Calculating Basement Conversion Costs

finished basement

If you have an unfinished basement, you can add valuable living space to your home with a basement conversion. By finishing or expanding the existing basement space, you will add heated square footage as well as functionality like a game room, laundry room, guest room, or simply a much-needed storage space.??


If the headroom in your basement is low, the cost to raise or increase the ceiling height will be a major factor in your conversion costs.


Natural light is another important issue in a basement conversion. If the basement currently has windows that bring in natural light, they are probably single paned and energy inefficient. They will need to be inspected and possibly replaced.


Very often existing basement access doors are not finished. A finished door must be installed before the basement will pass building inspection.


One of the primary cost issues in converting a basement is the condition of the foundation. If the existing basement foundation is cracked, uneven, or unfinished, it will need to be made whole at an added conversion cost.??


Stairs need to be upgraded to meet current building codes. This includes having handrails, appropriately wide stairs, stair risers, and steps.

Heating and Cooling

One of the major costs in a basement conversion is heating and cooling. If the furnace is located in the basement, consider whether it will be necessary to add ductwork for air intake.??

Plumbing and Electrical

If additional plumbing for a bathroom, laundry room, or other amenities will be added, not only will there be costs for adding the water pipes, but also for adding the fixtures. Consider adding electrical wiring, outlets, and any wiring needed for entertainment equipment or phone lines.??

While there is no simple calculation for estimating basement conversion costs, the degree and extent of the conversion will to a large degree determine how much money you will have to spend to convert the unused room into viable living space.