What is the ambiance down in your home’s basement? Is it a place your kids and their friends use as the dark, dank dungeon in their imaginary play? Do you use it for laundry and random storage but not much else? In other words, is your basement a big waste of space? If so, it may be time to remodel your basement into a warm and welcoming space.
Re-Vamp Your Basement in Style
Taking your basement from “extra storage” to “new living area” will have a dramatic impact on your house as a whole. Depending on its size, your basement remodel can significantly improve your home’s livable square footage, notably improving your home’s market appeal and resale value.
With the right extra touches, the basement can also become a comfortable guest space, a potential source of rental revenue down the road and a wonderful way to get your kids and their friends out of your favorite living areas and into one they consider their own. On that note, here are some ideas for renovating and designing your basement space.
- Take a family survey. Meet with your family and begin exploring the possibilities. If your basement must be used for storage (I still vote for renting a storage unit and getting more use out of that empty space) you may simply want to make your basement a laundry room, making your current laundry area available for an expanded kitchen, bathroom or other living space. Or, you might decide you want a full entertainment area, complete with a small kitchen or bar. Think about your household’s needs and lifestyle and brainstorm your basement remodel from there.
- Clear the clutter. Not surprisingly, your basement overhaul is a fantastic opportunity to get rid of clutter, sort through old boxes and condense all that “stuff”.
- Light and ventilation. The two most common associations with basements are “dark” and “musty.” Both are indications of poor lighting and ventilation. See if there’s a way to add windows to gain as much natural lights as possible. If not, freshening up the walls, using a light and neutral color scheme with pops of color, will help it to feel lighter and brighter. A new lighting design can work wonders to brighten your space with illumination that looks more natural. Odds are a professional HVAC contractor will be needed to expand your home’s current system to encompass the basement, and that will go a long way towards improving its ventilation and interior comfort.
- Pay attention to the walls. Because the basement can be dark and gloomy, you want to pay very careful attention to the walls. There are pre-fabricated wall systems that can be put in place right over existing, unfinished walls. This is a great way to improve the energy-efficiency and insulation value in the basement while giving it a brand new appearance. Nice new paint or attractive wallpaper can finish the look.
- Add a bathroom and kitchen. If the basement is going to be used as an entertainment area and/or guest space, try to incorporate a bathroom and some type of kitchen. Tying a sink and toilet into existing plumbing is rarely a major feat since plumbing is usually readily available in a basement location. A small kitchen makes it easy to store snacks, drinks and also facilitates cleanup. Plus, both those features will make it easy to convert your basement space into a source of rental revenue down the road if you choose to.