September 16, 2016 in Smart Money

How much does it cost to finish a basement?

Transforming a basement into a second living room, workshop or playroom for the kids is a clever way to improve the value of a property, expanding the usable square footage and making your home more versatile. However, this is a serious undertaking, and it is essential to understand how much it costs to finish a basement to the necessary standard to meet building codes.

What is a finished basement?

Before calculating your budget for a basement project, it is important to know how building codes define the term “finished.” Local codes vary, so research is essential; however, as a general guideline:

Overview of costs

The average cost of remodeling a basement in the United States is $18,618, according to figures published by However, many factors affect the cost of finishing a basement, and as a result costs range from as low as $5,000 up to as much as $40,000. Most homeowners spend approximately $10,579 to $36,972.

The size of the basement is a strong indicator of what the cost is likely to be. Small basements could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, while large basements in excess of 1,000 square feet could cost anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000.

Costs to consider

Remodeling or finishing a basement incurs a range of costs, from demolition work to new electrical wiring. Every job is different, and in some cases you may be able to do some of the work yourself to minimize expenses, but common costs include:

The value of a finished basement

A basement project has the potential of a 75% return on investment, according to reports by Remodeling magazine, making it one of the best ways to add value to your home. In addition to added value, it also provides functionality, as it creates a new space for use as anything from a guest bedroom to a workshop. However, finishing a basement can come at a significant price, and it pays to research your options carefully before calculating a workable budget. Bear in mind that the size of the room, its purpose, and your local building codes all play a part in determining the costs.

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