Cost to finish a basement

All prices and remodeling costs revised and updated for 2020

Read about remodeling costs and estimating labor expenses first

How much does it cost to finish a basement?

Cost to finish a basement varies from $27 per square foot on the cheapest end to $60 / Sq. Ft. or even more for custom work. A contractor will issue an itemized estimate after determining scope of a work to complete. On average expect to spend $30,000 - $37,000 for finishing 900 ft2 of basement with no excavation or concrete work involved. Adding bathroom or complex custom work will increase the cost significantly.

Note: actual cost for converting a basement into living area cannot be priced without analyzing all details and determining work complexity.

Cost to add a bathroom in the basement

Adding full size 5’ x 8’ bathroom with separate shower and drop-in bathtub will cost $21,000 - $40,000 for labor, materials and fixtures. Installation of a toilet and bathtub drains under concrete floor makes plumbing work more pricy in comparison with working on the upper floors.

Cost to add a kitchen in the basement

Simple L-shaped compact kitchen with 11 – 12 wall and base cabinets, laminate countertop and vinyl flooring will cost $17,000 - $21,000. But prices might go up $50,000 or even more for custom cabinets, synthetic stone counter and expensive appliances.

Note: before planning on placing a kitchen in the basement always check building codes and city regulations. In some cases installation of kitchen in the basement might be prohibited by local codes.

What is the cost to make basement higher?

Increasing the height of an existing basement is an expensive option. Digging deeper and pouring new concrete slab will add extra $15 - $45 to every square foot of basement finishing area and total expenses can increase up to 50% - 60%. But there is no averages can be defined because actual cost will be affected by amount of soil has to be taken out, number of dumpsters has to be ordered and expenses for purchasing, pouring and finishing concrete slab.

Cost to convert a basement into a game room or play area

Finishing one open room is one of the least expensive options. Dividing basement area into multiple rooms will result in higher expenses not only for labor, but cost of materials will rise as well.

How a contractor will estimate the cost to finish a basement?

Normally a contractor will price the work including expenses for purchasing building materials, fees for permits, and cost of man power. Homeowners typically will supply all fixtures and finishing products. Many remodeling companies for an additional $350 - $550 offer creating 3D drawings using design engineering software. It might be a good deal for those who are planning to create a certain stylish basement design with many custom details.

Ways to save on finishing a basement

Purchasing products and fixtures available in stock at local home improvement retailors and elimination of custom work are best solution worth to consider on a low budget. Total price can be reduced if some work will be completed as a do it yourself project. Many remodeling companies offer low cost basement finishing options including labor, materials and fixtures. But regardless of those very attractive prices there is typically no option to customize a design and a contractor will go with everything cheapest in order to minimize total expenses.

How much did you spend for finishing a basement?


* The numbers are a general idea what expect to pay for a particular remodeling project. The data was analyzed based on hundreds of home improvement projects, but on the national scale it is NOT enough to say the accuracy is high. Exact labor cost will be estimated only after contractor or installer inspects the area.