basement kitchen

How Much to Build a Basement Kitchen?

How Much to Build a Basement Kitchen?

Memories of being a little girl in my Nana’s basement kitchen during the Holiday season invoke smells of manicotti and sausage, smells which filled that beautifully decorated basement as we kids anxiously waited for that special “early visit” from Santa. Every year after dinner and before opening presents with the family, Santa came to our grandparent’s house on Christmas Eve because Nana was a “personal friend” of his.

These memories have inspired me to create that same scenario for my family by building a kitchen in my basement. Below are some tips I found to consider. Although, before making a single pot of sauce, I know that I must always consult a basement contractor first, and these findings are just “averages.”

HomeAdvisor estimates a professionally installed kitchen will cost $25,000 to $50,000, with high-end materials increasing the price tag substantially. A basement contractor can plan the construction portion but may require the help of designers and architects for the plans, which can add thousands to the price. The alternative is to use a design-build firm that does it all.

In the meantime, here are some guidelines and questions to consider:

  • Be clear about the purpose of your basement kitchen
  • Have a safe basement kitchen design plan ready
  • Have an inspection to ensure the basement is properly waterproofed and sealed
  • Ensure there are sufficient power outlets
  • Install good lighting
  • Match the kitchen to the style of your house
  • Use smaller-sized appliances
  • Install proper ventilation

How do you build a kitchen in the basement?

Here are some things to consider in a design for a basement kitchen.

Do you want a wet bar or a full-service kitchen?

  • A wet bar has the appliances needed to make coffee, drinks, and some foods, but not full service with ovens, microwaves, and dishwashers. The wet bar is typically designed with cabinetry like the rest of the basement.
  • A full-service kitchen has all appliances and accessories with an above-grade kitchen. However, because this type of design will require more square footage, the cost may be prohibitive for some budgets.
  • A standard 18-inch wall-to-wall cabinet in a 12-foot basement is approximately 24 inches deep; most cabinetry is constructed with two cabinets that share one center wall.
  • Cabinets should be 5 feet or less from the sink to the cabinet top. This is where you want your dishwasher and trash can to go, so they are within arm’s reach while you’re working in a kitchen island.
  • Layout is extremely important in a small space. For example, consider an L-shaped kitchen with different heights for cabinetry. This allows for more counter space without the room feeling cramped.

How hard is it to add a kitchen to a basement?

The building aspects of a basement kitchen installation can be challenging to DIY, and licensed professionals are required to perform the electrical, gas and plumbing work in most areas, so the idea of hiring a basement contractor or firm is desirable.

Because basements are below ground, the importance of waterproofing before making a significant investment into your home, cannot be overstated enough.

If you are planning on adding a kitchen to your basement, there are some essential things that must be taken into consideration.        

Kitchen installations in basements can range from a simple makeover to a full scale installation with tile flooring, cherry cabinets and granite countertops.

Before the planning stage of any new basement kitchen installation can begin, the basement carpets and old flooring must be removed.

This is important because it will allow you to get a better view of what exactly your basement looks like. It also allows the waterproofing company to know how much work needs to be done.

If there are any cracks in the wall or floors, then you will need to get them fixed before any new waterproofing system can be installed.

One of the most important things to look for when looking at basement kitchen renovation is the soil stack. If there are no vents in your basement ceilings, then it is best to speak with a professional about what type of venting is needed.

As you can see, basement kitchen installation is a complicated procedure that will require professional help unless the do-it-yourself homeowner wants to risk potential damage and financial loss.

Do you need a floor drain in the basement?

Yes, basement floor drains are essential! However, it is vital to properly install drains in the basement to prevent flooding, remove backflow, water from broken appliances, and reduce exposure to sewer gas. Even when a basement has a finished floor, a drain is necessary in case of an emergency and for a home’s maintenance.

Does a basement kitchen add value?

According to The Wall Street Journal (, a basement remodel equals a kitchen remodel in terms of getting you the best financial return among all home renovations. With such a high return on investment, a basement remodel is one of the smartest home upgrades.

The price really depends on several factors. A full-service kitchen with granite countertops will easily cost $20,000 – $25,000. A standard wet bar may run $12,000 – $15,000 and a partial kitchen with cabinetry and countertops can be as little as $5,000 if you salvage all of your materials from other remodeling projects.

DIY: make sure you have an experienced carpenter with plans designed for basements, as well as any permits; otherwise, the savings will be negated.

Caution: Waterproofing a basement is not as easy as you might think

Sometimes, homeowners make the costly mistake of attempting to waterproof their basements without calling in professionals for help. Even more, they fail to seek professional basement waterproofing advice before making significant changes to their homes.

Unfortunately, this puts homeowners at risk of creating a basement that is prone to flooding and water damage, which can create a lot of costly problems, especially if you’ve recently invested in a basement kitchen.

When it comes to basement waterproofing, the only way you are going to get it right is by seeking expert help from professional waterproofing contractors, who will be able to provide you with all the information you need about getting your basement properly waterproofed.

Get creative! You want to make your area livable, beautiful and functional.

If you need to waterproof your basement, give SAS a call (800)225-5727

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