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Basement Remodeling Costs Nobody Tells You About

Basement Remodeling Costs
Remodeling a basement is not an inexpensive undertaking. The reported average cost to complete an unfinished basement is between $6,500 and $15,000. Not pocket change for most home owners. If you have an unfinished basement you can save money. An unfinished basement is slightly less expensive as you save some money on demolition. If you have a basement that is already finished in some manner this is more expensive. A finished basement will cost between $8,500 and $17,000. This includes the costs of demolition and starting over from scratch.

Demolishing an existing basement costs approximately $2000. This includes labor and removal of all the debris.

This is merely an average though. Selecting higher quality materials will make your costs more than this average. Luxury basements with extremely high end materials can cost over $70,000. To determine a project cost for a luxury remodel take the underlying cost of the materials themselves into consideration. The national average does not normally include rare wood floors, or Italian marble floors.

When remodeling on a more normal level the costs are not beyond the reach of most home owners. In a normal basement remodel the average the cost per square foot ranges between $30 and $75 for a professionally completed project. There are ways to save on these costs such as doing some of the tasks yourself and sourcing your materials wisely.

One of the main expenses in any remodeling project are labor costs. To help you determine what you can expect to pay, there are the following general categories of laborers;

For some home owners simply making a family room isn’t enough. Converting your basement involves into a fully functional apartment means adding a kitchen and bathroom. This may run between 20 and 50 thousand dollars. The cost of this endeavor revolves around the costs of both the kitchen and the bathroom. An average kitchen installation can run around $30,000. An average for a new bathroom is $20,000. These costs are in addition to the costs that are incurred by remodeling the rest of your basement.

Some homes are not built with large basements. Home owners that need to make a bit more room in order to have the basement of their dreams may need to dig out more beneath their existing homes. Adjusting the footprint of your home by digging out a larger basement is going to cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. The extent that you need to widen your existing basement is what will decide where you fall in this price range.

Keep in mind that the size of your basement will largely determine the cost of your remodel. A smaller sized basement may range between $5000 and $15,000. A modest sized basement adds around $3000 to this cost. A full sized basement is normally considered to be one that is over 1000 square feet. A larger basement like this may cost anywhere from $15,000 doing it yourself.  If you hire a professional to complete a large size remodel it can be $40,000 .

Another option to consider is investing in a basement finishing system. A basement finishing system comes prefabricated and consists of the walls and ceiling necessary to finish out a basement area. These basement finishing systems cost anywhere between  $45,000 to $50,000 and can be installed by home owners, or by professionals. This is often a very good option for home owners who don’t have a lot of experience in construction.

For the more enterprising do it yourself type of home owner a basement remodel is something that is possible. With time, effort and patience most home owners can complete a basement remodel. To help these types of home owners the costs of different portions of a basement remodel are detailed below.


  • Drop Ceilings: $1-$4 per square foot
  • Painted: $200 if you do it yourself, up to $500 for professional help
  • Drywall: $1.75-$2.30


  • Finished, non-load bearing interior: $3-$5/square foot
  • Removing a load bearing support and installing a new beam: $7,000-$25,000 depending on the amount of supports and the distance to span.


Full bathroom

  • Installation including a sink, toilette and shower: $12,000-$20,000


  • The national average for building permits is $911/permit.


  • Sealing exterior walls and concrete floor: $7.87/sq ft7000)

Egress windows

  • $2,500 to $5000 depending on the depth of the well and complexities of drainage.


  • Spray Foam: $0.44 to $1.00 per board foot. A board foot is 1 foot by 1 foot and 1 inch deep. To get the price for your remodel you would take the square feet you wish to insulate, an then multiply by the depth. So a 3 inch deep area would be 3 board feet.
  • Batt Insulation: $0.51 to $1.19 per square foot.
  • Rigid insulation: $1.23 to $2.25 to have installed professionally


  • $100/ recessed light installed