Basement Remodeling Cost

How much does it cost to remodel a basement?

Basement remodeling can be done in many ways, and for this discussion we will consider the costs and requirements for a basement remodel of a 600 square foot space. This project will result in the creation of an entertainment room with a wet bar, an extra bathroom, and a very small storage room as well. A project such as this must not be viewed as a "DIY" project, and several contractors will be necessary for the job (plumbing, installation, electrical, etc.).

For the basement remodel, the typical costs include:

  • According to Hanley Wood and their "Remodeling" magazine the average basement remodel in which a 20'x30' space is converted into a large entertainment area, a 5'x8' full bath, and a 2'x12' auxiliary room, into which full insulation, laminate and vinyl flooring, ten linear feet of cabinetry with countertops, a bar sink, under-counter refrigerator, and various doors and lighting fixtures are installed, will cost $54,288. The resale value of this update would hold at $42,407, or a 78% return on investment.
  • The above figures place the basement remodel at $90.48 per square foot. This pricing structure assumes that carpenters charge an average of $70 per hour, electricians between $65 to $85 per hour,painters between $20 and $35 per hour and plumbers between $45 and $65 per hour.

Cost breakdown

  • Main room:
    • Finish ceilings and walls - Drywall throughout would require 37 panels of 4'x8' for walls and ceiling at $9.80 each (plus screws, nails and finishing compound) for an approximate total of $500 plus approximately 24 hours of installation;
    • Fiberglass wallinsulation with R-19 value will cost $1.80 per square foot (installed) at a cost of $1,008. The ceiling insulation of R30 will be $2.25 per square foot and cost $1,350 plus twelve hours of installation;
    • 3-six-panel primed hardboard doors - Average of $178 each for a total of $534plus twelve hours of installation; and
    • A snap-together laminate flooring system - Average of $7 to $11 per square foot at 536 square feet for a cost of $5896 installed.
  • Bathroom:
    • Standard white toilet - Average cost is $270 plus two hours of installation;
    • Vanity with cultured marble top - Average cost is $600 to $900, plus six hours to install and plumb;
    • Resilient vinyl flooring - Average of $25 to $35 per square yard, for a total of $156;
    • Two-piece fiberglass shower unit - Mid-range models run $700. Most jobs are completed in three hours for a $1000-$1200 total;
    • A light/fan combination- Averages at $180 and one hour of installation; and
    • A recessed medicine cabinet - Averages at $90 and three hours of installation.
  • Bar area:
    • 10 linear feet of raised-panel oak cabinets - Average of $117 to $140 per linear foot installed for a total of $1400;
    • 10 linear feet of laminate countertops - Average of $20 per linear foot installed, for a total of $200;
    • A stainless steel bar sink and faucet - Average price for is $320 to $880, and faucet set of $100 to $200, for an average total of $750;
    • An under-counter refrigerator - Average of $400 to $600 (without delivery and without any rebates taken into consideration). Installation should be included.; and
    • Vinyl floor tile - Average of $25 to $35 per square yard, for a total of $775.
  • Provide electrical wiring and lighting to code - This is going to depend upon the amount of work required, but electricians average from $65 to $85 per hour. This project might be priced on a per item basis, or the electrician might simply base it on the square footage.
  • Provide plumbing to code - The average plumber is going to base their pricing on each individual element of the project. For example, the under-sink plumbing will tend to come in at an average cost of $45 to $65 per hour, plus materials.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • Approximately 15 canister lights and three surface-mounted lights installed in ceiling; and
  • Painting of trim and walls.

Additional considerations and costs

If you are going to work with a contractor it is completely acceptable to ask for at least three different bids from three different groups. This is going to give a very accurate idea of the total costs and the level of control you will have over project.

Typical costs


(20'x30', with full bath and auxiliary room)

Cost to remodel a basement varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). Get free estimates from remodeling contractors in your city.