Last Updated on March 29, 2024

What Does Basement Development Mean? | Real Estate Definition

By Alan F Macdonald

What Does Basement Development Mean?

Basement development means how much finishing work has been done to the basement of a home. That is, is the basement finished or not, and by how much. It is information that you might find on a real estate listing in Edmonton.

Real Estate Agent Explains Basement Development

There are a few levels of basement development. According to the Edmonton Real Estate Board, they are:

Level Of Development Abbreviation
Fully Finished F-FIN
No Basement NBASE
Partly Finished P-FIN
Remodeled Basement REMOD
Unfinished U-FIN


Many houses are built without any basement development. That is, there are no interior walls, no insulation and no wiring. Those basements are considered unfinished. This is typical of most new homes, while older homes in Edmonton tend to have finished basements.

Fully Finished

Fully finished basements have walls, insulation, vapor barrier, wiring, lighting, ducting and flooring already done.

Partly Finished

Partly finished basements are those with some development done to them, but that are not completely finished. The work that has been done can be almost anything from just having studs up around the perimeter, to having insulation, having wiring done or any combination of items finished. There is no standard partly finished basements. When it comes to newer homes, most people consider partly finished to mean that the exterior walls are built, insulated and vapor barriered. In older homes, partly finished often means that part of a basement is completely finished and part of it remains unfinished.


Basement suites can be built in some basements in Edmonton. Real estate with a basement suite is sometimes referred to having an in-law suite or mother-in-law suite. Suites usually mean that there is a kitchen in the basement.


Remodeled basements are just those that have been substantially changed from a previous basement development. This information isn’t that useful, besides suggesting that the work was done recently.

No Basement

Homes with no basement obviously have no basement development – there’s nothing to develop! This is uncommon in Edmonton, but there are a few Edmonton neighbourhoods where many houses don’t have a basement.

Why Does It Matter?

A basement can be expensive to finish, and once completely developed, can make for some very useful living space. A basement (finished or unfinished) may not be counted in the square footage of a house but that doesn’t mean that a basement isn’t useful or that developing it isn’t worthwhile. Permits are also required by the City of Edmonton for basement development, and the presence of absence of these permits can become an issue in a home sale as well. Finally, finished basements add value to a home, as they provide more livable space.

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