Judging what is the cheaper method with regards finishing or reimaging an existing finished basement is quite tricky. You might image that having to start from scratch in a bare bones basement with nothing but concrete walls and floor a huge task. Surely redesigning or reimaging an existing basement would be considerably cheaper after all the necessary things are already in place.
The trouble is that it doesn’t always work that way as contractors working on basic finishing of a basement can work quickly and very efficiently. This is because often in an area or part of a city the new houses would have been built at the same time and to the same blueprint. This means the layout of an untouched basement is highly likely to be identical to its neighbours. This isn’t so true with all the older buildings thatyou will find in the old part of the city but traditionally even then the way of planning and executing the foundations and basement were to a common design.
This penchant for builders to construct homes in much the same way makes basement finishing a much easier task as the contractors are predominantly working to the same blueprint as many of their previous jobs. This means that contractors in cities such as Toronto can basically offer in some areas turn-key finishing of basements for a very reasonable price.
Turn-key finishing will transform your untouched or partially finished basement through all the steps required; sealing and protecting against moisture, adding insulation and a vapor barrier, building the frames, dropping the ceiling and flooring the area. After all this is what you get a finished basement but it is not designed for any specific purpose it is as it says a turn-key basement. It’s up to the home owner to decide what to do with this new living space. Consequently turn-key solutions in places like Toronto are common and reasonably priced.
Redesigning or reimagining a basement however can be far more costly that you would think. This is because the contractor had to plan out the new design and work out from scratch how they will achieve it. There will be demolishing to do and that requires careful work so that no plumbing or electrical wiring is damaged. But in the worst cases the plumbing and electrics will need to be redeployed and that is going to be very expensive.
Plumbing in basements is charged at far higher prices both for equipment and labor than plumping above the ground. This is largely due to the lack of gravity to flush toilets and empty baths and sinks. So if your redesign is going to need major plumping then it’s going to be more expensive that a large turn-key project.
But there is also the redesign to consider if for example it is now going to be a home office then relatively little will need to be added. However a home cinema or gaming center will require the acquisition of expensive equipment and furniture. You could keep the costs down by sourcing the parts yourself but you would need to agree these terms before signing the contract.