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Some rough wiring in basement wall studs in an unfinished basement

Cost for Basement Remodel

Dear Mr. Electrician:  I am trying to determine the cost for remodeling my basement.  I called several carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and heating contractors to give me  estimates and suggestions on what could be done.  The prices that they came back with are all over the place.  Not one contractor's quote in any trade is close to another's.  Why? Answer: In order for you to determine the cost for remodeling your basement by contractors, you need to start with a drawing and some specifications.  You are off to a good start by meeting with contractors.  Having plans and specifications will enable you to compare estimates because each contractor will be bidding on the exact same work. The more planning that you have done ahead of time, the more power you will have to make informed decisions and keep the work moving along.  This applies to any home improvement project.  NOTE: Text links below go to applicable products on Amazon and EBay. FIGURING COST OF BASEMENT RENNOVATIONS Draw sketches and/or plans on your own.  Write down exactly what you really want as far as design, layout and materials.  Determine what would be nice to have if you had the money.  Figure what you might want to add later after you've finished paying for the initial project. By having plans and specifications you can communicate easier to contractors your wants and needs and ultimately arrive at an affordable cost to remodel your basement. Something else you should consider when trying to determine the cost for a basement renovation is the time allotted for construction.  Do you want it done quickly?  Or is having it done cheaply your top priority? In construction there is a general rule of thumb which I agree with: Fast, cheap, or good - pick any two.  You can get your basement remodeling done very cheaply and very fast, but the quality of construction will suffer.  You can have the work done fast and good, but it will be much more expensive than a standard construction schedule. Regardless of your budget and time constraints, planning is still key to a successful outcome. Put together a list of specifications for materials such as brand of windows, type of heating/air conditioning system, lighting, flooring, sinks, toilets, etc. The photos above and at the top are from a home that had a finished basement.  A pipe froze upstairs when the place was unoccupied and flooded everything below. Don't overlook small details like choice of faucets, wall switches, dimmers, electrical receptacles, cable TV jacks, telephone jacks, network connections, paint, molding, doors, etc. Not all materials are the same.  There are different grades of quality for everything.  The building codes only specify minimum standards.  You decide if you want better quality materials. If you do not know what you want, you should look at other projects that are similar to yours.  Talk to your neighbors, co-workers, friends, and relatives.  Go to design showrooms.  Look in magazines and books.  Talk to suppliers. I know this is a lot of work, but to get what you want out of your...