In 2018, less than a quarter of the homes built had a basement. There are a few reasons for this. Homes in the southern part of the country don’t have basements because the soil is too wet to build one.

The cost of construction increased over the last several years, making it harder for builders to justify the expense to include a basement in plans.

If you’re lucky enough to have a basement, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of the extra space. Your first question is bound to be how much does it cost to finish a basement.

The answer is actually more complicated than you may initially think. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn the average cost to finish a basement and how you can budget and finance the project.

How Much Does It Cost to Finish a Basement?

The average cost to finish a basement ranges between $15,000 and $30,000. Some projects are as low as $10,000 and there are basement finishing costs that are as high as $80,000.

There are a lot of factors that determine the cost to finish the basement. The key difference is whether you DIY the project or have a professional handle the refinishing for you.

You’ll spend less money doing the job yourself, but it will probably take longer. You’ll need to enlist the help of friends and family and take time off of work.

Doing the project yourself will save money upfront, but you’ll end up paying more later on. You might buy materials that aren’t right or not install them properly.

You could hire a professional for certain things like electrical and plumbing work and do the rest yourself.

There are hidden costs like the added stress of doing the job yourself. You could get injured and spend money on medical bills.

Supply chain issues are probably going to impact your project. You could have a hard time securing materials while a contractor has plenty of supplies in stock.

Hiring a professional means that the job gets done right the first time, you don’t have to spend money on repairs later on, and you save time and stress.

Basement Finishing Cost Breakdown

Whether you decide to hire a professional or finish the basement yourself, the cost breakdown items apply to both projects.

Does the basement need to have electrical and plumbing work? You’ll need to get a building permit to do the work. The work needs to have a safety inspection once the work is completed.

Budget between $1500 and $2000 for the permits and inspections.

Labor Costs

Unless you’re qualified to handle electrical and plumbing work, you need to hire contractors. Your best option is to hire a general contractor that specializes in remodeling.

They can oversee the other contractors, such as plumbers, painters, flooring installers, and drywall installers.

You’ll want to interview at least three general contractors and compare quotes. Get recommendations from friends and family.

Basement Preparation Costs

Invest in basement preparation so you can be sure to have a waterproof basement.

Skip this step and the insulation and drywall will get ruined quickly. You can end up with a mold problem that spreads throughout the house.

Armored Basement Waterproofing is a liner system that directs water out of the home, so you can be sure that you have a dry basement.

Building the Basement

What is the most expensive part of finishing a basement? Some will say the labor, while others say waterproofing. It depends on the scope of the project.

You could end up spending $10,000 on flooring and double that amount on furniture. It all comes down to your vision of the finished basement.

The costs you do need to account for are furniture, flooring, drywall, insulation, paint, and fixtures for lighting and plumbing. You may need to add a sump pump, windows, and framing to your costs.

Entertainment Installation Costs

A finished basement gives you more options to entertain guests. The question is how you will entertain them. You can install a wet bar and home entertainment system.

You’ll have to account for these costs in your budget. A home entertainment system needs a quality set of speakers and TV that fits the room.  

How to Finance the Cost to Finish a Basement

Do you see how the average cost to finish a basement is near $25,000? There’s a lot to consider whether you do the project yourself or not.

It could be easy to get overwhelmed by the cost. There are a few ways to finance the project.

The best option is to pay cash for the renovation. You won’t have to worry about loan payments and costs for years after the project.

You could borrow the fund from a family member, but only if there’s a written agreement in place.

The general contractor may offer to finance the project. You can take out a personal loan or home equity loan.

If you plan to borrow money, make sure that you clean up your credit score. These loans carry interest, and with interest rates going up, you’ll need to have an excellent score.

You could get a loan with a lower score, but it will cost you more in the long run.

The Approximate Cost to Finish a Basement

Finishing a basement isn’t a simple project that you want to take on yourself. It could increase the cost to finish a basement.

How much does it cost to finish a basement? Expect to pay five figures for the project. There are a lot of variables at work, but you can use this guide to determine your needs and draw up a preliminary budget.

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