How much will this basement reno cost me?
August 18, 2005 8:28 AM   Subscribe

HomeImprovementFilter: I'm planning on having a basement room finished, and before I put the contractors to the time and expense of coming out for estimates, I want to know if the project will be something I can afford to do right now.

Here's what I'm going to have done: There is a single room and stairwell that can be developed (the rest of the basement is crawlspace), which is approximately 11' by 26'. The walls are framed, insulated, and covered in poly, but not drywalled. Two light fixtures are present in the ceiling, which I would like replaced with four pot lights. I'd like a new circuit run for two wall sconces, and three dimmer switches put in for the lighting. There is a small (18" by 30" or so) window that needs to have trim put around it, and one doorway that needs to get framed and a door put into it. I'd like the area drywalled, carpeted, and a 2x2 suspended ceiling installed (I'll do the painting myself afterward). I'm in Alberta, Canada, so bear in mind that any quotes will be in Canadian dollars. I haven't had any work like this done before, so I'm not sure what to expect to pay. How much (ballpark figures, obviously) should a job like this cost?
posted by gwenzel to Home & Garden (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We did a room in our basement of about the same size last year (in Calgary). I'm a sucker for DIY projects, so we did the work ourselves. Kind of a similar job (frame, carpet, ceiling, replace window, electrical, interior door), materials were probably about $2000 (including wood for framing, so yours would price out cheaper).

It's the contractor that might be tricky - here in southern Alberta, I've heard the contractors are super-busy with fixing flooded basements. I can't even guess what a handyman or contracting firm would cost.
posted by hamfisted at 9:52 AM on August 18, 2005

I had a contractor over last month, showed him the basement, told him what I wanted, and he gave me a "rough estimate". He asked me if I had that amount in the bank before he spent a few hours working on a detailed estimate. I said no, and that I'd call him when I had enough. He was at my place for maybe 20 minutes.

So you should call up a contractor and ask them to take a look at the basement and give you a rough estimate. Just tell them upfront that you're not sure if you've got enough cash to go through with it.
posted by exhilaration at 2:47 PM on August 18, 2005

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