The Average Cost to Finish a Basement Into a Rental Apartment

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Building a basement is usually included with forming the foundation and building the house itself, but homeowners often don't build their basements for use as an extra room or rental space. The basement areas usually do not have electricity, plumbing or room for normal ceilings and insulation. Many even have water problems that would ruin an ordinary room. Finishing the basement is the process of making it liveable and dividing it into separate rooms and living spaces.

Rates Per Square Foot

  • To finish a basement in a basic method, equipping it with electricity, plumbing, walls and insulation, costs tended to run between $25 and $35 per square foot in 2011. For new basements that already have sufficient weatherproofing and can be converted into real rooms without much renovation, costs are closer to the $20 per square foot range. However, the older and more complex the basement is, the more expensive it will become, says Costhelper.

Average Conversion Total

  • On average, fully converting a basement into a rental unit cost between $20,000 and $50,000 on the low end for only the basic necessities in 2011, according to BasementRefinshCost.com. A more average remodel project of a basement area with 1,500 to 2,000 square feet with trim, an entertainment area, a full bath and other amenities is more likely to cost between $50,000 and $75,000 to complete. However, if owners want to fully furnish and create a high-quality rental space in their basements, costs rise to $100,000 or more, according to Costhelper.com.

Variables

  • Many different variables apply to finishing a basement. One of the most important is the types of materials that owners decide to use. A fireplace will naturally cost extra to install in the basement. Using engineered hardwood will be more expensive than simply using carpet. Dividing the basement into multiple rooms will add significantly to the cost. Even the grade and materials for the fixtures play a vital role in final expenses.

Savings

  • Homeowners can find several ways to save on the costs of fully finishing the basement. For instance, homeowners with experience can buy waterproofing materials themselves and waterproof the walls of a basement that may have a moisture problem for only several hundred dollars, according to Costhelper. Basic carpeting and paneling are also cheap and homeowners with construction experience can add them in as well to save money for more advanced steps.

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