Estimating basement remodeling costs should be an early step in planning your remodeling project. There are several ways to get an initial or preliminary estimate for planning purposes. The easiest way is probably to visit and fill in the information requested by the calculators. Another way is to call your local planning office or the codes and inspections office. Yet another is to call a local contractor and ask for the local average cost.

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Basement remodeling
Basement remodeling cost calculator

There are three questions that will significantly affect the accuracy of your estimate. These are questions about the extent of the remodel and about things that need to be done as part of the project.

  1. Is your basement finished or unfinished? This determines the amount of insulation, framing, moisture protection and drywall work needed.
  2. Will you be adding or enlarging the basement area? This will involve digging, blasting (in some areas), foundation work and exterior walls and windows.
  3. Will your remodel include one or more bathrooms and/or a kitchen? If you will add a bathroom or a kitchen you will have extra plumbing and electrical costs. There will also be ventilation issues.

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If your basement is already finished, and your plans are simply to remodel the area, the cost will be much lower than if you are finishing the basement because the exterior wall insulation and drywall work, as well as the main framing will already be in place. Here are some of the questions you should think about:

    • Will you add or replace windows?
    • Will you add or replace exterior door(s)?
    • Will you make changes to the interior framing?
    • How will you provide another point of access to the finished basement?
    • How will providing access to the basement make changes to the main floor necessary?
    • Will you add a bathroom or a kitchen? Is the rough plumbing and electrical in place?

Probably the most important decision you will make when remodeling is which contractor to hire. After hearing this same question from thousands of visitors to we have collected all the advice about finding and selecting the best contractor. This is a great tool to make your most important remodeling decision

If your basement is unfinished, the questions above will apply. But there will be a number of other questions you need to consider:

§ How much insulation will you need?

§ Do you have enough windows and doors to meet local building code requirements?

§ Will you install a basement finishing “system” (walls and insulation all in one) or will you use drywall or paneling?

§ How will you finish and cover the floors?

§ What will be necessary to put in place adequate moisture barriers and vapor protection?

§ If you are expanding your basement, will digging or blasting be necessary?

§ What additional support will be needed for the existing structure if you enlarge the basement?

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The other factors that affect basement remodeling costs are

§ The amount of work you will do yourself, both in the planning and design stages and in the construction and finishing stages of the project.

§ What level of quality do you want in the finished room: economy, average, or custom?

§ The square footage of the basement area you will be finishing or remodeling.

Once you have thought about these questions and made these decisions, you will be ready to start estimating basement remodeling costs. Whether you call your local government, check with a local contractor, or visit, you can be assured that this information will get you a reliable estimate for planning and designing your basement remodeling project.

If this article was helpful, you might also want to read:

Contract Checklist
How Much Does it Cost to Remodel and How Do I Get an Estimate?
How to Select a Contractor