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How much does it cost to finish a basement?

You could spend anywhere from $5,000 to over $30,000.

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.

What is the average cost to finish a basement?

The average cost to finish a basement is $21,155. But, like all home improvement projects, the cost of renovating an unfinished a basement will depend on the size of your space, the materials you choose and the cost of labor in your area. In general, the extent of your renovations will impact the price. Here’s what you can expect to pay for three different basement remodeling projects.

Minor project: $5,000 to $18,000

Finishing your basement could be as simple as adding new flooring, installing a drop ceiling and painting walls. More minor projects won’t break the bank, but they still need to be handled with care. By picking less-expensive materials and doing some labor yourself, you can reduce the cost and still walk away with a cozy space.

But you might have to sacrifice some things — a new bathroom, laundry room or kitchenette may not be possible on a smaller budget.

Moderate project: $19,000 to $29,000

A moderate project may involve adding a few extra rooms or reworking the electrical system so you can add more outlets. With a larger budget, you can also opt for better materials.

Or you might want to spend that money on structural aspects of your basement. Installing egress windows or replacing your hot water heater may less visually apparent, but they’ll add to your home’s safety and efficiency.

Major project: $30,000+

If you have the money to spend, a major renovation will give you much more than simply finishing your basement. You may be able to add luxuries like a wet bar, home theater system or an in-law suite to truly customize your space.

However, depending on the changes you make, your property’s value might not jump up as much as you hoped. This is because major projects leave less room for the next homeowners to customize the space to their own personal preferences.

What factors determine the cost for finishing a basement?

The total cost of each component depends on the materials you choose, the cost of labor in your area and the extent of the work that needs to be done.

Average prices sourced from Home Advisor as of May 2020.

What other costs should I consider?

Beyond the material costs for your basement, there are three other areas that will eat up your budget:

  • Contractor and subcontractors. Finishing a basement is a time-intensive task that requires the work of multiple professionals, including electricians and plumbers. While you can DIY some of the more basic projects, fully finishing your basement will require you to hire outside help — at an additional cost.
  • Permits. Any changes to the foundation or structure of your home will need to be approved by your local municipality. Permits and an inspector are necessary costs to make sure everything is up to code. If not, you may have to demo your space and start again.
  • Adding other rooms. If you want to add a bathroom, kitchenette or laundry room to your basement, expect your costs to rise significantly. These are expensive renovations on their own, and adding them to your basement can get more complicated when it comes to installing the equipment you’ll need to make things functional.

How can I finance the cost to finish my basement?

You have a variety of financing options to finish your basement, including:

  • Home equity loan or line of credit. 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.
  • Personal loan or line of credit. 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.
  • Credit card. 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. These tend to come with higher APRs than the other options on this list. However, some cards come with 0% APR intro periods that can help you spread out costs over several months without paying interest.

Compare loans to finish your basement

Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Loan amount
Best Egg personal loans
5.99% to 29.99%
$2,000 - $50,000
A prime online lending platform with multiple repayment methods.
SoFi personal loans
5.99% to 18.85%
$5,000 - $100,000
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.
Credible personal loans
2.49% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$1,000 - $100,000
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Purchase APR Balance transfer APR Annual fee Filter values
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
This everyday cashback card offers a higher than average welcome offer for no annual fee, letting you earn 20% back on purchases in the first 6 months for up to $150 back, plus $100 after you spend $2,000 in the first 6 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
14.99% to 23.74% variable
This solid 1.5% cashback card gets even better with the addition of up to 5% back in categories like travel, drug stores and dining.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)

Best of Finder 2021

An impressive 18 months intro APR on balance transfers and purchases, as well as no annual fee make this one of the top 0% APR cards available.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

The cost of finishing your basement will truly 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.

Check out our guide to renovating your home for tips on sticking to a budget, choosing what parts to DIY and more.

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