Cost of Fininshing a basement ??

Old 01-20-04, 04:47 PM
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Cost of Fininshing a basement ??

Hi Folks,

I have a semi-detached twin built in 1989. The basement has been professionally waterproofed and is in great shape.

The basement is 22 x 28 feet. I live in PA.

A good contractor quoted me around 20,000.00. All I wanted done was framing, insualtion, drywall, electrical and a roof. The contractor knew this and still I thought that was a high price.

What do folks think was a realistic price ??? I was thinking around 10 -12 thousand.

Could you folks give me a "gut" feel on the price to finish the basement.

Thanks - jg1234
Old 01-20-04, 05:35 PM
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The price you mention is only from one contractor but I do confess that the price is fairly reasonable as compared to what?

Michigan, north of Detroit, it would be about $21,560 with carpet,basic $35.00 SF. Where you are and what you got is $32.47 SF. That is a great price, when I cmpare it to here. Other places in the country can be lower, others higher but not knowing anymore specifics, it seem very fair.

Problem is that this is only from one bidder. I always suggest others should get at least 3 bids but in your case, it appears that doing so is just wasting their time. If your budget can't meet the realistic price range, don't make any more calls.

What you expected to pay from a professional is extremely under estimated. It is a sign of not understanding what professionals charge versus what a do-it-yourselfer could do the identical work for.

Unfortunately, when a DIY'er says they did it all for $8,000 - $10,000 and asked how much time did it take, they always consider that their labor was free thus thinking that the professionals price was just outrageous!

Hope this helps!
Old 01-22-04, 05:22 AM
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beware of low bidders

Some guys will lowball you with an estimate that is too good to be true. Not saying it's the case here, just warning you. What happens then is that they either do a lousy job, keep milking you for more money or take a long time to finish. Sometimes - all of the above.

Doug, of course, is right. $10K is what you whould spend in tools and materials to do it yourself. But it takes up a lot of your time, a lot longer than a pro. If I were getting my regular wages while working on my basement, I'd estimate the total cost of well over $100k. Good thing I enjoy it
Old 01-22-04, 05:23 PM
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Once you get the three bids, don't choose based on cost alone. And don't choose based on how nice the guy was alone either. Pay attention to the details. They matter -- a whole lot. Read the fine print of the bid that says exactly what each will do. Don't assume that you will get anything not in the bid.

For example, look at the electrical part of the bid (now why did I pick that?). How many circuits will you get? How many outlets? How many kilowatts? How much light? Attractive fixtures? Dimmers? Three-way switches? 19-cent switches or $2 switches? The minimum electrical supply allowed by code will be quite limiting.

Look just as closely at plumbing, HVAC (return vents? seal the joints?), flooring (good carpet?), painting (primer?), trim, thermal insulation, sound insulation, vapor barrier, combustion air for your furnace, etc. Will they provide storage under the stairs? 16" on center or 24" on center framing?

Ugly disputes are common in basement finishing jobs. Careful preparation will eliminate these. Get references, and check them out!

I finished 800 square feet of my basement (with bedroom and bathroom and office). It took me 18 months of nights and weekends and cost me $14K (materials only). Flooring alone was over $3K.
Old 01-23-04, 08:17 AM
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Cost of Finishing a basement

Thanks everybody for the posts.

The information was very helpful. I'll let you know how we make out.


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