Basement renovation projects are growing in popularity because many homeowners understand the exponential value of finishing a basement and making use of the valuable space a basement offers. One of the beautiful things about basements is that they are versatile. You can transform your basement into a home office, a family room, entertainment center, sauna, or just about anything you envision.

Embarking on a basement finishing project requires a significant amount of planning. You need to have a budget in mind and determine what your must-haves and your nice-to-haves are. Many homeowners considering basement renovation are concerned about what their basement renovation cost will be. But what you should keep in mind is that basement renovations offer a high ROI, making them one of the greatest investments you can make in your home. So how much does it cost to finish a basement? The cost to finish a basement in Ontario depends on a number of factors that we will discuss below.

Average cost breakdown

The first thing that you’ll need to determine when planning to renovate your basement is what you intend to use the space for. This is the foundation you will base other decisions on. How you use your basement will impact the type of flooring you should install, the type of furniture to incorporate, the color of paint, and other choices. Do you need to erect some walls to create multiple rooms? Does your basement need to be soundproofed? How you plan to use your basement will answer these questions.

  • Complete remodeling (turnkey basement remodel) – this involves uprooting the floors, walls and stripping the basement down to its core. The average cost to finish a basement without adding a bathroom will cost you an average of $25,000-$41,000.
  • Installing a bathroom in a basement will cost an average of $12,500-$20,000.
  • Erecting walls and joints will cost an average of $3 per square foot.
  • Ceiling will cost about $3-$7 per square foot.
  • Flooring will be $5-$9 per square foot.
  • Insulation will cost $2-$4 per square foot.

Factors affecting cost of basement renovation

There are a number of things that will affect the cost to finish a basement. Knowing this ahead of time will help you plan accordingly.

Building permits

Every municipality has specific rules about building codes and permits. You’ll need to make sure that you find out what the requirements are for your local municipality before you begin any construction work on your basement. You will need to apply for the appropriate building codes and make sure that they are granted before work can begin. There are guidelines regarding the height of ceilings and the number of exits that need to be present in your basement. It is imperative that you follow these requirements to the letter. Once you are sure that your basement renovation plans meet the building code requirements, you may apply for the permits. Once approved, you can proceed with the construction phase. Building permits can cost you anywhere from $300-$1,900.

Foundation repairs

Before you can begin any construction work on your basement remodel project, have an expert assess the condition of your basement to determine if there are any faults in the foundation. This may be hard to estimate because you often do not know about underlying problems in the foundation until you take a deeper look. If the integrity of the foundation is compromised, this will need to be addressed before you can proceed. Repairs to the foundation can cost up to $10,000.


Since basements are prone to moisture, you should take every measure to ensure that your basement is waterproofed. The first step is to determine the amount of moisture in your basement. If tests show that your basement has a high level of moisture, you will need to find the source of the moisture and address it. Then waterproof your basement prior to beginning any remodeling work. Not doing so will result in expensive problems later on down the road. Waterproofing your basement can cost up to $7,000.

Additional factors affecting cost

1. Framing

If you plan to separate your basement into multiple rooms, the first thing you need to do is build wood frames and studs that will serve as the outline for the floor plan. This includes outlining doors and window placements and determining where closets and other features will go. The materials you’ll need for framing are wood and hardware to create the framework. The cost to frame your basement is typical $15-$30 per linear foot of the wall. This includes labor and materials.


 adding a bathroom or kitchen to your basement will require a water supply. Plumbing needs to be prioritized early in the renovation process. The cost to install plumbing will depend on the number of fixtures. Typically, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,500-$15,000 plus. The cost of your plumbing will depend largely on where you live and what the existing plumbing setup of your home is.

3.Drywall installation

This is the next step after the framing has been set up and it’s time to fill in the walls with drywall. Standard drywall panels are 8‘x 4‘ and are typically between 1/4’ to 5/8’ in thickness. If you are installing drywall based on these measurements, you can expect to pay about $1.50 per square foot. The material and labor will cost about $40-$60. Vary based on your contractor.


Sometimes very little thought is given to the ceiling, but it actually plays a large role in the overall finished look of your basement. There are a variety of options you can go with:

  • Drop ceilings – $2-$6 per square foot
  • Sheet paneling – $12-$30 per panel
  • Tongue and groove wood – $1-$3 per square foot

5. Flooring

The type of flooring you choose for your basement is a major decision. You always want to go with options that are suitable for a basement since there is a potential for flooding. Your flooring contributes largely to the look of your basement because it sets the tone for the room. Some of the common choices for basement flooring on hardwood floors, floating floors, and carpets. Vinyl flooring costs between $1-$8 for an average basement; the carpeting is about $7-$12 per square foot; porcelain or ceramic tiles will be around $5-$20 per square foot, and engineered wood floors cost $3-$5 per square foot.


The cost of applying a fresh coat of paint to your basement all depends on the quantity of paint needed, the quality of the paint, and the number of hours it takes to paint the basement. On average, painting the basement will cost between $1,000 and $1,600 – or $3-$7 per square foot.

7. Electrical

You need to have the right electrical network established in your basement to provide lighting in your basement. We recommend hiring an electrician to do this. Professional electricians typically cost an average of $50-$100 per hour.

While the costs listed in this article are an estimate of what you can expect to pay for your basement renovations, keep in mind that the scope of your basement project and other variables will determine what your total price will be. Planning ahead and weighing your options can help you budget wisely and prevent you to make renovation mistakes.

Our experts at Torino Construction specialize in basement renovations and can help answer any additional questions you may have about basement finishing.