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Question DetailsAsked on 5/6/2017

How much would it cost to expand my unfinished basement and make it bigger and liveable? Is it possible to do.

The ceiling in the basement is low too so that would have to be corrected too. I would like my basement to have 2 bedroom if possible a laundry room, a family room and a full or half bathroom added down there too depending on price.

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VERY, VERY rough ballpark - taking a bare basement to "living space" commonly runs in the $40-60/SF range, using normal construction and materials - sometimes as low as $20/SF for simple rough-in without flooring (but not as kitchen or baths).


Raising a house or deepening a basement commonly in the $50-120/SF range - which in many cases gets you close to the cost of totally new construction of an addition (single-story) plus sometimes even a basement, so if you have the adjacent room to the house and do not have significant soils or groundwater issues, and especially for homes over about 800-1000SF footprint or non-rectangular footprint, I recommend having an architect run up conceptual numbers for an addition (including all permitting) along with raising the house/basement or deepening the basement for comparison. It is not unusual to get the same square footage PLUS sometimes (in areas where a full basement is basically needed by frost depth conditions) an unfinished basement for around the same cost as deepening your existing one.


Generally speaking, raising a house and increasing the height of the underlying foundation is not too tough - but of course costing a fair amount per square foot to gain only a foot or few in height. However, commonly cheaper than deepening a basement - especially if trying to keep the full basement square footage (i.e. not "stepping-in" the deeper walls and footing so there is a 6-12" "half wall" all around the basement at the height of the old footing, with the deeper new foundation being at about or even sometimes inside the face of the old footing.


Also - be sure to talk to your favorite realtor about house value - an addition might add say 80% range of its cost to the value of the house, whereas the cost of modifications to provide a full-height basement might add little or even nothing to the value of the house - in some areas basements (unless fully finished out in fairly high quality) add nothing to the house value, and are not even listed as part of the square footage of the house in the MLS listing ! To look for where you will get the most bang for your buck, which is commonly in an addition or Sunroom/Florida Room or such in areas where you have the space and zoning provisions to allow it.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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