Basement Remodeling Costs

Ysobel Croix | Improvement Center Columnist | December 14, 2011

A finished basement can add a lot of extra living space to your home. But are basement remodeling costs worth the investment?

Basement remodeling costs and ROI

In the "2010-2011 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report," a basement remodel was one of the top two interior remodeling projects for return on investment (ROI) when selling your home. In one example, a house's basement was finished to create an entertainment room with a full bathroom. All the electrical, framing, drywall, plumbing and fixtures were included in this mid-range remodel, which cost $64,000. At sale, it was estimated to recoup 70 percent. Regionally, the cost is $78,828 with an 82.6 percent ROI on the Pacific Coast, and $69,106 with a 58.2 percent ROI in the Middle Atlantic region.

Remodel your basement in stages

If you don't have tens of thousands of dollars to spare, try your remodel one element at a time. Ligaya Nocon of West Brighton, N.Y., gave her already finished basement a face-lift, but kept basement remodeling costs under $9,000. Rather than replacing the pine paneling, Nocon white-washed it. She also reupholstered the existing bar, and installed new, wall-to-wall carpeting.

Remodeling your basement is something you can do in stages. Talk to a contractor to get an estimate on breaking the project down into these stages:

  • utilities installation
  • pouring the concrete or laying sub-flooring
  • finishing the perimeter walls
  • installing new carpentry, such as cabinets and wet bars

Prices will vary by region, but you should be able to get estimates from several, local remodeling contractors for the largest facets of the project. Fill out the form on this page to start now.

Basement upgrades on a shoestring

If your basement has a concrete floor and concrete walls, remodeling your basement can be as easy as new paint. Remodeling Magazine shares the advice of general contractor John Wilder, who suggests having a contractor fill cracks with hydraulic cement and finish with waterproofing paint, then paint the floor with flooring paint. Professional concrete crack repair can cost $35-$65 per foot. "The basement may not be finished, but it's no longer a damp dungeon," says Wilder.

Unless you have moisture or waterproofing issues, which can lead to mold, or the cracks are new and might indicate a foundation problem that requires a contractor's insight, you can opt to use concrete repair epoxy that costs $20-$30 for a nine-ounce tube. Concrete waterproofing paint runs $20-$25 per gallon; the paint for concrete floors costs $25-$30 per gallon. You could finish the walls in a color for the cost of a bit more paint.

In 2009-2010, Remodeling Magazine considered this type of basement refresh a "big-impact, low-cost remodeling project" for sellers.