Borman Construction - Kitchener-Waterloo Residential General Contractor

What does it really cost to finish your small basement?

Renovating a basement can be a great way to add value to your home while increasing your living space. However, before diving into a renovation project, it’s important to understand the costs associated with the project.

In Kitchener, Ontario, renovating a 500 to 750 sq/ft basement can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $75,000 or more depending on various factors. Here are some of the costs you should expect to incur when renovating your basement:

Framing and Insulation

Framing and insulation are the first steps in a basement renovation project. Framing
your basement involves installing wood or steel studs to create exterior and interior walls
and bulkheads, creating a solid and straight base that will start your basement
renovation off on the right foot. Insulation usually comes in the form of foam, stone wool
or fiberglass insulation, depending on the R-value desired or the type of insulation that can
vary in price starting from $1,500 to $5,000

Electrical and Plumbing

Adding electrical and plumbing features to your basement is essential if you plan to use it as a living space. Electrical work can include adding outlets, light fixtures, and wiring for entertainment systems. Plumbing work can include adding a bathroom, sink, or laundry room. The cost for electrical and plumbing work can vary greatly depending on the project’s complexity, but typically ranges from $3,000 to $10,000.


Flooring is a major component of any renovation project. For a basement, it’s important to choose flooring that is resistant to moisture, such as vinyl or tile. Hardwood flooring is not recommended in a basement due to the potential for moisture damage unless you have a subfloor system to bring the wood up off the concrete. The cost for flooring can range from $3 sqft for a luxury vinyl, $5 for a quality carpet (don’t forget the under pad) to over $10 for an engineered hardwood.


The ceiling is often overlooked in a basement renovation project, but it can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of the space. You may choose to install a drop ceiling or drywall. Drop ceilings are less expensive (if you want your basement to look like the office, most clients want a nicer 2×2 flat panel acoustic tile), but drywall can provide a more finished look. The cost for a ceiling can range from $3,500-10,000

Paint and Finishing

Once the major components of your renovation project are complete, you’ll need to add finishing touches such as paint and trim. The cost for paint and finishing can range from $1,000 to $3,000.


Before starting any renovation project in Waterloo region, you’ll need to obtain the necessary permits from the city. Permit costs can vary depending on the scope of your project, if you have any questions or concerns with the permit process the city of Kitchener’s website is a great tool, they have a section on “when you need a permit”.

Unexpected Costs

It’s important to budget for unexpected costs that may arise during your renovation project. For example, you may discover water damage or structural issues that need to be addressed. It’s a good idea to budget an additional 10-20% of your total project cost for unexpected expenses.

To summarize, renovating a 750 sq/ft to 1000 sq/ft basement in Waterloo Region can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $75,000 or more depending on various factors. It’s important to budget for the major components of your project such as framing, electrical and plumbing work, flooring, and finishing touches. Additionally, you should budget for unexpected expenses that may arise during the renovation process. By understanding the costs associated with a basement renovation project, you can better plan and budget for your project.

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