Client Comments


"All work was performed in a timely and professional manner.
M.L. New Westminster"

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the estimated cost to finish a basement?
How long will it take to finish a basement?
What is the resale value of a finished basement?
Is a permit required to finish a basement?
What do permit costs?
What is an egress window?
Are there requirements for a certain size or number of windows in a basement?
Is a kitchen allowed in a basement?
Is a fireplace allowed in a basement?
Can rough plumbing for a bathroom be moved or added?
Are hot tubs allowed in a basement?
Is it possible to have a hardwood floor in the basement?
What is recommended if our furnace is not large enough to accommodate a finished basement?
Is there an advantage to using a suspended ceiling versus a drywall ceiling?
What is meant by "Allowances"?
Answers
What is the estimated cost to finish a basement?
This is our number one question, and of course, there is no direct answer. There are many variables that must be considered before even giving an estimate. Additionally, every contractor charges a different price. You can expect, however, that the more features you are requesting, the more expensive it will be. Solid surface counter tops, wet bars, fireplaces, home theaters, architectural features, steam showers, etc., will raise the per square foot cost. The more basic the basement finish, the less the cost.

In addition, a small basement of 700 sq. ft. or less, will cost more per square foot to finish. The bathroom is the most expensive room to finish per square foot, and that cost must be spread over the entire square footage cost – so the smaller the basement, the higher the per square foot cost. The reverse is also true for larger spaces, such as over 1,500 sq. ft.

How long will it take to finish my basement?
Again, this is a question that has no exact answer because of the numerous factors involved. We usually estimate one week per 100 sq. ft. up to 1,000 sq. ft., and one week for every 200 sq. ft. over 1,000 sq. ft. For example, we estimate 10 weeks for a 1,000 sq. ft. basement, and 11 weeks for a 1,200 sq. ft. basement. These estimates can change by several weeks, though, if there are a lot of unusual or time-consuming features.

back to top

What is the resale value of a finished basement?
That question is probably best answered by a real estate broker whose judgement you know and trust.

Is a permit required to finish a basement?
Yes, absolutely. It is against all building codes to finish a basement without a permit. Additionally, having a permit is for the homeowner's protection and safety. With a permit, all work must be inspected and must pass inspection, assuring that everything meets safety codes. It is also to a homeowner's advantage to have a permit if they are considering selling their home. Potential buyers will require inspections to ensure all work was done to building codes.

What do permits cost?
Permits costs vary in each jursidiction, often depending on the estimated cost of the project. Contact your local building department for permit costs.

What is an egress window?
Every finished basement must have at least one egress window, and if applicable, an egress window well. Every sleeping room must have an egress window, and they can be one and the same if there is only one sleeping room. An egress (escape) window must have a clear openable area of 5.7 sq. ft., net clear openable height of 24 inches, and net clear openable width of 20 inches. Sill height will not be more than 44 inches above the floor. Windows with a sill below ground level must have a window well with a minimum net clear opening of 9 sq. ft. with a minimum dimension of 36 inches. Window wells deeper than 44 inches must have a permanently attached ladder.

back to top

Are there requirements for a certain size or number of windows in a basement?
There must be at least one egress window in a basement, and if there is a bedroom, it must be in the bedroom. All bedrooms must have an egress window. There is a code requirement in certain jurisdictions that all habitable space must have 10% natural light and ventilation, so be aware of that requirement.

Is a kitchen allowed in a basement?
Many jurisdictions do not allow full kitchens in basements. The stove top is the issue, but most other appliances are acceptable. Check with your local building department.

Is a fireplace allowed in a basement?
Yes, a direct vent gas fireplace can be installed in most basements.

Can rough plumbing for a bathroom be moved or added?
Yes, but building codes require a 2 inch vent for the toilet in a bathroom. Many older homes, however, do not have a means of venting up through the house.

Are hot tubs allowed in a basement?
Yes, but they are not recommended. A de-humidifying system is necessary to deal with the added humidity.

back to top

Is it possible to have a hardwood floor in the basement?
Yes. However real hardwood floors require a nail or a staple to secure them so any concrete would require some form of wooden sub-floor. There are also new products ,such as laminate floating floor that look like hardwood that work well with a concrete floor.

What is recommended if our furnace is not large enough to accommodate a finished basement?
Another furnace can be added for the basement, or the existing one can be replaced with a larger furnace. A high efficiency furnace may be needed if the existing flue is too small.

A zoning system can also be added to existing forced air ducting to increase the comfort and flexibility of the basement temperature. It allows for temperature regulation on each floor.

Supplemental electric baseboard heat units are another option. It is the more economical.


Is there an advantage to using a suspended ceiling versus a drywall ceiling?
The advantages are, ease of install, they hide any mechanical systems that are below the floor joists and they make it easier to add wiring or other mechanical options at a later time. The disadvantegies are , they are unattractive, easily damaged and dis-colour over time.

back to top
What is meant by "Allowances"?
Our estimates are based on an allowance model. Usually this means that after the initial visit and measure, average items are selected for the calculations. As an example in a bathroom, a tub would be installed or replaced, in the event of a reno. Tubs can range from $150.00 for a basic steel tub up tp thousands. Some thing mid range is choosen such as an acrylic soaker tub ( Not a jet or juccuzzi tub ) and that price would be the ALLOWANCE used in the calculations. Or a cost allowance of $10,000.00 may be assigned for a foundation, but if an engineer determines the concrete should have an extra strength rating, or special fiber's inserted or even larger rebar inserted this would put the foundation over the Allowed price. Or granite tile floor with infloor heating could be requested after the original estimate, this would impact the estimated price and generate a higher cost.
Most estimates are very close to the final pricing but a 10% to 20% margin should always be allowed for.


back to top




Copyright © 1998-2017   DyConn Networks