished basement. It does not include the price of amenities like a new bathroom or a wet bar. The cost of moving big items like the furnace, the hot water heater or the laundry machines can be considerable. Structural changes, like moving a load bearing beam, can be expensive but often seem necessary to the homeowner. Other additions can enhance the finished basement. Grand staircases, arched entrances and enlarged windows can add tremendous value. A hired contractor may charge anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 for the job in the end.

It is a good idea to draw up blueprints at the start of the project to control costs. If it is a do-it-yourself job, time is on the homeowner's side. A finished basement can be done in stages. It is not unusual for a project like this to take years to complete. If the work is spread out over a long period, the costs are as well.