Makeover Basement

Ideas, costs, tips and plans - the information you need for a successful Basement Makeover project

March 2015

Homeowners have many important questions about their Basement Makeover Project. How much will it cost? How long will it take? What problem areas do I need to watch out for? Can I recover my Basement Makeover investment when I sell? Can I do some of the work myself? What can I do to make sure that the work is done right?

Costs, materials and best practices for the example Basement Makeover project will help you answer these questions. Use this information to develop a budget, bid requirements, hiring contracts and a project plan.

Basement Makeover - Project Overview

The approximate costs and value of a typical Basement Makeover project are summarized below. Use higher estimates for larger metropolitan areas and the lower estimates where home prices are below the national average. Adjust costs for substitutions or refinements in the last section. For size differences of up to 25%, scale total costs in direct proportion to the size of your project. Use the adjusted costs as a basis for setting a material budget and for comparing contractor bids (if you choose to have a professional perform the work).

Project descriptionRemodel basement living space. Update flooring, walls, switchplates and decorative hardware. Add built-in speakers, wall mounting system for flat screen television, crown molding and recessed lighting. Install new window treatments. Use above average grade of materials, fabrication and installation quality. Estimated costs do not include furniture and flat screen television.
Project size568 square feet of renovation
Material and labor cost$8,685 - $10,133
Material cost$4,887 - $5,702
Do-it-yourself assessmentThe typical Basement Makeover project involves tasks that are best performed by experienced professionals. Good quality Basement Makeover requires considerable experience, skill and attention to detail. Do it yourself mistakes are noticeable, may be difficulty to remedy and may actually reduce the market value of the project and your home.
First year Return on Investment - ROIReturns vary widely and are affected by the range of home prices in your neighborhood, the overall condition of your home and sensible design choices. A high quality Basement Makeover project in an appropriate neighborhood can return as much as 77% - 91% of its initial cost.
First year Return on Investment - ROIReturns will be impacted by the range of home prices in your neighborhood, the overall condition of your home and sensible design choices. A high quality Basement Makeover project can return as much as 67% - 78% of its initial cost
Green ratingBasement Makeover projects can incorporate renewable or sustainable resources and environmentally friendly materials.

Basement Makeover - Project Plan and Details

The following list includes major work tasks commonly performed during Basement Makeover. Use this list to understand the timing and sequence of different steps in the Basement Makeover project. Click any Task name for a complete written specifications, FAQs and quality checklist for the task - this essential information will help you control Basement Makeover project cost and quality.

Do you expect to spend more than $250 on your Basement Makeover project? If so, it is important create and manage a detailed plan for all project activities.

TaskService ProviderTimeDifficultyBasic Cost Range
Develop Basement IdeasInterior Designer5 to 15 d$355 - $594
Waterproof BasementWaterproofing Contractors2 to 15 d$7.22 - $12.59 per square foot
Remove FlooringDemolition Laborer1 d$0.92 - $1.53 per square foot
Remove PanelingDemolition Laborer1 d$0.09 - $0.15 per square foot
Prepare Basement FlooringFlooring Contractor1 d$6.10 - $10.46 per square foot
Frame Basement WallsCarpenter1 to 2 d$2.19 - $3.83 per square foot
Install Stairway HandrailFinish Carpenter1 dLevel 1 - Basic$17.96 - $30.84 per linear foot
Install Engineered Wood FloorFlooring Contractor1 to 2 dLevel 2 - Challenging$4.38 - $7.80 per square foot
Repair WallDrywall and Plaster Contractor1 to 3 d$189 - $319
Install Crown MoldingFinish Carpenter1 to 2 dLevel 2 - Challenging$3.82 - $6.77 per linear foot
Install BaseboardFinish Carpenter1 to 2 dLevel 1 - Basic$3.29 - $5.73 per linear foot
Install Window BlindsFinish Carpenter1 dLevel 1 - Basic$84 - $150
Replace Electrical OutletElectrician1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$50 - $86
Install Track LightingElectrician1 to 2 dLevel 2 - Challenging$287 - $490
Paint RoomsPainting Contractor1 to 3 dLevel 2 - Challenging$3.83 - $6.53 per square foot
Paint DoorPainting Contractor1 to 3 dLevel 2 - Challenging$93 - $156 per door
Install Wall LightingElectrician1 to 2 dLevel 2 - Challenging$298 - $533
Install Light SwitchElectrician1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$95 - $161
Install Ceiling SpeakersElectrician1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$104 - $184 per speaker

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Basement Makeover - Proven Ideas and Project Tips

Review these tips, design suggestions, options and lessons learned before finalizing your Basement Makeover project plan.

  • To maximize return on the Basement Makeover project, limit cost to no more than 5.45% of home's total, post project value
  • For best home resale value, follow a consistent design and decorating theme throughout the home
  • For best resale value, select a taste neutral design for your Basement Makeover
  • Select finish treatments that harmonize with furniture and statement accessories
  • To avoid budget busting surprise expenses, it is imperative that you make all component and material selections before any work begins on the Basement Makeover project
  • To keep Basement Makeover costs low, do not move walls or relocate plumbing fixtures or electrical boxes
  • Understand how your project will change property taxes (assessed value) and home insurance - before the project begins
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detector adjacent to rooms with heat generating appliances and equipment
  • Use furniture, fixtures and accessories scaled appropriately to the room size
  • Use bright lighting to make a small room appear larger

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