How Much Does It Cost To ReFinish A Basement?

Residential Basement Refinishing Contractors

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Common Basement Remodeling Ideas: Finished into a family room, add guest bedrooms, home office, Walk outs, Open floor plans, play areas, Bar and entertainment.

The Reality of a Finished Basement. What will it cost?

Your home is your place of peace. For most logical people, the home front is likely to be the most prized physical asset one can posses. This is the place where most people spend the majority of their time, and it provides safety, security and entertainment purposes. In other words, your home is more than just four walls and a roof.

Total space is something that most homeowners lack and or either trying to incorporate more of. One of the best ways to add some much needed square footage is to start with the basement. Unless you’re living in the state of Florida, the homes in your geographical area probably have basements. Though it’s one of the most unused areas in the home, the basement is primed for a ton of growth.

So, it has come to a point to where you’re needing a bit of extra space, or you’re just tired of looking at those bland pipes and unfinished walls of your basement. You’ve finally made up your mind to reinvigorate this cold, lonesome room, but you haven’t got a clue of how to start and where to begin.

First things first, there are two options here. You can either remodel your basement, or you can finish your basement. Remodeling and refinishing are two separate tasks that have two separate objectives. Check out the contrasting differences below to get a better understanding of the two distinct projects.

Remodeling is a bit different than finishing, especially when it comes to home renovations. With remodeling, you’ll be working in a space that’s already completed. The plumbing is already intact as well as the walls and the electrical wiring. You won’t necessarily have to do any infrastructure work, but at the same time, you’ll be doing structural work. To better state it, you won’t have to “gut” your home to complete this task.

Refinishing is similar to starting from scratch or a black canvas. The room is basically halfway finished or completely unfinished. The room isn’t livable at all because it lacks electricity, plumbing as well as walls, which just so happens to be the infrastructure.

Getting started by finding a qualified contractor

How To Get Started

Disclaimer. First things first. If you don’t have any experience with construction, hire a professional contractor. To be fairly honest, home renovation projects are a lot tougher than they appear, especially projects like this. Why? The basement has probably the most potential for growth, but it’s a sub-floor. Basements are prone to water leakage, and it’s basically a part of your home’s foundation.

The last thing you want to do is to start a basement renovation job without having the area examined. Since you’ll be transforming this room into a livable space, just imagine what will happen if your plumbing isn’t up to par. Water is one of the most destructive forces in nature and your home is no exception.

Professional contractors will thoroughly examine the basement not just for plumbing issues, but for potential electrical hazards and for cracks in the foundation. Zoning regulations and permits are also important so check with your local zoning officials before the project begins. Permits and regulations can feel like a hassle, but it’s a necessary evil in a sense.

The work has to be approved, which guarantees the homeowner safety as well as cutting down on lawsuits/litigation. Depending on your location, permit fees can be anywhere between $100 – $3,000. Sewage and septic tanks? Just remember that drainage lines most certainly have to run downhill. If there’s a problem with proper drainage, you’ll have a messy situation, no pun intended. This is where a sewer pump comes into the picture, and it will literally wash away your worries. If this is the case then you can expect the pump’s price range to be somewhere between $150 – $3,000.

What Can I Do To My Unfinished Basement & What Are The Costs?

One of the best things about basement renovations is that the options are nearly endless. Just think about it for a second. You can transform the basement into numerous alternatives such as:

Children’s Playroom

Office / Study

Home Gym

Spare Bedroom

Home Theater Media Room

Man Cave or

Total square footage will be the main deciding factor for how much your basement’s refinishing will cost. For the average “do-it-yourself-er,” refinishing a basement that is less than 700 sq. ft. can start around $5,000, but up to as much as $15,000.

The Average Sized Basement Refinish of up to (1,000 sq.ft.) is generally between $8,000 – $18,500

A Large Sized Basement Refinish that’s greater than (1,000 sq. ft.) is between $15,000 – $35,000

Of course, if you’re starting from an unfinished canvas, you’ll definitely have to start with the bare materials. Most unfinished basements have nothing more than a concrete floor. To totally finish the job, you’ll need to consider upgrading/adding electrical wiring, hanging of drywall, sealing the basement’s floor, insulation, framing in the walls, rerouting or encasing duct work, installation of electrical outlets and many more.

Drywall is generally the weapon of choice because it’s sturdy, can come in numerous colors and can be mold resistant. The standard 8-feet tall-by-4-feet wide drywall panel can range between $10 – $20. That’s generally around $1.50 per sq. ft. Depending on the thickness and the brand, prices can drastically increase. Also, you should consider the costs of drywall mud and joint tape.

The Framing is critical also because it leaves the spaces for windows, closets and doors. Wood is the primary building material and don’t forget about the necessary hardware, which secures everything together. Generally, you can expect to pay an estimated $1 per sq. ft.

Basement Flooring Options

The basement is just like any other room, but then again, it’s not like any other room. Yes, this can sound a bit confusing, but there’s a method to the madness. One of the biggest dilemmas with sub-flooring is the use of hardwood. Technically, since the basement is below ground, hardwood isn’t the ideal option, but there are ways to make turn this dream into a reality.

If you just so happen to go with hardwood, make sure this room is air-tight and that it’s not prone to water leakage. The idea is to keep moisture to a minimum as moisture can from water water and humidity. The best route to take here would be Engineered Hardwood. This type of wood is great for sub-flooring because it’s resistant to fluctuating humidity levels.

This means that the wood won’t swell or shrink. Engineered wood is very versatile as it comes in numerous color tones, and it’s very durable. Many upscale homes tend to use engineered hardwood and for a 20’x20′ sq. ft. room, the costs can be between $2,500 – $4,200. If your basement has a more complex design, running costs could be expanded to over $3,300.

Carpet is still one of the best tried and true materials for flooring. Besides being extremely comfortable, carpet comes in a variety of colors, textures and thickness. Each feature can effect the total running cost of installation, especially if there is physical labor of moving furniture around. Based on a per foot basis and based on the type of carpet, this material costs can be between $1 -$11 per sq. ft. Any special cuts and padding could add to to the end price, so keep that in-mind. The standard 12’x12′ sq. ft. room can end up being between $300 – $750.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tile is another great option for basement flooring. This versatile material is very popular with homeowners thanks to being water and dirt resistance. The durability of ceramic and porcelain tiles is also wonderful as these materials can last up to 20 years with good maintenance. The colors and patterns of choice is extremely high, which helps you give your newly stored basement a personal touch. These materials are also much easier to install for “do-it-yourself-ers.” Check out the price estimates below.

Basement Less Than 200 sq. ft. Estimated $1,100

Basement Between 200 – 1,000 sq. ft. Estimated $2,900

Basement More than 1,000 sq. ft. Estimated $6,900

Factoring Your Basement Ceiling

The last thing to factor in is the Ceiling. A smooth drywall finish is usually the route most taken. Most homeowners tend to keep things basic for the ceiling area, but if the duct work and pipes are hanging lower than the joists, you won’t have a smooth, clean finish. A great way of masking the uneven ceiling levels is to painting the entire ceiling the same color.

Certain paints and certain lighting can give your basement ceiling a more even perception. Professional painters will charge between $300 – $500 for this task or you can do the job on your own by renting a sprayer. Depending on your location, this is generally around $100 per day.

If your duct work and pipes are above the joists then you wont need to worry about an uneven ceiling. You can either use Sheet Panels or Drywall for this. Sheet panels will run between $15 -$30 per panel while drywall will run around $15 per panel.

Another popular alternative is “Tongue & Groove Wood.” This type of material is very light in weight, and it looks good. Tongue & Groove Wood can add warmth to your basement ceiling and it costs in the range of $1 -$3 per sq. ft. of paneling.

Refinishing your basement should be a joyful experience whether you do it yourself, or you’re working with a professional contractor. Once you’ve fully completed the project, this room can certainly add plenty of property value as well as entertainment value for you, your family and your friends.