Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average cost to finish a basement?

There are many variables which will determine the cost of finishing a basement. For example, adding a fireplace, bar, and/or bathroom will increase costs. The type of flooring, type of lighting, bathroom size, and price range of bathroom fixtures and labour rates will also affect price. Furthermore, the more rooms you have in a basement, the more it will cost due to the additional materials and labour required.



How long does it take to finish a basement?

It will depend on what and how much we are finishing in the basement. Basements under 700 sq.ft. will take on average 4 to 5 weeks and larger basements over 1000 sq.ft. can take up to 7 to 10 weeks. Again, there are unforeseen circumstances which will add to the completion timeline, such as special orders for certain types of materials required, and types of designs, which will require more labour and materials. Structural unforeseen issues may cause delays and changes to the basement plan/design and schedules would be adjusted accordingly.



Do you require a permit to finish a basement?

Yes. A building permit is required and an electrical permit should also be taken when any electrical is altered or added. A permit is solely used for the protection and safety of the homeowner. For more information, you can contact your building department in your city.



Do you need an egress window in a basement?

An egress (escape) window is very important and every basement should have one, particularly if you plan on building a bedroom in the basement. Some basements will require a window well due to the ground level and in some cases, a ladder must be attached to the window well because of height. An egress window should measure at least 24″ in height and 36″ in width, and no more than 44″ in height from the floor level to the top of the window sill.



Can you install a kitchen in a basement?

Yes. Even though the Ontario building code is applicable to all jurisdictions, some by-laws may vary due to the zone/area you live in. For more information, you can contact your building department in your city.



Can you install a bathroom in a basement?

Yes. Most builder homes already have rough-in plumbing in the basement. However, in most cases, the existing rough-in plumbing will have to be relocated due to the new dimensions for the bathroom area and/or new basement floor plans. In older homes, the venting may be an issue and it may not always be possible to add a bathroom in the basement.



Would you recommend a hardwood floor in a basement?

Basements have higher humidity levels, therefore, you would need a proper subfloor prior to the hardwood floor installation and it would cost you more. I would recommend carpet, laminate flooring, and tile since they do not require a subfloor. That said, an insulated underpad designed for concrete application for carpet and laminate floor would be installed. Tile can be used in basements, however, you would need an excellent tile installer since basement concrete floors are quite uneven. A floor leveler in some cases would be necessary prior to the tile installation. Tile is always recommended for bathrooms.



Should you upgrade your furnace room?

Usually it is not necessary to upgrade your furnace, however, if the existing one is not adequate for the additional finished space, then a high efficiency furnace is recommended. If you are converting your basement into a rental unit, an additional furnace may be required to independently heat the basement apartment. For more information, you can contact your building department in your city.



Should you install a drywall ceiling or a suspended ceiling in a basement?

Drywall ceilings look great, however; I would recommend a suspended ceiling. The ceiling tiles used in our basements are 2ft. by 2ft. with a 1/4″ bevel. We have used them in our basements for years and they do not sag or discolour. Furthermore, if you need to upgrade or add lighting, add stereo equipment, run new speaker wires, install a new home theater system, add a new fireplace, or if you run into plumbing issues; having access to all of your mechanical, heating, electrical, and plumbing is extremely important, convenient, and definitely more cost-effective.



Do we repair water problems in basements?

Yes. We have specialized subcontractors who offer a lifetime warranty on the foundation repairs.



Are the subcontractors we hire licensed and insured?




Can our clients make changes after the contract is signed?

Yes. We have a change order form which keeps track of all changes and price adjustments to the contract price, which is initialed and agreed upon by both the contractor and the homeowner prior to any changes being made. Some fees may apply.



Do we refinish or remodel existing finished basements?

Yes. However, in some cases demolition may be necessary to ensure the safety and protection of the homeowner if any of the work performed was not inspected during the course of the renovations.



Do we finish basements in phases?

It is difficult to do since there are different phases which are interdependent on other phases. We would recommend this type of project to be completed in one phase. Furthermore, permits are only valid for a certain time period, which would mean you would need to take out another permit for the same work later.



Do we allow our clients to do some of the work in the basement?

Yes, provided that you or anyone you know is licensed for electrical and/or plumbing in order to pass inspections. Also, our clients must work within our timeline schedule.



Do we allow our clients to supply some of the materials? 

Yes. Materials such as paint, bathroom fixtures and accessories, faucets, ceramic tile, lighting, and door knobs may be supplied by our clients, as long as it meets our criteria.



Do we have an onsite manager?

Yes. Suzette (who is also the general contractor) manages her work-sites on a day-to-day basis and will send her clients a weekly schedule of what subcontractors will be coming on what days, and an up-to-date progress on the project.



What does our contract agreement include?

It includes scope of work, design plan, work schedule, project start date and deadline, contract price, payment schedule, fixed price policy, and a comprehensive 1 year warranty.