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Basement Renovations: Costs and Ideas

Basement Renovations: Costs and Ideas

Basement Renovations – Costs and Ideas. In 2019, Canadian homeowners shelled out $80.1 billion in order to renovate their homes. However, it was expected that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the numbers for 2020 wouldn’t be as high.

At the same time, people have been spending way more time at home than is usual because of stay at home orders and social distancing. This means that they are able to get to projects that have been on the backburner for years.
One popular type of renovation that can allow you to make more living space in your home are basement renovations. How much does this cost, though, and what kind of space can you turn your basement into?

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

Basement Renovations: The Basics

If you are looking into finishing your basement and turning it into a livable space, it will typically involve certain basic tasks. These include:

Building a frame
Running utilities
Installing walls
Installing floors

Depending on how you renovate your basement and whether you hire a professional to do the work for you, the cost can range from $10,000 to upwards of $40,000. These costs can vary widely depending on your choice of materials, the size of the basement, and the features that you choose to install.

It’s important to keep in mind that the cost could be more than you expect if you run into electrical or plumbing issues that need to be upgraded or repaired.

Basement Renovation Costs

If you have a tight basement renovation budget, you might choose to do the work yourselves. Otherwise, hiring a pro will result in labor costs that will make the whole project much more expensive. For this reason, you’ll want to leave some cushion funds while budgeting.

If you are renovating a small basement that is 700 square feet or less, the average cost of doing it yourself is around $5,500. To hire a pro for the same amount of space, it will cost, on average, about $15,000.

For a basement that is between 700 and 1,000 square feet, the average DIY cost is about $8,000. If you are hiring a professional contractor, it will likely cost you more like $18,500.

For large basements that are 1,000 square feet or bigger, the DIY cost, on average, will be about $15,000. To hire a pro for this size basement will cost you around $35,000.

Basement Renovation Ideas

There are so many different possibilities if you are considering renovating your basement. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that your family might want to use the extra space.

Bedroom or Flex Room

An obvious choice as far as basement renovation ideas go is using the space to add one or more bedrooms. You could even design this so that in the future it could be easily transitioned into a suite for tenants or in-laws.

It’s important to check into any codes or regulations that would be relevant if you are adding bedrooms. You will need to have finished features such as floors, walls, lighting, and an egress window along with proper ventilation and heating.

You will also want to consider installing a bathroom in the basement if you are turning it into a bedroom or several bedrooms.

A bonus room or a flex room is a great way to use the extra space in a multi-purpose way. A flex room can double as a family room, living room, or entertainment space. Maybe you’ll choose to use the space for storage and laundry, as a home office, as a playroom, or as a TV room.

Home Gym

If you prefer to work out at home rather than commuting to the gym, you might consider turning your basement into a home gym. You also find that, aside from purchasing equipment, this is a less costly renovation than some of the other options.

Home Theater

Do you and your family love watching movies and TV shows? What if you turned your basement into your very own private movie theater?

You will likely need to hire a skilled electrician to get your set up just right. Basements are great for theaters because they often don’t have much in the way of windows, making the space perfectly dark for enjoying films.

Legal Secondary Suite

Are you hoping for your basement renovation to help you create some cash flow? If so, you might think about turning it into a secondary suite (essentially creating a duplex) that you can rent out. It’s important to look into the zoning, codes, and regulations around this issue, though.

In order to do this, you will want to install at least one bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen or kitchenette, and a living area.

Extra Living Room

It can be nice to have more than one place to relax in your home. If you feel like you and your family can never agree on what to watch on TV, why not have two separate spaces for people to chill out?


Do you, your spouse, and your friends love to enjoy a cocktail or two in the evening? You can turn a corner of your basement into a bar with wrap-around counters, bar stools, a fridge, and a well-stocked liquor selection.

Should You Renovate Your Basement or Upgrade to a Larger Home?

Basement renovations are a great idea if you’re looking for a little extra livable space in your house. That being said, it often doesn’t come cheap and a home equity loan or a Heloc can help you achieve this financially.

However, sometimes it’s simply time to add some more square footage to the place you and your family call home. If you’re thinking about renovating, you might want to weigh out the cost vs. benefit or both renovating and upgrading to a larger house altogether.

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