Average Basement Finishing Cost

  • 01 of 04

    What's an Average Basement Finishing Cost?

    Average Basement Finishing Costs
    Average Basement Finishing Costs. (c) Lee Wallender; Licensed to About.com

    Basement finishing seems like a slam dunk. You get to "add" space to your house without all the mess and expense of actually adding on; that is with a house addition. House additions are the granddaddy of space-adders as well as frustration-producers. Few homeowners have enough cash in pocket to pay for an addition (high five figures but more likely six figures), so you're stuck with taking out a line of credit.

    Basement finishing offers the tantalizing hope of being able to pay for...MORE the project out-of-pocket. Not that it's cheap--as we will see in just a moment--but because you can spread out the project over time as your reserves replenish. Because no two houses are the same, let's posit a few different scenarios that reflect average basement finishing costs.


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  • 02 of 04

    Basement Finishing System

    A basement finishing system does not allow for DIY work and runs about $50,000. Basement finishing systems typically are franchised operations that use proprietary materials and place heavy emphasis on controlling moisture and, in general, providing you with a tight, dry, warm space. Appointments are minimal. This estimate is based on a 1,350-square-foot basement, with costs ranging from $35 - $40 per square foot.

    Cost: $47,250 to $54,000

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  • 03 of 04

    Fully Contracted Remodel

    Working with a contractor allows for maximum flexibility, and, essentially, the sky is the limit. Since this is a bespoke basement, it's up to you to go as high as you want. This estimate is for a fully furnished, highly appointed, 640-square-foot basement with full electrical work, bathroom installed, 24-foot partition wall, six doors, wet bar, 15 ceiling lights, and laminate floor. 

    Cost: about $70,000

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  • 04 of 04

    Doing It Yourself

    When you do it yourself, you can do an admirable job for about $10,000. Once again, it depends on how much moisture and temperature control you have to take on, how much of the work you end up hiring out, and how well-appointed the finished space will be.

    I have looked at a lot of DIY basement finishing costs and have yet to see anything below $10,000, for even the most minimal, plain remodel. Basement refinishes are material-heavy, in terms of cost, and your DIY project will undoubtedly cost at...MORE least $10,000 in materials.

    Cost: $12,000 to $25,000