How much does it cost to finish or renovate a 1000sqf basement in Toronto in 2023?
Renovating a basement is a fantastic way to add valuable living space to your home. However, one crucial aspect that often comes to mind is the cost involved. Understanding the cost of renovating a basement can help you plan your budget effectively and make informed decisions. In this article, we will outline the different aspects of pricing out a basement renovation project in Ontario, including materials and labor costs.
Although basement renovation prices can be estimated on an average per square foot, these figures should be treated only as a very rough idea of the final cost. A total basement renovation or finishing project is a custom project and should be thought of the same as building a new custom home. Everything from the size of the space to layouts, features, and finishes will have great sway in the final cost of such a project.
A full basement renovation or finishing project is a custom project and should be thought of the same as building a new custom home. Everything from the size of the space to layouts, features, and finishes will have great sway in the final cost of such a project.
Size and Complexity of the Basement:
The size and complexity of your basement play a significant role in determining the overall cost of the renovation. A larger basement will generally require more materials and labor, increasing the total expense. Additionally, the complexity of the project, such as adding new rooms, relocating plumbing, adding kitchens, fireplaces, bars, accent walls, etc. can impact the cost due to additional construction and specialized labor requirements. On average, assuming no demolition is required, a 1000-square-foot basement, fully finished with a 3-piece bathroom will cost $55,000 to $60,000. Dive deeper with us as we break down the scope of work and the costs that come with it in the sections that follow.
Basement Foundation and Insulation
Basements are a unique part of the home because they are underground, in whole or in part and contain most of the home’s mechanical and electrical utilities such as furnaces, water heaters and electrical panels. Before renovating, we must make sure that the space will be comfortable and waterproofed to ensure the longevity of the space.
- Any cracks in the foundation walls need to be examined and fixed with high-pressure polyurethane injections (starting at $550/crack)
- All exterior walls of a home must be insulated. If the existing basement insulation is old, water damaged, or simply insufficient it must be replaced with new R20 batt or blanket insulation ($3,000-$4,000 for 1000sqf basement). Spray foam insulation can also be used; however, it will double the cost.
- Soundproofing the ceilings isn’t required for most basement renovations unless the basement is being used as a legal secondary dwelling. On average the cost of soundproofing ceilings with Safe n Sound is $3.5/sqf and it does not need to be added to the entire basement.
- Depending on the selected flooring system a subfloor may or may not be required. There are many products on the market for this application and range from $1.5 to $5 per square foot to install.
Basement Framing and Drywall
The layout and complexity of the 1000 sqf basement will greatly impact how much framing and drywall is required for the project. Naturally, a two-bedroom, one-bathroom basement with closets will require more time and material to frame, drywall, and tape than an open-concept space. Basement ceilings usually require multiple bulkheads to be built to accommodate HVAC ducting, gas lines, and support beams. The complexity of the basement ceiling varies from basement to basement.
- To frame, drywall, and tape an open concept 1000sqf basement with a three-piece bathroom will cost between $10,000-$12,000.
- A 1000sqf basement with bedrooms and a bathroom will increase this cost to $12,000-$15,000
- If the basement isn’t a standard height (more than 8’) the cost of both labour and materials will increase by about 20% for the framing, drywall, and taping.
Basement Plumbing Costs
Many homes in Ontario built after 1995 are built with drain rough-ins for a three-piece bathroom already installed by the builder. These include a 3” toilet drain, a 1.5” shower drain, and a drain for a sink. The rough-in also includes an air vent that goes all the way up through the roof of the house. Another important plumbing job in a basement that is often overlooked is re-routing and replacing water lines that run below the floor joists that make up the basement ceiling.
- If the rough-in points are in the desired location for a bathroom, that’s great; otherwise, a new rough-in will be required at a cost of $1,200-$2,000 depending on the distance to the nearest drain line.
- Plumbing points in addition to the bathroom include bar, kitchen or laundry sinks, washing machines, water softeners, septic pumps, etc. These will range from $750 to $1,500 per point.
- Cleaning up the ceilings ranges from $35 to $50 per linear foot depending on the material used (copper or pex)
- Relocating water shut-offs is often required to avoid bulkheads, this is around $250-300
All plumbing work is performed in two stages – rough-ins and finishing. This means that the plumber will install all the necessary plumbing fixtures towards to end of the project.
Basement Electrical Costs
Electrical costs in a basement renovation project can vary quite a bit depending on the number and types of points needed for the basement. In addition to the obvious lighting, switches, and outlets the scope of the electrical work could include such items as rough-ins for stoves, fridges, electrical car chargers in the garage, new electrical panels, accent lighting, and fireplaces. All electrical work must be performed by a licensed electrician with an electrical contractor’s insurance and must be inspected by the Electrical Safety Authority before drywall installation.
Here are some general ideas of electrical point costs in a basement:
- Standard electrical points such as pot lights, regular lights, switches, and outlets cost approximately $100 per point.
- GFCI plugs or dedicated lines such as the ones needed for fireplaces, fridges, and washing machines are $180 per point.
- Dryer and stove plugs are roughly $350-450 per point.
- A plug for an electric car in the garage will range between $1,200 to $2,000 depending on the distance.
- If an electrical panel upgrade is required, it will cost roughly $4,000 for a 200AMP service.
- The total cost for all the electrical work including the ESA inspection and installation of fixtures will add up to approximately $10,000-$12,000 for a 1000sqf basement.
Furthermore, a basement renovation is a great time to add any additional electrical lines to the rest of the house as the electrician will have open access to the panel and ceilings. Rough-ins for future hot tubs, pools, sheds, gazebos, etc. can be added at this time.
Basement Flooring, doors, and trim
As you approach the finishing stages, be prepared for a wider range of price variations in your basement renovation. The choice of subfloor (if any) vinyl, laminate, hardwood, or tile flooring will have a great impact on the overall final price of the project. The cost of interior doors can also vary quite a bit, an open-concept basement can have 3-4 doors while a basement with bedrooms and closets can have 10 or more doors. Interior doors have several different design options and can be made with a hollow core, solid core, or even solid wood. The same can be said about baseboards and casings, standard basement heights will usually have 4” baseboards but 5 ¼” and 7 ¼” are also available. These can be made out of MDF or wood.
- For a 1000sqf space, we recommend vinyl flooring (at least 7mm thick). Expect an installation cost of around $7,500, stairs included.
- Laminate flooring, typically costs about $1.5 less per square foot, resulting in an approximate installation cost of $6,000.
- Tile work for a 3pc bathroom including a stand-up shower will cost between $3,600 to $5,000 depending on the cost of tile and the size of the bathroom. We do not recommend installing tile throughout the entire basement due to cost, cold, and unevenness of the concrete slab.
- Standard 4” MDF baseboards installed in a 1000sqf space will range from $1,200 to $2,000 depending on the number of rooms. Taller baseboards will increase this cost by about 25%.
- A standard 80” hollow core door with all the necessary door jambs, casings, and hardware will cost about $600 per door installed. Solid core doors will add $200 per door.
Basement Design, Layout, and other custom items:
The design and finishes choices you make for your basement renovation can greatly influence the overall cost of your basement renovation project. If you opt for a simple and straightforward design with minimal structural changes such as new plumbing rough-ins and new windows, the cost will naturally be lower. However, if you have specific design features such as custom built-ins, accent walls, bars, kitchens, or intricate finishes in mind, the costs will increase due to the need for additional materials and installation costs. Here are some examples of optional additions to a standard 1000sqf basement:
- A small walk-up basement wet bar with open shelving will cost in the range of $4,500-$5,500.
- A bar with a peninsula or island will be more expensive, in the $6,000 to $8,000 range
- A basic kitchen with 8 cabinets, utilities for a stove, exhaust fan, fridge, and a quartz countertop will range from $9,000-$11,000.
- A kitchen island will add $3,000 to $4,000.
- An accent stone wall with a linear electric fireplace will cost approximately $3,500.
- Laundry rough-ins for a washer and dryer will range from $1,500 to $2,500 depending on the complexity and distance of utilities.
- Ceiling Soundproofing for a 1,000 sqf basement will be around $4,000.
- Electrical panel upgrade to 200AMP service is in the $3,500 to $4,500 range.
- EV charging station in the garage is $1,000 to $1,500.
As you can see, answering the question “how much does it cost to finish a basement?” is not that simple and depends on a variety of factors. If you want to price out a basement renovation project, you must approach it like you are building a custom home or buying a new car, where features and materials significantly impact the end cost.
At Bedrock Basements we take the approach that every project is unique, and no two client styles and requirements are alike. Our Basement Consultants will visit your basement, take the necessary measurements, and spend the time to understand your goals, ideas, and plans. We will give you feedback and provide you with ideas that are unique to your space. Finally, we will present you with a detailed, itemized estimate for the cost of your project including all labour and materials needed.
Before proceeding with the project our Basement Designers will make a 3D rendering of your finished basement so that you can visualize the finished product and make any changes before construction begins.
You can schedule a free no no-obligation estimate with us at this link or give us a call at 905-251-2250.