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How Much Does It Cost To Finish A Basement In Ontario? (2024)

Basement ready for renovation
Unfinished basement

Finishing the basement of a home is a trend that has only been around for a few decades. This is because a basement was never intended to serve as a living space in the home. Typically, this space was used to house the mechanicals of a home (furnace, water heater, water service, etc.). Over the last few decades, the need for more interior living space has been on the rise. Whether it's for a growing family that needs extra space for all of the kids toys, or for added entertainment space for the adults, people have been looking to utilize this space in their home.

Basement Renovation Cost Ontario 2024

The average cost of finishing a basement in Ontario can range from $35,000 to $120,000 or more. This estimate would be for the labour. material, and any permits required for this project. Finishing a basement is a big project and there are many building codes that pertain to this space specifically, so, depending on the intended use of the basement, there are going to be specific requirements that need to be met. With the many factors that are involved in finishing a basement, the cost and the scope of work can vary greatly. It's always recommended to contact a professional contractor to help with a project of this size.

An average per square-foot price is as follows:

$65 - $100+ per square foot

500 sq/ft Basement - $32,500 - $50,000

1000 sq/ft Basement - $65,000 - $100,000

1500 sq/ft Basement - $97,500 - $150,000

These prices wouldn't include the cost of adding a kitchen or bathroom as these add a significant amount of work and time required to complete. Additional features like this can add anywhere from $15,000 to $35,000 or more. Adding a kitchen or bathroom requires adding plumbing to the location where the kitchen or bathroom is desired, which involves breaking the concrete floor and trenching from the stack to the new plumbing location.

Finished basement with wet bar
Finished basement with wet bar

Basement Finishing Process - Steps Involved

1. Framing

Basement finishing typically starts with framing the partition walls that will define the new space. Any mechanicals that run under the existing floor joist system will need to be hidden if we aren't able to relocate it. Building bulk-heads will allow us to cover them up with drywall.

2. Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC

Once the framing is complete, it's time to have the specialty trades come in and complete their rough-ins. It's important to have these trades work together as there is only so much space to run these mechanicals. If you aren't able to get the trades on site at the same time, then having them show up in this order is most desirable; HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical.

3. Insulation and Vapour Barrier

After the mechanicals are complete, we can start to close things in. This starts by insulation and installing a vapour barrier. This will keep the basement space comfortable and quite. At this point we can also install sound-proofing insulation to help keep the basement noise isolated from the main floor.

4. Drywall

Now that the work behind the walls is complete, we move on to installing the drywall! During this process, the drywall is installed and then finished with drywall compound. This process will take some time as each coat of drywall mud will need to dry completely before another coat can be applied.

5. Flooring, Trim and Paint

Next up would be the flooring, trim and paint. Depending on the type of flooring you are installing will change the order that these are completed. At this stage, the doors would also be installed! At this point, the basement really starts to look like a livable space!

6. Finishing Touches

This stage is often overlooked by many DIYers or sub-par contractors. It's often said that the last 10% of a project takes 50% of the effort. This touches on the 'last mile' concept. This would involve doing paint touch-ups, installing cabinetry, mounting TVs, building fireplaces etc. This is where the basement really comes together and becomes the space you have dreamed about.

These stages can look different depending on your specific needs and wants for the space.

Is Finishing Your Basement Worth The Investment?

This answer will depend on what you're looking for and why you want to finish your basement. In general, if you're going to use the finished space for entertaining guests, family movie nights, a man cave or even just as a kids rec room, the monetary investment will be worth all of the memories and additional comfort that you will gain from the space. If you're looking to finish your basement in hopes for being able to sell your home for more and to make more than the project costs, you won't find it worth the investment. It's very hard to recoup the cost of a home improvement project on the sale of your home as the value of the renovation is in the eye of the beholder. As much as you like the basement, someone else might have selected different finishes or done the project differently. JLC tracks the ROI of typical renovation projects and has a great resource.


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