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Portland Basement Remodel: What’s It Going to Cost Me?

Upgrading or finishing a basement can provide much-needed extra living space to your home. It can also be a great way to increase your home’s value. But are these renovations affordable? Here’s a look at several types of Portland basement remodel projects, along with cost information and tips on how to get started when it comes to upgrade your basement space.

Portland basement remodel home types

Here in the Portland area, there are primarily 3 kinds of homes that we do basement remodels in:

Pre-1940s homes with unfinished basements. These generally have concrete slabs and walls, no living areas, there’s often an exterior access, and the client wants to convert it to living space.

Post-1950s ranch with daylight basement. In many cases, we’ll see basements in these homes finished, but outdated. We’ll come in and completely remodel them, fix and replace any subpar finishing that was done previously, and modernize the space to make it much more usable.

Post-1980s homes with basement potential. The third type of home that’s common for a basement remodel are ones built after the 1980s that originally did not come with a basement, but they have a lot of space underneath where one could be built. These generally don’t have great access or a concrete slab, so the area is like a very large crawl space. These are usually the most extensive — and expensive — basement projects as they include more engineering, excavation, and structural work.

Examples of basement remodels: 3 case studies

1. Existing basement space remodel

In this scenario, the home already has a basement and we’re simply remodeling it or finishing an unfinished space.

Our project involved a 1950s homes which was partially converted to living space.

We were brought in to remodel and refresh the entire space. Existing bathroom facilities were left as is to save money for the client, but we demo-ed much of the rest. We removed the walls, reframed and drywalled them, added new flooring, and made some other updates.

Cost for this project: $101,000

2. Portland Basement remodel that requires partial excavation

In these cases, the home has some sort of basement space that’s either finished or unfinished. It needs to be excavated and the foundation needs to be partially redone to get more space.

Our project was set in a 1920s home that had storage underneath part of the house with a concrete slab and concrete walls. The rest of the basement area was a crawlspace.

We excavated the crawlspace down until we had an 8-foot ceiling and then finished the entire space into a living area. We also added a laundry room, bathroom, and a couple of egress windows.

Cost for this project: $324,000

3. Basement project that requires full excavation

This type of project requires a complete excavation of the space, which could involve a house lift or a stabilization and then a full excavation.

For this scenario, the project includes the following elements to create the basement space and connect it with the existing living area upstairs:

  • House lift
  • Basement excavaton
  • New foundation
  • New stariway
  • Egress windows
  • New bathroom

Cost for this project: $454,000

How to get started with a Portland basement remodel

So what are the steps you need to take if you want to get started with a basement remodel? First, you want to fully understand the costs and processes involved. A basement remodel can be complex. As you’ve seen, the costs can vary widely depending on the type of work you want done. Figuring out what your must-haves are versus your nice-to-haves, and how much you can afford to do is a great first step.

Next, find a construction partner with a clear budgeting process. They should be able to show you what your dream basement remodel may cost, what can fit in your current budget, and articulate how they arrived at their project figures. If the budgeting process isn’t clear at the outset, you may be in for some unpleasant surprises down the road, so make sure you’re comfortable with the process and understand all the numbers. We have proprietary budgeting tools at Lamont Bros. that interactively create a budget with you. It makes the process really transparent so that you know exactly what’s included in a budget—and what isn’t.

After you find a firm that you’re comfortable with, it’s time to start the design process. The most efficient way to tie designs to your budget (and to make sure your project stays on budget) is to work with a design/build firm. That way, your design team won’t draw up something that is way out of budget or may end up requiring more money later on.

Whichever build partner you choose, making sure you see detailed drawings is critical so you can understand what will go into your space and what it will look like when it’s all done.

Get Started With Your Custom Budget

If you’re planning a basement remodel and want some budgeting advice, schedule an appointment with us and we’ll create an interactive budget specifically for your project.

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