How Much Does It Cost To Build A Basement

Basements are usually built as additional square footage of storage or extra living space at home. In some locations, it also serves as a safety net in the event of dangerous tornadoes and storms. Whatever purpose you have in mind, it is important to know and discuss how much does it cost to build a basement before you commence the construction.

Average Cost To Build A Basement

The cost of basement installation depends on your starting point. If you are starting from scratch, the cost ranges from $10 to $35 per square foot. If you are just finishing an existing basement, prepare to spend around $7 to $23 per square foot.

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If you are having a basement of 1,000 square feet, prepare to spend around $10,000 to $35,000 in total.

You would normally spend on the higher end of the price spectrum if you are hiring a contractor, especially for supervision purposes. The price varies widely depending on what you and your contractor have agreed upon.

Additional Costs

To reiterate the cost you would be spending on top of the materials and labor, contractors usually charge an extra 13% to 22% as a supervision cost. If you are knowledgeable in construction or otherwise, it is one important thing to consider, especially if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands.

If the project would entail digging or excavation, it would be important to note that soil remediation is a possibility, depending on your location. But first, you would have to hire professionals who do soil analysis to identify the presence of contaminants.

Some other expenses which may not significantly affect the total project cost but are still crucial are the building and home improvement permits. These are particularly required if the project includes excavation, electrical, and plumbing work, among others.

These typically range between $100 and $800, depending on the project location. This is because different states impose different construction regulations that affect the license pricing.

Factors Affecting the Cost to Build Basement

Below are some of the factors that can affect the cost of building a basement at home:

  • The floor plan measurement

Since all construction or home improvement projects entail materials and labor that are size-dependent, the exact measurement of the basement will greatly affect the overall cost. However, some costs may be constant up to a certain size, so the unit cost may decrease slightly as the project size goes up.

  • Purpose

The purpose of building or converting a space into a basement will definitely affect the materials to be used in terms of their quantity and quality.

  • Existence of old structure

Understandably, constructing anything with a pre-existing structure would be more costly than starting from scratch. This is because you either need to tear down the existing structure or have it protected before you commence to project.

  • Location

Where you are located will also greatly affect the total cost of your basement. This is due to the fact that the cost of materials and labor would be affected by the cost of living and the cost of doing business in a particular state or city.

  • Accessibility

Accessibility can also be a factor in construction when your house is situated in places with challenging landscapes. This is particularly true when there is a need for the utilization of heavy equipment, where mobilization and demobilization can be an issue.

  • DIY or With Contractor

If you are good at or have experience in construction or home improvement, you will be able to save a lot when doing your own project. However, it is often advisable to hire a contractor to be on the safe side, especially if it’s a major project that may require contractors with licenses and insurance.

Save From The Cost

As mentioned earlier, the best way to save on building a basement, especially a new one, would have to be the do-it-yourself route. However, you should really assess the situation before taking a risk.

First are your skills and experience in doing construction or home improvement projects by yourself. You should take note that these kinds of projects would require permits and licenses, and depending on your area, you should meet some qualifications before you are allowed to commence.

That’s where contractors would have a big advantage since they are licensed and you can be assured that they know what they are doing. Lesser costly mistakes can be avoided, and in case they still happen, all rework expenses will be covered by the contractor. It will be all on you if you work on your own.

If you are doing DIY, you will need to have your own materials and tools. There are hardware shops that sell second-hand tools for a discounted price of between 30% and 50%. Reconditioned tools can also be an option for a more affordable price.

Additional Considerations

Beside the standard costs you would be spending, there are several elements that you can add to the basement. Some of these are the following:

  • Bathroom

Determine whether you’ll want your basement to have a bathroom of its own. Would you want it to be a full or just half? Would you want to have it tiled or laminated?

If you plan to have a bathroom in your basement, then, be ready to add about $5,000 to your basement cost, depending on the actual size and finish.

  • Escape doorway

For safety purposes, it would be best to include this when you want to have a basement. 

This does not cost much to add to the total price of building a basement. This is unless some guys come over and charge you expensively for busting one of your walls, which you will need to convert to an egress window for an alternative doorway.

  • Flooring

You also have to decide whether you would like to have your basement floors tiled or just plain concrete. Some prefer theirs to be wood, laminated or carpeted.

Some homeowners want to give their basement floor the feel of a living room. For a very simple concrete floor, the cost would start at around $300 for the floor, depending on the floor size. 

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