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While it’s difficult to predict exactly how much a finishing project will cost without understanding the specifics of the basement in question, the average cost can give you a good indication of what to expect.

And according to HomeAdvisor, the nationwide average for this kind of project is around $18,395 once labor, construction permits, and materials are considered.

However, this only tells part of the story.

Depending on the scope of the project and the original condition of the basement, a finishing project could cost anywhere from $2,800 to well over $33,000. It really depends on how much work is involved and what you plan to use your finished basement for.  

There are many different factors that contribute to the cost of a basement remodel, and one of the most critical of these is size.

Take a look at this table to learn more about nationwide cost averages based on basement size.

Basement size in square feetAverage basement finishing cost
400$6,000
500$6,000
700$10,500
800$12,000
1,000$15,000
1,200$18,000
1,500$21,350

Breaking Down the Costs of Finishing Your Basement 

What’s included in the costs of finishing your basement? According to basementguides.com, here are the averages:

  • Framing ($1 per square foot)

  • Hanging drywall ($1.50 per square foot)

  • Ceiling ($3.50 per square foot)

  • Flooring ($3.50 per square foot)

  • Electrical ($750 - $1,600 total)

  • Permits ($50 to $1,000)

    • You may also need additional electrical, plumbing, heating or cooling permits which can add to the cost.
  • Labor (Usually between 30 - 40% of the total cost)

    • Framing
    • Flooring
    • Electricions 
    • Plumbing

However, if you complete the work yourself (DIY), you can save money. If you don’t have the expertise, though, it will be an extremely difficult process.

Check out this chart from basementguides.com to see the difference in pricing:

Size of BasementDIY CostProfessional Cost
Small (<700 square feet)$9,500$15,000
Average (700-1,000 square feet)$12,000$22,500
Large (1,000+ square feet)$18,500$35,000

Types of Basement Finishing

There are three types of basements when it comes to finishing, that can easily be categorized: unfinished, partially finished, and finished.

Here’s how we define them:

  • Unfinished Basement

    • Rarely liveable
    • Typically includes appliances like washer/dryer, water heater, etc
    • Good use for a workbench/workspace for DIY projects
  • Partially Finished Basement

    • Typically half liveable and might include a separate bathroom
    • Could be used for kids playroom or include a family hangout space
  • Finished Basement

    • Fully liveable like the rest of the house
    • Used for an office or living room
    • Appealing for potential buyers.

Depending on what you’re going for, these are the types of projects you might be looking at, and how much they’ll cost:

The Cost Of Finishing A Basement Bathroom

A basement bathroom helps you get more out of your basement, elevating it from just an additional area of space in your home to something far more functional and useful. To finish a basement and add a bathroom to the set-up, you can expect to spend somewhere in the region of $49,000, based on the nationwide average.

Generally, the bathroom part of the set-up will cost you around $15,000 for a standard space of between 30 and 50 square feet. But, of course, many basements are bigger than this, and if you want to go all out on a 100-square foot project with luxury and spa features, you could be looking at as much as $90,000.

You may be able to save some money on the project if your basement has existing plumbing fixtures and drains.

The Cost Of Turning A Basement Into A Bedroom

Basements make great bedrooms, thanks to their relative seclusion and insulation compared to other areas of the house, and you can expect to pay around $22,200 on average to complete your project. Just bear in mind that you may need to pay more in order to make sure that the space is fully up to code. 

This may include installing an egress window — i.e., a window large enough to facilitate safe escape in the event of an emergency — which can cost between $2,505 and $5,240 per window on average.

Remember that these prices refer to a basic bedroom set-up that meets all applicable safety codes. It does not include any additional features you may want to install in your bedroom, which are likely to push the cost up further. 

The Cost Of Turning A Basement Into An Apartment

You could choose to install a bathroom in your basement, or you may decide to put a bedroom in your space. But what about going further than this? How about going all the way and installing an apartment in your basement? This is a space that is going to provide you with everything you need in a living space, adding considerable value to your home if the project is handled in the right way.

This is not a project to be taken lightly, and so you can expect the costs to run to around $61,000, based on the nationwide average for a studio apartment with a kitchenette, a bathroom, and a laundry area. 

Additional features such as cabinetry, expensive appliances, and extra entry and exit areas push the price up considerably, and you may end up with an overall project cost of over $110,000.

Creating an apartment with a separate bedroom — rather than an open-plan studio space — will increase the price a little further and the average for an apartment in this configuration is around $63,000 — $2,000 more than the studio price. 

Remember, this is only an average, and features such as hardwood flooring, custom designs, or stoneware could see you spending up to $12,500. 

There are other variables too. 

An apartment will include a kitchenette — which means it will include kitchen appliances and fittings. These will need to be wired and plumbed in as appropriate, and you will also need wiring and plumbing in other key areas around the space. If you already have many of these power points and water connections in place within your basement, you can knock thousands of dollars off the total cost of the project.

The Cost Of Creating a Basement Bar

Another popular project that we’re seeing homeowners get started on right now is basement bars. 

After all, the basement makes the perfect space for entertaining friends and family.

But how much is it going to cost?

According to HomeAdvisor, a home bar will set you back an average of $8,000, which when added to the typical nationwide cost of a basement project, means the total cost is going to be around $26,000.

Of course, the cost depends on the size of your basement and the specification you choose for your bar, however with most of us spending more time at home than ever before, it’s easy to see why it’s become an increasingly popular project to place high on a renovation wishlist.

How Much Does Finishing A Basement Increase The Value Of Your Home?

Homebuyers are often willing to pay more for a property that has a basement finished. 

This is additional space — after all, either for projecting the homebuyer’s own redevelopment vision onto or for moving into and using straight away. 

In general, property appraisers add an additional $70 to the price of a house for each square foot of basement space, but for finished basements, this is increased to $100 per square foot. 

It might not sound like much, but it quickly adds up. A property with a 700-square foot finished basement, for example, would be worth $21,000 more than the same property with an unfinished basement. And, of course, this can differ based on your location. 

Generally speaking, you can expect to recoup around $700 for every $1,000 spent on your basement remodeling spend. 

The first priority should be creating a basement that you and your household can use and enjoy, but bear in mind this value increase too. This figure is based on a national average for a midrange basement finishing project - not something upscale.

If you’re ready to start on your basement renovation, you’re in the right place. Get an estimate from RenoFi to see how much you can borrow.

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