Market Conditions in Madison>Question Details

Cheryl, Other/Just Looking in Madison, WI

I want to know what is a good estimate of dollars per square foot when finishing a basement.

Asked by Cheryl, Madison, WI Mon Jan 28, 2008

I live in the Midwest and want to finish a basement

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It depends on what your plans are for it. I would reccomend that you keep the cost down to around $25 per sq foot. This will be a close gauge of what an appraisal should bring.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
A great article to give you an idea of what pays you back on a remodel is below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 28, 2008
It's not a perfect science unfortunately. Please keep in mind when making improvements it is not 100% return on your investment or cost. It is a percentage of that. If you are flipping the home and will be selling it soon, you may want to check on and look at the comparible properties to see what your competition is. Go to a few open houses, get a feel for your market and then decide. If you will be staying in the home for a few years, you may recoup more of the cost over time as prices are a bit low now and materials and costs should be going up. Rates are low as well if you are refinacing to do this. Good luck and enjoy!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2008
I am wondering if you are asking what is the cost of finishing a basement or what is the return on your investment of finishing a basement. There are alot of variables to consider. Is the basement exposed (or partially exposed) are you adding a bathroom or other plumbing? Are you adding any special features, ie: a theater room, exercise room, etc. Plus are you handy and doing most of the work yourself, or hiring a professional. One word of advice: make sure you check with your municipality and get any and all necessary permits. And- do this prior to doing any of the work. Every municipality is different on what they allow a homeowner to do. Some require an electrician to do any electrical work, others allow the homeowner to pull the permit, and do the work, with the electrical inspector checking the work when it's done to make sure it is done to code.
As a veteran of many basement remodels, it is quite fun and rewarding. It gives the home more enjoyable living space, especially for those of us that are surviving many weeks of cold weather!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2008

As with building a home, the price per square foot of finishing a basement will vary depending on type of finish, if you add a bathroom/fireplace, what condition your basement is currently in, etc.

If you are looking for some rough numbers to see if it is right for you at this time, a good rule of thumb is to estimate $35/sq ft for an average to start.

As a contractor, I review each homeowners goal and am able to give a bid with all allowances, etc. so you know what to expect up front. If a contractor is not willing to do that, I would recommend interviewing others.

If you have further questions, visit my website at and feel free to contact me for any other information.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2008
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