Average Cost to Finish a Basement?

The cost to finish a basement depends on size, type of work to be completed, materials, and who will complete the labour. We can usually calculate average costs based on square footage, but they can vary between $30 and $75 per square foot. 

Basement Renovations Cost Factors

Beyond the size of your basement in square feet, you must consider what elements you wish to include when finishing a basement and the current condition of the space:

  • Is the basement currently unfinished?
  • Are rough-ins already in place?
  • Do you require the removal of existing materials? 
  • How many individual rooms do you want?
  • Will you add a bathroom?
  • What electrical work is required?
  • Is waterproofing an issue?
  • Do you need to consider soundproofing?
  • Will an egress window be required for a fire escape?
  • What type of basement ceiling do you want?
  • Which flooring installation materials do you prefer?
  • How fancy do you want your finishes to be?
  • Do you require permits?


These are just some questions you must ask. As you can see, the cost of finishing a basement can vary depending on the size and a lot more.

Pensive male customer looking away, touching chin, thinking about cost to finish a basement

Breakdown of Basement Remodelling Costs

The average basement renovation will require most, if not all, of these basement remodel costs. This list is a great place to brainstorm what you want or need to include when estimating a basement finishing cost breakdown.

Framing & Drywall

If you want to include building multiple rooms in your renovation, framing is required. Framing costs depend on the number of walls and doors required as well as whether you need to knock down any existing walls first.

Newly framed walls will need to be dry-walled. Again, costs can vary depending on the type of materials you choose and any special finishes, including soundproofing and moisture resistance.

Basements are notoriously cool, so insulation is critical to help with temperature regulation. This expense will vary depending on the type and amount of insulation you need.

Framed basement wall with pile of drywall waiting for installation.
2 examples of basement ceilings to consider when estimating cost to finish a basement


Choices for your ceiling go beyond just the conventional ceilings. They include painting the open beams and elements or closing them in. You can choose a gypsum ceiling using plasterboards or drywall. Other options include suspended ceilings or dropped ceilings. Or you may have your heart set on tiles.

Some clients even create fancy architectural ceilings such as coffered or tray ceilings. However, you need to work with whatever heights you have available. And you may also want to consider soundproofing your ceiling to reduce noise from above.


The cost to paint your refinished basement will be calculated according to square footage, but final pricing will depend on special textures, the number of colours and the type of paint selected. Even the colour can impact your cost because darker colours may require additional coats or touch-ups.

brushes, colour chart and paint containers
basement flooring


Depending on the materials you choose for your basement floor, the look and feel of your basement space will change. A common trend is hardwood flooring or finished that look similar which gives it a more sophisticated look than perhaps carpeting. You may select vinyl, engineered wood, porcelain, or ceramic tiles.

You need to consider what you plan to do in your new basement to determine the best flooring. And you should consider water or humidity issues that could lead to mould down the road.


Installing a bathroom, laundry room, kitchen or wet bar in your basement can increase the average cost to finish a basement. First, you will need to pay for new fixtures and finishes. The variety of choices will impact your budget. 

And if there is no existing plumbing or a rough-in, you may face the additional cost of breaking concrete to install pipes. A plumber should ensure they installed water and sewage lines correctly.


Should you put a bathroom in your basement?

basement renovation with pot lights, fireplace insert, and electronics


Lighting is important for basement renovations because subfloor living spaces typically have minimal daylight. The choice of lighting will affect the cost of your renovation. You can choose traditional ceiling lights or pot lights, or from a variety of other options. 

Besides lighting, you need to consider what electrical outlets you require based on your planned uses for the space. Are you planning a home theatre? A professional electrician will complete the job properly, but you can expect to pay more.

Building Permits

Most tasks of your basement renovation will require a permit or two, which can increase the cost to finish a basement. According to london.ca, finishing any portion of your basement requires a building permit. This includes:

  • Insulating
  • Roughing in plumbing or adding fixtures to the rough-ins
  • Changing the uses of the rooms
  • Moving or altering walls and openings
  • Creating, changing, enlarging, or altering windows and doors
  • Moving, changing, or rebuilding stairs
  • Cutting or altering the foundation


Any electrical work may require a separate permit.

building permit concept with papers and hammer
inspector checking specifications after basement renovation


When adding any plumbing or electrical jobs to your renovation, you will need to get work inspected to ensure it’s up to the municipal building code. This helps prevent leaks or fires. The cost for inspections depends on what’s completed and the size of the job.

You can imagine how your choices will affect the estimated cost to finish a basement, hence the reason it is so difficult to estimate without knowing basic information first.

Looking for a more customized estimate of the cost to finish a basement in London Ontario?

First, roughly calculate the square footage of the living space you wish to finish. Give some thought to what you want to include in your renovation project. Then call us to start a conversation. We can help break down the elements required for your basement remodel, provide more direction and a quote, help brainstorm ideas to save money, and answer many frequently asked questions.

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