Basement Framing Cost Calculator

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Calculator assumptions:

  • 8′ walls
  • 16″ stud spacing
  • Does not include cost of nails or tools (must rent or buy)
  • Does not include insulation or drywall – just framing

Imagine this: You’ve finally decided to fix up your basement after years of putting it off and you have an image of what you want in your mind but you are quite overwhelmed and don’t even know where to start. You know that finishing, updating, or completely remodeling your basement can increase your home’s property value, add living space for you and your family, and give you more storage space, but all good things come at a price! Depending on your specific basement, one step in the process may be basement framing, which can add to the cost but be necessary and worth it. If you’re wondering how much it would cost for your basement framing, the answer is that it depends. 

Of course, you want your basement framing to be solid and well-done. On average, a full basement remodel can cost between $25 and $50 per square foot, which adds up – therefore, it’s best to do it right. Framing is much more than just scattering studs and moving on to the next chore; instead, it needs to be done properly to avoid problems like structural issues and mold. If you’re attaching framing lumber directly onto a concrete surface or any other below-grade material, you should get pressure-treated wood – especially for the sill plates. In fact, your local area may require it because pressure-treated wood lessens the chances of mold and rot from moisture. 

Cost Factors for Framing Your Basement

Two major factors that will alter your final cost are the size of the room(s) and the exact materials you want to use. More walls will need more framing, so a basement with multiple rooms will cost more than just a large, empty space. If there are things in the way (windows, ducts, electrical outlets/panels, pipes, etc.), special framing methods will need to be used to allow continual access to these items after the walls are complete. The cost will also be increased if the walls and ceilings are uneven and require different framing tools such as shims. 

Average Basement Framing Cost

In general, remodelers report that framing an entire basement costs an average of $1.00 per square foot, but this will vary based on your choices and may end up being more around $2.50-$5 per square foot when you add in the cost of drywall that you may install with it. If you plan on installing insulation to the framed walls, expect to pay anywhere between $30 and $80 more per square foot. 

It is difficult to provide lumber costs since prices fluctuate constantly and the type of lumber your local store is offering may vary based on what type of wood its supplier has at the time. Generally, the available 2x studs will be either spruce, pine, or fir, but the type doesn’t make much of a difference in the long run. On average, one 2×4 stud costs about $5 or $6, so it is important to do proper measurements in order to not run out or end up with a lot of extra wood, as this can really alter your total price. If you choose to frame with metal, on average you will spend about 10%-20% more than you would for a wood frame. 

Don’t Forget About Labor Cost

Labor costs vary exponentially depending on where people are located, so if you aren’t handy and want to use a contractor or another type of labor, be sure to look around and get some quotes, as materials and hourly labor costs can add up. In general, redoing your basement’s frame can get pricey, just like any of the other renovations you may want to do in the room, so you may also want to see if your local hardware store is offering a deal on 2×4 studs or other supplies to help alleviate the costs. Ultimately, framing your basement as part of a remodel or just an update can be very rewarding and a smart move for the future. 

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