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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 - 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 1 flooring - Average of $25 to $35 per square yard, for a total of $156;
    • Two-piece fiberglass 3 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 1 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 5 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.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others
2 Drywall: Type of plasterboard, commonly used to build walls and ceilings, composed of gypsum that is layered between sheets of heavy paper
3 Fiberglass: Plastic that is reinforced with glass fibers. The fibers may be mixed randomly throughout the plastic, or come in the form of a flat sheet, or be woven into a fabric
4 Hardboard doors: A door finished with a surface made of high-density fiberboard, an engineered wood product also called hardboard, and factory painted to look like wood. This term can also refer to a door with a solid hardboard core and wood veneer panels
5 Canister lights: A type of recessed lighting where the light is installed into a hole in the ceiling, giving downward light.

Cost to remodel a basement varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Ambler, PA
Arvada, CO
Austin, TX
Bluffton, SC
Boston, MA
Bronx, NY
Buford, GA
Camarillo, CA
Charlotte, NC
Chicago, IL
Clinton, NC
Colorado Springs, CO
Columbus, OH
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Edison, NJ
Foley, AL
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fort Worth, TX
Fremont, CA
Greensboro, NC
Hartford, WI
Hawthorne, NJ
Holt, MI
Houston, TX
Indianapolis, IN
Jacksonville, FL
Kansas City, MO
Knoxville, TN
Lansdale, PA
Laurel, MD
Lenexa, KS
Lexington, KY
Lincoln, NE
Lombard, IL
Los Angeles, CA
Metairie, LA
Minneapolis, MN
Mukilteo, WA
Naperville, IL
New City, NY
New York, NY
Norwalk, CT
Oak Ridge, TN
Oklahoma City, OK
Olathe, KS
Orlando, FL
Pennington, NJ
Peoria, IL

Labor cost in your zip code

Methodology and sources