Uncovering Your Basement’s Untapped Potential
Are you thinking about finishing your basement? Maybe you’re rocking some serious 70’s style with dark wood paneling and shag carpet, desperately in need of an update. Or maybe your basement never got finished and all that space is going unused, other than to store out of season (and often-forgotten-about stuff)? Perhaps it’s time to brighten up this dark, cold space and turn it to a warm and inviting area the whole family can enjoy! Extending your living space by remodeling your basement is often less costly than a room addition to your home, provides more square footage and the design possibilities are endless!
Designing Your Dream Basement
The first step is to figure out what you’re looking to accomplish in your basement. Who will be using it? What will they be using it for? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Whether for family movie night or a man cave, big screen TVs are, well, big right now. You might want a full-on home theater or maybe just a large TV with some seating around it . This is also a great area for a bar (wet or dry), where you can include a mini fridge for snacks, a wine refrigerator for the connoisseur in the family, or a fully stocked bar if you entertain frequently.
If you have frequent houseguests or have a teenager who could use a little more space, a basement bedroom is the perfect solution. Basement bedrooms need to have egress windows for fire safety. The beauty of the larger egress window is that it allows natural light in. Plus, when a bathroom is connected to the bedroom, or in close proximity, it makes for a great in-law suite.
Setting up your office in the basement can be a great way to separate your work from your daily life. You’ll probably want to run extra internet and phone lines down there, or perhaps set up your office underneath where your internet box is on the first floor to have the shortest distance between your computer and your Wi-Fi signal. Consider, too, any extra outlets you might need for printers, scanners, paper shredders, etc.
Are you into shooting pool? Playing ping pong with the kids? Hosting a foosball tournament? Throwing darts? These can all be fun activities in a basement and can allow for a focal point when guests gather. You’ll want to be sure to allow enough space around each item so that you can play without bumping into walls or each other.
Many homeowners opt to finish the walls, floors, and ceilings of their basement and leave the rest open to be used for a variety of purposes, like exercising or letting your kid practice their new (loud) instrument. Going this route gives you a lot of flexibility to adapt and grow into the space as your family changes. Also, with fewer walls, the space will feel larger and lighter.
It can be nice to have a bathroom in your basement – even just a half-bath – particularly if your household has lots of people or if you frequently have guests. If you think a half-bath will do the trick, you really just need a toilet and a pedestal sink, neither of which take up much room!
Chances are, your basement has become a dumping ground over the years with holiday decorations, off-season clothes, things you think you might use one day. For these infrequently used items, unfinished spaces with shelving might do the trick. For items used more regularly, closets and planned cabinetry are ideal. Family games, serving dishes, extra glassware and linens are going to be more accessible when neatly stored (and you will love maintaining an aesthetically pleasing basement space).
While main floor laundry is great, it’s not always possible (especially in older homes) without doing a major remodel. Rather than be bummed about having to go in the creepy basement to do laundry, embrace it! You likely have way more space in the basement than you do on your main floor, so this is your chance to build out the space exactly as you like. Large-format tile floors look nice while being relatively easy to maintain (and safe in case your appliances spring a leak). Build a shelf over your washer and dryer to hold your detergent and place it at just the right height so you don’t have to reach. Set up hooks and holders on the wall for spare hangers, ironing boards, and anything else you might need! You can style up this area with a splash of color, reclaimed barn wood or white-washed shiplap on the walls.
Making Your Basement Dreams a Reality
Now that you have an idea of what you want, it’s time to figure out how to get it! We recommend working with a professional when tackling this job. There are lots of things to consider, and a professional can guide you through. For example:
· Unique plumbing and electrical needs – Always use a professional for plumbing and electrical, they do this every day.
· Ventilation – Whether in a bathroom, laundry space or light cooking space in a basement, properly ventilating humid air becomes even more important in basements.
· Lighting - Professional designers are familiar with tricks to make small spaces look bigger and dark spaces look lighter.
· Soundproofing – Basements often become popular game rooms, hang out areas, home theatres and band practice zones. Soundproofing might allow you better sleep years down the road.
At DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Springfield, we’re here to make your dreams a reality! Our team of designers and contractors is all under one roof to guide you through the basement remodeling process from start to finish. We’ll help you make the best use of that unused space in a way that is best suited to your needs and reflects your personal tastes. Contact us today to get started or come visit our showroom to get ideas for your basement remodel!