Basement Development

Basement Development & Renovation company serving Calgary, Airdrie, Okotoks, Chestermere.

Basement Development is often overlooked as valuable living space. Some homes are undeveloped by the original builder with further construction in mind & some need updating from the builder if the space is outdated.The size of a basement is generally about one-third of the entire home, which means that developing an unfinished basement will increase a home’s living space by approximately 30%. If you live in a bungalow, the living space can even be doubled..

Basement Construction is one of the most frequent projects undertaken by today’s homeowners & the reason is simple. If completed correctly it can have both short term & long term investment potential.

More modern than rec rooms of the past, today’s basement renovations are being transformed into every imaginable option. Simple family rooms to watch T.V, Open spaces for gym equipment, Bedrooms, Laundry room, Spaces for entertaining — the possibilities are endless.

While every Home Renovation project is unique in terms of final finishings, the main construction components of most Basement Development or Secondary Suite projects are the same. As knowledgeable Basement Builders, we understand that each project has different requirements & we work with homeowners to help build what they see for their space.


Construction permits & trade permits are the most important part of any home construction project.. Not paying attention to the permit process will likely have negative results in the future if the proper paperwork isn’t obtained. We always advise homeowners to build with the required permits.

The reasons for permits are two-fold: Firstly, we believe it gives peace of mind to both the homeowner & the contractor that everything is completed correctly, nothing overlooked, & verified by the City of Calgary inspectors. A second look isn’t a bad thing & it contributes to a better building community overall.

Secondly it’s the law: For anyone that had any doubt on the importance of permits here is an article from the Globe & Mail that explains it well… There have been many instances of large fines or even a city order to remove all construction materials until inspections have been completed. Either way it’s not something a homeowner would want to deal with down the road. Always build or renovate with required permits.




When considering any basement renovation in Calgary, many homeowners don’t give a lot of thought to making sure the basement is insulated properly & warm in the winter months . Our Canadian winters will always be cold. Properly insulated walls & installing a Dri Core subfloor are 2 items we recommend on every basement development & secondary suite project we work on. Basements should be sealed, insulated and ventilated just like any other space. It will significantly reduce the cost of heating+cooling & it will balance the heating+cooling cycles.

The whole idea behind insulating properly is to add thermal resistance, control the flow of indoor+outdoor air, and regulate the movement of moisture. It also allows the HVAC equipment (furnace, ventilation) to operate at full potential.

The way we look at warm & comfortable is: “Why build a great space, if you still need a blanket on the sofa in the winter months?” Our advice is to always  consider the important aspects of properly warming a basement if any great amount of time will be spent there.

Basement Development Cost


Our most often asked question is naturally.. ‘How much would my Basement Development cost’ ?

After a variety of different projects, the easiest way to explain it would be… It’s really up to what each homeowner would like for their space.

There are so many variables & material preferences that a one size fits all approach is never accurate or realistic. One homeowner may want a simple 1 bed & 1 bath for the kids or teenagers, while the next may wish for a 1 bed, 1 bath with laundry or wet bar for entertaining.

The short answer is that, an average, basic 1 Bed+1 bath Calgary basement development can be in the $25,000 – $30,000  range for spaces approx. 650 sq/f & the more common choice we see is a 1 bed, 1 bath, living room & mechanical room.

The long answer is that, there are so many variables and finishing choices that can factor into any total budget.

We prefer to stay away from sales pitches of Bronze-Gold or Platinum type of basement packages. They are never accurate & more often than not cost more than the project should be. We prefer to build ideally what each homeowner would like for their space. 

Each basement development project we work on is viewed as a standard basement and we start the process from there as each homeowner has different preferences & options they are considering. 

A simple standard basement is ideal for homeowners who have a simple space & would just like to have another TV room or common area. They don’t wish to have any bedrooms or basement bathroom installed & would just like some more finished space.. A standard basement without bedrooms or bathroom generally come around the 18-20k range depending on a few factors such as total s/f of the space, stairwell finishing, lighting choices & flooring choices etc.

Including a bathroom to a standard basement usually adds between $4000-$7000 & beyond depending on personal preferences.(ex. standard tub/shower or walk-in with glass doors & tile etc). One contributing factor in this price range is whether or not the plumbing rough-ins are in place. Having to add the rough-ins & drainage can easily run $500-$1500 to break the concrete floor, have the plumbing installed, inspected, and cement over again.

As far as basement development ideas go: most homeowners in our experience choose a 1 Bed+1 bath, living room & mechanical room. The reason we see this more often than not is, in most cases it just makes sense. The extra bathroom usually makes sense for resale value, while EXCLUDING a second bedroom usually helps keep the budget in line.

Wet-bars and kitchenettes are other common choices that can increase the cost of developing a basement. Wet-bars typically start at around 2000-$3000 depending on homeowner preferences (ex. stone or laminate countertops, backsplash, wine fridges etc) including the plumbing and electrical.

Fireplaces are another item that can add to the total basement development cost. Gas fireplaces can start around $3000 for the gas line, permits, product, and install. But by the time you have added your mantle, and stacked stone or tile or anything else to dress it up, it is easy to be in the $4-5k+/- range depending on individual taste.

Many homeowners today have turned to electric modern fireplaces to stay at a lower price point. A mid-level electric can be installed for under $1500 (Product, Electrical, Install) while the gas fireplaces have other City of Calgary permit requirements.

There are many other factors that can affect any basement development cost. Some common ones to consider are the amount of lighting wanted for any space. Keep in mind that a large number of pot-lights are slightly more expensive than dome lights to purchase from suppliers & install.

Home Theatre considerations such as speakers and speaker wiring.

Ceiling Height – Ceiling heights are more commonly 8-ft.

Staircase Finishing/Railing/Landing.

Adding Subfloors/ Dri Core Subfloor or equivalent product).

Adding Roxul Safe and sound insulation for ceiling & mech room

Heating and Ventilation changes/additions.

Built-In Shelving etc.


So as you can see, every construction or renovation project has many variables & can be completed to whatever each homeowner would like for their space.. Some wish for basic finishings to add a simple TV space, while others prefer to have bedrooms, laundry or space for entertaining. Should you have a project being considered feel free to Contact Us & we would be happy to schedule a time to view the project & offer our advice on options that exist.