An estimated 90% of new American homebuyers leave their full basements unfinished. If you consider yourself part of this large majority of homeowners, there are many ways you can take advantage of this unused space and increase your home’s resale value in the process. Here’s how you can turn your basement into your family’s new hangout spot or bedroom.
1. Install ventilation
A common problem in basements (even if they’re fully waterproofed) is mould, mildew and mild dampness. Fix this by installing or upgrading ventilation, ideally with ductwork or ceiling fans. Installing a dehumidifier will also make the air more comfortable in the basement as well.
2. Install broadloom carpet
By installing broadloom carpet, you’re providing your friends and family with warmth on their feet. However, make sure to choose a natural fibre such as wool if possible, as synthetics are often susceptible to the damp air of a basement and can be difficult to clean.
3. Paint the ceiling
If your basement has a low ceiling, paint it a dark colour. Dark colours create the illusion your ceiling is higher than it actually is. Also, dark ceilings add some coziness to the space and create the perfect setting for a home theater or TV room.
4. Install lots of lighting
Don’t let your basement become a dark den. Focus on general all-over lighting for the room which is best achieved through recessed ceilings. Just make sure you leave enough headroom when you install your new lights. You want to make sure the ceiling remains at least 7’6” high as many building codes call for that much clearance.
5. Embrace the natural light
6. Choose furniture that looks like it belongs upstairs
Many homeowners relegate their old worn furniture to the basement because they fell as though no one will ever see it—and this is why many people don’t use their basements. Investing in some new (or gently-used) stylish furniture will provide your friends and family with an extra incentive to take a trip downstairs.
7. Install a new staircase
8. Purge and store
In order to turn your basement into a living space, you’ll need to find a space for all your boxes and storage items. After determining which items to keep, install some aesthetically pleasing shelving, cabinetry or creative storage solutions to give your items a more stylish home.
9. Install an entertainment centre
What better way to bring people down to the basement than with a large flat-screen television and a surround-sound audio system? Make the basement your home’s entertainment destination by bringing an electrician down to install a dedicated electrical circuit and speaker wire. Design a customized home theater and you’ll have the whole neighborhood over before you know it.
10. Use folding bookcase doors as functional portals
Make maximize use of your space by installing a bookcase door for entry into your laundry or furnace rooms. These doors do double duty by not only covering an entranceway but also act as a stylish storage option.
11. Make sure you’re insulated
Installing installation will not only help control the temperature in your basement, but will also add another layer of moisture control. Make sure to choose insulation that includes a vapor barrier on both sides.
12. Add trim and moulding
13. Install a fireplace
14. Paint the pipes and ductwork
15. Throw down some pillows
Pillows are a cheap and easy way to automatically add some warmth to your basement living space. Find some soft cushions that will not only add some extra comfort to your couch, but will also add a colourful accent to your space.