Basement Renovations Costs in Toronto 2023: A Comprehensive Guide

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Over time, homeowners in Toronto might find themselves increasingly aware of the untapped potential in their basements. With the hustle and bustle of city life, having an extra living space can significantly enhance the quality of life and add value to the property. As years go by, the need for a basement renovation becomes more apparent, whether it’s to accommodate a growing family, create a comfortable space for entertainment, or simply improve the home’s overall aesthetics.

Square Footage Cost Range
400-500 sq. ft $20,000 – $26,500
500-600 sq. ft. $25,500 – $31,000
600-700 sq. ft. $30,000 – $36,000
700-800 sq. ft. $35,000 – $41,000
800-900 sq. ft. $40,000 – $46,000
1000-1400 sq. ft. $50,000 – $90,000

However, many people feel apprehensive about embarking on a basement renovation project due to the uncertainty surrounding the costs involved. It’s crucial to clearly understand the expenses associated with such a project before taking the leap. This comprehensive guide is tailored to provide you with an in-depth analysis of basement renovation costs in Toronto. It will explore the various factors that influence pricing and offer insightful tips on how to save money on your basement renovation project.

With this knowledge, you can confidently make informed decisions when undertaking your home improvement journey. By understanding the costs and factors affecting your basement renovation, you will be well-equipped to create a beautiful, functional space that meets your needs and budget. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of basement renovations in Toronto, helping you turn that under utilized space into the perfect addition to your home.

How much does a basement renovation cost?

The cost of renovating a basement varies based on a number of factors. However, the average basement renovation cost ranges between $45 – $95 per square foot. Meaning if you have a basement that is 1,000 square feet, you can expect to spend about $45,000 – $95,000 to renovate your basement. (Basement packages vary, the final price may be different)

Types of Basement Renovations

Homeowners in Toronto and Greater Toronto Area can consider several types of basement renovations, each offering distinct advantages and catering to various needs and preferences. Understanding the different renovation options is crucial in determining the best approach for transforming your basement into a functional, comfortable, and visually appealing space. Here is an overview of some common types of basement renovations:
  1. Simple Updates: These renovations involve making modest changes to the existing basement space, such as painting the walls, updating the lighting, or installing new flooring. Simple updates are ideal for homeowners who want to refresh their basement’s appearance without making significant structural changes or incurring substantial expenses.
  2. Functional Conversions: This type of renovation aims to repurpose the basement space to serve a specific function. Examples include converting the basement into a home office, a home gym, a playroom for children, or even a cozy guest bedroom. Functional conversions typically involve more extensive work than simple updates, such as adding walls or partitions, installing appropriate lighting and ventilation, and selecting suitable flooring and finishes.
  3. Full Remodels: Full basement remodels involve a complete transformation of the space, often including structural changes, updated plumbing and electrical systems, and the addition of new amenities such as a bathroom, kitchenette, or wet bar. This type of renovation is ideal for homeowners looking to maximize their basement’s potential, turning it into a fully functional living area that adds significant value to the property.
  4. Custom Designs and Architectural Elements: For homeowners seeking a unique and personalized basement space, custom designs and architectural elements can be incorporated into the renovation project. This may involve adding built-in storage, custom cabinetry, or intricate architectural details that reflect the homeowner’s style and preferences. While this type of renovation may come with a higher price tag, it can result in a truly one-of-a-kind basement space that stands out from the rest.

Factors Affecting Basement Renovation Costs

  1. Size of the basement: One of the most critical factors influencing the cost of a basement renovation is the size of the space. Generally, the larger the basement, the higher the cost, as more materials and labour are required to complete the project.
  2. Layout and design complexity: The complexity of the desired layout and design can also affect the overall cost of a basement renovation. Custom designs and intricate architectural elements typically come with a higher price tag compared to more straightforward, functional layouts.
  3. Materials and finishes: The choice of materials and finishes can greatly impact the cost of a basement renovation. High-end materials such as hardwood flooring, custom cabinetry, and luxury fixtures will inevitably drive up the project’s price. On the other hand, opting for more affordable yet durable materials can help keep costs in check while still achieving a beautiful result.
  4. Labour costs: Labor is another significant factor that can influence the cost of a basement renovation. Skilled tradespeople in Toronto may charge varying rates based on their expertise, experience, and the complexity of the project. It’s essential to obtain quotes from multiple contractors to ensure you’re getting the best value for your investment.
  5. Permits and inspections: Depending on the scope of your basement renovation, you may need to obtain permits and undergo inspections to ensure compliance with local building codes and regulations. These permits and inspections come with associated fees, which can add to the overall cost of the project.
  6. Cost per square foot: The cost per square foot is a useful metric for estimating the overall price of a basement renovation project. In Toronto, the average cost per square foot for basement renovations ranges from $40 to $60, though this number can be higher or lower based on the specific factors mentioned earlier.
  7. Comparison to national averages: When comparing Toronto’s basement renovation costs to national averages, it’s important to note that costs in the city tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum. This is primarily due to factors such as higher labour costs and the greater demand for skilled tradespeople in the region.
  8. Breakdown of costs: To get a clearer picture of where your money is going in a basement renovation, it’s helpful to understand the breakdown of costs. The majority of expenses are typically allocated to labour, followed by materials and finishes. Other costs include permits and inspections, as well as any necessary structural changes. Here’s a rough breakdown of costs:
    • Framing, insulation, and drywall: 15-20%
    • Flooring: 10-15%
    • Electrical and plumbing: 15-20%
    • HVAC and ventilation: 5-10%
    • Finishes and fixtures: 25-35%
    • Permits and inspections: 5-10%
  1. Cost ranges for different types of renovations: As mentioned earlier, the cost of a basement renovation can vary depending on the scope and complexity of the project. Simple updates and cosmetic changes tend to be less expensive, while full remodels and custom designs can come with a higher price tag. Here are some approximate cost ranges for different types of renovations:
    • Simple updates: $10,000 – $20,000
    • Functional conversions: $25,000 – $50,000
    • Full remodels: $50,000 – $100,000
    • Custom designs and architectural elements: $75,000 and up

Costs of Finishing a Basement: DIY vs. Pro

When it comes to finishing a basement, homeowners often face the decision of whether to tackle the project themselves or hire professionals. Both options come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a comparison of the budget variations and potential costs associated with DIY and professional basement renovations: Budget Variations:
Size DIY Cost Professional Cost
Small (700 sq. ft.) $6,050 $11,550
Average (700 – 1,000 sq. ft.) $8,800 $16,500
Large (1,000+ sq. ft.) $16,500 $30,000+
DIY Basement Renovation Cost Breakouts: Here’s a table comparing the costs of a professional basement finishing project versus a DIY project, considering the price differences in materials and labour:
Task DIY Cost Professional Cost Lowest Cost Average Cost Highest Cost
Framing $1,980 $0 $1,782 $1,980 $3,762
Drywall (walls) $2,035 $0 $1,832 $2,035 $3,867
Drywall (ceiling) $1,870 $0 $1,683 $1,870 $3,553
Insulation $1,500 – $3,000 $0 $1,350 – $2,700 $1,500 – $3,000 $2,850 – $5,700
Electrical and plumbing $500 – $5,000 $0 $450 – $4,500 $500 – $5,000 $950 – $9,500
Flooring $2,000 – $10,000 $0 $1,800 – $9,000 $2,000 – $10,000 $3,800 – $19,000
Finishing touches $500 – $4,000 $0 $450 – $3,600 $500 – $4,000 $950 – $7,600

Why Go Pro

While completing a basement renovation yourself may seem cost-effective, there are several compelling reasons to consider hiring a professional:
  1. Better pricing on materials: Professional contractors often have access to preferred suppliers and can secure materials at lower prices, passing the savings on to the homeowner.
  2. Expertise and experience: Professionals bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the project, ensuring that the renovation is completed to high-quality standards and in compliance with local building codes.
  3. Time and effort: Hiring a professional can save homeowners significant time and effort, allowing them to focus on other responsibilities while the renovation is expertly handled.
  4. Warranty and insurance: A reputable contractor will provide warranties and insurance coverage, offering homeowners peace of mind and protection in case of unexpected issues or damages.

Costs Associated with Basement Renovations in Toronto

There are various costs to consider at different stages in the renovation process. If you are installing a bathroom or kitchen in your basement, the first thing you need to factor in is plumbing.

Plumbing

You’ll need to have a connection to a water supply and sewage lines for your bathroom. This will require hiring a professional plumber and paying for the costs associated with establishing the water and sewage lines needed. Sometimes walls have to be opened up to facilitate a water or sewer line that is convenient and may cost less.

Building permits

If you are making changes to your home, your renovation project will most likely need to be approved by your local government authority before any work can begin.

Inspections

This is something you will need to have done if you are adding a bathroom to your basement. Once all the plumbing work is completed, an inspection is necessary to ensure the work done is up to par with regulations established by your municipality. Any electrical work done in connection with the renovations will also need to be inspected. This is very important because an electrical fire can break out in your home and cause damage that an insurance company may not cover. You can expect some costs associated with the inspections.

Framing

If you have a large, open basement area, you may want to consider sectioning off the space into rooms that can be used for different purposes. Erecting walls will increase renovation costs, but the added value to your home will likely make the investment worthwhile. The cost of framing is based on the following elements:
  1. the need to demolish existing walls
  2. the size of the room that needs framing
  3. whether additional walls need to be erected
  4. whether the walls need to be soundproof

Drywall Installation

Installing drywall to your walls is something you will need to do whenever you add a new wall in your basement. This step is done after framing and is critical. One of the things that impacts drywall installation costs is the type of drywall you want to use. Typically, drywall can cost anywhere from $3 to $6 per square foot. Once you have decided on what material you want your drywall to consist of, the next thing you will need to determine is the cost of installation. The cost is often dependent on the area you would like to install the drywall.

Installing Electrical Appliances

About $50 to $100 per hour is what you can expect to pay somebody to install any electrical appliances that require a professional. Some wiring is required in your basement to make sure the room is able to support your electrical needs. To accomplish this, you will need to hire a licensed electrician to make sure you don’t have any electrical issues with the wiring. The cost to hire an electrician will vary depending on the area you live in and your level of expertise.

Ceiling

Something that often gets overlooked with basement renovations is the ceiling. Unfinished basement can have unsightly ceilings that show exposed pipes and other wiring that is best left concealed. It may not be a priority for you, but some attention devoted to your ceiling can give your beautifully renovated basement the finishing touch it needs. Many homeowners take advantage of space on the ceiling to incorporate additional lighting. The minimum height requirement for ceilings is usually 7 feet. Basement ceiling can either be suspended with tiles installed on a grid, or you can have the ceiling drywalled. Drop ceilings are an excellent choice because they provide access to utilities. In addition, replacing tiles can be done inexpensively. Drywall provides a smooth finish but makes it a little harder to access utility lines that may need repairs. It’s a great idea to add sound insulation to your ceiling, particularly if you plan to use a basement as a home theatre or game room. A drywall ceiling will cost about $5 per square foot; a coffered ceiling will be roughly $25 per square foot; and drop ceilings will run anywhere between $2-$6 per square foot.

Flooring

Renovating the floor of your basement may include a number of processes like redoing the subfloor, adding insulation and padding and then installing the flooring and baseboards. Some popular choices for flooring are tile, vinyl, carpet, engineered hardwood and laminate, while some people choose to simply add a finish to their concrete floors. The intended use of your basement can help you determine which of the following options is the best choice for you. You can install more than one type of flooring in your basement if you have a large basement and plan to create different areas or rooms. Tiles are a great choice for wet bars and bathrooms, but keep in mind that tile flooring tends to make basements cold. A cozier choice is carpet, which is perfect for home theatres and playrooms. There are also heated floors that can aid in keeping your basement space warm. You can expect your flooring to cost anywhere from $1-$40 per square foot. If you opt for concrete finishing, the cost will run between $2 and $30 per square foot. Baseboards are an inexpensive addition and can cost between $5.70 to $8.95 per linear foot.

Painting

It is truly amazing how a fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into the space. Selecting the right colour for your basement walls is often based on how you intend to use your basement and your personal preference. There are some colours that are more welcoming, contribute to the brightness of the room and can make it look more spacious. Other colours can make your basement darker, which may not be a bad thing. For example, if your new basement will be a home theatre, natural light may not be a priority for you. Painting your ceilings is also an excellent way to add a nice finishing touch. On average, the cost of painting the interior of your home is about $3-$8 per square foot of floor space. Choosing to paint your basement yourself will save you some money, but you should keep in mind that painting takes time and skill. The cost to paint your basement will also depend on a number of factors. The layout and age of the basement, code compliance issues, whether there are separate rooms that need to be painted as well, and whether there are specialty rooms to be painted. If you have an open floor layout in your basement, this will reduce the cost of painting since many painters charge based on the number of rooms being painted.

Electrical

Your finished basement wall needs a number of electrical circuits dedicated to the space. You will need electrical outlets in each room and at multiple points throughout your basement. Electrical circuits will also supply lighting. The number of rooms and appliances in your basement will determine how extensive your electrical network will need to be for your basement. This will require the assistance of an electrician, which will cost anywhere between $2,500-$10,000. (cost of basic electrical needs is already included in the cost of the basement calculator) The state of the electrical circuits in your basement will also play a role in how much you will spend. The costs can easily climb to about $8,000.

What is a Turnkey Basement Renovation?

A turnkey basement renovation refers to a renovation project where the contractor handles every aspect of the process, from design and planning to construction and finishing touches. This all-inclusive approach means that the homeowner can simply “turn the key” and start using their newly renovated basement once the project is completed. In a turnkey basement renovation, the contractor manages all the tasks involved in the process, including:
  1. Design and planning: The contractor works with the homeowner to create a customized design plan, ensuring that the renovated space meets the homeowner’s needs and preferences. This may involve selecting layout options, choosing materials, and incorporating specific features or architectural elements.
  2. Permits and approvals: The contractor obtains any necessary permits and approvals from local authorities, ensuring that the renovation project complies with building codes and regulations.
  3. Demolition and site preparation: The contractor takes care of any demolition work required, removes debris, and prepares the basement space for renovation.
  4. Construction and installation: The contractor oversees the installation of framing, insulation, drywall, electrical and plumbing systems, flooring, and any other necessary components.
  5. Finishing touches: The contractor applies paint, installs trim and mouldings, adds lighting fixtures, and installs any custom features, such as built-in storage or entertainment systems.
  6. Cleanup and final inspection: The contractor ensures that the renovated space is clean and ready for use, conducts a final inspection, and addresses any outstanding issues or concerns.
A turnkey basement renovation, especially when provided by a reputable company like Capable Group, offers even more benefits for homeowners:
  • Convenience: The homeowner does not need to coordinate or manage multiple contractors or suppliers, as the turnkey contractor handles all aspects of the project.
  • Time savings: The streamlined approach of a turnkey renovation can help to minimize delays and ensure timely completion of the project.
  • Cost management: The contractor can provide a comprehensive quote for the entire renovation, making it easier for the homeowner to budget and plan for the project.
  • Quality control: The contractor is responsible for the quality of workmanship and materials, providing a single point of contact for any concerns or issues that may arise during the renovation.
In addition to the advantages mentioned earlier, Capable Group provides several options or packages for clients to choose from, ensuring that the renovation suits their specific needs, preferences, and budget. Moreover, Capable Group’s transparent process guarantees that homeowners have a clear understanding of every aspect of the project, from start to finish. This level of transparency builds trust and ensures that clients know they are not paying any extra, hidden fees or incurring unexpected costs. Homeowners can have peace of mind knowing that the entire renovation process is being managed with their best interests in mind.

Other Renovation Costs

Renovations don’t always require adding rooms to the basement. There are other ways you can transform your basement area into a more functional space without tearing down or erecting walls.

Adding a home theatre

If you are someone who enjoys entertaining friends and family, it may be a good idea to install a home theatre in your basement. This will give you a designated area in the home to entertain. You can add a big screen TV, comfortable seating, good speakers and make the room soundproof.

Installing a bar

If your room is going to be used for entertainment purposes, consider adding a bar to the room. This will make it convenient to entertain and serve your guests at the same time. Keep in mind that renovating your basement area will raise the value of your home, which will be an asset should you decide to sell.

Grade room

turning a basement into a useful room like a home gym or home office is a great way to utilize the space. with so many basement renovation ideas, Capable Group will steer you in the right direction and help you maximize the space in your basement and have it tailored to your family’s needs. Capable Groups home experts are well-versed and respectable, and well-respected among their peers and throughout the industry.

Adding a bathroom

Bathrooms are one of the rooms that will consume a large portion of your basement renovation budget. You want the job done well and so you need to invest accordingly. Expenses can easily climb higher than you planned, so you’ll need to determine what your priorities are in your bathroom and focus more on those areas. The size of the bathroom, flooring materials, the cost of custom cabinetry and other features all play into how much you will spend to add a new bathroom to your basement. On average, adding a bathroom will cost you anywhere between $15,000-$20,000, or about $200-$300 per square foot. A luxury bathroom may run up to about $600 per square foot.

Adding a bedroom

For a room to be classified as a bedroom in your basement, it must contain a closet and an egress window. Installing below-grade egress windows will cost about $2,600-$5,300. The cost of installing a closet will be about $1,100-$3,000. Adding a bedroom to your basement will cost about $1,500-$6,000 on average. A huge portion of this cost will be the walls, the flooring and the paint.

Building a home theatre

Tuning your basement into a home theatre comes with a price tag of about $150 per square foot. This includes soundproofing, installing a large screen, a good sound system and comfortable seating. Wiring costs for the electrical needs will be about $200-$825. What’s great is that there are many wireless speaker options on the market that you can incorporate into your basement.

Adding a wet bar

A wet bar is ideal for families that want a dedicated space to share laughs over drinks with friends and family. The cost of adding a wet bar to your basement will depend largely on whether you want your home bar to be custom-made or premade. Another major factor will be how large the bar will be. Custom bars are constructed on-site and conform to a particular style and other specifications. The beauty of these bars is that they blend effortlessly into your space and will utilize the space in your basement more effectively than premade bars. That’s not to say a premade bar isn’t a good option for you. They come in a variety of sizes, materials and colours and come equipped to complement the area nicely. Keep in mind that there will still be some assembly required, including wiring and plumbing for the electrical and water options that include sinks and lighting. A custom home bar will cost about $5,000-$20,000. Premade options run between $3000-$6,000. This cost does not include the plumbing, electrical and lighting work. Other fees that will come with the installation may cost another $200-$8,000.

Steam room and sauna installation

Building an indoor sauna costs more than an outdoor sauna. The average cost of installing a sauna is between $6,000 and $15,000. This is based on the size of the basement and the cost of the materials. The size of a typical sauna ranges between 4 x 4 feet and 8 x 12 feet, with the average being 8 x 5 feet. This size can comfortably seat four people. If you are thinking of building one that can seat 5 to 7 people, you can expect the cost to run up to about $15,000. Saunas are an option for many homeowners because of the relaxation and health benefits they offer. Prefab sauna kits cost between $2000 and $4000 per unit. Another factor that affects the cost of your sauna is the brand you choose to install. Many of the brands offer warranties that offer anywhere from one year to a lifetime guarantee.

Home gym installation

Having a home gym means that you can work on your fitness goals right from the comfort of your home. How much money you need to invest in your home gym will depend on what your fitness goals are and what your overall budget is. The great thing about home gyms is that you can start with basic equipment like dumbbells and purchase more advanced equipment with time. Concrete floors are best for home gyms, and every Canadian home has one in the basement. The cost for a polished concrete floor runs at about $1,500-$3,800. On the higher end, installing hardwood floors, full-length mirrors, and bulky exercise machines will run costs up to $10,000+. The benefit of concrete floors is it that is that they are hard and durable. Carpet is another option for your home gym, and the cost will run between $750 and $2,500. The benefit of carpet is that it is soft. However, they are prone to mould. Another common option is rubber flooring, which is a safe option for your home gym and is durable. You can expect to spend anywhere between $800-$2,300 for this flooring. Home gyms can cost anywhere between $300 and $15,000. Other costs associated with your home gym are subflooring, electric wiring, lighting and TV installation.

Fireplace addition

A fireplace adds so much warmth to a room, not just literally, but there’s something very homely about a fireplace. Installing a fireplace in a basement can cost anywhere between $1000 and $5,600, depending on the type of fireplace you installed. A gas fireplace typically costs between $2,300 to $10,000, and an electric fireplace usually costs between $1000 to $4,200. Building a masonry fireplace costs the most and can cost about $10,000 to $40,000.

Average Cost to Finish a 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000 Basement in Canada Based on Square Footage

Square Footage Cost Range 400-500 sq. ft. $22,000 – $28,050 500-600 sq. ft. $28,050 – $33,000 600-700 sq. ft. $33,000 – $38,500 700-800 sq. ft. $38,500 – $44,000 800-900 sq. ft. $44,000 – $49,500 1000-1400 sq. ft. $55,000 – $99,000 Prices above may or may not include the following spaces-bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, etc

Basement Renovation Q&A

A 1000 sq ft basement renovation in Ontario can cost anywhere between $55,000 and $99,000, depending on factors such as the complexity of the design, materials used, and labour costs.

The cost of a full basement renovation in Toronto can vary greatly depending on the project's scope and specific requirements. As an example, renovating a 1000 sq ft basement can range between $55,000 and $99,000.

The most expensive part of finishing a basement often includes installing electrical and plumbing systems, followed by the cost of materials such as drywall, flooring, and insulation.

The cheapest cost to finish a basement depends on the specific project, but homeowners can save money by opting for lower-cost materials, doing some of the work themselves, and planning their renovation during off-peak seasons to take advantage of lower labour costs.

Yes, a finished basement can add significant value to a home. It not only increases the living space but can also be used for various purposes, such as a home office, gym, or entertainment area, making it an attractive feature for potential buyers.

The cost of adding a bathroom in the basement can range from $3,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on factors such as the size of the bathroom, materials used, and whether new plumbing connections are required.

Finishing a basement can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on factors such as the size and complexity of the project, the availability of contractors, and any necessary permits and inspections.

Finished basements are not typically included in a home's square footage, as they are below grade. However, they can still add significant value and appeal to a home.

Waterproofing a basement can cost between $2,000 and $6,000 for basic methods, such as sealing cracks and installing a sump pump, while more extensive waterproofing measures, like installing interior or exterior drainage systems, can range from $10,000 to $15,000 or more. The cost will depend on the size of the basement, the severity of the water issues, and the chosen waterproofing method.

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