Cost to Finish Basement - Whats resonable?

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  #1  
Old 12-30-05, 11:13 AM
jamesg5000
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Cost to Finish Basement - Whats resonable?

Hello for Toronto Canada,

I always wanted to finish my basement so I could put in a home theater system.

The space i want to finish is about 700 square feet. Ceiling hieght is not bad but the ducts will be an issue in a few places. I want a decent level of finishing with pot lights and a few nice doors. Maybe some wood trim. No kitchen or bathrooms.

I only got one quote so far and it was for 24K US or 28K CND! Sounds way to high to me as I know others who had theirs done with a nice bathroom for a lot less. At least they gave me a nice floor plan for free.

A few questions...

1. Anyone out there finish their own basements who only has basic tool skills like me? how did it go?
2. Know anyone in the area of Toronto ( I am in Whitby) who has done good work for you or friends?

Mainly...

3. What is a decent cost per square foot to have someone finish a basement. My last quote worked to $34/foot US ($40/foot CND)
 
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  #2  
Old 12-30-05, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
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Cost to Finish Basement - Whats resonable?

You discovered the reason for many people doing it themselves.

Too many different trades or contractors working on small jobs that are not co-ordinated get to be very expensive.

A DIYer can sort them out, do what he can and prepare for a subcontractor to come in and do it efficiently in one trip..

Dick
 
  #3  
Old 12-30-05, 01:32 PM
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Location: Kansas City, Mo
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Go for it!

I'm basically in the same boat as you, I'm finishing about 700 sq. ft. of my basement to make a rec room for the big screen. The only difference is I'm adding a half bath that's already stubbed out. I haven't done anything like this before either, I just just spent a lot of time researching books and this forum. I can tell you, if you go through the old threads for the last couple of years in the basement forum alone you will see that Ed, Jack, Doug and the gang have already answered just about every question that will pop into your head. I don't think you can beat the satisfaction of doing it yourself plus you'll save a ton of money. The quote for the electrician to do all the rough in and connections came to about $2300. For me to do the rough in and have him connect it to the panel was only the hourly labor rate and the cost of the breakers.....I'll be doing the rough in! Of course I've got the permits and will rely on the inspectors to keep me from doing anything dangerous to myself or the future owners. I say go for it yourself, I have a ball every night I head down to the dungeon :-) Just do your reasearch and have a very good plan in place before you start doing any work.
 
  #4  
Old 01-04-06, 10:40 AM
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I'd say around US$30/sqft is pretty typical. We had a couple bids lower than that and a couple higher than that. That's about where we ended up when we had ours done. We 1100 sqft finished and that included a full bath and wet bar.

Nuzy
 
  #5  
Old 01-04-06, 07:12 PM
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You pay more for a bathroom and wet bar due to additional plumbing issues with opening up the concrete floor. I did a wet bar that cost 18,000 US/D, so the $ per sqft could fluctuate a lot. But even if you canít do the main work yourself, I am sure you could paint it better than anyone else, that will save you. Prices in my area are from anywhere around $20-$30 sqft. That price is without paint, carpet, wet bar, bathrooms and any custom work. The nicer the people seem to be the lower the price tends to be, the more of a PITA they are, then cha-ching. Good Luck
 
  #6  
Old 01-09-06, 10:59 AM
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Location: Chelsea, Alabama (burb of Bham)
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I'm in the process of finishing my 600 sq ft basement w/bath. I've done all of the work myself. So far I've framed, ran electricity, ran network, insulated, put up drywall, compounded, and painted. Carpet tile is being delivered this week. After that all I have to do is baseboard, drop ceiling, and bath. I am NOT a professional. I'm handy around the house and that's about it.

Price - The complete cost of my project is roughly $6000. That's 10/sqft. Obviously it is much cheaper to do it yourself. If I wasn't putting a bath in it would be roughly $7/sqft.

Work - If you enjoy working with your hands and seeing the results I say do it. Like kwhite said, heading down to the dungeon each night is actually kind of fun.

Quality - This is where the reduced cost shows. It was fairly easy to show quality work until it was time to paint. Getting sheets of drywall to not show any flaws at the joints is not easy. If I had to do it over again, I'd hang the drywall myself and pay someone to come in to compound/sand it. It's not that the walls look bad, they just don't look as good as the rest of the house.

One huge piece of advice I can give you is something my father used to tell me - "Measure twice and cut once."
 
  #7  
Old 01-14-06, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mickeyd
I'm in the process of finishing my 600 sq ft basement w/bath. I've done all of the work myself. So far I've framed, ran electricity, ran network, insulated, put up drywall, compounded, and painted. Carpet tile is being delivered this week. After that all I have to do is baseboard, drop ceiling, and bath. I am NOT a professional. I'm handy around the house and that's about it.

Price - The complete cost of my project is roughly $6000. That's 10/sqft. Obviously it is much cheaper to do it yourself. If I wasn't putting a bath in it would be roughly $7/sqft.

Work - If you enjoy working with your hands and seeing the results I say do it. Like kwhite said, heading down to the dungeon each night is actually kind of fun.

Quality - This is where the reduced cost shows. It was fairly easy to show quality work until it was time to paint. Getting sheets of drywall to not show any flaws at the joints is not easy. If I had to do it over again, I'd hang the drywall myself and pay someone to come in to compound/sand it. It's not that the walls look bad, they just don't look as good as the rest of the house.

One huge piece of advice I can give you is something my father used to tell me - "Measure twice and cut once."
This has been the best post I have read today!
Great Job

You may have (or may not have) left out the "Pride" factor. It sounds like your proud you did it yourself and thats great!
 
  #8  
Old 01-26-06, 01:05 PM
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Cost of basement

I also live in Canada, and am in the process of finishing my basement. Carpet is being laid as I type. Basically, what ever it costs you in materials, that's what it should cost you in labour. My basement is maybe 600sq'. If I don't include the gas fireplace I think I'm at $4000-5000. I'm no pro, just asked alot of questions.
 
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