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When finishing a basement, the possibilities are endless. Depending on what you already have and what you want done, your costs can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over $30,000. By breaking down your potential expenses, you can determine what your budget should look like and where you might want to opt for less-pricey materials.
Basement renovations typically run around $18,400, according to Home Advisor. But like all projects, the total cost will depend on the size of your space, the materials you choose and the cost of labor in your area.
Here’s what you can expect to pay for small, moderate and major basement renovation projects:
|Size||Square Feet Range||Price Range|
|Small||300 – 700||$9,000 – $52,500|
|Medium||700 – 1,500||$21,000 – $112,500|
|Large||1,500 – 2,000||$45,000 – $150,000|
You have a variety of financing options to finish your basement, including credit cards, personal loans and HELOCs.
While you won’t want to use a credit card to finance your entire basement renovation, it can help pay for furniture and other small projects. And if you invest in a credit card with a high cash back percentage, you can recoup some of the money you spend.
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If you’d prefer to avoid tapping into your home’s equity, you might want to consider a personal loan or line of credit. They typically have lower rates than credit cards and can go as high as $100,000.
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|Min. Credit Score||Good to excellent credit|
|Loan Amount||$5,000 to $100,000|
These are typically your least-expensive options, since both use your home as collateral. However, how much you’re able to borrow depends on the equity you own in your home — among other factors.
|Minimum credit score||Good to excellent credit|
Less expensive materials and doing it yourself will reduce the total cost of your basement renovation. Just keep in mind that certain projects — like working with plumbing or electricity — will likely require a professional.
By framing your basement, you’ll be able to shape your space into rooms — or at least have one large, open area that protects against the elements. But keep in mind that framing estimates typically only include the materials needed. Labor and insulation will increase the price you pay.
Drywalling is the next step when finishing your basement. The more walls you need to put up, the more you’ll pay. Although it may seem simple, precise holes need to be cut for egress windows, doors and electric outlets — as well as any plumbing or ventilation systems that need an outlet. While material costs may be relatively low, be prepared for higher labor costs if you have an extensive basement with multiple rooms.
If you’re starting from a blank concrete canvas, the flooring you want in your basement is up to you. Prices can vary greatly depending on the material you choose:
|Flooring type||Average cost per square foot|
|Laminate||$1 to $6|
|Carpet||$1 to $7|
|Linoleum||$2 to $3|
|Ceramic tile||$5 to $15|
|Hardwood||$5 to $15|
Labor costs will also vary. Some floors can be installed yourself. Others require precise work that can only a professional can do. As with all things home improvement, be sure to get a few estimates from different contractors before you settle on a price.
If your basement is old and only has a small breaker box, new wiring may be necessary to bring it into the 21st century. Materials could cost you anywhere from $6 to $10 a square foot, and labor can actually be cheaper if everything is already exposed. However, adding in a new breaker can increase the price of the job.
If you want to look up without seeing exposed pipes and ductwork, you’ll have to add in a ceiling. The cost of this step will depend on how low those pipes and ductwork hang. In general, you have three options:
The amount you pay will depend on which material you choose and the cost of labor in your area.
Finally, there are smaller updates that can make a big difference in the comfort of your basement:
For waterproofing, ventilation and plumbing, check with your contractor to get an idea of how much these might cost for your space. Fixtures, furniture and paint are all up to you. If you want to save money, you can make these updates a little at a time once the major work is done.
Beyond the material costs for your basement, there are three other areas that will eat up your budget:
The cost of finishing your basement will depend on its current condition and the updates you’d like to make. The less finished the space, the more it will cost to turn it into a cozy hideaway.
We’ve compiled a complete list of home renovation costs to help you find tips on sticking to a budget, choosing what parts to DIY and more.
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