Jonas Brown

Jonas Brown

Sept 7 . 4 min read

Basement renovation expenses: A detailed analysis

Basement renovations are typical home improvements in Denver. Continue reading to discover what it costs to renovate basements and how we have been helping homeowners to minimize basement renovation costs for decades.

What does it cost to renovate a basement in Denver?

In Denver, if we consider basement improvement costs per square foot, it costs between $35 and $55. The level of finishing varies depending on price. The table below details the square footage and cost range for renovating basements in Colorado.

Square FootageCost Range
400$14,000 – $22,000
500$17,500 – $27,500
700$24,500 – $38,500
800​$28,000 – $44,000
1,000$35,000 – $55,000
1,200$42,000 – $66,000
1,500$52,500 – $82,500

It might be costly for most people but the investment is worth it. Renovating your basement is among the best investment decisions that will improve your home environment and value.

Your property will become more attractive to other people who want to buy a house. A basement that has great finishing is also attractive to people who want to rent the basement. By renting out your basement, you will earn a lot of money every year.

Cost Breakdown for Basement Renovation

Here is a more detailed look at basement renovation costs. The costs for each item are usually different because different contractors sell their products at different prices. Therefore the figures that we show you here are cost estimates for renovating your basement.

ItemTypical Cost
Framing$15 – $30 per linear foot
Plumbing (including bathroom fixture connections)$10,000 – $15,000 or more, depending on how many bathrooms and fixtures you install
Drywall$1.50 per square foot
Insulation$1.45 – $3.50 per square foot
Ceilings$2 – $6 per square foot, depending on the type of ceiling you want
Electrical$65 – $85 per hour for a reliable, certified electrician
Tile flooring$5 – $20 per square foot, depending on the material and its quality
Engineered wood floors$3 – $5 per square foot
Carpet​$3 – $4 per square foot
Painting$2.25 – $3 per square foot (including paint and labour)
Foundation pouring/repair$5,000 – $20,000 (note: this isn’t always needed, especially with newer homes)
Building permit$1,200 – $2,000
Waterproofing$1,000 – $25,000, depending on the basement’s size and your home’s location

Based on the variable figures that are detailed above, let’s focus on each item in detail

Framing

Basement framing is more like creating a skeleton for your basement. Wooden beams are used for framing and they create the foundation that other basement aspects such as insulation will be attached. Framing costs are based on basement size and it costs $1000 to $1500. All labor and materials that will be used are included in the price.

Plumbing

Plumbing costs account for a significant expense in basement finishing. If you aim to convert your basement into a complete apartment that has a bathroom and kitchen, it will cost you $10,000 to $35,000. That is $12,000 to $20,000 for a full sized kitchen or $1,000 to $5,000 for kitchenette and $10,000 to $15,000 for the bathroom.

Drywall

Drywall costs about $1.50 PSF. You will therefore pay $2000 to $4000.

Insulation

Insulation is a key step in Denver because winters sometimes get very cold. Different insulation options exist and you can choose from the variety of options. The cheapest (Rigid and Spray Foam) costs approximately $1.40-$2.20 PSF (Per Square Foot). The most expensive type of insulation is the Fiberglass insulation priced from $1.80 to $3.50 PSF. For insulation, the price will range from $2,000 and $8,000.

Ceilings

Ceilings come in many varieties. Drywall being the cheapest of the options that are available costing between $2 and $3 PSF. Drop ceilings are expensive options that you can buy and their price range is from $2 to $5 PSF. Ceilings will cost $900 to $2500.

Electrical work

You must hire a technician who is licensed and this will cost between $65 to $85 per hour and $1000 to $3000 for the entire electrical installation process. It might not be cheap but the effort is worth it because the technician will make electrical installations that will not expose you, your family and other people who use the basement to electrical hazards.

Flooring

You can use carpet because it’s cheap. But if you consider the fact that most basements usually get damp, engineered wood floors and tiles are better alternatives. The two examples are expensive compared to carpets. Flooring costs range from $1,500 to $4,500.

Painting

If you are a good painter, you can paint your basement. Or you can hire a good painter. Basement painting costs $500 to $1,500.

Repair or Foundation Pouring

This costs a lot of money and it is not required in most basements. If you want a new foundation, it cost $5,000 to 25,000 or more depending on basement size, labor and other aspects.

Building Permit

Before you renovate your basement, you must secure a building permit. Secure all the permits that you must have before renovating your basement. Permits cost $500 to $2,000.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing costs $1,000 to $$25,000 or more. Consult widely and use reliable waterproofing products.

Interior designer (An optional expense)

When you are renovating your basement, interior design is not a necessary expense. If you decide to hire an interior designer, expect to pay $50 to $200 hourly. Other interior designers charge based on square foot and their rates range from $5 to $15. Interior design costs approximately $7,000.

Cost to create a basement apartment in Denver

ItemTypical Cost
​Bathroom$10,000 to $15,000 per bathroom
Kitchenette$45,000
Laundry Room$1,000 – $7,000
Egress Window$4,000
Total$60,000 – $100,000+

A Basement Apartment: What it costs to create your basement apartment

First decide on what you want. The costs that you will incur will be based on the type of basement apartment that you want. Identify the things that will cost you more money and the thing that will cost you less money. Then spend your money on hiring basement renovation experts and buying basement products. A basic basement-apartment costs approximately $60,000 to renovate and furnish. The $60,000 price includes other costs that you will incur from buying:

  • Appliances like a refrigerator and TV.
  • Kitchen countertops.
  • Furniture like sofa sets, couches and beds.
  • Laundry equipment.

Luxurious basement apartments cost more to furnish and renovate ($100,000 plus). Specific codes that you need to follow when finishing your basement include; (1) having an egress window that is large enough for the tenants to use as an escape during an emergency. (2) You must follow the National Building Code of Colorado. The code requires that ladders be made available to facilitate ease of access to the window. Avoid legal action by following the building code.

Costs associated with finishing your basement for other different purposes

If you want to use your basement for other recreational purposes or using it as an office, you will spend less money to renovate it compared to if you are creating a basement apartment. The costs that you incur might be less than $30,000 or more than $82,000.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What does it cost to complete a 1000 square foot basement apartment in Denver?

About $35,000 to $55,000.

How much does it usually cost to remodel a finished basement in Denver?

About 10,000 to 30,000

How much does it usually cost to finish a 600 SF basement in Denver?

About $22,000 to $28,000

Do you need a permit that allows you to remodel your basement in Denver?

Yes. You need a permit. Permits enable you to avoid penalties and legal troubles

Is finishing your basement worth it?

Yes. You can get a good investment return by finishing and monetizing your basement or by using it as additional recreational space.

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