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Suzanne Surette

by Suzanne Surette Renovation Advisor | Reno-Assistance

Reno Blog / Basement / What does a Basement Renovation Cost in 2019? Toronto & Montreal
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What does a Basement Renovation Cost in 2019? Toronto & Montreal

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

Your first step, when planning on going through with a basement renovation, is to think about what you want to do with the space. Your basement has so much potential – rendering this project quite interesting. 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 $2,000/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. But don’t wait until you receive quotes to start putting together a budget.

Depending on your location, here are the average prices you can expect to pay:

Basement Elements Greater Montreal
Average Costs (2019)
Greater Toronto 
Average Costs (2019)
Turnkey (without bathroom) $20,0000 to $35,000+ $24,000 to $40,000+
Bathroom $8,000 to $20,000 $9,800 to $23,000
Walls & Joint Sealing Gypsum: $2/sq.ft. + $1,500 for joints Gypsum: $3/sq.ft. + $1,800 for joints
Ceiling $3.00 to $5.00/sq.ft. $3.60 to $6.20/sq.ft.
Insulation $1.50 to $3.00/sq.ft. $2.10 to $3.60/sq.ft.
Flooring $4.50 to $7.50/sq.ft $5.25 to $8.70/sq.ft.

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 anew. This means that we’ll need to put up new walls, insulate the walls adjacent to the foundation, add a gypsum ceiling, put in some flooring, seal joints, and paint 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 $8,000 to $15,000 (depending on factors like materials, furnishing, etc.) to your overall basement renovation – whereas 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.

Walls, joint sealing, and sanding

For gypsum walls, you’ll have to calculate at least $2/sq.ft. for materials and installation. As for joint sealing and sanding, the cost will vary depending on your basement’s size. Though, on average, the costs will be around $1,500+. 


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 $1,500.


When it comes to closing up the ceiling, there are 3 options available to you: 

  • Gypsum ceiling at $2 to $3/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. 


One very aesthetically appealing element of the basement that should be well done is the floor. 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 – muffling sound and keeping them comfortable. Last but not least, tiling can be an option too. It’s more expensive, but all depends on what you prefer.


As you know, heat rises. So why not make sure that your basement is properly insulated? On average, the cost of insulation will be anywhere between $1.50 and $3.50/sq.ft. – which is fully worth it as you’re likely to cut your heating bill down. 

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 $20,000 and $35,000, going upward. Though, 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 drilling 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 360° Verified Contractors

Knowing what you want will help you average out what your overall basement finishing or renovations costs.

Do you have a basement project?

Find the right basement contractor today

Reno-Assistance has established a network of basement renovation specialists across Greater Toronto and Montreal with the experience and expertise to design and build your new basement to your exact requirements, on time and on budget.

All of our contractors have had to pass our 360° Verification involving the audit of their financial stability, references from suppliers and past clients, legal history, licences, insurance, and more. We will even provide you with a detailed verification report for each contractor we refer before you meet with them.

Your Renovation Advisor will note the requirements for your project, guide you through the necessary stages and refer up to three local 360° Verified Contractors qualified for your renovations that will provide you with competing quotes.

Our service is at no cost, no obligation to you.

Talk to a Renovation Advisor now!


Choose the right contractor for your renovation with our guide

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Updated on February 5th, 2019

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