Basement renovations are often the most cost-effective way to add more casual living space for your family because you can use the existing foundation and structure, and the overall cost per square foot will be less and choosing to opt for a home addition. They tend to cost between $35 and $70 per square foot, but can vary depending on your requirements. In this article, you’ll see where that money goes.
Time for a basement renovation? Here’s a cost breakdown
When planning on going through with a basement renovation, your first step is to think about what you want to do with the space. Your basement has so much potential, so it can easily be a really interesting project. Once you’ve figured out what you want to get done, determine whether or not some walls will need to be put up or not. They’ll allow you to separate the space and create multiple rooms. On average, we’ve noticed that putting up a wall costs about $3,000/wall, for which it’s recommended to use gypsum. It helps soundproof the space, is fairly resistant and will allow your basement contractor to sand and paint it the way you’d like.
Quotes will differ from one contractor to another, as will the services they’re qualified to provide. Plan your budget based on your desired outcome.
Depending on your location, here are the average prices you can expect to pay:
|Basement Elements||Greater Montreal
Average Costs (2023)
Average Costs (2023)
|Turnkey (without bathroom)||$25,000 to $50,000+||$32,000 to $63,000+|
|Bathroom||$10,000 to $22,000||$12,500 to $28,000|
|Walls & Joint Sealing||Gypsum: $2/sq.ft. + $1,500 for joints||Gypsum: $3/sq.ft. + $1,900 for joints|
|Ceiling||$3.00 to $5.00/sq.ft.||$3.75 to $6.25/sq.ft.|
|Insulation||$2 to $3.00/sq.ft.||$2.50 to $3.75/sq.ft.|
|Flooring||$3 to $11/sq.ft||$3.75 to $14/sq.ft.|
*Many factors can influence the total cost of renovations, including, but not limited to, the type of work to be done, the required labor, the needed materials, the protective measures, the length of the project (faster=higher cost) and contingencies.
Consequences of COVID-19 on the construction and renovation sectors
Keep in mind that certain unforeseen events due to COVID-19 may affect the cost of renovation projects without notice. For example, the industry has come across a treated lumber shortage since the first lockdown, resulting in a massive fluctuation of prices. Other construction materials are likely to experience similar issues. For more details, read our article: Rising Lumber Prices: Another COVID-19 Effect?
What does a turnkey basement renovation include?
A turnkey basement consists in stripping your basement back to its original, bare state (i.e. removing walls, flooring, etc.) and re-doing it. This means putting up new walls, insulating the walls adjacent to the foundation, adding a gypsum ceiling, putting in some flooring, sealing joints, and painting the entire basement. Some basement renovations also include getting custom cabinetry and furnishing made. If you choose to add a bathroom to a basement that never had one, to begin with, you’ll certainly need to add extra costs to that.
Adding a bathroom in the basement
If you’ve opted to get a bathroom installed in your basement, chances are your contractor will need to demolish part of your concrete slab (foundation) to get some pipes through to the basement. Depending on the way your home is built, the entire process can be lengthy and quite costly. It might cost you an additional $3,500 to your basement reno. However, if you already had a bathroom in your basement and you just want to remodel it, the original piping should work just fine. Of course, what you choose to put in your bathroom will dictate the overall cost of the renovation. Are you looking to add a custom-made bathroom? Maybe a clawfoot tub? Or custom cabinetry made of a particular material? Possibilities are endless when it comes to renovating a bathroom. On average, adding a small-sized bathroom to your basement will cost an additional $12,500 to $28,000 (depending on factors like materials, furnishing, etc.) to your overall basement renovation. Conversely, a bathroom on the main floor will cost anywhere between $10,000 and $23,000.
If you’re looking for a greater bathroom cost breakdown, take a look at our Bathroom Renovation Cost article.
Painting always goes according to the space’s square footage. It’s calculated by labour hours and the quantity of paint used. We’re used to seeing basements being painted for anywhere between $1,000 and $2,600.
When it comes to closing up the ceiling, there are 3 options available to you:
- Gypsum ceiling at $4 to $7/sq.ft.
- Suspended ceiling: $5/sq.ft.
- Architectural ceiling: $7+/sq.ft.
You can also take a look at soundproofing your ceiling before closing it up.
The floor is a very important element in any basement remodel. Depending on the material you choose, it’ll give a specific look and feel to your basement. Most people tend toward getting hardwood flooring as it gives a nice, sophisticated look. It is, however, on the more costly side going for about $10+/sq.ft. Before putting a hardwood floor, you’ll need to be sure there is no water infiltration, nor any humidity issues. You can also get floating flooring installed to ensure your floor doesn’t buckle. Although not so popular, some will opt for getting carpeting installed. Carpet would work well if you plan on putting in a children’s playroom, to muffle sound and keep them comfortable while they play. However, like with hardwood, be mindful of the risk of humidity or water infiltration issues. Carpet fibers are more likely to retain humidity, which would lead to mold or other humidity-based issues.
A basement renovation cost summary
As mentioned, the overall cost of your basement renovation will depend on what you put into it. On average, we’ve estimated that a basement renovation can cost anywhere between $25,000 and $60,000. It’s important to note that, for security reasons, if you choose to add a bedroom in the basement, the room will absolutely need a window that will double as an emergency exit. The cost of putting in a window can be around $2,000, which includes cutting a hole in the wall and installing a new window.
Take note: if you have water infiltration or other basement humidity issues, it’s important to take care of that before undergoing your basement renovation. If not, you’ll end up having to redo your basement twice (double the cost), all while getting costly repairs done because of the damage done by the humidity/water.
Save on your basement renovation cost: think 10 years ahead
Chances are that you won’t want to do your basement twice, so it’s best to anticipate what your future life is going to look like. Will you need a playroom for kids or grandkids? There are so many ways to remodel a basement other than a traditional rec room. You can take a look at our basement idea page on our Reno-Inspiration tool in order to get a proper idea of what your basement reno will cost you, as well as see pictures of projects completed by our Verified Contractors.
Knowing what you want will help you average out what your overall basement finishing or renovations costs.
Find the right basement contractor today
Ready to start on your basement renovation? We understand the difficulties that come with finding a reliable and high-quality contractor for your project, so let us take away that stress! Our Renovation Advisors can invite up to three Verified Contractors to submit quotes for your renovation and help you decide which one brings the most value to you. Call us today or fill out our form to get started!
15 questions you need answered before settling on a renovation contractor