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Finising a basement


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 OFFLINE   Jake Gove

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Posted March 31 2005 - 02:29 AM

How much should it cost to finish a basement? I am frustrated beyond belief by the price quotes I am getting to partially finish my basement. The portion I want to finish is only 702 sq feet. I want nothing fancy, just a bedroom, bathroom, and a big rec room. I have gotten quotes for over $20,000. I tried to go a different route and subcontract out all the individual jobs, like framing, drywall, plumbing, etc. It was hard to find anyone to do just the framing. The one guy I found comes back at $5000 for the framing, which is ridiculous. The wood should cost a couple hundred bucks, and the job should take 2 days to frame, since my basement has a wood floor already. So, for 16 hours of labor, I have to pay 293 bucks an hour? Ripoff.

A few years back in a different home I subbed out everything and did the framing myself for a bigger basement. The whole project cost $11,000. I don't have the time to frame it myself this time.

Has anyone else gone through the experience of finishing a basement? How much did it cost you?
Jake


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#2 of 15 OFFLINE   Bryce_H

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Posted March 31 2005 - 02:43 AM

I am in the process of partially finishing my basement right now. HT, and wet bar. Will do the rec room, bedroom, and bathroom at a later time. I subed out the HVAC ($500 for the whole basement - 5 runs, moving the cold air return, and roughing in the bathroom exhust). Plumbing for the the rough-in for the wetbar was $200 (hot and cold drop and tapping into an existing drain). The framing and electrical are the time consuming parts, so I did those myself. If you are doing basic framing (and since you have done it before) I would save the cash and do it yourself over a couple of weekends (I know you said you don't have the time, but time is money and this would be how you save it). Anyway, good luck.
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#3 of 15 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted March 31 2005 - 02:58 AM

It may be cheaper during the winter, when outdoors construction work is slower and contractors are looking for inside work. (This was the advice given to a friend who recently finished his basement.)

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Jacinto

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Posted March 31 2005 - 03:52 AM

We finished our basement a little over three years ago, so maybe costs in our neck of the woods have increased a little bit. The father of my best friend is a builder, so I used his usual subcontractors to do the framing, drywall, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. We finished about 740 sq. ft., with a bedroom, bath, and playroom. I did all of the insulation and painting myself. Our final bill came to about $18,000, but a few thousand of that included putting tile into the kitchen, baths and laundry upstairs, so that shouldn't really count as part of the basement finish costs. Without having the actual figures in front of me, I would estimate that the work done in the basement itself came to around $15,000. The largest percentage of that went into the bathroom, probably close to $7,000 when factoring in the tile, shower glass, shower base, sink, toilet, faucets, cabinet, shelves, mirror, lights, towel bars, and then labor on top of that. Granted, we could have saved had we gone with bare-bones budget items to stick in there, but we wanted a nicer looking bathroom. Anyway, even if rates have gone up a bit in the Denver area over the last few years, I would still expect that you could get it done for under $18,000 or so. Even back when we did it, we had several bids for over $20,000, so don't get too discouraged over those high bids.
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#5 of 15 OFFLINE   Tim Markley

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Posted March 31 2005 - 04:48 AM

I will be going through the same thing as soon as I move into my new house. I'm curious to see what amounts people are paying.

#6 of 15 OFFLINE   SteveSs

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Posted April 01 2005 - 02:32 AM

I just finished spending $12k for approximately 500 sq feet of basement hometheater/recroom. I did the tear out (30 yr old panelling on the walls and stained acoustical tiles on the ceiling). As much as I enjoyed reading the Seattle Times from 1974, I wasn't real pleased to know that it was the only insulation in my basement walls. So, my $12k paid for new framing and walls, new ceiling, new electrical, boxed in ducts, 4 replacement windows, insulation everywhere, and some nifty dark stained wood trim.

Additional funds were needed to pay for: gas fireplace insert, 200 sq ft of Pergo, 200 sq ft of carpet, 8 light fixtures, all of my low-voltage wiring, and paint.
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#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Kevin_F

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Posted April 03 2005 - 02:28 PM

Jake, if you consider yourself somewhat handy, you may be able to do most of the work yourself and save tons of money. My basement is 1000 sqft and I finished 85% of it by myself. Posted Image

I framed all the walls, ran the electrical outlets (had the electrician terminate them at the panel), installed a utility sink (I had to cut into my water line to do this), taped, spackled and painted the walls myself. I had a friend of mine help me install a drop ceiling and I had carpet installers take care of the carpet.

I had the electrician add some lights and he put in electrical baseboard heating (actually cost less than adding an additional zone to my home).

Including everything, this cost me about $8000 and there is no greater feeling than going down there and knowing that you did it yourself. Posted Image

What makes it better is when your wife smiles every time she goes down there and makes a point of telling everyone how well the basement came out. What helped me, since this was my first time doing something like this was purchasing "Home Improvement 1-2-3" from Home Depot.

Hope this helps.
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#8 of 15 OFFLINE   Jon_Are

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Posted April 04 2005 - 01:49 AM

I did my basement myself as well: Dropped ceiling, (many) additional outlets, flourescent and incandescent lighting, several custom-built enclosures, built-in DVD/CD storage, etc. Paneling was already there, and I had the carpeting installed. Didn't do any plumbing.

The $$ saved were entirely worth it, if you are at all handy. And if you're not, this is the way to learn to be. It's a tremendous challenge, and every single day brings an opportunity to re-think, re-design, and problem-solve. Mistakes will be made, but none that cannot be fixed and none that do not further your knowledge.

Quote:
ran the electrical outlets (had the electrician terminate them at the panel)

I used to be a-sceered of electricity, especially the connection to the fuse panel. Once I saw how do do it, though, I've found it's as simple as pie.

HERE is a fantastic site full of very knowledgeable and helpful folks - I used the forum frequently during my renovation. Often, my questions were answered within an hour or so.

Good luck!

Jon

#9 of 15 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted April 04 2005 - 02:08 AM

I have to start my 800sq ft downstairs soon as well.The previous owners framed everything out and then left it.

Im doing everything myself except the electric(which I wont mess with)and the plumbing(gotta go into the concrete for the shower).

You'd be suprised what you can do youself when you just try - I practically tore apart and rebuilt the upstairs. 1/2 the walls came down and were rebuilt, solid oak wood floors,new doors everywhere,windows sills,bathroom gutted and rebuilt,tore the stairs apart and redone in oak.
The only thing Im waiting on now if the top for hte bathroom cabinet (which my G/F built) and then Im done with the upstairs until I redo the kitchen next winter.

I didnt know how to do alot of it(I did know how to do floors,tile from past experience). My G/f who has some carpentry experience and alot(ALOT)of sweat and I got it done.

The idea of waiting until winter when contractors are prob a bit hard up for work is a good one. Also try to find a good all around handyman.I found someone,he does everything except plumbing. He just did my roof (for 4k), will often come by if I need help and will help out, often spending a few hours there and will ask for only a hundred or couple hundred bucks for his time.

Last time I had him over, he spent about 4 hours at the house and only asked for $200 for his time.I gave him a bit more,hes knowledgable and he saved me alot of grief.

Good luck.

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Kevin_F

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Posted April 04 2005 - 05:04 AM

Another good thing about doing it yourself is if you make any changes as you go, no additional payments (excluding the material).

I designed how my basement would be laid out for over a year, drew everything out in AutoCAD, and still made changes as I was going (for the better of course).

One thing I will mention is to PLAN EVERYTHING thoroughly, as I said, I planned for over a year.
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#11 of 15 OFFLINE   Todd Hochard

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Posted April 04 2005 - 01:20 PM

I'm considering redoing my basement finish (previous owner was apparently inept with a level and putty knife), and I'm considering my options.

1. I have no walkout/egress. Apparently this was OK in 1994 when the house was built, but not now. I'm getting $8000 quotes just to add a door and 7 stairs in the ground.

Which would you prefer, in the basement of a four-bedroom house?
1. a rec/home theater (13x28), and a bedroom (roughly 11x13)
or
2. a rec/home theater (13x19), and a kids play area (also roughly 13x19)

Everyone seems to go immediately to the bedroom option, until I say "would you use it? Would you put guests and/or kids down there?" Then, I seem to mostly get "probably not." The play area would be WAY more useful to me than the 5th bedroom, but will I kill the resale potential with a non-conformingPosted Image setup?

Todd
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#12 of 15 OFFLINE   Kevin_F

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Posted April 05 2005 - 12:18 AM

Personally, I would put the play area. When I finished my basement, I never hesitated by NOT putting another bedroom down there. I would get less use out of the bedroom then leaving the space open.
"I'm never trapped"

Wolverine

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Marc_Sulinski

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Posted April 05 2005 - 01:45 AM

Quote:
Everyone seems to go immediately to the bedroom option, until I say "would you use it? Would you put guests and/or kids down there?" Then, I seem to mostly get "probably not." The play area would be WAY more useful to me than the 5th bedroom, but will I kill the resale potential with a non-conforming setup?

Is there much difference between making the play area and making a bedroom? I assume you need a closet to call it a bedroom, but that might be a good idea for a playroom as well. If the layout allows for it, you could put double french doors with glass panels on the playroom. That way, you can call it whatever you want when you go to sell the house.

The only issue with calling it a bedroom is that, in most places, you need to exits to consider it a bedroom. If you are going with the bilco doors anyway, then that should be fine.

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Mike Wladyka

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Posted April 05 2005 - 02:34 AM

Quote:
Which would you prefer, in the basement of a four-bedroom house?


Todd, either way you go, I would think adding a bathroom would be useful.
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#15 of 15 OFFLINE   SteveSs

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Posted April 05 2005 - 07:55 AM

In Seattle, bedrooms need 3 things by code: immediate egress to the outside, a closet, and smoke detection. I say put all that in, call it a playroom, and you're good. One thing I would suggest that others seem to downplay: make a plan for your room and stick to it. Planning or changing things as you go is incredibly frustrating and expensive. This is certainly the right place for getting info. The thread in the 'interiors' forum concerning 'what I would do differently' is quite informative.
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