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How Much Does It Cost to Finish a Basement?

Written by Banks Editorial Team

Updated January 25, 2024​

2 min. read​

how much does it cost to finish a basement

Do you want to finish your basement but aren’t sure if it’s a worthwhile investment? Or maybe you want to get a better idea of the total costs before moving forward. Either way, you’ll get a feel for the average price to remodel a basement in this guide.

Is Finishing Your Basement a Good Investment?

It depends on your goals for the space. If you want to use it for a home office, game room, livable space, home gym, home theater or additional living area, the benefits of finding the space could easily outweigh the costs. 

The Average Cost of Finishing a Basement?

The average homeowner spends between $2,800 and $33,000 or more on a basement remodel, according to HomeAdvisor. However, the overall cost will be determined by the square footage of the space, the upgrades you plan to make and the quality of materials or finishes.

Things to Consider in The Costs of Finishing a Basement 

You should factor in these average costs from when creating your renovation budget. 

Drywall and Ceilings

On average, you’ll spend $1.50 and $3.50 per square foot for drywall and ceiling materials, plus the cost of labor, respectively.

Waterproofing and Insulation

You’ll want to shield your basement from flooding by waterproofing and insulating the space. Minor jobs range from $250 to $500, but you’ll likely spend up to $4,000 to fully waterproof and insulate a finished basement. 


Most homeowners spend between $2 and $6 per square foot to paint the basement walls. If you’d like to add trim and molding, take on an additional $4 to $12 per linear foot. 

Building Permits

Some cities require homeowners to pull permits before finishing their basements. It could cost you up to $50, but the contractor may handle the permitting process and cover the fee on your behalf.

Labor Costs and Materials

You can expect to spend between 30 and 40 percent of the total project cost on labor, including the hourly rate for electricians, plumbers and contractors who handle the flooring and framing. The remaining amount typically goes to material expenses. 

Furnishing and Appliances

Furnishing and appliances can cost between a few and several thousand dollars, depending on the brand and quality of the appliances you select. 

How Much Does It Cost to Finish a Basement?

Type of Basement

Most basement renovations follow into one of these categories: 

  • Unfinished basement: typically used as a workspace and could include a water heater, washer and dryer
  • Partially finished basement: could serve as an area with a comfortable environment for your family members to lounge or for your kids to play, and include a bathroom
  • Finished basement: can be lived in like the other parts of your home and increase the value of your house

Here’s a closer look at some additional costs of finishing a basement: 

  • Converting a basement into an apartment: up to $61,000 for a space that includes a bathroom, laundry room, and a second kitchen or kitchenette, plus an additional $2,000 for a private bedroom and up to $12,500 more for hardwood floors and other designs 
  • Converting a basement into a bedroom: up to $22,000 
  • Adding a basement bathroom: up to $15,000 for a 30 to 50-square-foot bathroom, and up to $90,000 for a luxurious, 100-square-foot space
  • Adding a wet bar area: up to $8,000

Hiring Contractors vs. DIY

If you decide to take the DIY approach instead of hiring general contractors, you could save several hundred or thousands of dollars. However, you should only move forward with this type of project on your own if you have the expertise and skills to pull it off. Otherwise, you could make costly mistakes that you’ll have to pay a fortune to fix. 

Square Footage

As mentioned earlier, the square footage of your basement plays a significant role in how much the project will cost. Here’s a breakdown of average costs, with and without labor expenses from a general contractor: 

  • 400 square feet: $6,000
  • 500 square feet: $6,000
  • 700 square feet: $10,500
  • 800 square feet: $12,000
  • 1,000 square feet: $15,000
  • 1,200 square feet: $18,000
  • 1,500 square feet: $21,350
  • Up to 700 square feet: $9,500
  • Between 700 and 1,000 square feet: $12,000 
  • 1,000 or more square feet: $18,500

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