A finished basement provides extra living space in your house and an organized, convenient storage area. Moreover, even though basements do not add square footage, a finished basement increases your house’s marketability if you decide to sell it. Therefore, including your unfinished basement in your house improvement project will give you a high return on investment (ROI) in the short and long term. Find out more about how much basement remodeling costs and know how you can save money in your basement improvement project but still enhance your lifestyle and property value.

Factors affecting basement remodel cost

Basement Ceilings

Basement ceilings help ensure that your house remains energy efficient. The average cost of installing basement ceilings is $3.50 to $4.30 per square foot. Installing a drop ceiling costs $22 to $26 per square foot, while a suspended ceiling grid system prepared for tiles or panels costs $0.60 to $0.84 per square foot. 

Basement Framing

Basement framing is vital in defining the spaces in your basement. Basement framing costs $1 to $2 per square foot, which can still change depending on the basement’s layout and its existing structures. 

Basement Flooring

The cost of flooring for basements largely depends on the type of flooring you want to install. Vinyl or carpet flooring costs up to $1,500 while hardwood costs up to $4 000.  

Basement Lighting and Electrical Wiring

Basements require artificial lighting sources because of the absence of natural light sources in this part of our homes. The standard cost for installing additional lighting in a standard basement is between $1,000 to $1,500.  

Basement Plumbing

Your contractor must install basement plumbing carefully to avoid any water damage and problems with the drainage and main sewer line. The average cost of basement plumbing ranges between $2,500 to $5,000. Larger basements that may require a French drain with additional sump pumps will require an additional $10,000, depending on the drain’s width and depth. If you need to renovate your basement bathroom, each bathroom fixture costs between $800 to $900, depending on the fixture’s material and design. 

Basement Walls

Basement walls help define your basement space, may it be a basement bedroom, laundry room, or entertainment room. The national average cost of framing basement walls is $0.96 per square foot, with a price range between $0.90 to $1.02. 

Installing Doors and Trim

Installing baseboards and trim costs $1 to $2 per linear square foot, while doors cost between $100 to $200. These prices do not yet include the cost of materials. Hence, you have to allot a separate budget for them. The cost of labor may vary depending on your house’s location and the amount of work needed to be done to complete the installation. 

Cost of Building Permits

To ensure that your basement improvement project follows building code requirements, city building permits and inspections may be required. Usually, contractors are the ones who process the permits and schedule inspections, and only top up the expenses for processing to your final bill. 

How much does it cost to finish a basement?

Basement finishing costs vary depending on your basement square footage, the design, the fixtures you want to install, the materials you want to use, and the price of hiring a contractor. Typically, low-end, average, and high-end finishes cost around $22,000, $35,000, $46,000, respectively. 

How much does it cost to remodel a basement?

Basement remodeling can save you as much as 30% of the cost of refinishing a basement. A typical 1,000 square-foot basement remodel costs between $19,100 and $36,000. 

Tips on how to lower the cost of remodeling your basement

Good planning reduces mistakes 

No doubt about it—mistakes cost money. Errors or accidents often require replacement materials or extend the renovation schedule, adding to overall labor costs. Sometimes mistakes show up after the remodel is complete, while others arise during construction. When the homeowner or contractor becomes aware of them, mistakes push the budget higher.

Plan your basement remodeling project well to avoid these errors. A detailed sketch of the framing, electrical and mechanical features allows for efficiency and accuracy during installation. Access to local building codes also cuts down on errors and omissions in that area. Even the simple rule of “measure twice, cut once” reduces the risk of wasted materials and wasted time.

Work at the plan before construction starts, and keep the schedule updated during your project. Changes and alterations happen, but intelligent homeowners alter the plan and trace how far those changes spread to avoid problems later on.

Consider the drywall

Some people assume that drywall costs more than other wall-finishing options. You’ll need to budget for framing behind the drywall sheets, as well as mudding, primer, and paint to finish the walls properly. But this basement renovation package is often cheaper than other alternatives.

In past decades, wood paneling was used for cheap basement remodeling. Modern quality wood paneling has gone up in price, and you’ll still need to budget for framing and possibly insulation.

Quality drywall runs at $4 to $8 per sheet. The cost for drywall mud and painting supplies adds to that figure, and installation rates drive it even higher. But attractive wood paneling comes in at $15 to $20 per sheet and higher.

Drywall also creates a more comfortable, livable area downstairs. Decorating is easy and using this building material often increases property value, as the basement is considered valuable living space.

Use drywall on the ceiling to cut costs. You’ll need to plan the electrical and mechanical design well and provide access for repairs. Drop ceilings allow for more straightforward access but cost double the price of drywall ceilings. Plan and compare to discover how affordable drywall can be when finishing the basement.

Remember the value of the light fixtures

Lighting is vital in the basement. Quality lighting provides illumination and creates a more inviting, open space on the lower floors. Remember to allow for adequate lighting and opt for fixtures that blend into the ceiling and walls.

This is not the place for expensive, trendy lighting. Look for simple builder’s grade styles that provide decent coverage at a good value. It’s essential to include enough lights, or else this space feels cramped and gloomy. Adding a few lights and mirrors in strategic places costs much less than adding a new window.

Receive $500 OFF your Basement Remodeling with Paragon

DIY may seem like a smart way to save money on your basement project. But unless you have the skills and experience to make this space comfortable, safe, and inviting, it makes sense to hire an experienced contractor. They will provide ways to shave the budget without sacrificing the quality your family deserves.

If you are looking for a professional remodeling contractor, you are already in the right place. Paragon Remodeling has provided top-notch basement remodeling services in Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland areas for over 15 years. We ensure that our basement remodels ideas and services will make your investment worth it. The projects we work on are not just renovation projects for us. We want to provide you with the comfort, warmth, and safety you deserve.

Work with Paragon Remodeling for your next basement remodeling project and receive $500 off.