Updated Nov 10 2023
In our last blog post, we talked about the pros and cons of a basement addition. Most people looking to add extra living space in Calgary probably have a basement of some kind already.
So what’s holding homeowners back from transforming that space into something magnificent? It could be cost, indecision, or lack of vision.
Here, we have some information and inspiration to help you feel confident moving forward with your Calgary basement renovation.
Cost of Renovating a Basement
Oftentimes, a basement addition is the most cost-effective choice because the framework is already there. However, exactly how much a basement renovation will cost depends on a variety of factors.
We recommend reading our comprehensive post on the cost of a basement renovation in Calgary for a better overview on the different factors that determine the cost of a basement development project. As a quick summary, in 2023 an average-sized, 1000 sq. ft. basement can cost between $40,000-$100,000. Sadly gone are the days of cheap $8,000 to $15,000 dollar developments when hiring a basement development contractor.
If you decide to renovate yourself, you’ll be closer to the $20,000 mark. However, a lot can go wrong when it comes to moisture control, electrical, plumbing, etc.
If everything goes right, you’ll save a ton. If it doesn’t, you’ll be out more cash than planned and left feeling frustrated.
It may be best to spend some extra cash, relax, and leave this one to the professionals.
Keep in mind, this is the cost of a basic finishing job. For some homeowners, this may be enough. Maybe you’re looking to transform the space into a playroom, office space, or some other area that doesn’t require much in the way of finishing.
Other homeowners, however, have bigger ideas. Some of these are on the practical side, like adding a basement apartment or a bedroom suite. Other ideas are focused on fun, like adding a home movie theater.
In this case, your basement renovation will be more complex and more expensive (2). A full basement apartment can reach upwards of $121,000 while a home theater will likely be in the range of $20,000-$60,000. Any renovation involving plumbing and electrical will be more expensive.
Our suggestion? Talk to a renovation company with plenty of experience and a solid portfolio, like Reborn Renovations in Calgary (3). We can give you a quote and you might even pick up some ideas along the way.
In fact, inspiration can sometimes be one of the more challenging parts of a basement renovation. It can be hard to imagine the dark, musty space beneath your house as anything other than extra storage or a great spot to host a Halloween party.
Deciding How to Utilize Your Space
It’s important to keep in mind that the basement square footage does not count towards an appraisal value. That being said, you can still expect to recoup about 70% of what you put into your mid-range basement remodel (
Buyers will recognize the value of the space, and a good realtor will be able to talk it up so that you see a reasonable return on investment.
Before deciding how to utilize your basement space (and exactly how luxurious to make it), there are a few questions you should consider:
If you plan to move, use low to mid-range materials in order to give yourself a greater ROI when the house sells. If you plan to remain in your home, go all out. When you aren’t worried about selling a space and recouping money, you are free to design in whatever way makes you happy.
If you plan to rent the space at some point, you may be able to go high-end and still make a solid return on your investment. Make sure all of the permits and coding are in place, ensure there is egress capabilities, and you could make a tidy sum from your once-useless basement space.
Do you need extra living space, or is this your chance to do something fun for yourself? Maybe you can have both! Depending on the size of your home, add that bedroom/half-bath guest space and a fully equipped bar.
We always recommend browsing photos, doing plenty of research, and consulting a designer just to make sure you are truly considering all of the available options (5).
Basement Design Tips and Tricks
By now, we hope you can imagine your basement as something more than the empty space beneath your house. It can be your own personal haven within your home. However, there is no denying that a basement is, at its core, a dark, damp, underground storage space. How do you make it a place in which you and your loved ones actually want to spend time?
There are many ways to make your basement cozy, bright, and welcoming.
If having a walk-out door is an option for your basement, this is one easy way to make the basement feel less like a dungeon and more like a cohesive part of the home. A private entrance and the opportunity for more natural light does wonders for a remodeled basement.
Natural light may not always be a viable option when it comes to basements, so you must make up for it with plenty of overhead lighting (6). Use a light-colored paint on the walls and consider lamps for those occasions when you want to turn off the track lighting and bring a homier feel to the space.
When it comes to basements, it’s tempting to go too far in the opposite direction and create a sterile atmosphere. Stay away from bright white paint and fluorescent lights (7). Add cozy accents like area rugs, colorful throw pillows, or even a free-standing electric fireplace.
Calgary homeowners should be looking to get the most out of their home, and one way to do that is with a basement renovation.
However, don’t go this project alone. Make sure you choose a professional, experienced renovation company with a skilled in-house designer. Reborn Renovations has a vast portfolio of basement remodels, as well as an in-person show room.
Call today for your free basement remodel quote!