average cost to finish a basement

Old basement laundry room with old appliances.

By Dan Fritschen

Basements are one of the best places to look if you want more living space.  They also

come with a few challenges – they are often dark and sometimes damp.  One benefit of converting your basement into living space is that much of the work is already done!  The basement already has the floor, walls and ceiling.

Use our instant and free basement finish cost estimating calculator – It wont give you the average cost – better!  it will give you an estimate for YOUR basement.

So what is the average cost to finish a basement?  The average is $8,000 for DIY and $15,000 for those who hire a contractor.  But who lives in a average neighborhood, in an average house and has average remodeling plans???  No one.  So averages are about as useful as glass hammer!

The critical things you need to know to get an estimate of the cost to finish your basement is the area or size, the types of materials – economy, average or expensive – your design, who will do the work and where the house is located.

The area or size has an obvious impact on the cost.   Larger basements cost more to finish.

The types of material – will you panel, paint or put drywall on the walls.  Drywall is the most expensive but also looks the nicest and most “finished”.  The flooring can be painted concrete, vinyl, tile, carpet, hardwood, etc.  Painting, vinyl and carpet are the least expensive.  This choice can add a lot to the cost to finish your basement.

Will you be adding a window? a bathroom? moving the staircase?  All of these design decisions have big impact on the costs.

Where you live also has an influence on the cost.  While material costs are similar all across the US – labor varies dramatically so that will have an impact on the total cost.

Finally how work will you do?  This doesn’t necessarily mean laying the floor or hanging drywall, it means will you hire an interior designer and a contractor and them take care of everything or will you be involved with the design, some of the work or coordinating the sub contractors.  Doing some of the work involved in a remodel has a big impact on the final cost you will pay.

Hope this helps.  Good Luck!