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How Much Does it Cost to Finish a Basement in 2020?


Have you finally decided to pursue that basement renovation dream? Whether you just want to add some casual living space for your family or have a specific idea in mind such as an entertaining man cave, a home office, or a movie theater, you’ll need to account for the cost ahead of time.


The overall cost of remodeling a basement depends on several factors, including the location, the scope of the project, quality of material used, the size of the basement, the condition of the basement prior to the start of the renovation, the complexity of the new basement design, installation and labor, and any basement upgrades.

Also, what you choose to do in your finished basement also significantly impacts the remodeling cost. Each room costs differently depending on the type of the project. For example, a bar won’t cost the same as a kitchen area. Also, different basement contractors will share different quotes, and the service quality will also vary from one contractor to another. 


Hence, in this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into basement renovation costs in Toronto and the surrounding areas so you have some idea what to expect:


Basement Renovation Costs 2020


A home in Toronto and the surrounding areas would typically have a basement. Since space is quite expensive in this city, a home with a finished basement costs much higher than one without it or unfinished basements. When planning the budget for your basement finishing in Toronto, the first step is to decide what you wish to do with the space. This key piece of information will help you set a budget easily and impact your in-project decisions. A few basement finishing ideas include:

  • Basement suite

  • Mancave

  • Home Office

  • Gym

  • Children’s playroom or adult recreational room

  • Living/Family Room

  • Guest quarters

  • Entertainment area with a basement bar

  • Home theater

You can even choose to utilize your basement for several purposes such as having a home office, a gym, and children’s playroom in a single basement. If you have multiple ideas in mind, you might need to put up some additional walls to divide the space into multiple rooms.  Based on our experience, wall construction costs around $2,000/wall and the best material for walls is gypsum. Not only does it make your space soundproof, but it also gives you a lot of flexibility for sanding and painting the basement. Here is a breakdown of the total basement renovation cost in the Greater Toronto area for 2020:



In addition, there are more jobs associated with finishing, such as plumbing, electrical wiring, ductwork, painting, rebuilding the structural support, lowering the floor, adding fixtures, cabinetry, etc. These will depend on whether you’re looking for minor changes or a total renovation.

While creating rooms is common for basement remodeling, especially if your goal is a basement suite, that may not be necessary. You can set up an appealing basement space without putting up or tearing down walls. Let’s now take a look at each of the different cost separately:


Framing:

One of the first few steps in basement remodeling is to build the wood frames and studs outlining the space. This includes planning the placement of the door, windows, and any closet additions. Wood is normally used for framings and hardware is needed to secure everything in place. 

This is when you’ll also need to section off the space to create rooms with different functions. The framing cost will be affected by the size of the area for framing, the number of walls to be built, your soundproofing needs, and whether or not you’re demolishing the existing walls. 

Plumbing:


Basement renovation typically involves the addition of a bathroom or a kitchen. This means that continued water supply and sewage is essential for space. Plus, if your unfinished basement is subject to pipe leaks and water damage issues, plumbing should be the first order of business in the project. A plumbing professional will take care of all these obligations.

Don’t overlook this critical aspect to save a few dollars, otherwise, you can face costly issues down the road. If not addressed, water damages can spread and affect everything you build and install, including the new flooring, walls, furniture, and so on. It may even result in mold or mildew issues that can pollute the indoor air quality, posing health risks for you and your family.

Plumbing costs include material and labor costs and are calculated by the fixture. In many cases, walls are opened to make connections for sewer and other water lines convenient. Depending on the number of fixtures, the plumbing installation should cost you between $1,500 and $15,000 or more.

But again, plumbing costs vary from one location to another, so get in touch with a reliable basement renovation company such as BCR Basements to get a better idea about the costs.

Drywall:

If you wish to put up new walls in your basement, your next step should be drywall installation. The type of drywall you choose will have a huge impact on the cost of drywall installation. For every panel, it can cost you between $10 and $20, but soundproof and mold-resistant drywall will cost you extra per panel. For instance, each 8 x 4 panel of soundproof drywall can cost you around $50. 

A standard drywall panel measures 8 feet in height, 4 feet in width, and between ¼” and ⅝” in thickness. Not only will need you to need to decide on the material but also account for the cost of installation that varies by the number of square feet.

Installing drywall with the measurements stated above should cost you around $1.5 per square foot. Finishing the drywall costs more. If you factor in the labor and materials, the drywall installation should add up to $40 to $60.


Ceilings:

Installing a new ceiling is a great way to give your remodeled basement a finishing touch, but you'll need to consider the ceiling height because many basements don't have that much height. A wide variety of ceiling options are available so your choice will depend on your needs and preferences. There are three ways to close up the ceiling. These include:

  • Architectural ceiling: Around $7 per square foot or more

  • Suspended ceiling: About $5 per square foot

  • Gypsum ceiling: Roughly $2 to $3 per square foot

One great option is drop ceilings, which are made of acrylic panels to create appealing designs and imitate expensive materials. These can cost you between $2 and $6 per square foot. A more costly choice for ceiling installations is sheet paneling that costs about $12 to $30 per panel.

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, consider installing tongue and groove wood. This is a beautiful ceiling option, whose panels cost around $1 to $3 per square foot.


Flooring:

Flooring is one of the most crucial elements in a basement remodel. Given that you choose the right material, it gives an incredible look and feel to your finished basement. Apart from aesthetics, it's also an important functional component of the project.

It’s often tempting to choose hardwood flooring to achieve a sophisticated look. However, not only is it costly, but it can also lead to serious issues if your basement is prone to flooding or water damage issues. It will cost you around $10 per square foot or more. Wooden surfaces are highly porous, so water penetrates deep into roots upon exposure, making the flooring unsalvageable. The same is the problem with carpeting, a less popular choice. 

If you’re planning on a children’s playroom, carpeting should be a tremendous choice as it works well to keep kids comfortable as well as muffle sound when they play. However, like hardwood floors, it doesn’t get along well with moisture. Excessive and prolonged exposure to water can lead to mold growth and other water-related damages because carpet fibers are more likely to retain moisture.

In case your basement is subject to humidity issues or water infiltration, consider other options such as vinyl flooring or ceramic or porcelain tiles. The cost of flooring is calculated by square foot. Let’s take a look at how the different flooring options can cost you:

  • Engineered wood: $10 per square foot

  • Carpeting: $7 to $12 per square foot

  • Vinyl flooring: Between $1 and $8 per square foot

  • Ceramic or porcelain tiles: $5 to $20 square foot

While the rates stated above are rough estimates, they can greatly differ by location and the contractor you choose.

Labor Cost:

If you have a lot of knowledge and are the project manager for the basement renovation project, you can obtain quotes from basement contractors for the labor only. If you have the required skill, it can be the cheapest method to remodel your basement in Toronto. 

When you work with basement contractors, they don't like to quote prices based on labor costs as it greatly depends on how the homeowner schedules and controls the project. They'd charge for the time spent on the project from start to finish. This means that small mistakes can lead to delays and cost you more.

The labor cost is also impacted by the amount of work and complexity involved. To give you an idea, if a basement contractor predicts that a project will be completed in 3 weeks and the owner arranges for all the materials, the labor cost should be somewhere around $30 to $35.

Painting:

Calculated per square foot, painting cost depends on the labor hours, the complexity of the painting design, and the quantity and quality of the paint used. The per square foot cost for painting lies between $3 and $7, while the total cost can be around $1000 to $1600. The cost can be higher if you decide to add patterned paint features or an accent wall.


Electrical Expenses:

Since basements have a reputation to be dark, you need to pay particular attention to lighting to eliminate that problem. With proper lighting, you and your family would want to stay longer in the space. To make sure that space supports the electrical needs including lighting and other electrical appliances, you'll need to install or inspect the wiring in the basement. If you hire an electrician for the job, be prepared to pay somewhere around $50 to $100.

If you opt for a turn-key service with your basement contractor, the cost of electrical wiring installation, plumbing, and other miscellaneous expenses should be included in the total basement renovation costs.


Building Permit:

Before starting any construction, addition, renovation, or demolition of your property, you must obtain a building permit from the Toronto Building staff and the Ontario Building Code. This should ensure compliance with zonal, state, and other laws. Even the plumbing and electrical work are supposed to be inspected to ensure that the work complies with the laws. 

Obtaining building permits can cost you anywhere between $300 and $1,900. To obtain in-depth information on the requirements, costs, and procedures of building permits for Toronto, take a look at this guide.


Final Word:

Basement Finishing in Toronto is not an easy project. When planning your budget, numerous aspects need to be considered. While the basement renovation costs explained above should help you determine a budget, your basement contractor can help you with any confusion and obtain more insights into the available options.

If you are looking for a contractor, contact BCR Basements for a top-notch basement finishing job and estimated costs!

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