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Basement Renovations Guide for Homeowners

If you need to increase the space in your home or boost home value before a home sale, a basement renovation can be a good solution.

According to Remodeling Magazine, a mid-range basement remodel can get you as much as 70% of your investment at resale.

You can also efficiently increase the square footage of your home and double the space you and your loved ones can enjoy!

There are, however, many steps to planning a basement renovation and factors for you to consider.

Whether your basement needs finishing or remodeling, you have come to the right place!

We can help you get the information you need for your project and connect you with qualified and reputable basement contractors.

By working with experienced professionals, you can ensure that your renovation will be worth your time and investment and avoid problems.

You will find a lot of tips for basement renovations and compare multiple quotes, free of charge, when you fill out the short online form on this page.

The Benefits of a Basement Renovation


As a homeowner, one of your primary concerns would be the benefits of renovating or finishing a basement.

Think for a moment – that slab of concrete serves no purpose other than to collect dust and dirt until you finish it. You can make it a bright and comfortable space that you and your family can enjoy.

When thinking about the benefits, the cost of a basement renovation must also come into the equation. The cost of a basement renovation depends on the square footage but it offers more value than most other home improvement projects.

To answer this question, check out some of the benefits you can gain from a basement renovation:

Increased livable space

The livable space of your home can double with a basement renovation. What you want to do with the extra space is all up to you. You can turn the basement into a family room, a basement suite (bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen), a playroom, or a home gym or home office.

Increase in home value

A finished basement will increase the resale value of your property. Buyers appreciate the additional living space and are attracted to a finished basement.

Additional income

Creating a secondary basement suite can provide a steady income. In most cases, rental income from a basement suite can pay for as much as 75% of the monthly mortgage. It will also increase resale value of your home.

Before you get too excited about a basement renovation project, know what you are getting into.

Find a reputable basement contractor to work with. Professionals can give you valuable advice about the design, materials, and other things you need to make your project a success. They also know what problems to expect and check such as mold, insulation, etc.

Professionals are very familiar with the structural requirements, requirement permits, and licensed trades needed to complete the job.

When you have an experienced basement contractor, your renovation will be stress-free and efficient.

Step-by-step planning for a basement renovation


Before you dive into the costs of a renovation, there are important steps for you to take to achieve success.

1.    Determine how you want to use the new space.

While a basement renovation cost is recoverable, it isn’t 100%. Thus, you should also focus on what is really missing in your home to improve it. Maximizing your personal satisfaction from your basement space will make the expense worth it.

Aside from function, other costs such as the materials selected and even your choice of contractor will have a huge impact on the overall cost.

If you are renovating to sell your home, consider what your potential buyers want most and always consider the return on your investment. Avoid luxurious upgrades and go for a mid-range renovation to keep your expenses reasonable.

2.    Find a good basement renovation contractor

Basement renovations differ from other types of home renovations because you are utilizing space below grade. This comes with unique risks that only professionals know about.

For instance, the construction must meet standards established by the Building Code. Your basement needs to be ready and safe.

Contractors know problems to anticipate such as moisture and mold and will know what materials are safe to use to prevent future damage.

Poor framing jobs, electrical problems, and leaking pipes are just some of the things that can give you a lot of headaches.

Find a good basement renovation contractor to help you with a successful basement renovation. You can start by requesting your FREE and NO-OBLIGATION quotes right here.

3.    Plan your budget.

It will become a nightmare if your project’s cost balloons to unimaginable proportions. Thus, it is important to determine from the start the cost of your renovation.

You can do this by finding a good contractor who will provide you with a transparent and accurate quote. Don’t hesitate to ask questions from your contractor and add a small contingency budget (usually 20%) for emergencies.

4.    Secure financing for your renovation.

It is common for homeowners to look for financing for a home renovation. If you already have an existing mortgage, you can check with the lender if you can refinance your mortgage to pay for a basement renovation.

Some basement renovation companies also provide financing to their clients and this is an option you can explore.

You can also speak to a reputable mortgage broker to help you secure an ideal solution to your financing requirements.

5.    Finalize the detailed plans and schedule of your renovation with your selected contractor.

You can now finalize the detailed plans, design, and schedule of your renovation with your contractor. Discuss who will secure permits, if necessary, for your construction and this depends on your municipality.

In the Greater Toronto Area, renovations that alter the structural integrity of the home require a building permit. In Ontario, installing new plumbing will require a permit.

Your contractor will be knowledgeable about this aspect and can help you obtain the permits needed.  Your renovation is all set to start!

Top materials to consider for a basement renovation


Certain materials are just not advisable for basements due to issues regarding moisture and mold. You don’t want any material that absorbs water or gets damaged. Thus, mold-resistant drywall is recommended for use to keep your basement safe.

Moisture can come in from interior and exterior leaks due to bad ventilation. Leaking pipes or cracks in the wall could also let in moisture.

Some warning signs of moisture in the basement are unusual odors, mildew, condensation on floors and walls, and blistering walls.

When the basement has moisture, mold will develop. Humid environments are ideal for mold and they cause negative effects on our health.

Professionals know how to deal with moisture and mold in the basement and will make your basement a safer environment.

Consider what materials you want to use for your basement, including:



Hardwood floors look beautiful but quite risky when used in a basement. If the floor comes in contact with water, the wood will crack and get damaged.  Laminate flooring, while affordable, is also absorbent and not advisable.

Contractors recommend using ceramic tiles or vinyl tiles rather than carpet or hardwood floors. You can install heated flooring with ceramic tiles and they can last more than 20 years.


Using drywall is cost-effective and convenient. It is also quite flexible and works with any design for ceilings and walls. It can be painted or textured for a unique finishing.

It is important to ensure that the basement is free of moisture to prevent the drywall from rotting or developing mold.

Installing dry wall in the basement is best done by professionals to get maximum value from your investment.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC)

If you are building a basement suite, know the HVAC requirements you need to follow.

Whether you want a living room, gym, family room, or home office, comfortable temperatures will be necessary. Discuss with your contractor the right HVAC system you need for your basement.

Buying the right type and size of HVAC equipment will also help you save on energy costs.

2023 most Popular Basement Renovation Ideas


As we mentioned earlier, the possibilities for your basement renovation are endless. In the end, you will need to decide what kind of space you want based on your lifestyle and needs.

Below are some of the most popular basement renovation ideas in 2024.

Home Gym

With many of us spending more time at home nowadays, a home gym is much sought-after. It will allow you to get as much exercise as you need without leaving your home.

You can create a comfortable space for you and put in your exercise bike and other equipment. Have privacy and comfort when you are on your yoga mat.

Many home gyms even have space for adults and kids to have fun together while exercising or playing.

Since you won’t need to go anywhere to exercise, you won’t have any excuse!

Home Office

The work-from-home scenario has become routine for most of us. This means you need a comfortable and convenient space to work. Since many of us also do virtual conferences regularly, the “home office” requires more than just a desk and chair.

You can turn your basement into a wonderful home office with a basement renovation contractor. He can recommend designs based on your specifications and work out the cost tailored to your budget.

Entertainment Room

A pool table, a quiet TV area, a wet bar, or a gaming area can be cool additions to a basement entertainment room. The sky is the limit to what you can create with your basement space to keep you entertained at home.

A basement is a great place for social or family activities. Check with your contractor regarding the lighting, humidity, and ceiling height to suit your project.

Kids’ Play Area

It can be hard to keep the home neat with active kids at home. Creating their play area in the basement is a great idea for young families.

They will have all the room they need for their arts and craft, games, TV, or music without causing havoc upstairs.

These are but some ideas to get you started but you can create any dream space with your basement depending on your interests.

How much does a basement renovation cost?

The cost of a basement renovation depends on several factors. However, most homeowners spend from $35 to $60 per square foot. This means that it will cost you around $35,000 to $60,000 to renovate a basement of 1,000 square feet.

The design, the type of materials you select, and the scope of the project will also affect the overall cost.

Many homeowners invest in a basement renovation because it is a great way to increase the square footage in the home. It can also increase property value.

Lastly, renovating a basement to make more space is less expensive than buying a new house.

Common Expenses in a Basement Renovation


Below are some common expenses to expect if you plan to renovate your basement. By understanding these costs, you can avoid many pitfalls and plan your budget well.


Building permit


$1,200 to $2,000.


$15 to $30 per linear foot


$1.50 to $2.00 per square foot


$2.00 to $3.50 per square foot

Plumbing (sump pump, bathroom fixtures, etc.)

$10,000 to $15,000


$3 to $6 per square foot


$65 to $100 per hour for a certified electrician


$3 to $4 per square foot

Tile flooring

$5 to $25 per square foot (varies based on type of tile and quality)

Foundation pouring or repair

$5,000 and up (not in all cases as newer homes may not need it)


$1,000 to as much as $25,000


Let’s take a closer look at these expenses to help you prepare your budget.

Building permit

If you are making changes to your home, they must be approved by your municipality before any construction can start.

Typically, building permits in Canada cost from $1,200 to $2,000.  Your contractor will be able to advise you and assist you with the permits needed. You can also check with your city’s planning office for the requirements.


Basement framing means creating the skeleton of your room. The foundation is formed by wooden beams upon which electrical work, insulation, and other elements will rest.  Depending on the size of the area, you may spend from $1,200 to $1,500 for materials and labor.


If you are putting in a bathroom, a wet bar, or a kitchen, you will need plumbing in the basement.

It is a major factor that could increase your finishing costs. Typically, plumbing expenses can go from $12,000 to $15,000 for a kitchen and $2,000 to $5,000 for a bathroom.

Depending on how fancy your requirements are, you may spend as much as $35,000 on plumbing.


In Canada where winters can get really cold, several types of insulation are available to choose from.

Rigid and spray foam is the cheapest and costs around $1.50 to $2.30 per square foot. Fiberglass insulation offers better quality but costs more at $2.00 to $4.00 per square foot/

All in all, expect to pay around $2,500 to $8,000 for insulating the basement based on the size of the basement and the type of insulation.


Drywall is one of the cheapest materials to plan for and it costs from $1.50 to $2.00 per square foot. Depending on the size of your basement, you should prepare $2,000 to $4,000 for drywalling.



You have many choices when to comes to ceilings. Drywall is cheap and costs from $2.00 to $3.00 per square foot.

If you want something more stylish for your ceiling, drop ceilings cost from $3 to $5 per square foot.

You might pay $1,000 to $2,500 for your ceiling, depending on the design and materials you choose.


A licensed electrician is required to wire your basement and this won’t come cheap. However, a qualified and experienced electrician is worth the price to prevent any safety hazards. Most electricians charge $65 to $100 per hour so the entire basement may cost you about $1,200 to $2,000.


This is very important for a basement and you may pay between $1,200 to $25,000, depending on the size and condition of your basement.


Tile and engineered wood flooring are popular and affordable options for basements.  Depending on the material you choose, you can expect to pay $1,700 to $5,000 for floor installation.


While you can do the painting yourself, high-end basement renovations would be better off with professional painting.

The quality of professional painting is simply better than any DIY job. If you are investing a lot of money into renovating your basement, hire professionals to finish the job.

Materials and labor may cost from $3.00 to $5.00 per square foot. You can expect to pay $3,000 to $5,000, generally, for painting the basement.

Generally, contractors would say that a basement renovation would cost from $30,000 to $50,000.

The cost to build a basement apartment


Building a basement apartment is one of the more expensive types of basement renovations. The ballpark for a modest apartment is about $60,000 to $70,000, and these would include the expenses mentioned above.

However, additional costs would include:

·         Kitchen countertop

·         Appliances (refrigerator, microwave, stove)

·         Separate entrance/fire exit

·         Furniture (sofa, bed, cabinets)

When creating a basement apartment, keep in mind that specific codes should be followed and depending on where you live.


The National Building Code of Canada requires a ladder be available to easily access an egress window which should be large enough for a tenant to go through in an emergency.

Ways to finance a basement renovation


Are you looking for financing to make your dream basement come true?

For many Canadians, using savings to pay for a home renovation can be difficult. Usually, some type of financing or loan would be needed.

Home Equity Loans (HELOC) are popular for financing home renovations. This type of loan allows you to tap into your home equity to pay for a project such as a basement renovation.

The benefit of using home equity to finance a basement renovation is the lower interest rate compare to other types of loans.

If you have been paying off your mortgage for a few years, your home equity could be substantial and can easily pay for your project.

The formula for calculating home equity is HOME VALUE – MORTGAGE BALANCE= EQUITY.

Many lending institutions provide home equity line of credit with a mortgage. If you have an existing mortgage, you can speak to your lender about refinancing your mortgage to obtain new funds or seek the help of a mortgage broker for mortgage refinancing.

You can get more details and tips about home equity loans from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

Keep in mind that refinancing your mortgage will also have costs including legal/notarial fees and penalties for breaking your mortgage.


Some basement renovation companies also offer financing schemes to their customers to make paying for your basement renovation much easier.

Frequently asked Questions about Basement Renovations

We know that a basement renovation is a huge undertaking. Thus, we want to provide you with the information you need to make planning easier for you.

Consult the frequently asked questions about basement renovations below to guide you in this process.

Do I need to get a permit for a simple basement remodel?

A basement renovation would generally change the structure of the home and regulations require a permit for this process. Getting a permit ensures that your construction will be up to code for your safety and protection.

What are the biggest expenses when it comes to a basement renovation?

Waterproofing and plumbing are 2 of the biggest expenses for a basement renovation. Both these tasks require specialized trades and could cost from $20,000 to $35,000 combined, depending on the complexity and size of your project.

Is it advisable to finish or renovate the basement?

A basement renovation is a good way to increase livable space. It can also increase home value with a return on investment of 70%.  This is a great advantage for homeowners to make their homes more comfortable and protect their investment.

Do I need to hire a contractor for a basement renovation?

While the law does not require you to hire a contractor, it would be very difficult to DIY a basement renovation.

It all depends on the condition of the space you have. Would you need excavation work? Are foundation pouring and repairs needed? Do you have experience in construction?

A permit is required for a basement renovation and some aspects of the work such as plumbing and electrical works require licensed tradesmen.  You can hire a general contractor to supervise and manage the work or a basement renovation company to help with your project.

Basement renovations are expensive. Avoid costly mistakes and work with an experienced and qualified contractor.

How much does it cost to remodel a finished basement?

If your basement already has walls, wiring, etc., it may cost you just around $20,000 to remodel it, depending on how you want to use the basement, the design, and materials and the extent of remodeling you want to do.

Is it worth constructing a basement apartment for a second income?

Basement apartments can definitely fetch a handsome and steady income. In fact, it can pay a huge chunk of your monthly mortgage payments. Of course, it is important to comply with the building code for basement suites. Work with a reputable contractor to ensure the basement suite is safe, comfortable, attractive, and durable.

Find a reputable basement contractor for your renovation


To plan a basement renovation, find a reputable basement contractor from our network to help you!

A basement renovation will increase the quality of your life, the value of your home, and even help you earn passive income to pay off your mortgage!

There are many options when it comes to finishing, remodeling, or renovating a basement. Qualified basement contractors can advise and guide you regarding the design, materials, and cost.

Transform your basement into new space that you and your family can enjoy at a cost you can afford!

Our partner contractors serve Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and all of Canada!

Best of all, you can find other professionals you need related to your project including a mortgage broker, home inspector, or real estate lawyer.

Your convenience and satisfaction are important to us so you will find all that you need for your home from our vast network.


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