Building Tips

Should you Finish your Basement and How Much Does it Cost?

When we were building our house, we decided early in the process to finish most of our basement. For us, this was a great way to add finished square footage to our house at a much more affordable cost.

Finishing a basement on average can range anywhere from $20,000-$50,000. Of course, this all depends on how many square feet you are finishing in the basement and what types of material you will be using.

What Determines the Cost of a Finished Basement?

A few different factors play a part in determining how you will spend on finishing a basement. The biggest one of these of course will be how much room square footage you will be completing. The bigger the area and more wall space, the more money you will spend. More wall space and area equals more labor and material in things like drywall and framing lumber. Also, the ceiling height in your basement plays a part in this as well.

Other things to budget into the finishing of a basement are electrical, plumbing, and painting of both Drylock for moisture resistance and all of the finished painting. Make sure you include both material and labor into your budget. We tend to save lots on the labor end because we like to DIY most of our projects.

For instance, we chose to DIY acid stain the concrete floor in our basement which is tons cheaper than installing tile or hardwood.

Another factor that will play a huge role in the amount you put into finishing your basement is what materials you actually use and what types of rooms you will be doing in this area. When figuring up material costs, make sure to include everything from plumbing PVC pipe to light fixtures. The small things really can add up and add extra cost. It’s very important to consider every aspect and detail.

We finished one bathroom in our basement which is a little more cost considering you will have to purchase a tub, vanity, and toilet, but other than this, we did basic rooms. If you choose to add a second kitchen or home theatre, this will definitely add some extra cost!

Is Finishing your Basement Worth the Extra Cost?

Many people wonder if spending the extra money to finish a basement is even worth it. I would say yes!

The obvious reason is that finishing a basement adds more square footage to your house, which increases its value. The structure is already in place, you are just adding to it. This can be very beneficial and a cheaper way to add more room if you need it. A basement is a great place to add an extra bedroom, a family room, or even a game room.

When reselling a home, many buyers look for homes that have a finished basement. It is not only a great selling point but with the extra square footage, you are able to price your home for more. Although when appraised, a basement doesn’t add as much value as above grade square footage. It still adds value that was actually cheaper to finish. So, it is a win/win on both sides. You can enjoy the extra space, get more resale value out of your home, and it’s affordable square footage to finish.

Should I Finish the Basement While Building or Later?

Determining if you should finish the basement while building or wait until later is more of a personal choice. I will say it may save you some money if you finish this area while completing the rest of the house. Not so much on material, but more on labor considering the workers are already there. One good thing about choosing to finish later is that you will have some time to save up some money. And if you are like us, it will give you something to do, when you start getting the itch for a new project!

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3 Comments

  • Reply KT

    Such a great idea! Curious what you would do with a smaller space? Maybe wine cellar?

    September 26, 2020 at 4:19 pm
  • Reply MN

    We finished ours – new bathroom $10k. Painting and floors another $10k. Now we have 2 offices down there. Kids play area. Home gym rack and weight rack. and Peloton and rowing machine. We love being down there. We use it all the time. Then the house upstairs feels like a separation and truly our home.

    September 28, 2020 at 2:59 pm
  • Reply David

    What region is this house in? Thinking about stained and polished concrete floor, but how cold is it on bare feet??

    September 29, 2020 at 12:07 am
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