What’s the Average Cost to Finish A Basement?

What’s the Average Cost to Finish A Basement?

There are many reasons why homeowners invest in finishing their basement. A finished basement can add living space, create more room for storage, and increase the property value of the home.

But, can you afford it? Here’s what you should know about the average cost to finish a basement:

The Average Cost of Basic Basement Finishing vs. Basement Remodeling

The cost can vary depending on whether you want to finish or remodel your basement. Finishing a basement involves hanging drywall, installing a ceiling, adding lighting, and completing other projects that make the space livable. The average cost to finish a basement can range between $6,500 to $18,500.

A remodel involves changing the structure, layout, or function of the basement. There are countless ways to remodel a basement. An example of a remodel is transforming a basement into a guest bedroom and bathroom. 

You aren’t just making the space livable, you are changing the way the space is used. On average, a basement remodel can cost between $20,000 and $50,000, depending on the details of the plan. 

To put it simply, a remodel will cost you far more than a simple finishing project. It’s important to keep this in mind if you’re deciding what you should do with your basement.

hanging drywall

The Average Cost of Basement Improvement Projects

Each basement finishing and remodeling project is unique, which is why costs vary so greatly. Here’s a look at the average costs of some of the most popular basement improvement projects:

  • Permits: The cost will vary, but in general, permits cost between $100-1500.
  • Framing: You should expect to spend about $1 per square foot to frame your basement.
  • Drywall: It costs around $1.50 per square foot to hang drywall in your basement.
  • Ceiling: Basic ceiling installation can cost as little as $1-2 per square foot. But, if the project is complex, it can cost around $6 per square foot.
  • Flooring: The cost of flooring will vary depending on the material. Inexpensive flooring options, such as vinyl, can cost less than $1,000 to install. Carpet and tile flooring can cost between $1,500-2,000, whereas hardwood flooring can cost more than $5,000. 
  • Sealing to prevent water leaks: It can cost around $4,000 to seal a basement to prevent water leaks and protect your home.

Figure out which of these projects you will need to complete to finish or remodel your basement. Then, use this information to get a better idea of how much you will have to spend to finish or remodel your basement.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Basement Finishing?

Many different factors affect the total cost of finishing a basement, including:

  • Location
  • Size
  • Timing
  • Details of the Plan


Where you live can impact the overall cost of your basement finishing project. Why? Each city, county, and state has its own permitting rules. Homeowners in one city may need to spend thousands of dollars on permits in order to finish their basement, whereas homeowners in another city may only have to spend a few hundred on permits. Make sure you look into the cost of obtaining permits prior to starting this project.


The size of the basement will also affect the cost of finishing it. Most projects, such as hanging drywall and installing flooring, are priced by the square foot. The bigger your basement, the more you will have to spend to get these projects done.


It takes time to finish a basement. It’s estimated that a team of professionals can complete the job in about 45 days. If you need it done faster than that, you may need to pay your contractor more in order to meet your tight deadlines. 

Remodeling plans

Details of the Plan

The details of your plan will have a huge impact on the final cost of the project. You should expect to pay more if your plans include expensive materials, structural changes, rewiring, or new plumbing. The cost will also increase if you are planning on transforming the space by adding a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, closet, or other living space.

Basement Before And After: Start Your Transformation Today

Use this information to set your budget and decide what improvements you can afford to make in your basement. You can take on some of the easier projects on your own, but it’s best to hire a professional for the bulk of the work. A skilled and trustworthy contractor can help you transform your basement into a beautiful living space!