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How much does it cost to finish a basement?
You could spend anywhere from $5,000 to over $50,000.
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 $50,000. 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 $27,500. 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 $24,000
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: $25,000 to $47,000
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: $48,000+
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 in CAD sourced from Home Advisor as of July 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 an introductory low interest rate or ongoing low rates.
Compare loans to finish your basement
There are several ways you can finance your basement renovation.
Home equity lines of credit
If you’re looking for competitive interest rates, you can take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC). A line of credit allows you to take out funds whenever you need them and pay them back whenever you want or can. To secure a lower rate, the equity that you own in your home will serve as collateral.
Compare home equity lines of credit
Home equity loans
Much like a HELOC, you can use equity in your home to take out a home equity loan. While you can get competitive rates since you’re using your home as collateral, you’ll want to pay back the loan on time and in full in order to minimize any risks involving your home.
Compare home equity loans
Fairstone Secured Personal Loan
Alpine Credits Home Equity Loan
|19.99% - 24.49%||10.00% - 22.99%|
|36 - 120 months||Up to 60 months|
|$5,000 - $50,000||$10,000 - $500,000|
|Varies by province||5.00% - 8.00% of the APR covers closing & admin fees|
|All across Canada||AB, BC, ON, QC|
|Canadian resident, age of majority in your province of residence, home equity to use as collateral||Canadian citizen or permanent resident, must be a homeowner, no consumer proposal from past 3 years, no bankruptcy from past 7 years|
If you don’t want to take out equity in your home to secure a loan (or you don’t own a home to do so), you can take out a personal loan. To get a lower rate, you’ll want to take out a secured loan – however this requires that you offer up some type of collateral. While an unsecured loan comes with slightly higher rates than secured loans, they are the least dangerous since you don’t have to secure your loan with any collateral.
Compare personal loans
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. The cost of materials, size of the space, and whether you do a lot of the work yourself or hire a professional will impact the cost.
Check out our guide to financing options for you basement here.
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