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Basement Renovations

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Basement Renovation Process

How to start planning a basement renovation

Whether your basement renovation goal is a work-from-home office or a spare bedroom, realizing your vision will take time, money, and expertise. It’s tempting to take the DIY route for your basement renovation. But in the end, enlisting professional help decreases headaches and increases the quality of your finished product. A good contractor coordinates the skilled professionals involved in the basement renovation process while ensuring that the work gets done within your timeline and on your terms.

Basement photos collage
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How much does it cost to
finish a basement?

The average cost of finishing a basement economically can range from $38,000 to $98,000. This is dependent on your location, preferred materials, and desired improvements. These three components of your renovation will shape the final product, taking your basement from a little-used storage room to a movie night gathering space. Using your basement to its full potential will expand your home and increase its resale value. When you use Smart Reno’s free online tools to plan and budget for your basement renovation, you also get up to three free quotes from contractors in your area. Find the services that are right for your home improvement plans.

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Type of renovation Predictable budget
Economic $23,000 to $31,000
Standard $29,000 to $39,000
High end $39,000 to $53,000

Basement renovation of 700 sf, without a kitchen or secondary entry

unfinished basement

What’s typically included in a finished basement?

A finished basement will, at a minimum, offer you a heated underground room after weeks to months of wall demolition, framing, electrical work, and insulation. Use this as a blank canvas for an in-law suite, an artists’ studio, or a rental property. Add a bathroom, a kitchen, or even a sauna—a finished basement offers you endless possibilities.

Basement Renovation: Tips and tricks

How to choose the best materials for your basement renovation

The materials you choose for your basement remodeling should fit within your renovation budget. When economizing, ensure that you take the humidity level of your basement into account—carpeting may seem like a cheaper option than hardwood, but when both require a subfloor, you may want to opt for a different basement finishing option. With a small basement and a limited budget, covering concrete walls in cloth draping and painting over a concrete floor can add colour and personality without the risk of mould growth.

Tools & Calculators

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Frequently asked
questions about basement renovations

How do I choose a contractor for basement services?2022-03-15T14:13:44-04:00

Once you’ve planned out your basement remodel, including the design and layout, you’ll want to obtain quotes from local contractors experienced with basement renovations. With Smart Reno’s renovation project planning tool, you will receive up to five free quotes when you share the details of your basement renovation. Narrow down your list of contractors by asking to see previous similar projects they have completed. If you like the customer testimonials and the look of the final renovations, put the contractor on your shortlist and ask them questions about their business practices, licensure and professional history before signing a contract. You can read more about the specific questions to ask up front here, as well as the key criteria Smart Reno requires all of our contractors to meet.

What happens if I finish my basement without a permit?2021-03-17T01:22:08-04:00

If you do not obtain a permit before finishing your basement, you will likely not be subject to heavy fines and jail time. However, you can miss out on resale value and safety inspections. Realtors will not list a house at its full value if the seller made major renovations without a permit. Moreover, the inspections required after you file your permit can catch flaws in your building plan and provide you with tools and strategies for improving the safety of your home.

Do I need an architect to finish my basement?2021-05-07T19:13:50-04:00

If you aren’t modifying your basement floor plans, you may not require an architect. However, changing a basement’s layout does often require a consultation with an architect.

What is the cheapest way to renovate a basement?2021-03-17T01:08:13-04:00

The cheapest way to renovate a basement is by repainting it. It takes about $3,000 to repaint a thousand square-foot basement. When installing new flooring, adding in a basement bathroom, or rewiring the electrical outlets, the price runs higher. You can still economize through judicious use of materials.

How much does it cost to finish a 1,000 sq ft basement?2021-03-17T01:05:55-04:00

A thousand-square-foot finished basement will run you between $15,000 and $20,000, assuming the use of standard materials. Adding in a kitchen or bathroom can bump the price up another $15,000 to $30,000. If you are looking to supplement your income by renting out a basement living space, this additional investment can pay for itself.

How much does it cost to fully renovate a basement?2021-03-17T01:04:43-04:00

A full basement renovation, complete with plumbing, electrical, subfloor installation, and modifications to your floor plan, can cost $38,000 to $98,000. To get a general idea of pricing for your needs, use our cost estimator tool.

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