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Cost of Basement Finishing

Basement finishing is a great way to increase the value of your home and reclaim more livable space. It may be on your mind to increase the value of your home or expand your family’s living space. However, the cost of finishing your basement will depend majorly on how elaborate you want the renovations to be.

Also, taking an unfinished basement and transforming it into a cozy, livable space generally costs more than renovating! Basement finishing usually includes lighting, built-in shelving, waterproofing, framing, plumbing, etc., thereby turning the unfinished basement space into livable space. Finishing a basement will arguably add resale value to your home and give you an investment return of about 70%.

If you’re considering finishing your basement, this article covers everything you need to know about the cost of the basement finishing in Toronto.


Related article: Basement Renovations on a Budget


Cost of Basement Finishing

Among all significant home improvements, none is more efficient at adding actual value to your property like basement finishing. Basements offer flexibility to your home. For instance, you can easily convert an unfinished space into a finished comfortable living space. This is one of the few home improvements that add more value to your home and also help recoup the costs of the renovations.

No area is a better target for this kind of home improvement project than the basement. A basement offers an alluring expanse of space to makeover in whatever way you see fit. However, the costs of such a project can vary widely depending on your approach. It’s ideal to have a well-structured plan on how to approach the project and what kind of features you want to add.

The cost of basement finishing is generally between $25 and $50 per square foot. However, prices can go as high as $90 per square foot depending on how extensive the renovations are, the labour and materials you choose. For most basements finishing the average cost works out to around $6,000.

Of course, these kinds of average cost numbers vary widely. Recently, basement finishing report spending shows an estimated price between $6,000 and $42,000.

Also, an all-round basement finishing in Canada puts the average cost per square foot at $90. However, you may want to consult online forums in your area or ask friends and neighbours on how much they paid to finish their basements.

Nevertheless, it’s also quite easy when hiring professionals to spend $100,000 for a remodeling project with all the bells and whistles. At the very top end, a large, 3,500 square foot basement professionally constructed and finished can run upwards of $150,000.

If you are worried about the cost of basement finishing for your home, your best bet is to contact a professional who can help you carry out proper estimates. Additionally, the cost of basement finishing can be divided into three broad classes.


Related article: The Best Basement Renovations Makeover Project Will Make You Proud


The basic basement finishing option

This option refers to taking an entirely unfinished basement, then adding frames and other elements. It amazes most people to learn that this is a cheaper option than a full-scale remodeling of a basement that is already finished. The reason for this is that it costs more to demolish and rebuild than it does to start from scratch.

A basement finishing involves framing, running whatever mechanicals are necessary, installing the wall, ceiling, and floor finishes, and painting or wallpapering. On average, the cost for a primary finish job falls anywhere from $6,500 for a DIY job to $20,000 with a carpenter. However, prices can go much higher for larger spaces.

Note that these average costs do not include major plumbing or electrical work. If your space will consist of a new bathroom or other special features, these costs will need to be added separately.

The Full Remodel Option

This option refers to a project that involves taking a basement space that is already finished and altering the layout of the space and completing the refinishing work. This type of remodeling project typically costs between $20,000 and $30,000 for necessary labour and materials costs, not counting any extras. In may involve creating spaces such as playrooms, recreation rooms, additional bedrooms, or home offices.

If you are willing to do the demolition of existing walls before calling in contractors to do finishing work, you can save as much as $2,000 on the overall cost.

Remodeling work on a basement usually involves some upgrades to wiring and HVAC systems as part of the basic cost package. Adding new plumbing—such as when a modern bathroom or wet bar is being installed, will add to the essential cost.

The finishing system option

A finishing system project means that you are hiring professionals to install prefabricated wall panels and other components. The drawback here is that there is no way to do any of the work yourself with this type of project since the materials for basement finishing systems are sold only to franchised installers that use proprietary materials and place heavy emphasis on controlling moisture. The advantage is that you are guaranteed a tight, dry, warm space, and your basement will be completed quite quickly.

Costs for having such a system installed are about $40 to $50 per square foot, which means that a 1,500 square foot basement could run you as much as $75,000 for a top-of-the-line system. And costs can, of course, go higher if there are substantial wiring and plumbing work done by other contractors as part of your overall project.

This is typically one of the most expensive options when it comes to basement finishing, but also one of the most convenient.


Related article: Why You Need a Finished Basement


Factors that Determine the Cost of Basement Finishing

Size isn’t the only important factor that determines how much it will cost to finish your basement. One major component is the cost of labour. If you’re a skilled contractor or DIY pro, you may be able to do everything yourself. However, most of us can’t count on that cost-saving measure. In Toronto, basement remodeling labour costs vary widely from place to place.

What drives the cost? Well, you’ll need plumbing to set up the bathroom – and the kitchen if you install one. You’ll need installation work for cabinets. You’ll need an electrician to wire for lighting. Also, you’ll need an expert to help you with the flooring and drywall. If you don’t want to paint your walls, you’ll need painter. Then there’s the cost of all the relevant materials and whatever furnishings you choose.

Also crucial to the cost calculation is what you have in mind when you think about the finished basement. Assuming you want a bathroom, do you want a full bath or a half bath? Do you want a full kitchen? Do you want a basic furniture set, an exercise machine, or a pool table and wet bar? Will you stick with concrete floors or add carpeting or hardwood? Your answers to these questions will help determine the cost of finishing your basement.

Additionally, a typical feature that can add to the price of basement finishing is compliance with local building codes. If you’re turning your basement into a sleeping space, you’ll need to have an emergency exit separate from the staircase. This can be a door or what’s known as an egress window. Also, it’s essential to comply with local codes when it comes to the dimensions of your egress window.

How to Save on the Cost of Basement Finishing

Undertaking a more modest project will help you save money. If you decide you don’t need a kitchen and can make do with a half bath, you’ll save a bundle. There are other ways to cut costs, too. You can paint the walls yourself or with the help of friends and family.

You can also choose more modest materials and furnishings. Of course, you don’t want to skimp on the materials that are important for, say, insulating the basement or keeping water from leaking into the flooring. But you can choose more modest hardware, curtains and furnishing if you’re trying to keep to a tight budget.

As with any home renovation, it’s a good idea to get quotes from a few service providers before you commit. That way, you can compare prices and maybe even negotiate a better deal.


Related article: How To Hire A Basement Renovation Company in Ontario



Remodelling or finishing your basement offers an estimated 70% return on investment when the time comes to sell your home. If you live in an area that’s prone to flooding, you may decide that finishing your basement is too much of a risk. Or, if the home in question is an investment property, you may decide that finishing the basement isn’t worth the cost.

However, if you decide to go forward with the basement finishing project, it’s a good idea to work out the costs before setting them out. Our experts are on hand to answer any questions you may have about the cost of basement finishing. Contact Basement Finishing Company today!