Basement Cost

How Much Does a Basement Development Cost?

Naturally, the first thing people want to know is “how much does a basement development cost?”

Well there is a long answer and a short answer to this question.

The short answer is:

Our average Calgary basement comes out at around $31,000 + GST with a few upgrades.

The long answer is that our basements range from as little as $20,000 to into the $50,000s and beyond.

For many of our clients, the $28,500 Custom Basement Package meets their exact needs.

On the lower end, a single room basement with no bathroom and basic finishing would start right around $20,000.

On the high-end, a basement with a large wet-bar or kitchenette, custom built-ins and other upgrades can start to creep into the $40,000s-$50,000s and beyond.

$28,500 Custom Basement Package

Every basement is a custom basement and we start from our standard package and build out from there as our clients require.

Our $28,500 Custom Basement Package has everything that most of our clients need. It includes all of the essential components for a basement up to 600sf with a bathroom, living room and bedroom.

Plumbing Rough-Ins

One major factor in this price range is whether or not the plumbing rough-ins are there, as having to add the rough-ins can easily run $1500-$3000. Also, if the plumbing rough-ins are existing, relocating them can add to the cost to as well.

Wet-bars and Kitchenettes

Wet-bars and kitchenettes are another common upgrade that can significantly the cost of developing your basement.

Wet-bars start typically start at around $3000 including the plumbing, fixtures and electrical. From there the price goes up depending on finishing, countertops, and most importantly size.


Fireplaces are another item that can really add to the cost. Gas fireplaces start at around $3000 including the gas line, venting, permits, product and install. But by the time you have added your mantle, and stone or tile or anything else to dress it up, it is easy to spend $5000 to well over $10,000 depending on taste.

Many of our clients have turned to electric fireplaces or alternative fuel fireplaces such as Bio-Flame products to stay in a lower price point. A good electric can be installed for under $1000 while the Bio-Flame products start a little over the $1000 mark.

Home Theatre

Personal home theatres have long been a trend for basement developments. We have built dedicated theatre rooms, and rooms with multiple televisions. Wireless technology has made it less important than it used to be to run wiring for speakers, however it is still a good idea in many cases. We can also supply and install ceiling or in-wall speakers. Home theatre wiring packages start at around $500 and speaker install packages start at around $1200.

Staircase Finishing/ Opening Staircases

The majority of our clients are happy with the staircase finishing provided within the standard package, however some opt to take the staircase finishing further. The most common request is to open the bottom of the staircase wall and replace it with spindles and railings. We can accommodate this in most cases and depending on the size and the detail of the finishing it usually falls in the $1500-$3500 range.

Adding Subfloors

Subfloors can add warmth and waterproofing to your basement space. Subfloors can add anywhere between $1.50/sf to $5.00/sf depending on the style you choose.

For more info on subfloors please visit our pages Subfloors for Basement Developments and Types of Subfloors for Basement Developments.

Heating and Ventilation

The standard package will meet all requirements for Alberta Building Code. However, in some cases our designers will recommend adding additional heating and ventilation. It can be a good idea to add additional return airs in bedrooms and larger basements. Electric baseboard heaters are also a great option to give you the ability to add a little extra heat when needed.

Heated Tile

Tile over concrete and be a pretty cold combination. To take the edge off, many of our clients opt for heated tile floors in the bathroom. Heated tile floor systems start at around $1000 and go up depending on size.

Custom Built-Ins

Custom built-ins come in unlimited varieties. From adding a few custom shelves to a corner nook to adding secret doorways into book shelves. The cost largely depends on the detail and also the finish. Stained material is more expensive than paint-grade or laminated veneers. Built-in cabinetry usually starts at around $250/linear ft and then goes up from there.

Feature Walls

Another current basement trend is to add feature walls to accentuate a space. The simplest way to create a feature wall is with a different paint color. Beyond that you can use wall paper, tile, ledgestone and paneling. Painted feature walls will start as low as $150 and while tile and ledgestone walls will fall anywhere between $20-40/sf depending on the product and detail.

Age of Home

Basements in older homes can tend to present some more challenges and costs than basements in new homes. Generally, if your home was built in the last ten or so years it should be fairly current. Some of the challenges associated with older homes include outdated electrical and plumbing, poor insulation and HVAC, narrow staircases and small windows. We have developed basements in homes over 100 years old and are experienced with the challenges. Our designers can help walk you through those costs.

Egress Windows and Window Wells

Legal basement bedrooms will require egress windows and 30” window wells. Most Calgary houses built in 2016 or earlier will not have the required 30” wells on the basement windows, and older homes may not have egress windows. Window well replacement is generally between $250-500 and new egress windows can come in between $1500-$3000.

Ceiling Height

You can expect to pay a few dollars more /sf if your basement has 9’ ceilings or vaulted ceilings as opposed to standard 8’ ceilings.

Custom Man/Woman-Caves

Themed basement spaces are another popular trend of the last decade. We have seen and built man-cave spaces from sports-bars, to Irish-style pubs, to shoe palaces and more. If you dream it, we can build it. Nothing excites us more than bringing these custom basement spaces to life.