Basement renovation costs in Toronto, Mississauga and the GTA: What to expect
Published January 23, 2023 at 2:58 pm
Many property owners in Toronto, Mississauga, and the rest of the GTA are sitting on (or rather above) a prime opportunity to improve their home and up its value.
Renovating your basement is a great way to add space to a home. You could give yourself an extra guest room, a personal gym, a custom entertainment centre – the options are limitless.
However, such renovation projects are often costly, which may put off homeowners who are on a tight budget.
The best way to keep costs down while renovating a basement is to go with a market-price contractor such as RenoDuck, which balances quality service with affordable prices.
There are a variety of different factors that influence what the cost of a basement renovation will be – framing, plumbing, painting, electrical work, and more. It’s good to know your options so you can choose the ones that best suit your needs and your budget.
The first step of renovating is to build studs and wood frames to outline the area that requires renovation. The framing phase involves identifying and marking the areas where every element of the room, such as doors and windows, will go. Most contractors and homeowners prefer to use wood for framing, but other materials like steel can be used to reinforce the structure.
Wall framing is usually measured in linear footage, with the cost varying between $15 to $30 per linear foot. That price range may differ depending on materials used, size of the room, and whether any existing walls need to be demolished or new walls added. However, the price generally should not exceed $30 per linear foot.
Water supply is an essential part of every basement renovation project – plumbing fixtures must be installed properly to ensure they remain in perfect condition for a very long time. Before giving a precise cost estimate, the contractor will calculate the space, the amount of materials needed, and the time it’ll take for the work to be done. For example, sometimes a wall needs to be opened up for the water or sewer line to be put in place, which may increase the cost. The area you live in is a factor as well.
The lowest amount you can expect to pay for the plumbing is around $1,500, but if you choose to install many plumbing fixtures, the cost may be over $15,000.
Electrical fixtures (such as lighting) can give a basement the perfect ambience, whether you want bright lights or minimal lighting in different colours. RenoDuck advises homeowners to go with energy-saving options that keep energy consumption minimal when combined with the natural light from the windows, and their experienced team can help you figure out which lights would work best for your basement.
When working with a qualified electrician, the installation cost will typically range from $50 to $100 per hour – so expect to pay more if you have a lot of electrical fixtures in the plans.
After framing and mapping out the plumbing fixtures and electrical wiring, the next step is to put in the drywall. The drywall panel must be the right size in terms of height and width, but it should also have an appropriate thickness; typical sizes range from 1/4 inches to 5/8 inches in thickness, while the standard height and width are 8 feet and 4 feet.
The average cost is $1.50 per square foot. When the cost of materials and the installation services charges are added, it increases to between $40 and $60. The cost may also go up if the drywall has features such as soundproofing (perfect for home theatres, for example) and mould resistance (which ensures the drywall will last for a long time before there are any moisture-related issues, which are common in basements).
You may not think much about the ceiling in your basement, but a good ceiling is essential so that the overhead wires and pipes aren’t exposed. There are various types of ceiling to choose from which will determine the overall look and feel of the basement, as well as the cost. Some of the more common types include:
- Sheet panelling: More expensive, but among the most popular choices. The cost ranges from $12 to $30 per panel.
- Drop/suspended ceiling: Widely used because they’re affordable but still look great. They cost between $2 to $6 per square foot.
- Tongue and groove wood: Visually attractive and very cost-effective, they’ll usually run you between $1 to $3 per square foot.
You may not know it, but flooring options for a basement are usually limited. Some factors to consider when choosing your flooring include the number of people who will be using the basement, and whether there will be a lot of exposure to moisture. Options include:
- Vinyl: The most cost-effective option, which can cost as little as $1 per square foot and not more than $8.
- Carpeting: A carpeted floor can give a basement a nice cozy feel to it. The cost ranges between $7 and $12 per square foot.
- Ceramic tiles: A popular choice of flooring for any room, the cost ranges from $5 to $20 per square foot.
- Engineered wood: Somewhat similar to a hardwood floor, this affordable option costs at least $3 and at most $5 per square foot.
Painting is one of the best finishing options that can really bring a basement together from a visual standpoint. The paint should be carefully chosen to ensure it’s high quality and the colour shades blend perfectly.
The price for painting may range between $3 and $7 per square foot, but it can also be higher, depending on the quality of the paint and how complicated the interior design is. For example, basements with accent walls or patterned features may cost more than plain surfaces. It’s still advisable to pay more upfront for high-quality paint than for cheap paint that will have to be replaced soon after.
Other factors that will affect the cost of renovation include the basement’s size, the quality of materials being used, labour being done, the basement’s condition before renovation, and more.
Once you’ve decided what your budget is for your basement renovations, the best way to stick to it is to plan your renovations from the start so that no unexpected price tags pop up.
That means deciding what you want in your basement (such as a theatre, playroom, gym, studio, etc.), getting professional architectural drawings done, checking for moisture and structural issues, and selecting your finishes and furniture.
You may also need to secure the right permits, depending on the renovations – for example, you’ll need a permit if you plan to install plumbing fixtures or a new kitchen or bathroom.
It may seem like a lot to consider, but contractors like RenoDuck will take care of everything for you while keeping things affordable and adhering to your budget.
Their experienced basement renovation team serves homes all across the GTA with a step-by-step process that ensures your renovations go smoothly, resulting in the basement of your dreams no matter what you’re looking for.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies