Is your basement just sitting there, cold, tired, and unloved while you’re desperate for extra space up above?
The cost of remodeling a basement could be as little as $2,800 if you go for a basic finish. But if you push the boat out, you could find yourself in second mortgage territory, with costs heading north of $34,500.
Some costs – like contractors and materials – are obvious. But others are easy to overlook. Let’s take a deep dive into the five basement remodeling costs you need to calculate before you proceed with your project.
1. Basement Waterproofing
However well constructed your home is, it’s always fighting a losing battle against groundwater. These levels can rise suddenly when there is a flood or a storm and overwhelm your basement, turning it into a temporary swimming pool.
If you’re going to use your basement as an extra living space, you need to factor waterproofing into the cost of your basement remodel. It can run you up to $4,500, but this varies a lot depending on where you live and the size of your basement.
Go to Armored Basement Waterproofing to learn more about how basement waterproofing works. It will ensure that water runs away behind the scenes and doesn’t destroy your beautiful new decor.
2. Remodeling Permits
If you’re only going for a basic remodel, you might wonder if you even need a permit from the city. But in most cases you do, and it could be a costly error if you don’t get one.
It could cause your home to fail future inspections. It could show up on searches when you try to sell your house.
You could even get a fine from the city for not following the building code. In Baltimore, that would set you back a cool $1,000. And if you don’t have a permit, you may not be able to insure the basement or have to pay more for it.
Even worse than that, you could be required to remove any work that you have done.
Why Permits Matter
Remember, building codes and permits are there to keep everybody safe. If you wing it, there’s a chance it could go disastrously wrong.
You also need to check first if your basement has enough height to be converted. Most areas require that the finished basement has a minimum height of 7 feet. So your current basement needs tall enough to take extra flooring and still meet the height requirement.
They also have requirements for egress windows. If you’re making it into a mother-in-law suite, you need to give her a way she can get out if something goes wrong.
If you’re simply laying carpet and painting the walls, you might not need a permit. But anything more than that, like adding HVAC, electrical, plumbing, or drywall will almost certainly require one.
Depending on the size of your home, they may cost less than $2,000. It won’t be your biggest basement remodel cost – unless you neglect it!
Materials were always going to be one of your biggest costs. But now the average basement remodel cost is rising fast due to the pandemic-fuelled rise in the cost of building materials.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, costs of goods used in residential construction have increased 33% since the start of the pandemic. Things don’t look to be slowing down, with the costs rising by 8% since the start of 2022.
Some of the material costs include:
- Sump pump
- Timber for drywall framing
- Stairs and handrails
- Plumbing and fixtures
- Electrical wiring and fixtures
This is just to get your basement finished. Then you need to factor in flooring materials and furnishings. That’s before you think about soft furnishings and fun stuff like TVs.
Of course, it depends whether you’re trying to achieve an industrial-chic finish or make it an extension of your home. If you’re happy to go for hardwearing and cheaper finishes, then epoxy flooring can be striking and will stand the test of time.
Labor is probably going to be your biggest basement remodel cost.
Your basement doesn’t have easy access like the rest of your house. That means it’s going to either take more hours or more workers to get the job done. And contractors may charge a premium for tricky basement projects.
It will typically take up to 25% of your budget and it’s always good to allow extra for contingencies.
5. Separate HVAC
We’ve listed this separately because it’s one that’s easy to overlook.
This will largely depend on how you’re going to use the space. If it’s going to be a rec room, then you may not need to have a separate system. But if it’s going to be effectively a separate dwelling, they’re doing to want to control their heating and cooling.
Factoring in a separate system at the design stage is much more cost-effective than trying to retrofit something later. It will allow the occupants to be comfortable year-round and promote good relations with those living upstairs!
Calculate Your Basement Remodeling Costs Before You Begin
Basement remodeling costs can soon add up when you add plumbing, electrical, and other home comforts. But if you get the right permits and a great contractor, it can add value and appeal to your home. It can also provide valuable extra living space without having to move house.
Now you know about the cost to remodel your basement, what else would you like to know? Head over to our Home & Garden section for more handy hints and tips today!