Finishing Your Basement

If you want more living space in your home then you have a couple of options, you could put an addition on to your home but finishing your basement is an easier and cheaper option.  Basements are usually dark, damp and have pretty poor layouts, not to mention all of your stuff may be stored there.  To finish your basement you’re going to need to deal with plumbing, insulation, damp and the beams that are all over the place.  That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, so let’s look at how you can turn your dingy basement into a warm and comfortable space.

Waterproof the Basement

First things first, moisture is a big problem in almost every basement.  There are a ton of things that can cause leaks from landscaping, drainage, porous concrete and plumbing problems.  Water proofing will include the whole perimeter of the basement both inside and out.

How Will You Use the Space

Once you have water proofed your basement now  you need to figure out just how you are going to use the space.  Do you want a playroom for the kids, a media room, home gym or a home office away from everyone?  How you plan to use the space will decide how to proceed with the construction, if you will need plumbing or any electrical work that needs to be done. Plan the layout and where you will need things like walls and outlets will go.

What Do You Have to Work With

Some of the space in your basement is already taken up by water heaters and furnaces or even laundry facilities.  Do you have any other features in the basement to work with or is it just bare concrete.  Will you have to bring in an electrician to do wiring or are there already outlets.  Make a list of what you have to work with and what you are going to need to make the space livable.

Light & Color

You don’t have a lot of natural light in your basement so you need to choose the lighting fixtures and colors with that in mind.  You also have a low ceiling so that gives you fewer options.  If you are using your basement for a home theater then you want to be able to dim the lighting, your best bet for that is installing some pot lights.  Keep the wall colors light otherwise it will just be too dark and it will make the room look smaller.

Using the Right Finishes

You want your basement to look as finished as the rest of your home so add the same level of detail as you would everywhere else.  Add crown molding and baseboards so it doesn’t look bland.  Depending on how you decided to use the room will factor into how you decorate it but you can still put art on the walls, make the space comfortable with good furniture.  Put your own touches on it to make it feel like an extension of the rest of the house rather than some dingy basement.


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