Whether you feel like your family is starting to outgrow your current square footage, are in need of adding more space to accommodate different interests or activities, or are just looking to improve your home, finishing your basement is a great way to add both value and function. Many homeowners find the very idea of finishing their basements intimidating; however, with some thorough preparation and planning, this can be not only a great way to improve your home, but also an exciting and enjoyable project, even for first-timers! Taking the time to figure out what your personal wants and needs are before you dive in headfirst will be key to a successful project that you are able to enjoy for many years to come! If this is uncharted territory for you, read on for some great ideas for making the most of your investment, preventing future headaches and eliminating regret down the road.
1. Add a bedroom
Having an additional bedroom in your home is huge when it comes to your home’s value. Not only is it usable space, but it opens the door to future buyers who otherwise wouldn’t consider your home. Even if you don’t have an immediate need for another bedroom, wouldn’t it be great to have a guest room on the ready for when unexpected guests drop by? When finishing a basement, adding at least one additional bedroom is usually a must for making the most of the new space. More often than not, you’ll find more uses for the extra room than you imagined.
2. Use recessed lighting
In a basement, there isn’t the luxury of vaulted ceilings to create space so steer clear of losing valuable headroom with lighting. Recessed lights, also called can lights, are a great solution! These lights are installed so the trim is flush with the ceiling. There are many great energy-efficient bulb options with these types of lights too. Unless you have a great deal of electrical experience, be sure to hire a professional and listen to their suggestions as a well-lit basement will feel more like an extension of the house than a dimly lit one.
3. Create a workout space
With people being more concerned about their health than ever before, who wouldn’t want the convenience of a home gym? Adding a fitness space to your basement is a great way to utilize extra room, and it doesn’t need to break the bank to be functional. Something as extravagant as floor-to-ceiling mirrors with a treadmill and weights or something as simple as a small TV and a yoga mat will make any homeowner a fitness enthusiast. And with basements generally being cooler, it’s the perfect place to break a sweat.
4. Use a light colored, semi-gloss paint
While picking your paint color is going to come down to personal taste, many professionals suggest to go with a higher sheen paint for basement walls. While eggshell may be popular these days through most of the house, opting for a higher sheen, such as semi-gloss, will really help brighten up your basement as it reflects light a lot more than the lower gloss and matte finishes. As an added bonus, it also happens to be easier to wipe clean. When it comes to color, just keep in mind that lighter shades visually open up the space so they are a better choice for your basement walls.
5. Try to match your main floor
Unless you plan to remodel your main floor in the near future, most experts will agree that keeping the same main finishes as the main floor will make your newly remodeled basement fit seamlessly with the rest of your home. All of your current hardware is chrome? Definitely keep that trend going in the basement as well. If you have carpet going right up to the basement stairs, finding a match is going to make a much nicer impression than having mismatched carpets meeting up. These small details can leave a big impression.
6. Remember that your basement is unique to your life
When you have the opportunity to finish your basement, you can make it into anything that fits your lifestyle. If you love to have friends over and play games, consider adding a gaming area. Are you an avid sports fan? Better leave a space for the big TV (don’t forget the outlets) and an open area for furniture. If you’re in need of a home office, where better than a basement where most of the noise of a busy house is muted? No matter what interests or needs you may have, as long as you plan ahead, you can make the most of your basement to fit your lifestyle.