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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 of finishing a basement is roughly $18,400 USD, or $25,200 CAD. Basement renovation costs on average about $21,600 USD, or $29,500 CAD. Some estimates put the average cost per square foot between $35 and $55.

Like all home improvement projects, the cost of renovating an unfinished a basement depends on the size of your space, the extent of your renovations, the materials you choose and the cost of labor in your area. 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.

The following cost estimates are in USD.

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 to finance the cost of finishing your basement

There are several ways you can finance your basement renovation. Learn more in our guide on how to finance home improvement and repairs.

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. The more equity you own, the more you might qualify to borrow.

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.

Personal loans

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, which requires 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 loan options for home renovations

1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Interest Rate (APR) Min. credit score Provincial availability Other loans offered
Homewise Home Equity Line of Credit
Varies
600
Not available in Quebec
First mortgage, Second mortgage, HELOC, Bridge mortgage
Homewise's personal advisors can get you HELOC rates from over 30 banks and lenders.
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Fairstone Secured Personal Loan

Fairstone Secured Personal Loan

Alpine Credits Home Equity Loan

Alpine Credits Home Equity Loan

APR
APR 19.99% - 24.49% 10.00% - 22.99%
Loan Term
Loan Term 36 - 120 months Up to 60 months
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $5,000 - $60,000 $10,000 - $500,000
Fees
Fees Varies by province 5.00% - 8.00% of the APR covers closing & admin fees
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 560 300
Provinces/Territories Serviced
Provinces/Territories Serviced Canada-wide (excluding Nunavut) AB, BC, ON, QC
Requirements
Requirements 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
Learn more
Learn more

Read review

Read review

1 - 6 of 9
Name Product Ratings APR Range Loan Amount Loan Term Broker Compliance Requirements
Spring Financial Personal Loan
Finder Score:
★★★★★
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
10.8% - 46.99%
$500 - $35,000
6 - 60 months
Requirements: min. income $2,000/month, 3+ months employed, min. credit score 550
Loans Canada Personal Loan
Finder Score:
★★★★★
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
6.99% - 46.96%
$300 - $50,000
3 - 60 months
Loans Canada is a loan search platform with access to multiple lenders. Applicants will be matched with a suitable lender based on credit history and borrowing requirements.
Requirements: min. credit score 300
LoanConnect Personal Loan
Finder Score:
★★★★★
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
8.99% - 46.96%
$500 - $50,000
3 - 120 months
LoanConnect is a loan search platform with access to multiple lenders. Applicants will be matched with a suitable lender based on credit history and borrowing requirements.
Requirements: min. credit score 300
easyfinancial Personal Loan
Finder Score:
★★★★★
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
9.99% - 46.96%
$500 - $100,000
9 - 120 months
Requirements: min. income $1,200/month
Mogo Personal Loan
Finder Score:
★★★★★
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
9.90% - 46.96%
$500 - $35,000
6 - 60 months
Requirements: min. income $35,000/year, min. credit score 600
Fig Personal Loans
Finder Score:
★★★★★
12.99% - 31.99%
$2,000 - $30,000
24 - 60 months
Requirements: min. income $5,000/month, 6+ months employed, min. credit score 700
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Bottom line

The cost of finishing your basement depends on its current condition and the change you want to make. Factors that impact your cost include the price of materials, your basement square footage and whether you hire labourers choose to do the work yourself.

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