How Much Does It Cost to Renovate Your Basement?

Plus, find out what it costs if you're upgrading an already refinished space.

modern luxury renovated basement
Photo: Anatoli Igolkin / Getty Images

Your basement can be far more than the place where your washer and dryer reside. In many cases, it could become an additional living space. "Before you jump into the project, it's best to inspect the current basement situation. Be sure to closely inspect the foundation for any damage and take care of any moisture issues before taking on the renovation," says Gary McCoy, a store manager at Lowe's in Charlotte, North Carolina. "If there is a leak, determine the water source and seal cracks with a hydraulic cement like Sakrete Leak Stopper ($13.98,, which sets in just a few minutes and is perfect for basements. Then determine how you want to use the space and set a budget." It will be your budget, the work that needs to be done, and how you plan to accomplish it that will factor into the cost to renovate the basement.

Basic DIY Cleaning and Waterproofing

Sometimes all you want to do is give your basement a good cleaning and perhaps waterproof it against the next rainstorm. This is something that is possible to do yourself, or you can hire professionals for more specialized attention. "For cleaning, Zep (prices vary, carries a variety of professional grade formulas for concrete and DeWalt ($79, offers excellent wet/dry shop vacuums," recommends McCoy. "When it comes to waterproofing, avoid carpet or wood flooring and use a durable option like ceramic tile, laminate, or Greatmats rubber ($115,, which doesn't require adhesive and is easy to install yourself."

You should make sure to follow all instructions and wear protective gear when working with chemicals of any kind. The time that it takes to complete this DIY project could be a few hours to over a few days depending on how much help that you have with you and the size of your basement. Overall, the average cost for renovating a 652 square foot basement would be upwards of $850.

DIY Basement Renovation

But what you could expect to pay for turning a basement into an extra room or home theatre? If you've already cleaned the basement then the next step is installing finished floors, ceiling tiles, and lights. You may also want to install carpet and add furniture and video technology to the room, but "for advanced electrical or plumbing work, it's best to hire a professional and ensure your basement is up to code," explains McCoy. Safety is priority.

This can be difficult to estimate, so make a list of all the materials and work that would need to be done for the project to get a range of the cost for renovating the basement into a movie theatre or playroom. Shop around but do not sacrifice on quality or safety. "Prices vary widely based on the size of the basement and what you're looking to accomplish which is why it's important to set a budget at the beginning of the project," McCoy says. "Lowe's has a wide selection of options whether you're looking to spruce up your existing space or hire a pro through Lowe's installation service to complete a full renovation."

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