It’s a shame that many people fail to utilize their basement to its full potential. When extra space in the home is needed, rather than going to the trouble and expense of building a new addition or even moving, basement renovation is both economical and smart. There are a number of ways a basement can become a beautiful and lively spot that the family will be happy to visit. Why leave all that space to the furnace, washer and dryer when it can add value and use to the home?
Why Basements Are Avoided
Basements are often the red-haired stepchildren of houses. They are looked upon as being dark, dank, and generally uninviting, and unless fully renovated, this is quite correct. Concrete floors and walls certainly make the basement a place to be visited as little as possible, but most basements are actually just waiting for a renovation that will truly make them a part of the home.
Basements often have problems that can limit their use…
- Because basements are generally mostly underground, they are usually darker than the rest of the house. Windows are small and set high on the walls. Often lighting is provided by a few bare bulbs.
- Their situation often means that basements are sometimes damp. This problem can often be solved fairly easily by upgrading gutters and downspouts and providing insulation in the walls. If water is a more serious problem, waterproofing is available to make the basement dry and comfortable.
- Most basements have poured concrete floors (and sometimes dirt floors) and walls either of cinderblock or foundation stone, which makes them seem more like caves than anything else.
An experienced basement renovator will know exactly how to deal with these problems to help turn your basement into a real living space.
Basement Renovation Ideas
Regardless of the size of your family, or how much entertaining you may do, renovating your basement will provide you with more living space. A renovated basement not only provides more enjoyment for the household, but also increases the value of your home. In most cases, insulating the walls will help to make the basement more comfortable and will also control dampness.
Basement renovation may be required for a number of reasons:
Family Living or Rec Room
For those who have a smaller home with a cramped living room, basement renovation can be the perfect way to have a living room or rec room that is nearly the size of the house. Basement finishing will turn your cellar into the extra space you’ve always wanted. Proper lighting as well as a careful selection of colors and furniture will make this a room your family will love to gather in – and with plenty of space for activities.
For those who want to get or stay physically fit, a basement gym (your personal fitness centre) is the way to go. And, we’re hardly talking about a few exercise machines plunked down on a cement floor; to encourage active exercise, new flooring, walls, and lighting should be installed. Comfortable seating, at least along the walls should be provided, and a flat screen television can help make the time exercising pass more quickly.
If bedroom space is at a premium, the basement can be turned into just as comfortable a bedroom as any in the house. The key here, of course, is to make certain that the space is properly insulated and that the walls are finished exactly as they would be ‘upstairs’. A basement bedroom is great at providing teens with a bit of extra privacy and it can serve as a guest room, too.
Apartment / Rental Property
The basement can also be turned into a complete apartment, with living room, kitchen, bedroom or bedrooms, and bathroom. A basement renovation of this kind is often used for providing living quarters for relatives (especially in-laws), but it can also be easily rented out if a separate entrance is provided.
For those who are looking for the perfect place for a home entertainment center, your basement may turn out to be just the spot. The large open area will allow the placement of a pool or ping pong table (or even both), and part of the basement can be used for viewing films or simply for relaxing and watching the television. To make the center even more complete, add a bar along one wall, complete with counter and stools.
Working at home is an option many people take advantage of, but finding a place where you can work in peace can be difficult. Sandwiching your computer and files in the kitchen between the fridge and stove or in a corner of the living room can make carrying on difficult. A finished basement can provide the perfect solution for those who need the quiet and space to conduct business in the home. There will be plenty of room for any relevant materials and being out of the main family traffic areas will provide a suitable work atmosphere.
A Home Spa
If you want to treat yourself to the luxury of a spa, but have no place for it upstairs, why not use the basement? A sauna, with dry heat or a steam shower, or a combination, can provide the treatment you want without having to go outside the home. Installing a Jacuzzi will make your home spa even more enjoyable. A closed off toilet is generally put in at the same time, and custom cabinets store towels, soap, shampoo, and other accessories. In most cases, pumps will have to be installed to provide for the proper disposal of waste water.
Book lovers often find that their passion is in line to take over the house – books overflow their cases and come to be stacked on tables or stuffed into closets, making them difficult to find when they are wanted. Turning the basement into the home’s private library can keep those treasured volumes in one spot, making your books more accessible and reducing the clutter above. Paneling, good lighting, wood floors, and comfortable furniture will make a basement library a favored spot for the home’s bookworms.
A basement renovation that combines multiple ideas also works very well for many people. Part of the basement can be used as a gym, another part as the kids’ playroom, and there may even be room for a comfortable family corner for watching television or films. And, if there’s more space, those who enjoy fine wines can partition off part of your multi-use basement for a wine cellar.
Transforming your basement from a shunned area into a valuable part of the home isn’t as difficult as you may think, and our basement renovation professionals will provide you with exactly the basement finish you have in mind.