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Understanding the Costs: Converting Your Crawl Space into a Basement

crawl space to basement
crawl space to basement

Crawl space conversion is a considerable challenge that requires technical skill and can include many challenges. As such, the cost to convert a crawl space to a baseent is relatively high compared to most other foundation services.

Still, converting to a full basement is worth it for many. Full basements provide living space and storage that crawl spaces cannot offer. As such, the high crawl space to basement cost is worth it for some homeowners.

You cannot decide whether crawl space conversion is right for you without having a clear idea of the price. This article provides a complete pricing breakdown so you can accurately estimate the cost of converting a crawl space to a basement.

While there are many other factors to consider for this type of project, cost should be one of the first that you evaluate. If you find the conversion price is well out of your budget, it’s best to proceed with a different service to enhance your crawl space. However, for those who are determined to convert to a full basement, we encourage you to continue through this article and note the many elements that influence the final price of your conversion project.

The Basics of Crawl Space to Basement Conversion Costs

The sections below will help you understand the average price required for a complete crawl space conversion. We’ll also highlight some specific costs you’ll need to evaluate when deciding if this project is right for you.

Estimating the Basics: From Crawl Space to Basement

Before diving into the details, let’s provide an overview of the average total cost of crawl space conversion. On average, adding a basement to a house costs between $60,000 and $150,000. Of course, that range varies based on many details we’ll cover in this article, but it should give you an initial idea of what you can expect to spend.

Detailed Cost Breakdown

Now that you have a general idea of crawl space conversion costs, it’s time to get more detailed. Remember that the total cost of this project is an accumulation of smaller costs, all of which are vital to success. The following sections will help you understand those smaller costs and how much you can expect to spend on them.

Itemized Costs of Converting Your Crawl Space

  • Excavation: One of the first costs you’ll need to cover during the conversion process is the cost of excavation. The overall size of your foundation determines how much excavation is necessary. The more excavation is required, the more you can expect to pay. Additionally, you’ll also need to pay for the removal of unneeded crawl space features. In many cases, this stage of digging out a crawl space costs $20,000 to $40,000.
  • Structural reinforcement: Since your house depends on the foundation for support, it will need temporary support during the conversion process. This temporary support also adds to your total cost. This price can vary depending on how your team stabilizes the home, but it can cost around $20,000 in many cases.
  • Utility adjustment: Crawl spaces often house vital utilities that must be preserved or rerouted during conversion. The cost for this portion of the project depends entirely on what utilities are present and how the team must alter them. As such, estimates are difficult for this step, but you can expect to spend at least a few thousand dollars.
  • Plumbing alterations: A crawl space conversion will require you to reroute your plumbing. Again, the features your foundation and plumbing teams must interact with here can vary, but the average cost for plumbing updates during crawl space conversion is $3,000 to $7,000.
  • Basement foundation creation: New basement foundations are costly whether you undergo crawl space conversion or not. A full basement can cost up to $30,000 alone, a price you can expect to add to your total cost.
  • Waterproofing: After covering the main cost of digging out a crawl space, it’s best to spend time and money enhancing your new basement. This often includes basement waterproofing, a service costing between $5,000 and $11,000.
  • Interior finishing: Another option many people choose after converting a crawl space is finishing the interior of their new basement. Finishing a basement is not required, but it does add immense value and usability to your basement. Many basement finishing costs reach $7,000 to $30,000. Again, the size of your basement is a major factor in this price since many basement finishing services charge by the square foot.

Crawl Space Conversion Costs

What Will You Spend Your Money On?

After learning about the many costs associated with digging out a crawl space, many homeowners wonder how much of the cost they are responsible for covering. The short answer is that you are responsible for paying for all aspects of the basement conversion. An easy way to determine the specifics of what you need to spend is to consider the square footage of your project and add all the costs we mentioned in the section above.

Hidden Costs and Considerations

Along with the main crawl space excavation costs, there are hidden fees that you’ll need to consider. Unfortunately, these hidden costs can accumulate quickly and raise the total price significantly. Learning about hidden costs in advance helps you anticipate this higher price.

The Hidden Costs of Basement Conversion

  1. Unexpected challenges during excavation: Although a team should do their due diligence before attempting a crawl space conversion, it remains possible that they could encounter unexpected issues during excavation. Large underground objects like stones and roots make excavation more complex and will likely increase the cost.
  2. Damage to necessary structures and utilities: During many conversions, a foundation team will attempt to preserve certain structures and utilities. Unfortunately, it is easy to damage these structures during the project. You may need to cover the repair costs if these structures receive unexpected damage.
  3. Building code fees: Many local municipalities have laws regarding what’s required for a crawl space conversion. These requirements can include many hidden fees that drive the cost of your project up.
  4. Enhanced water management: Managing water is another significant challenge during crawl space conversion. Water can sometimes be such a nuisance that enhanced water management techniques are necessary. However, these enhanced water management techniques are not free, and they will likely add to the total price of your conversion project.

Hidden Costs of Basement Conversion

Budgeting for the Unexpected

Since hidden costs are unexpected, it is tough to anticipate them before you begin a conversion project. As such, many homeowners are unsure how to account for these hidden costs.

To help you overcome hidden costs, we recommend thorough budgeting for this project. You should account for all the main stages of crawl space conversion and set aside a sum of money for unexpected expenses.

Evaluating the Total Cost of Crawl Space Conversion

By now, you know that crawl space conversion is expensive and that it can include both expected and hidden fees. Along with those expenses, unexpected challenges can also cause your conversion price to rise. After accounting for all those pricing factors, we stand by the estimate that crawl space conversion costs $60,000 to $150,000 on average.

Is Crawl Space Conversion Right for Your Budget?

Since crawl space conversion is incredibly expensive, challenging, and time-consuming, it is not a project you should take on without serious consideration. You should only move forward with crawl space conversion if you have saved enough money to cover the estimated costs and spent time developing a comprehensive budget for the project.

That budget should account for all expected costs and set aside funds for unexpected price increases. Only after careful budgeting and consulting with a foundation professional can you determine that crawl space conversion is suitable for your home.

Financing Your Basement Conversion

After learning about the cost of putting a basement under an existing house, you’re likely wondering how to pay for this pricey service. Many homeowners don’t have enough cash to cover the cost. Fortunately, there are ways of financing crawl space to basement conversion that you should consider.

How to Finance Your Crawl Space to Basement Conversion Project

Discover the ins and outs of converting your crawl space into a basement in our latest blog post. Learn about the costs, benefits, and more to ensure success.

Financing is an excellent way to cover the upfront costs of crawl space conversion. If you make energy-efficient upgrades to your foundation, there may be government grants or rebates that will help.

Additionally, you can take out a loan to help cover the cost of crawl space conversion. Personal and home equity loans can help when you try to figure out how you’ll pay for a crawl space conversion. Having a conversation with a local financial institution should alert you to which of these loans are available.

Discuss Crawl Space Conversion Costs with a Professional

Now that you have learned how much it costs to add a basement to a house, you have a much better understanding of whether this service is right for you. Remember, the cost of turning a crawl space into a basement includes many individual costs and hidden fees that you must also account for.

Outside of price, there are plenty of other considerations before converting a crawl space. The best way to get the answers you need is to consult a foundation professional. For anyone considering crawl space conversion in the Chicagoland area, The Real Seal LLC is ready to assist you. Contact us today to see how we can help with this work.

Above all, while crawl space conversion requires a lot of time, money, and effort, it’s often worth it. A full basement adds living space, storage, and value to your home. With the right budgeting tactics, you can enjoy all those benefits.


Austin Werner

Austin Werner is the Owner of The Real Seal LLC, a basement waterproofing and foundation repair company. Austin believes that having a highly trained and happy team is the key to success. This is reflected through hundreds of 5 star customer reviews his company has received online.

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