Basement Design Cost and How It Works

Professional Basement Design Service

For Finishing, Planning or Building

By John M. Browning

Serving Denver, Colorado Since 1988

National & Canada designs by email protocol Since 2003

Thee first on the web to offer this service!

How it Works!

Merely click here to Contact Me To Request Free Quote! I’ll first reply to your initial contact with an introduction email which will provide you with a few private links to find the 6 easy steps you’ll need to take to get a FREE QUOTE to design your basement project professionally also allowing you to ballpark the cost yourself. I’m sure you’ll find over time my rates are the lowest for such high quality workmanship. This initial email will link you to a special private web page here at this site where you will be able to view and or download over 250 references, a wish list questionnaire about your space, directions on what photos I need and how I like you to take them along with how to get me dimensions of your space or sending an existing plan also illustrated and outlined below in the sample graphics shown. You’ll see this simple sketch illustrating how easy you can do this and the email results from me of such.

Also at this personal link I’ll invite you to; you’ll get to look through  examples of my design workmanship in 3D views, all in PDF format, choosing one that you’ll later indicate to me so I know what looks good to you, fits your taste and or what to expect from me as your personal designer. Basements are complicated regardless and based on what you’re thinking of for appearances, I show these examples in  5 different levels of complications from basic finish to a very high level of finish. Once you pick one of the 5, this indicates to me an idea of my time needed to do the requested design which controls the cost and this is reflected by what you think comes close to your expectations of me in this choice by viewing these 5 design level examples. Without this, I have no idea of what’s in mind and what you expect from my end. The is no other honest way to cost out design work and you should agree, it’s a very fair way to price out a design accordingly to what you want!

After I receive all the requested information from you which is merely photos of your space, the wish list questionnaire with your design level choice and a sketch/plan with all wall measurements on it; I’ll send back the free design quote.

WorryNever worry, I’m very patient and I know how to help you get the right dimensions to me and make the math work out even if you’ve never done this before! I have a unique design by email protocol for doing this great service as mentioned here in “Basement Design Cost and How it Works” as you can imagine now and how well I’ve developed this simple design by email service after doing this through email for more than 12 years now! My reviews on Houzz speak for themselves if not hundreds and hundreds of wonderful references you may check out.

By the way, this design by email process I call “virtual design planning” came up years ago when I no longer had free time to visit homes, take photos & measure basements not to mention the drive time and gas cost. I also became just too busy doing designs all the time. I am a one man show here after all…. My fee (rate per square foot) dropped from charging over a dollar per square foot for designs to as low as 35 cents per square foot all because I was not spending an average of 3 hours in the home and driving each time. Besides, after designing thousands of basements I had stood in, I knew I didn’t need to be there to do this. In short, I just comprehend this all so well provided you send enough photos, measurements and also send my required wish list form. It’s so easy for both of us and you will enjoy doing this from the comfort of your home in this virtual design process though email.


(In A Nut Shell)

  • You send measurements by email. See example sketch below.
  • I create a footprint plan on CAD software to determine total square footage.
  • A review of your wish list form (via email) of how the space will be used, rooms/areas needed.
  • A review of all photos you sent to see what I am dealing with; examining structure & overall configuration of space available with or without windows, locations of all existing items that cannot moved or can be relocated and what issues I may or may not normally see. In older homes there are more issues for me to deal with.
  • A totally free design quote is prepared and sent to you based on the level of design choice, finished square footage, your wish list and photo review which includes your first footprint indicating the CAD total square footage.
  • You can review over 250 references you’ll receive from me of all my most current clients of designs by email.
  • You decide at that point if you wish to continue working with me on your new professional design.

Any time you’re ready to get started, use the private link I sent you in the first email introduction I sent you or contact me again for this.

FYI; it’s really all about determining how much time is needed to produce a design and you’ll soon find out from the private links I send you that I divided this into 5 design levels to choose from, 5 different rates per square foot as well because designs are not at all equal nor would it be fair to charge the same rate per square foot if you just want a more basic design or a nicer one in the middle range. Every client has a personal preference and I work with you personally on the level of design you choose. These levels can range from a basic design all the way up to the most complicated design and the more complicated it is, the more I enjoy my work; I love a challenge because I’m the best problem solver you’ll find.

Heed The Call

Make note that any contractor claiming he’ll design it for you will not do you justice! He’s only a contractor after all or he’d be doing my job, right? Been there done THAT! He only offers this to get the contract and down payment from you and don’t be fooled; anyone can make a design look pretty on paper but will it really be functional and attractive and the best use of space? Also, there is no magical price per square foot to design anymore than there’s a “shoot from the hip cost” up front before a design or basement plan is produced let alone the cost to build the basement based on a plan. Just ask and I’ll tell you more.

Exceptional Professionalism

With my designs, you know exactly how it will be built and what to price out, but the free quote I provide is based on what you need me to design only, nothing more thus saving you lots of money and all for one inclusive cost. No add on cost or extra fee’s no matter how many preliminary layouts I do for you. If your design bidder/estimator uses the same rate per square foot no matter how simple or complicated you wanted, you should worry if this is the case! Don’t take this risk, click to contact me now! I offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, in other words, I work with you until you’re perfectly pleased.

Need A Permit For Building Your Project?

You’ll get a full scaled building plan all done to the IRC code!

AND FINALLY; once I know you are satisfied, I send you a scaled PDF file plan you can print out at a Kinko’s on 24X36″ paper for building it, getting bids/quotes and permitting it along with many 3D color graphic views. This package is emailed to you at no extra cost. See Basement Design In 3D on what you can expect from me in this simple design my email process.

“Timeline to do the design”

Most plans take a week to three weeks on average or sometimes longer for completion yet done progressively with your approval at your pace but based on your decision making process and or email response time as mentioned above and having the correct measurements and photos. Many clients like to take their time with this process since this is a very important part of the upcoming construction process as well as the cost to build it so why not take your time and make sure you love the plan first, then you’ll love spending time in this new space even more so.

So if you wish to save money and have your project professionally designed by one of the best in the industry I want to hear from you. Make note; I was the first on the internet to offer such a Virtual Planning and design service following a simple design by email protocol. Just read my reviews on Houzz to see what my clients say about my service and don’t believe imitators claiming they can do a design in just five days; it’s not possible and much will be over looked. Please use my methods here to get your design started. It really is very simple and fun as well! Read the examples below and I thank you for taking the time to read my novel, LOL but you should be ready to contact me now

Let’s get you started on getting me a plan or sketch!

The image below is a sample of what measurements to send. Perimeter walls, support post, drains, furnace and stairway locations and windows along with ceiling height. It does not have to be neat in any way. Anything like the sketch below will work for me. Remember, I have seen and designed over two thousand plus basements, so I don’t need to be standing in yours to design it since I comprehend this so very well and that goes for how you might measure it, I’ll help you get it figured out even if we do it over the phone.  I’m sure you’re tired of reading but using this Basement Design Cost and How it Works method just requires good measurements, questions answered and photos, then the ball is in my court and I can make this all happen.

One fast way to sketch out your space and show dimensnoins on it can be done online at a site like this one called sketchpad and I did the following sketch online in about 10 minutes. Yes, I can read this just fine too! I used the New Project start with the paper being “grid”. Saved it as a JPG file to email it. Simple!

Sample Sketch To Send
Sample Sketch To Send

 I know the following sketch a client once sent me looks nice but you don’t have to be this neat, it can be chicken scratch, drawn on toilet paper if that’s all you have but I truly understand almost anything you send me and I have a cool way through email for getting this all done right.

basement planning
Basement Design Cost and How it Works example of what to send

Once again; Please measure in feet and inches not total inches only rounding up if a 1/2″ or more or down if under a 1/2″, no parts of an inch like 1/4, 3/8 and so on. Also indicate ceiling height and note if you measured to the center of the post or to each side also indicating the width of the post. Most designs are done with a tolerance of plus or minus 1″ which is fine since I’ve found that almost all basements are out of square anyway. Yep, it’s true!

Show all perimeter wall sizes, beam and stairway locations. Then I draw up a preliminary footprint like this one below to verify dimensions and what the CAD comes up with for the total square footage. And don’t worry, we may go back and forth by email a few times to get it right which is normal. This is what I quote from, my CAD software; it tells me the total area I’m working with. After you’re signed up with me, we’ll have more corrections before the design is started but I hope you’ll appreciate that I want this correct so you have no errors when you build from the final design, BUT it provides me a very accurate total square footage to provide your free quote with, all from my CAD software. Use my CONTACT ME to also upload files to me!




This finished plan (blurred for copy protection) below was designed in this way; just from sending a sketch to me and once again, there’s no need for me to stand in your basement to do this since I’ve been in thousands of basements over the years and I’ve seen it all and so many different types of basements dating back over 100 years as well, so it’s easy for me to comprehend what I see in your photos. Once again, I’ll always let you know if I need a photo of something I can’t see.

Basement Design PREPLAN5
Basement Design Cost and How it Works Revision to Design on CAD by

“It’s that simple and it’s a very fun and exciting Virtual Planning process.”

Basement Finishing Design Service will provide a full scaled 1/4″ = 1′ plan on a PDF file you can print out on 24X36″ paper that includes all electrical, lighting and other needed notes and details for permitting, to get bids with and to build form as it’s very easy to follow for even the do-it-yourselfers. No matter what I may design for you; all my designs are finished scaled plans done to the 2012 IRC codes showing all detail with  cross sections, graphic views and of course a full electrical diagram as well.

Engineering and permitting is not included. I can refer you to an engineer but most basements do not require any engineering in the design since you are not moving anything and or changing anything structural!

Please Contact Me To Request the Free Quote then I’ll email you the links to continue the design quote process which outlines this protocol completely showing how easy this is even if you’ve never done this before and then I’ll let you know DESIGN COST as a free quote to you. Any type of design as well works this way and feel free to ask me anything about the Basement Design Cost and How it Works or whatever your needs are. I know there’s over 2000 words to read here already and I apologize showing so much needed information up front but you should know I’ve designed kitchens, additions and much more over the past 35 plus years including entire homes and even a 12,000 square foot laboratory building and without this upfront info, the design might not have turned out so smoothly. Why basement design? I just love basement design the most. Just ask.

And you’ll get more construction services such as advice from me, personally for months after the design! Yeah! AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU! Free advice, suggestions and I’ll even review potential contracts to assure you that you’re not signing your life away. FYI: Many egger contractors needing work write “open-ended contracts” (evasive contacting) which means, in short, they’ll have their hands out for more bucks at each phase of the job and or take their time finishing it. If the estimate they gave seems too good to be true, it’s most likely what is called a “low ball bid“! Just write to me and I’m always happy to explain in detail, anything you want to know about the building process. How I know? I wrote fair yet legal construction contracts for over 25 years……….

“It’s easy to send me any document and or photos”

If you have a foundation plan or anything to email to me but don’t have a scanner (which can copy printed photos) or fax, just take a photo of it or any document sending me a clean clear legible copy I can see all numbers from; this is after all a way to make a photo copy.

Use my CONTACT ME to also upload files to me!

If you don’t have a scanner and or the plan is a large builders plan; just lay it out on the floor and stand over it in good light taking a few clear digital photos. Send only the photo that I can read all the numbers on once again. This is what we use to call a photo copy back in the day and as mentioned above but I repeat, you can send me just about anything this way. For complete instructions on taking and sending photos visit this page; “TAKING PHOTOS AND SENDING” Thank you and I do look forward to working with you.

Any time you’re ready to get started, use the private link I sent you in the first email introduction I sent you or contact me again for this.

 USA & Canada 720-346-6347

Contact Me To Request Free Quote    

Ask about my other products and services;  Sunroom Kits, Windows & Patio Doors. John Browning is an authorized dealer for C-Thru Sunrooms DBA “Sunroom And Patio Plus” also known as SAPP. Packaged and shipped to your door, DIY and save$$