Home Indeed Blog

Home remodeling blog from Home Indeed in the Cedar Valley, IA. Home design, renovation inspiration, and more!

How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Basement?

Basements are one of the most versatile areas of your home. They can function as extra storage space, a second living area, a game or entertainment room, and pretty much anything else you can imagine! With so many different options, it can be difficult to decide what you want — and what you can afford — for your basement remodel. 

How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Basement?

The cost of your basement transformation will depend on the type of project and the corresponding expenses, which are outlined in this blog along with tips for how to get the best return for your investment. And if you’re curious about working with a design-build remodeler, like Home Indeed, for your basement remodel check out our FAQ and services!

Remodel, Renovate, or Finish

Before diving into the nitty-gritty, it’s important to note the difference between remodeling, renovating, and finishing a basement. These terms are often used interchangeably, but they represent three distinct types of home improvement. 

A remodel entails changing both the look and function of your basement. You may add extra walls, another room, or a statement piece like a wet bar. A renovation, on the other hand, simply means restoring your basement to a new-like condition; and finishing means taking a bare concrete basement and adding walls, ceilings, and floors.  

Basement remodels, renovations, and finishings can vary greatly in cost based on the scale of the project and the size of your basement. According to HomeAdvisor, which gathers data from homeowner surveys, a low-end remodel costs $4,000, a high-end $50,000, and the national average cost is $21,510. That roughly equates to $30 to $75 per square foot, though you may pay as much as $150 per square foot for a high-end remodel. 

For renovations, you may pay $3,000 if you simply want a fresh coat of paint and new carpeting. But, if your basement has flooded, you may need to strip walls, remove mold, and redo the flooring, which can cost at least $10,000. Similarly, the cost to finish a basement can range from $3,000 to $35,000 depending on the scale and materials used. 


Since cost is determined on a project-to-project basis, it can be valuable to price out each expense associated with your project and add up the total. Take a look at the list of common basement expenses below. For the purposes of this blog, this cost breakdown focuses on remodeling expenses — though those expenses often translate to basement fishing and renovation projects as well. For more price estimates, take a look at HomeAdvisor’s basement finishing cost breakdown

Basement demolition costs are also commonly associated with basement improvement projects. Generally, gutting an area of the home costs $2 to $7 per square foot. However, that does not include the additional cost of permits, inspections, waste removal, and equipment. Adding framing to your basement walls costs between $7 and $16 per linear foot and the cost to drywall a basement amounts to about $2 per square foot. 

In addition to these base costs, you may want to add a luxury feature to your basement. Brighten your walls with basement paneling, which costs an average of $6 to $12 per square foot. Or, if you want to entertain guests, adding a basement wet bar costs generally between $600 and $20,000. According to Forbes, an egress window costs $1,000 to $7,000 and furniture can range from $1,000 to $30,000. 

Of course, the price varies by location as well. HomeAdvisor’s location-based basement remodel cost calculator lists the average basement remodel cost in Iowa at $20,859. You can also contact basement contractors near you to get a localized price estimate. 

Return on Investment

Unless the house you’re living in is your forever home, it’s critical to estimate what your return on investment will be from your basement remodel. ROI indicates how much value your remodel adds to your home. 

On average, your home’s value will increase by approximately 70% of your financial investment. However, ROI can vary case-by-case, so it’s a good idea to ask a local real estate agent for an estimate. 

Here are a few tips to maximize your ROI:

  • Match the quality of your basement remodel to the quality of the rest of your home. In other words, don’t get hardwood floors and granite counters in your basement if you have laminate upstairs. 
  • Prioritize natural light by adding windows. 
  • Choose a function for your basement, such as a guest bedroom, finished basement office, or second entertainment space, and consider whether that will add value to the lives of your home’s future owners. 
  • Homebuyers generally seek out open floor plans, so consider that while selecting the layout for your remodel. 
  • Choose materials, in particular flooring, that can withstand basement moisture. 

Also, know that some types of basements add more value than others. Walkout basements generally yield the highest ROI because buyers tend to like them best. Characterized by a full-sized door that leads to an outdoor patio or deck, walkout basements are close to ground level and require a property with at least 6-feet of slope from the front to the back. Standard basements with concrete walls and little natural light are usually less attractive to buyers and garden-level basements, which are partially above and below ground, are somewhere in between.

If you’re looking for basement remodeling in the Cedar Valley, check out our past client experiences, service areas, or learn more about Home Indeed!

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