If you’re greeted at the bottom of a set of utilitarian steps by a concrete floor, concrete block walls and overhead ductwork, you might be forgiven for thinking of your unfinished basement as simply a room to store holiday decorations and bins of unused craft supplies. Close your eyes, though, and you can reimagine this less-than-glamourous area under your home as luxurious living space.
The year 2020 was like no other with families finding themselves searching for better ways to entertain themselves in their homes. Why not make 2021 a year of transformation by creating a finished basement that everyone can enjoy? The average price tag for a basement remodel falls between $6,500 and $18,500, but can be much higher depending on the size, level of finish and how much of it is a DIY project and how much you rely on a contractor to complete.
Here are seven basement remodeling ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Make Sure Your Basement is Dry
Basements can be cold and damp, which may not be a huge problem if you’re not spending much time down there. If the dampness is excessive, however, that’s an invitation for unhealthy mold and mildew to form. If that’s an issue in your home, before going further, you’ll want to take steps to dry out and prevent a wet basement. A sump pump, dehumidifier, and vapor barriers can go a long way toward removing moisture from the air and protecting you and your family’s good health. Besides, it would be a complete waste to invest time and money in a basement remodel only to see it ruined by water damage.
Let Your Ceiling Set the Mood
The easiest way to hide the floor joists and ductwork overhead in an unfinished basement is by installing a drop ceiling, which, depending on the chosen materials and area to cover, can run on average about $1,800. Drop ceilings allow you to remove tiles when necessary if you need to get at the ductwork.
Just because you go with functional, however, doesn’t mean you should settle for commonplace, commercial tiles found in tired, old office buildings. Today’s modern ceiling tiles not only offer an array of attractive options, they also provide added insulation to a room and dampen sound from above. Beyond those attributes, copper metal tiles with sun and flower motifs brighten a room and create a warm atmosphere. Elegant black tiles with sparing details can create a perfect setting for a basement remodel featuring a pool room or movie theater. Decorative white ceiling tiles when paired with white walls, instantly make a small space feel airy and expansive.
Create a Basement Bar
Have you ever had a favorite bar you loved hanging out in with friends? What was it like? Was it classy? Edgy? Was it a sports bar? A dive? Recreating a similar gathering spot for friends and family is a no-brainer for many a finished basement. According to Angie’s List, a basement bar project costs on average between $2,000 and $4,000, but depending on your tastes and vision, it can run much higher.
A small and simple wet bar, a full-size bar as the main attraction, or a bar paired with secondary entertainment like a pool table, flat-screen TV, or vintage pinball machine are great basement ideas. Incorporating drop lighting directly over the bar will add a cozy feel. Adding large mirrors behind the bar or a cool neon light will give your home bar an iconic look. Here’s just a sampling of remodeling ideas for your basement bar set up.
Add a Bedroom
Do you have frequent overnight guests? A teen who wants his own living space? Many homes that could use an extra bedroom might not have enough lot size to add to their overall footprint. Adding a basement bedroom can be an excellent use of existing square footage and can run on average about $80 to $200 per square foot. Sound like a plan? If so, keep these few things in mind.
Local Building Codes
Many building codes require a 7 or 7-1/2 foot ceiling height for living space, and it is not uncommon for basements to fall a little short. Talk to your contractor about the possibility of moving pipes and ductwork to make the space meet code. Additionally, if you don’t have a walkout basement, you’ll need to ensure adequate egress through a window.
Make Smart Choices for Small Spaces
For both light and safety, it makes the most sense to install the bed near the egress window. Rather than a full-size bed, try fitting in a comfortable futon or a day bed with built in drawers. Avoid hanging lights, especially if the height of your ceiling just barely meets code. Instead, consider recessed lighting for any and all basement spaces. Not only do they save space, they provide excellent spot illumination for reading in bed. Whether you install durable wall to wall carpeting or inexpensive tile flooring, you can add warmth to this living space with layers of colorful scatter rugs that tie in with blankets or comforters.
Fresh Coat of Paint
Color influences our mood and can make us feel happy, excited, cozy and more. Grab a can of paint and change the mood in your basement by changing the paint in one of the rooms in your basement. You can paint a small room in just a couple of hours.
Paint the doors a bright, inviting color. Use your imagination and paint a fun mural. Make a room into a playroom for your kids. Let your kids help if you are brave! They will love it and you can always paint it again if something isn’t perfect. Just protect the floors!
Basements are a place for fun and family, so involve them in the painting process and they will have a greater appreciation for the space.
As a rule, you shouldn’t add new walls in your basement space, as it tends to make an already small space appear even smaller. There will be times, however, where you’ll want added privacy, especially if a basement bedroom is sharing space with a family room. A simple solution is to strategically place furniture like bookcases or plant stands that create a natural divider. Another consideration is to purchase one or two sets of folding panels. Constructing a new wall can cost on average between $1,000 and $3,000 while decorative panels will set you back just a few hundred dollars. Check out these creative ways to use folding panels or sliding panels to temporarily open or close up a basement area!
There are so many basement remodeling ideas to choose from. If an exercise room is your idea of the perfect set up, then creating a workout space should be easy as one-two-three. A home gym can run anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, but your greatest expense will be the exercise equipment.
Concrete flooring is tough, but for your own comfort, you’ll want to purchase some easy-to-install, standard 24″ x 24″ interlocking foam rubber tiles. Make sure to add ample recessed lighting so you can see what you’re doing and mirrored walls so you can see if what you’re doing is creating results! Consider also adding a sound system for playing inspiring music and perhaps a flat-screen TV. A mini-fridge stocked with bottled water will help keep you hydrated. Check this out for some great home gym ideas.
Get More Basement Remodeling Ideas and Help
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ideas for renovating your basement. Likely, you have an idea in mind for how you want to use your space:
- In-law suite
- Movie room
- Game room
Whatever you can dream up, we would love to help you realize your dreams. And we can help you design your dreams if you’re not quite sure what you want to do with your basement.
Property Pro Services is located in Alpharetta, GA and we service the metro Atlanta area. Check our reviews on Google. Contact us to discuss your basement remodeling plans, whether you need a basement, new kitchen, bathroom or whole-house renovation.