How Much Time Does It Take To Finish A Basement Apartment? - Basement Finishing Company
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How Much Time Does It Take To Finish A Basement Apartment?

The time to finish a basement apartment is a significant part of preparing for the project. Since it’ll affect your comfort and movement within the house, you should get answers to how long it’ll take to finish your basement apartment.

The timeline for a basement finishing project solely depends on the size, the organization process, design and type of artistry, among other factors. Also, the larger the basement, the longer it’ll take to finish it.

The average basement remodelling project usually lasts between 5 to 7 weeks from the onset of the project. If you’re hiring a professional contractor, the timeline will undoubtedly be shorter than DIY.

Keep in mind that your basement will also have to undergo several pre-work tasks before the project’s commencement. In many cases, all the pre-work that goes into basement finishing may extend the timeframe.

In Canada, if you’re remodelling your basement in winter, it may take months before completion. The extended timeline is due to the weather affecting the smooth movement of material and labour.

No doubt, it goes without saying that many factors come into play when determining the timeframe for basement apartment finishing. It doesn’t mean you can’t plan for basement finishing projects. Below, we’ll provide a comprehensive breakdown of the average time it’ll take to complete each stage of the construction.

Timeline for Basement Finishing

The steps below will help you determine the time it’ll take to finish your basement apartment.

  • Demolition: 3-4 days
  • Framing: 5-6 days
  • Plumbing and Electrical Rough Ins: 1-2 days
  • Rough and Pre-work inspection: 1 day
  • Drywall & Plastering: 4-7 days (plus dry time)
  • Painting: 4-5 days
  • Flooring installation: 2-3days
  • Vapour Barrier and Insulation: 1 day
  • Final Rework: 3-4 days
  • Last inspection: 2 days

It’s possible to work on some of these phases at the same time. This’ll even help you shorten the number of days it takes to finish your basement apartment.

For instance, if framing on one side of your basement is complete, while the workers prepare the remaining sides, electrical installation and plumbing can begin on the framed side.

Above, we listed the usual timeline for each phase for an average 1000 to 2000 square feet basement. But in Toronto, these timeframes will differ for larger spaces. Aside from that, unforeseen circumstances and variables will likely change the regular timing.


Although this is part of the pre-work before the actual project begins, many contractors include it in the timeframe for basement finishing.

The demolition stage is fun to do, especially if you’re demolishing your basement yourself. But to save time, we advise you to hire a professional for it. The reason you need a professional is the demolition stage often ends up messy.

It may take you two days to demolish your basement walls and another two to four days to clear the debris. But a contractor will have a crew, and it’ll take them only two days to knock out and clean your basement. However, if you have the ability and time, doing it yourself will help you save costs.


Framing is a major determinant of the time it’ll take to finish a basement apartment. The faster the framing work, the shorter the timeline for a basement renovation project.

Here, the professional will frame the necessary bulkheads in your cellar. Bulkheads are the scaffolding that goes around former conditions on the basement roofing.

Most often, this process may cover water lines, HVAC runs and gas lines. In a bid to reduce the number and size of bulkheads in your basement, your contractor may relocate the gas and water lines to fit the bulkhead size into a tinier area. This will also make the basement apartment very eye-catching.

HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical Rough Ins

After the framing work, electrical work can also follow. Rough-in is the phase of the renovation project where a contractor brings in various electrical, mechanical and plumbing lines.

During this remodelling stage, the contractor will install plumbing, wiring and ductwork to sort out space accessibility or constraints problems. If the plumbers and electricians work well together, you can shorten how long it takes to finish your basement.


  • Reroute/ run the necessary supply lines.

HVAC Plumbing:

  • Install cold-water pipes, hot-water pipes, and gas lines to gadgets.
  • Run drains and water lines to the closet, bathroom, shower and vanity.
  • Break up floor concrete to shower and drain water pipes.
  • If applicable, fix acrylic shower tiles.


This is the last step under this stage, and it’s the most effortless work involving the HVAC and plumbing.

  • Layout electrical lines
  • Run the electrical wires to switches, receptacles, light fixtures and recessed lights location.
  • Install lightboxes throughout the basement while including vanity and closet lights.
  • Mount junction boxes, set up the electrical panel, ground the lights and pull wiring.
  • Install overhead service wire, switch boxes and receptacles where needed.

Some people set out a day or two for the rough-ins inspection. However, after the necessary installations, you can immediately invite the town inspector to check it out.

An excellent reason this work needs assessment is the next phase — drywall and plastering. You’ll have to cover all of the HVAC and electrical work during the plastering phase.

Drywall and Plastering

As soon as the drywall process begins, the time to finish the basement apartment won’t take up to two weeks. At this point, you can start to picture the final state of your space.

Drywall usually starts with hanging sheetrock. The workers will mud and tape every seam that’s in the wall. Most often, they apply about 3 or 4 coats of plaster to the sheets.

Each coat usually takes about two days to dry up before the drywallers will sand and apply another layer of plaster. After two coats, the drywall is ready for texturing.

Texturing is the application of a finish on the walls. The texture will depend on your taste, whether you want it in orange peel, smooth, or knockdown.

Note that the drying time for complete basement renovation further depends on the current season. Plaster may take about 4 to 5 days to dry in winter. But during the summer months, it may take 1 to 2 days in homes running with air conditioning.

The best way to go about this stage is by scheduling the labourer to prime the wall after sanding. Doing so will reduce the dust and debris in the space after sanding the drywall. Not to mention, it’ll make the basement airier, therefore making it the neatest phase of the project.


The next phase is to call in the trim carpenters. The trim carpenters may only take half a day. They’ll install all the doors as well as door casings. They’ll also trim around the basement window. After this, they’ll install baseboard and cabinetry in the basement space.

Painting work

Once the painting work begins, your basement will start to look more beautiful. During this stage of your basement apartment finishing, the painters will help you fill in holes and dents in the walls.

They’ll also seal the drywall if necessary. After this, the painter will proceed to stain the door and walls. Below are the coat applications different parts of the basement may require.

  • Walls: Two-coat finish and one coat prime.
  • Trim: Two-coat finish
  • Ceiling: One coat finish and one coat paint
  • Doors: Two coats of paint on each side

Flooring Installation

The next stage is flooring. The contractors will get floor installers to put any floor of your choice. Most homeowners prefer to use carpet and hardwood flooring for their basement flooring. Your contractor can also install subflooring in your basement.

Since the basement is the most humid area in your home, the subfloor will prevent moisture from forming on your floor. It’ll also make your space warmer and more comfortable.

Final rework

The last stage of finishing a basement apartment may take about three to five days. Anticipate a busy home during this week. During this period, every individual labourer will return for touch-ups. They’ll also check the plumbing work for leaky pipes and broken fixtures.

During this stage, you can install bathroom accessories like a towel rack, shower curtains and a mirror. You can also install electrical gadgets like smoke detectors, light fixtures and cables. The carpenters may return to touch up door handles, bathroom vanity, shelves and cabinetry.

Last inspection

This is never included in the time to finish a basement apartment. Even without inspection, the place is habitable. After finalizing all the work phases, a Toronto town inspector will check the job to ensure it’s safe for habitation.

Related Article: Is Basement Finishing in Winter a Good Idea?

Features that Extend the Timeline for Basement Apartment Finishing

You may ask, how long does it take to finish a basement apartment? It takes at least a month to transform your space into a livable apartment.

However, installing extra features in the basement can extend the timeline for the project. They include:

  • Staircase
  • Tile showers: If you’re installing your tile shower over a fibreglass bath, it’ll take more time. Although you can do the installation alongside other basement finishing tasks, it takes more time than regular showers.
  • Bar countertop: This may take about 2 to 3 weeks of the project timeline. The reason is the installation period will experience delay thanks to drywalling and trimming.
  • Customization: Personalising your space comes with additional time and labour. So if your projects come with customized features like wine cellars and parquet flooring your project will undoubtedly take longer. Keep in mind that customizing your basement will give it more value. Therefore, you shouldn’t be in a hurry to forgo it because you want to finish your project within a short period.

Factors That Affect The Timeline of Basement Remodeling

Many contractors will quote a specific timeline for project completion. Perhaps they’ll promise to finish it within 3 to 4 weeks. In reality, you can only finish the job quickly if you have sufficient labour.

Even in cases where you target a particular deadline to remodel your basement, unforeseen circumstances will come into play. Below are the factors that play a significant role in extending and reducing how long it takes to finish a basement apartment.

Size of basement

size of basementFinishing a basement measuring between 500 to 1000 square feet will take about 2 to 4 weeks less compared to a space twice that size. So before starting with demolition work, the contractor will measure the length of your basement. With accurate measurements, you can prepare a timeline to complete the basement finishing project.

Adding more rooms

Unlike changing your floor and choosing a new paint, adding more rooms to your basement will extend the timeline by a week or more. Spaces like closets, bedrooms and a dining room may take a few days to complete.

On the other hand, kitchens and bathrooms may take weeks because of the additional tiling, flooring and plumbing work involved. This factor will either increase the timeframe for your basement apartment finishing or intensify the working period.

Number of labourers

To finish your basement renovation in less than a month, we advise you to hire a contractor or, better still, a renovations company.

A one-person labourer will take months to complete the work. So, whatever construction project you have, always hire a company with a reliable workforce.

number of labourers Unforeseen circumstances

As mentioned earlier, it’s unlikely your remodel project will go smoothly. Deficits like water leaks, mould and cracks are never a part of the remodelling quote. So, they’ll need separate fixes.

Experiencing unforeseen circumstances during a basement renovation project is perfectly normal. Considering the basement is the most neglected part of the home, it’s bound to incur more time and cost during renovation.

Other times, there can be a delay in the delivery of materials for the project. If the transport company delivers your project materials behind schedule, the workers won’t commence immediately.

Therefore, you must purchase your materials beforehand. Other unexpected problems that may delay your basement finishing include delayed inspection and last-minute upgrades.

Related Article: How to Choose a Reliable Basement Renovator in Vaughan

Final Verdict

The time to finish a basement apartment shouldn’t take you more than six months. With the outline above, you can develop a schedule to complete your basement renovation on time.

To enjoy a habitable space within a short period, you should rely on a crew or company.

So are you about to remodel your basement, and you don’t have a design in mind? Perhaps you’re clueless about the next step to take. We can help. Check out our basement finishing and renovation services at Basement Finishing Company. Discover new designs and styles to beautify your space in the shortest possible time. Contact us today!