The average cost of finishing a basement with a movie theater

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Posted by: from Hagerstown
5/31/2012 at 6:52:10 PM

I am looking to finish my basement in phases. I would like to frame and rock out the basement. I would like to completely sound proof the basement. I want to put a bath and a half in the basement with a washer and dryer hook up There is a rough in for a bathroom. A bedroom and a movie theater. The total basement is 1600 square feet.

I just would like to know what the average cost would be so I can determine if I have enough money to start the project.

I would like to put and electric fire place in the space as well.

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Date/Time5/31/2012 at 7:26:20 PM

The average cost for finishing a basement for labor and materials varies. You need to start by outlining all the materials you are going to install. What type of flooring, what type of shower/bathtub or just a powder room. (with toilet and sink) you need to outline the dimensions for each part of the space. What kind of entertainment system are you using for the theater? Are there going to be lights overhead with projector? That would require an audio specialist or a really well versed electrician. The plumbing would probably be easy if its already roughed in but again this goes back to if you are needing a shower or bathtub in there or neither to estimate that cost. How many rooms are being framed and does it have a lid already or will it need drywall everywhere? Is it a dirt floor, concrete floor, how finished is this space already? Are there windows being installed and if so are they going to need to cut through concrete? Doors?

All those kinds of questions need to be addressed before someone can answer. But to give a super rough idea of how much basements cost: Basements are the most expensive remodel a house can receive and usually are in the 20K-60K range depending on floor layout and materials used. It highly increases the value of a home and it is a highly returned investment.

Thank you!

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Date/Time5/31/2012 at 11:17:55 PM

The cost would be high... very high.

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Monica in Hagerstown
Date/Time6/1/2012 at 9:11:41 AM

@ Chris from PCC,

I will do more home work and start to determine dimensions and and cost of items. Thanks for all your input.

The floor is concrete, the majority of walls are all wrapped with insulation. Framing out the basement with just a bedroom suite. The suite should be 11x12 the bathroom on suite is 7x5 with stack-able washer and dryer(only a 3 piece shower no tub). The half bath is 5x5. The movie theater is 19 x 13 with a system closet built in that area. There would be one area for storage. The rest would be an open living space. The flooring would be a tile to accommodate a radiant heating system. The movie theater would be carpet tiles with ceramics in the certain areas. The lighting would be pot lights and sconces. The rest of the basement would be all pot lights.

I hope this gives you a better idea about the space.

Thanks once again for all your input.

V/R Monica

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Date/Time6/1/2012 at 3:14:48 PM


I think you are looking for a give or take estimate for your vision basement and without going through all the what you have and what if's, drainage, venting, moisture abatement, sound proofing,etc. $57.000.00, theater equipment and hook ups extra, theater equipment would have to be decided on prior to build out.


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Standard Improvement Company in Kansas City
Date/Time6/1/2012 at 3:52:05 PM

My best estimate based on the fairly limited info would be 63K in the kansascity area. Many variables could change this price dramatically

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Craftsman Builders Basement Specialist in Lockport
Date/Time6/4/2012 at 2:34:25 PM

An average price for what you described would be approx. 35,000 we do everything a little less expensive these days.


Craftsman Builders

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M.C.'s Home Improvements in Mount Laurel
Date/Time6/7/2012 at 5:13:34 PM

Your basement remodel would go for $39.00 sq.ft. x 1600 = $62,400.00 labor and materials going by your layout you supplied earlier, that also covers a return for the heater in basement area.

the more detailed materials picked could alter your price either way. but your investment would also bring almost 78% return on your home resale value plus raise your taxes.

I hope this helps you determine your project pricing(but also remember each geological zone has different pricing variations).

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Date/Time1/2/2013 at 3:08:28 PM

I have personally finished many, many basements. My first step is to look at the main floor of the house. What type of trim package does your main floor have? Based on those materials you can easily calculate that portion of the remodel.

Is the basement currently unfinished? If so, you have a blank pallet. I always recommend putting all HVAC equipment in one spot (preferrably under stairs or near the main water shutoff) to optimize your floor plan options. Remember, if you don't have equipment to condition the air in the basement you will need to do that. Equipment can overheat.

If you want to do a theater room you already know its gonna cost more. So, it's really a non-issue in my opinion. If you want to save money research the math on screen size, brightness and the throw of the projector. The bigger the screen the better....always. A theater for a guy is like implants for a woman. After it's said and done they always wish they went bigger! The best theater experience i've had is using a perforated screen. This way you put the main speakers BEHIND the screen. It makes a difference in the experience. I personally have a 120" screen and we sit about 11' away with the projector behind the couch....I do not regret it!

Flooring??? Forget the carpet...forget the wood...forget the tile and get the concrete finished and use some decent throw rugs. So many more options with colors and finish looks and it seals the concrete.

Got lolli columns? Get rid of the ones you can and use flitch plates on existing wood beams or install a Lam Beam. No sense spending good money to have a column in the way.

In any case, before the theater and base on the finish of the main floor of your house a basement typically costs $30 - $60 a sq ft. Typically.

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