Basement Renovation Cost and Ideas

Basement Renovation Cost and Ideas

Sellers, Buyers, Tips & Advice
Last Updated: Jan 25, 2021

Your basement can be one of the most functional spaces in your home, and a renovated basement can make a big difference if you are looking to sell your home. The amount of money it will take to remodel your basement will be determined by how drastically you need to transform the space. 

A standard basement remodeling project can cost between $20,000 and $30,000 for materials and labour. A serious upgrade that involves adding things like bathrooms, kitchenettes, or additional electrical features to your basement will drastically increase the price, leaving you with a bill that can exceed $75,000!  

To give you a better idea of what each type of basement upgrade will cost, let's review them individually:

Basic Finishing

Basic finishing refers to turning your standard basement into a livable space. This type of renovation requires framing, installing electrical and plumbing, and adding walls and flooring. 

The final price will be driven by a few factors: the basement's size, the type of materials you choose, and the level of features you decide to install. Expect to spend anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 to complete a basement finishing project.

New Flooring

A popular upgrade to an existing basement is to install new flooring. You can choose from carpeting, vinyl flooring, or tiles to engineered wood. 

Vinyl floors will be the most cost-effective, and the price can range from $1 to $8 per square foot. Carpeting can cost anywhere from $7 to $12 per square foot, while tiling will be the most expensive and leave you with a bill that ranges from $5 to $20 per square foot. 

Upgrading to engineered wood or hardwood flooring can cost an average of $10,000 for a standard basement! However, if you are trying to make this space more marketable, new floors will increase without requiring a significant investment. 

Foundation Repair

The foundation of your home is a vital factor when it comes to remodeling your basement. Always have the foundation inspected before you get started with any renovations, since repairing the structure that supports your home can cost you over $10,000. 

Although this can be expensive, it is absolutely necessary to repair the foundation before you build anything on top of it. An inspection will ensure that you do not accidentally cover up structural damage with your new floors or other renovations. 


One of the areas in your home that is most susceptible to water damage and leaks is the basement. You should also confirm that there are no signs of water damage or leaks in your basement, just like you should ensure that your foundation is not damaged before you get started with the project. 

Waterproofing your basement can significantly minimize the risk of damage in the future, and this type of renovation will cost upwards of $7,000.

Permitting Requirements

Almost all basement renovations will require a permit. You must obtain a permit if there are any plumbing or electrical changes involved or if you plan on turning the basement into a livable space for the first time. 

The cost of a permit is only about $50, but obtaining one is necessary to ensure that the product is completed up to code and that you end up with a safe living environment. If you fail to obtain a permit before you get started, you could be fined or face a stop-work order. An inspector may also require you to remove any upgrades that were completed without a permit. This problem could significantly affect your home's resale value!

How Much Value Will a Basement Renovation Add to My Home?

As you can see, basement renovations can be very expensive - so how much value will it add to your home? 

Upgrading your basement to a finished living space is one of the most effective ways to increase your property value. Completing this project will add usable square footage to the home, making it much more appealing to buyers when you put it on the market. In fact, most buyers would prefer to buy a house that already has a finished basement included. 

On average, you can expect about a 70% return on investment for a basement remodel project. This return is significantly higher than other renovation projects, Ann you have the added benefit of creating more living space in your home while you are still residing there. 

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Whether you are tired of looking at concrete flooring and insulation, or you are selling your home and want to add value to it, finishing the basement may seem like a daunting task.

Where do you even begin?

There are lots of renovation ideas that could bring your family together or attract potential homebuyers.

1. Home Theatre

You do not have to spend a ton of money on a new HD flat screen TV but creating a space to get cozy with your family and watch movies every Friday night is a great renovation idea. Have built-in shelving units around your TV to use for extra storage for things like movies, books or toys.

2. Study/Studio

Depending on your career, having a study/office space instead of working at the dining room table could really help improve your motivation when working from home. Having your own desk and designated quiet space could decrease your stress too.

If you are in the arts industry, create a suitable studio. Sound proof the room or set up your art easel and find inspiration in your new private workspace.

3. Guest Bedroombasement reno ideas, ideas for a basement renovation, if you want to renovate your basement

If you constantly have family and friends staying with you but do not have the space, create a bedroom for your guests or an in-law suite. Create a comfortable space with lots of light so they will not necessarily feel like they are in a basement.

4. Extra Bathroom

Having an extra bathroom could be a life saver if you are always having to share with everyone else! Or it could just be for your guests. Add a shower and a closet and make sure it is always stocked up with clean towels and bars of soap.

5. Playroom For The Kids

Get creative if you want to make a space for the kids to play. Do not go overboard with paint colours but have fun with creating a design! If your kids love a certain animal or TV show take inspiration from that. Buy cute bins and baskets to keep all their toys in so they can be easily be stored away when not in use.

basement renovation ideas, ideas for a basement reno, design ideas for finishing the basement6. Game Room

The adults need a space to play too. Think about investing in a Ping-Pong or pool table! Or, set up a table where you can easily play board games together. Either way, creating a game room is a great way to bring the family together or entertain guests.

7. Bar

If you are not into playing games, add a small bar space instead. There are lots of design ideas to inspire the space:

  • Modern
  • Rustic
  • Farmhouse style
  • Chic

The possibilities are endless as to how to impress all your friends and family when they come over for drinks! Looking to renovate your kitchen?

basement renovation ideas, ideas for a finished basement, 12 basement ideas8. Personal Gym

If you have large workout equipment you do not know where to put, try building a space specifically for it. Having a treadmill in your bedroom actually decreases how relaxed you feel, so creating your own workout space can help keep your bedroom a relaxing oasis. Having a closed space for your workout gear also increases safety if you have small children who are starting to get curious about things.

9. Heated Flooring

Heated flooring has become very popular for adding in the basement. It looks and feels great! It can be placed under tiles, stone, wooden flooring, carpet and more so you do not have to worry about having limited options. It will especially be a great feature for guests to take advantage of.

10. Add More Lighting

Nothing is worse than a dim basement, so add extra lighting. Accent lighting is a great addition to any room and pot lights are nice and easy to install. If your basement windows are small, avoid blocking the natural light coming in with curtains or large furniture.

11. Hide Duct Work

Seeing all the ductwork is unattractive and can make you not even want to hangout in the basement. But it can easily be hidden with bulkheads, or, if your ceiling is high enough, build a drop ceiling. If you are selling your home, homebuyers will love seeing that it is hidden and they still have enough headspace.

basement reno ideas, ideas for finishing the basement, 12 basement renovation ideas12. Fireplace Feature

A great way to add more heat, and make the space look amazing, is by adding a fireplace feature. Create a lounging space around it that your family can enjoy together and stay warm while you watch a movie together. Have a professional install it so they can address the safety issues with you and how it will properly be ventilated.

The possibilities to new basement renovations are endless. But before even starting, make sure you have a set layout design, you know your budget, and you have a team of professionals to help if you are unsure of all the steps to take or you do not have time. It can be a fun project and depending on your lifestyle and interests, you could soon have a new game room, workout room, or your own studio!

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