If you own a house and you have the possibility of adding a basement to it, you don’t have any reason not to proceed with this upgrade. Basements are the perfect way to put together some extra room for various purposes: a game room, an at-home cinema, a drive-under garage or just storage space. There are no downs to this, except one big question that pops in anyone’s head when stumbling across this topic: how much does it cost to build a basement?

Well, there are some costs involved for sure, but it’s not as expensive as you may think, especially if you know what to look for when starting this process. The great news is that the basement will add tremendous value to your property, so if you are ever willing to sell it, the investment is going to be worth it. It’s a long-term investment with a handful of benefits that one can’t simply ignore.

The cost to build a basement is highly dependent on how much work is required to put it together. The price can range from anywhere between $25 to as little as $3 per square foot. It all depends on what materials you choose, how expensive the labor is, how much excavation and grinding are needed and other influencing factors that will be discussed throughout this article.

How Much Does It Cost to Build A Basement? Let’s find out.

Basement Cost: What’s Included?

Dazzling-Design-by-Steinhafels How Much Does It Cost to Build A Basement for Your House?
Image source: Steinhafels

Let’s begin with a list of aspects that can’t be overlooked if you are planning to build a basement for your house. All these are required and should be taken into account when figuring out the final cost:

  • How do you ensure waterproofing and drainage? You’ll have to prevent water-related damage, in the long run, so even though good waterproofing will end up increasing the final cost, it is worth considering.
  • What are you planning to do with it? An unfinished basement is perfect for storing things that you don’t want resting around the house. A finished one means extra rooms that add up tremendously to the overall value of the house.
  • Will it be a walk-out basement? If yes, extra costs might be involved.
  • What type of basement do you want? A basement’s cost will vary depending on its type. Slab designs are the cheapest, while foundations can cost more than the house itself in some cases.
  • Remember that you’ll have to test the soil beforehand. In some cases, the contents of the soil can be problematic and require expensive materials. Running a test may cost you anything between $10 to $100.
  • How deep you want your basement to be? Depending on its purpose, the basement’s depth may vary, and so will the cost. Digging below the frost line brings forward more issues that need to be addressed – freeze protection, thaw damage and so on.
  • The city you live in will influence how much labor will cost. This is a normal economic aspect that you should keep in mind before proceeding with this upgrade.

Making It Easy for You: Basement Cost Calculator

Standing-Out-in-a-Crowd-by-Picture-Perfect-House How Much Does It Cost to Build A Basement for Your House?Image source: Picture Perfect House

Once you’ve decided to start excavation for a foundation, the prices start at around $10 and go up to $20 per square foot. The price is dictated by the condition of the soil underneath your house, which you should test before deciding anything related to the basement. The equipment used by the excavation team can also influence the cost.

When calculating how much does it cost to build a basement, always consider its purpose. Basement foundations are much more expensive than slab design basements, but they have a huge ROI. Again, you need to decide what you want to do with your basement first. The difference is consistent: an unfinished, foundation basement will go up to a maximum of $25 per square foot, while a finished one can reach $100 per square foot.

The lowest a basement can cost is $10,000 and it can top off at around $180,000. Basements can be used to add storage room or living space to any house. Besides the obvious benefits, basements can also add resistance to the house, can keep moisture out and insulate against the cold. The last aspect is the reason why basements are usually more common in colder areas.

Starting Off Right: Building A Basement for A New House

Vestavia-Basement-by-ELM-Construction-LLC How Much Does It Cost to Build A Basement for Your House?Image source: ELM Construction LLC

For new constructions, the cost of building a basement goes down significantly, topping off at $30,000. Most expenses are related to excavation, but when you start off with a basement plan for new construction, it is much easier, and the labor rate is lower. Contractors will work in your favor and find the best deal that also incorporates everything you wish to add to the basement. Pay attention to what contractor you choose and there is a considerable chance to cut some costs.

Replacing a Foundation

Lower-Level-by-Hanley-Development How Much Does It Cost to Build A Basement for Your House?Image source: Hanley Development

Poorly built basements may require changing the foundation at some point. You can tell how much does it cost to build a basement, but there’s no chance to predict what repairs will be needed in the future. The only way to keep yourself away from unpleasant situations is to make sure the basement is built well from the very beginning. A badly designed foundation will eventually crack, and the repair costs can be higher than rebuilding the basement entirely.

If you are building a new construction, make sure that the basement plan is put together wisely. Keep an eye on the contractor and check twice to see if any detail slipped. For existent buildings, take a close look at the foundation and see if there are any signs of damage.

Finished-Basements-by-Cypress-Hill-Development-LLC How Much Does It Cost to Build A Basement for Your House?Image source: Cypress Hill Development LLC

Cracks are the most obvious and dangerous signs, as well as leaking. Any of these require repairs that should be pursued as quickly as possible to avoid further damage. Foundation repairs can range from $400 for mild cracks to $11,000 for cracks that may affect the overall structure resistance of the building.

Unmanageable repairs will require re-building the basement or making structural changes, with costs varying between $20,000 for smaller changes to $100,000 for serious ones – all on top of the initial cost of the basement building.

Eventually Finishing A Basement

Some people prefer leaving the basement unfinished and finishing it on another occasion. If this is your situation, the costs for finishing the basement can range from $25 to $50 per square foot as an average, topping off at $90 for fancier results.

For a completely finished, average size basement, the cost would be around $30,000. The price is within reason considering that a finished basement can add plenty of rooms to a house. Costs vary depending on flooring options, wall coverings, plumbing, lighting and so on.

FAQs about how much it costs to build a basement

1. What is the average cost to build a basement in the United States?

According to HomeAdvisor, constructing a basement in the US typically costs between $10,000 and $175,000 on average. Several variables, like the project’s location, size, and complexity, can affect this cost.

2. How much does it cost per square foot to build a basement?

Building a basement can cost between $10 and $150 per square foot, depending on a number of variables. A finished basement with extra features like bathrooms, kitchens, and home theaters may cost more than a plain unfinished basement.

3. Are there any hidden costs associated with building a basement?

Yes, creating a basement might have unanticipated expenditures. These can include the price of required permits and inspections, unforeseen plumbing or electrical issues, and excavation fees.

4. What factors affect the cost of building a basement?

The size and complexity of the project, the foundation type (concrete slab, poured concrete, or block), the cost of labor in the area, and any added features or amenities can all have an impact on the price of building a basement.

5. How much does it cost to finish a basement?

The size and complexity of the project, the foundation type (concrete slab, poured concrete, or block), the cost of labor in the area, and any added features or amenities can all have an impact on the price of building a basement.

6. Do I need a permit to build a basement, and how much does that cost?

In most places, a permit is needed to build a basement, and the price can change based on where you live. A permit can cost anything from a few hundred dollars and more than $1,000.

7. What is the cost difference between a poured concrete and block basement?

A poured concrete basement can cost more or less than a basement made of blocks. Block basements are often less expensive but might be more vulnerable to leaks and moisture issues than poured concrete basements, which are typically more expensive but provide superior insulation.

8. Is it cheaper to build a basement during new construction or add it onto an existing home?

Since the excavation and foundation work can be included in the initial construction cost, it is often less expensive to build a basement during new construction. Because excavation and foundation work are needed after the property has been constructed, adding a basement to an existing structure can be more expensive.

9. How much does it cost to waterproof a basement?

Depending on the extent of the moisture issue and the size of the basement, the cost to waterproof it can change. For basic repairs, the price might be as low as $1,000; for a complete waterproofing system, it can go as high as $10,000.

10. Are there any tax incentives or rebates available for building a basement for energy efficiency purposes?

If you install insulation or a radon mitigation system when building a basement, you can be eligible for tax benefits or refunds. It is crucial to inquire about potential incentives with local and state government organizations.

After Learning How Much Does It Cost to Build A Basement…

Basement-Remodel-by-Meriwether-Inc How Much Does It Cost to Build A Basement for Your House?Image source: Meriwether Inc

It may seem expensive and it does involve a considerable amount of effort, but building a basement provides a huge return on investment in all cases. Selling a house that has a finished basement is faster because home buyers tend to prefer this feature in the detriment of houses that require upgrades. Basements create more living space without raising the need to spend thousands of dollars on a new house.

The benefits are numerous, so the cost is justified, regardless of the purpose that you have in mind. Knowing how much does it cost to build a basement is just the first step in a long research journey that will eventually lead to making a decision. Good luck!

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