How Much Should a Basement Finishing Project Cost in Charlotte, NC
It’s time. You’re tired of knowing that you have so much space under your feet going unused, and you’re finally ready to make the investment to finish your basement. But you know a project that big won’t be cheap, and you’re not even really sure where to start setting a budget for it.
Trying to research what the typical cost for a basement finishing project is provides a range that’s broad enough not to be terribly helpful. And you don’t need to know what’s normal throughout all of the U.S.—you need to know how much to expect it to cost here in North Carolina.
With the caveat that no blog post can provide you an accurate quote for the particular basement finishing project you have in mind, this one will supply a starting point for the kind of numbers you can expect to encounter when you start looking further into getting your basement finished.
The Cost of Finishing Your Basement in North Carolina
Based on many years of experience as a contractor in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, and experience helping dozens of homeowners finish their basements, Fineline Construction can provide a typical range for what to expect.
The typical cost per square foot for an average, nice basement finishing in North Carolina is $65-$75. For an especially nice basement – if you go for higher-end materials and extra features, expect it to be higher.
A typical total cost of a basement finishing project is: $65,000 to $100,000, depending on the size and particular features you go with.
7 Factors that Affect the Cost of Basement Finishing
Having some specific numbers in mind should help you start being able to visualize the budget you’ll need to make this project a reality. But those ranges are still pretty significant.
If you want to narrow down the numbers a bit before you reach the step of reaching out to contractors, here are the main factors that will influence which end of the range your project will be on.
1. The size of your basement
Obviously the more square footage you’re finishing, the higher the costs will be. Finishing a larger basement means a bigger, longer job for the contractors you hire. And it means you’ll be spending more on all the materials you choose—from flooring to paint to lighting.
But on the plus side, a larger basement gives you more room to work with, which means more potential. You can consider adding more rooms and features, and may be able to turn it into a full living space for a roommate or family member.
2. The contractor you hire
Labor costs are a big part of any home renovation project. Hiring a reputable licensed contractor will necessarily (and rightfully) cost more than going with an inexperienced general handyman. Or at least, it will cost more upfront. But getting the project done right from the start will cost less than if you end up having to make expensive repairs down the line. And a reliable contractor will show up and get the job done, where someone less dependable could leave your project stuck in limbo for long periods of time.
In short, choosing a well respected contractor will come with a higher upfront price tag, but it’s not an area of the project you want to skimp on.
3. What flooring you choose
Your basement probably has cement flooring right now, and one of the most important changes that will make it feel more comfortable is upgrading to proper flooring. As with the rest of your house, the flooring you choose will make a big difference in aesthetics, atmosphere, and cost. You’ll spend less if you go with carpeting or laminate, more if you want to choose a more quality material like hardwood.
Consider selecting materials that make your basement match the feel of the rest of your house. Ideally, you’ll want it to feel like a part of your home, and one you genuinely want to spend time in. If the flooring is of significantly lower quality than elsewhere in the house, you’ll notice the difference.
4. The lighting you select
The word “basement” conjures the image of a dank and dark space. The best way to overcome that in your basement finishing project is in the lighting you choose. You obviously want to make sure it achieves the practical: providing plenty of light in the space. But the lighting is also an opportunity to add some extra style to the space. You have different options for lighting fixtures and where to place them to brighten the basement just to your liking. But the costs for different options will vary and influence the total price of your project.
5. How many rooms you add, and which types
If you want to turn the whole space into an extra living area or game room, that will cost you less than if you want to convert the space into essentially its own apartment. Adding a kitchen or bathroom to your finished basement will up the price considerably. But it will also vastly increase how useful the space is. With those extra features, it can become an independent living area for an aging loved one, a growing kid, or a space you rent out to a roommate for extra money.
Even if it doesn’t become an independent living area for anyone, a kitchen and/or bathroom adds a lot of extra convenience anytime someone hangs out in the basement. Not having to worry about stairs each time you want a drink refill or need to go to the bathroom makes the space that much easier to spend time in. For many families, if you’re going to make an investment in finishing a basement, going the extra mile to add a kitchen or bathroom is worth the extra cost.
6. Whether you’ll be adding windows and/or doors
You’ll need at least egress windows in your finished basement as a basic safety precaution, But if you want to install additional windows to let in some extra light or add natural views to the space, that will incur additional costs.
And if you want to add extra doors to your finished basement, to give anyone who lives or hangs out there a way to directly access a yard, that will cost even more. But providing an additional means of entering and exiting the finished basement can add a lot of convenience, and further enhance the space’s ability to become a comfortable, independent living space for anyone that stays there.
7. What extra features you opt for
For many homeowners, a finished basement becomes a space to realize your home fantasies. Whether that’s building out a game room, adding a private home theater, or creating a cozy space with its own fireplace.
It’s your space to do with as you please, and if you’re going to invest in finishing it, turning it into what you really want may be well worth the cost.
But many additional features will increase the overall price tag. Including a theater can add up to $20,000 to your overall cost. Installing a fireplace can mean an extra $10,000-$20,000. But while those numbers are nothing to take lightly, you can bet any film lovers who turned their basement into a private theater have been glad to have a safe way to watch movies on a big screen this past year. If you have the budget to truly create the space in the image of your dreams, you’re unlikely to regret doing so.
The sooner you move forward on your basement finishing project, the sooner you can start enjoying the extra space it opens up in your home. To get a more specific quote for what your ideal finished basement will cost, set up a free consultation.