Basement Remodeling & Finishing FAQ

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Questions and Answers


When it’s time to finish your basement in Rockford, Rockton, Roscoe, Machesney Park or the Stateline area, how much will it cost? How do you select the right basement finishing company? Do I need a permit?

How much will I pay to finish my basement?

You can use a rough figure of $38.00 to $65.00 a square foot for basic basement finishing 1000 square feet of larger. You will see some internet sites quoting lower rates and you will get quotes across the board from many local contractors, but after doing and seeing hundreds of proposals in the last few years $45.00 is about the average. For a higher quality finish with extra features (bathrooms, wet bar, built in cabinets, higher end fixtures) you will start around $75.00 a square foot and up.

For basements under 1,ooo square feet the average cost per square foot increases if you have a bathroom in the design. Recent examples include, a 800 square foot basement with bath room, recreation room, and two bedrooms with basic professional finish, $45,000.00 (from a lower priced materials and finishing). If you count on $5625 for every 100 square feet finished you will have a good idea.

If your not adding a bathroom and just need an office or play space for the kids you can figure on about $28.00 to $45.00 a square foot. Recent projects include a 550 square foot finish of two rooms including carpet and recessed lighting for $22,700 (2016).

We don’t mind if you do the painting or other finishing. This can save you money if you are on a budget. Larger companies generally will not bid a project that the home owner wants to participate in the construction.

How long will it take?

A 1000 square foot basement will take from about seven weeks to twelve weeks depending on the size and scope of project. This does not include the time it will take for custom built or ordered products outside our control.

Should I get a Permit?

Yes. Many home owners do not understand that if you ever have damage to your home, and the cause started in the basement, it may not be covered by insurance if you did not have a permit on the basement finish. It also insures that the contractor has built your basement to the minimum building codes. A contractor that recommends you complete your basement without a permit may be looking to cut corners, and problems will not appear for months or years (like the first big rain storm that floods your basement or a electrical issue).

Is finishing my basement a good investment?

The average return on a finished basement is around 70% of what you spend. That of course includes all the do it your self basements as well as the high quality professional finished basements. It would stand to logic that the higher and better quality finish the better your return on investment. If this is a major concern you should check with an experienced real estate professional, as your neighborhood, current size of your home, and current selling conditions will have an impact on the answer.

Most home owners finish a basement to fill a need of new space for children, an office or just more space to entertain and host family and friends. Adding 1,000 square feet of professional finished basement at about $45.00 – $106.00 a square foot, is less money than purchasing a new home where that same additional square footage will cost $150.00. Read Home Improvement Costs Less Than Trading Up  In this case it seems to make financial sense.

You can see a few of our adventures with basements here: Basement Remodeling and Finishing

 Average Basement Remodeling Costs

As a remodeler we are often asked what are some average cost for a given remodeling project. The cost of any remodeling project will vary depending on the type of materials used and the overall complexity of the project. The design of the project can also determine the resale value of the project along with the recouped cost estimates. The following numbers are averages based on remodeling projects completed in the past year.

Midrange Basement Remodel

Job Cost $69,921 | Resale Value $42,643 | Cost Recouped 61%

Finish the lower level of a house to create a 20-by-30-foot entertaining area with wet bar and a 5-by-8-foot full bathroom; construct 24 linear feet of finished partition to enclose mechanical area. Walls and ceilings are painted drywall throughout; exterior walls are insulated; painted trim throughout. Include five six-panel factory-painted hardboard doors with passage locksets. Electrical wiring to code.

Bar area: Include 10 linear feet of raised-panel oak cabinets with laminate countertops, stainless steel bar sink, single-lever bar faucet, undercounter refrigerator, and vinyl floor tile.

Main room: Include 15 recessed ceiling light fixtures and three surface-mounted light fixtures, and a snap-together laminate flooring system.

Bathroom: Include standard white toilet, vanity with cultured marble top, resilient vinyl flooring, two-piece fiberglass shower unit, a light/fan combination, vanity light fixture, recessed medicine cabinet, towel and paper-holder hardware.

Averages based on Chicago Area Remodeling Cost vs Value Report 2016 ~ Rockford, IL and surrounding areas cost recouped are generally better

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