How Much Does a Basement Remodel Cost?

Laura Hennigan
Written by Laura Hennigan
Updated January 11, 2022
A living room with a desk and a fireplace in the basement
Photo: Andreas von Einsiedel / Corbis Documentary / Getty Images

A basement remodel costs around $21,391 on average

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If you have already invested in a finished basement, it may be time to consider upgrading with a remodel. Basement remodeling can provide extra living space, room for a home gym, new entertainment area, or a guest suite with bathroom. Because you can choose to reconfigure the basement and make it into almost anything you’d like, the remodel costs can range anywhere from $12,000 to $70,000. Basement remodeling is a popular home improvement project, and offers a significant return on investment.

How Much Does a Basement Remodel Cost Per Square Foot?

Basement remodeling costs can vary widely, and are influenced by the additions you plan to make, and how much demolition will be required. Average basement remodeling costs per square foot are $30 to $75, but can escalate well beyond that range depending on the amount of work needed. 

The average square footage of basements are as follows:

Basement SizeAverage Square Footage
Small basement300 – 700 sq. ft.
Medium basement700 – 1500 sq. ft.
Large basement1500 – 2000 sq. ft.
Oversized basement2000 – 4000 sq. ft.

Remodeling a basic space, like a family or rec room, falls on the lower end. But a remodel with a larger footprint, such as installing a bathroom, will cost more per square foot. This is because you will need to put up walls, have plumbing installed, and add ventilation.

How Much Does a Basement Remodel Cost Near You?

Basement remodeling prices vary slightly across the country, but most hover around an average of $21,391.

Average prices for remodeling a basement in these cities are:

LocationAverage Price
Chicago$20,772
Los Angeles$21,697
Boston$21,878
Seattle$25,096
Columbus$19,186
Denver$23,832
Miami$19,816
Washington, D.C.$23,677

What Factors Influence the Cost of a Basement Remodel?

The type of remodel, any rooms you are adding, and the complexity of the design will all influence the cost of the project. Even small improvements, such as choosing higher-end fixtures and flooring, can quickly tack on several thousand dollars as well. 

Design

Before any work begins, it may be helpful to hire a designer to tour the basement and talk through what your goals for the remodel project are. They can then create a functional blueprint based on what will work best for the space.

Bringing on a designer will cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000, depending on how complex the plan is.

Labor and Materials

While some straightforward basement remodels can be completed by the homeowner, larger projects are best handled by an experienced professional. A reputable company will come out to complete site inspections, take measurements, make material recommendations, and suggest layout options.

Plan to budget 6% to 10% of the cost of your home for a professional basement remodel, including labor and materials.

Permits and Inspections

While the specifics will depend on the county or city where you reside, most basement remodel permits range from $500 to $2,000. If you are working with an experienced company, they will typically take care of obtaining permits, but be sure to read the details of your contract and verify this piece. 

How Much Does a Basement Remodel Cost by Type?

If your basement is finished, the sky is really the limit in terms of remodeling possibilities. Depending on your needs and budget, this often forgotten space can be changed into nearly anything that could typically be found on the upper levels. 

Additional Bedroom

If things are starting to feel cramped upstairs, adding a bedroom in the basement might provide more breathing room. However, be aware that this remodel project has very specific guidelines that must be followed. In addition to walls and floors, a bedroom must also include a closet and a window that is large enough to provide an emergency escape if the stairs are inaccessible.

A basement bedroom remodel that includes all the necessary components costs anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

Adding a Bathroom

If the upstairs powder rooms aren’t cutting it for your household anymore, consider adding a bathroom in the lower level. A basement bathroom installation will cost anywhere from $6,600 to $16,500

There will likely need to be plumbing installed, along with framing, floors, and ventilation.

Creating a Home Theatre

A luxurious home theater in the basement of a house
Photo: alhim / Adobe Stock

Take movie night to the next level with a tricked-out home theatre. Creating a basement theatre with all the bells and whistles, including seating, sound system, projector, and large screen will cost around $12,000.

Building a Bar

Building a basement bar can be an ideal centerpiece for entertaining at home. From prefab DIY islands, to custom pieces with a sink and tap handles, the possibilities (and potential costs) are endless. An average basement bar installation costs $8,000.

Home Gym

There’s no excuse to skip a workout if you only need to walk downstairs. While you’ll likely need to avoid the height of a stair climber with lower ceilings, equipment such as treadmills, weights, and punching bags would all fit well. Depending on the components you include, a basement gym addition ranges from $300 to $15,000.

Office Space

If you’re continuing to work from home indefinitely, it may be time to create a more permanent office space further away from the household noise. A basement office costs around $500 to $3,000, depending on how high-end you’d like it to be. Adding new lighting, framing, flooring, and a door are all potential components that can be included.

FAQs About Basement Remodels

How can you reduce basement remodeling costs?

If you’re handy and have the right tools, tasks such as laying the flooring, basic framing, or painting can be weekend DIY projects.Depending on your contractor, you may be able to ask for a discount if you take care of any demo or clean-up yourself. 

Is remodeling a basement worth it?

Basement remodeling offers a ROI of around 70%, making it a worthwhile project. And having the extra space to work, play, or stick out of town guests can help everyone feel a bit more relaxed.

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