Finishing your basement can dramatically improve your living space and potentially increase the value of your home.
Use the following tips to make the most of your remodel project.
Decide how you want to use the space
First things first, you need to decide what you’d like to do with the space. The options are almost endless, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Create a secondary living space (including a kitchen and bathroom) for guests or possible renters.
- Use the extra space as a game area with a billiards or ping-pong table for fun group gatherings.
- Build your own media room with a big screen for watching the game, playing video games or hosting movie night.
- Turn it into the storage or craft space you need to manage all your hobbies and projects.
- Create a home office where you can work in peace and quiet.
- Set up your own workout space so it’s easier to get your exercise in without ever leaving the house.
Prevent future water damage
Basements are at higher risk for water damage, which can be expensive and hazardous to your health if mold develops. Before you make other large changes, put measures in place to manage water and prevent flooding. Add insulation to prevent damage caused by condensation and mold. And consider installing a sump pump if your area is at risk of flooding.
Consider your window options
Windows can make a huge difference in any space. When you’re planning your remodel, consider enlarging your existing windows or digging window wells for new windows.
More windows means more natural light and improved ventilation. Plus, if there’s ever an emergency, a larger window makes an easier escape route.
Note: If you do dig window wells, invest in window well covers to prevent water from building up and to prevent family members from tripping and falling into the hole.
Finish walls, ceilings and floors
Finishing walls, ceilings and floors will make a huge impact on the look of your basement.
Common wall and ceiling options include drywall and paneling, but if you’re on a budget, painting the concrete could still give it a more finished look.
When choosing flooring, factor in humidity risks and cooler temperatures. Carpet will keep things cozy and warm but could be damaged if your basement floods. Tile looks nice and holds up well to moisture but could be chilly.
Add lots of lighting
Basements are notoriously dark. Make sure yours is an inviting place you’ll want to spend time in by adding lots of lighting. Bigger windows can help with natural light, but you may also need to add more lights to create the feel you want.
Since many basements have low ceilings, consider recessed lighting to make the celling feel higher.
Set a budget
Finishing a basement can be a pretty expensive project, but it will be well worth the investment when you’ve turned it into your dream space.
If you’ll be doing electrical work, plumbing or construction, seriously consider budgeting for a professional. This can prevent injuries to yourself and help you make sure everything gets done right.
Once you’ve planned your budget, contact us! A refinance or renovation loan could help you secure the funds you need to turn your basement into everything you’ve always known it could be.
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