Updated: Oct 1, 2020
When homeowners purchase their own home, they invest a lot in renovating and decorating their main floor, including the living room, bedroom, and kitchen, but not their basement. In fact, many people use their basement as a space to store tools, old clothes, and other items.
But that is a huge waste of space!
Did you know that you can turn your basement into a comfortable living space and even earn extra income through it? Just because it's below the ground level and mostly out of view doesn't mean you don’t need to pay attention to it. With just some updates, you can turn your basement into a great place where you’d want to spend most of your time in the house.
To change your perspective of your basement, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most inspiring basement finishing ideas. These concepts will highlight how basement usage extends far beyond simple storage.
Here are some top basement ideas to turn the underused spaced into a sanctuary:
1. A NEW HOME OFFICE TO ENHANCE YOUR WFH PRODUCTIVITY
Now that work-from-home is more common and popular than ever, many of us desperately need a productive area within our homes. As a separate, quiet space in your home, your basement is the ideal spot for a home office.
The mature, calming feel of the environment should greatly improve your focus, thereby boosting your productivity. If you do decide to remodel your basement into an office, prepare the space so it’s suitable for office furniture and equipment and has proper infrastructure for internet connectivity.
Examine the wiring needs for your monitor, printer, scanner, and other components and choose your home office furniture based on those specifications. This should help you avoid any problems in placing the equipment. Don't forget to add a sufficient number of receptacles based on the power supply needs.
Moreover, make sure you arrange for ample lighting, which is critical to any workspace. Consider adding lots of under cabinet and plug-in task lighting in addition to the overhead ceiling fixtures and recessed lighting.
If you wish to use the basement for other purposes too, such as a home theatre or a playroom, make sure that the office space is far from those noisy areas. If you expect client visits, add a separate entrance to the basement if possible.
That should not only ensure privacy but also make your home office look more professional. However, make sure you check the local building codes as material changes like adding entrances require permits.
2. A BASEMENT BAR TO ENTERTAIN PEOPLE
Another cool idea is to turn your basement into a bar to entertain your family and friends. Plan the bar according to your personal style. For instance, a dark wood bar with granite or marble countertops and leather-wrapped tools would be a great idea if you prefer a classic and elegant look.
With a basement bar, you need to consider lighting options that give a soft glow to the bar to set your mood. When choosing paint colors, make sure they resonate with the bar’s rich design. Deep purple, red or ivory are recommended paint colors.
To make your basement bar more fun, add a poker or pool table, or whatever you enjoy playing. If you have a passion for sports, a sports-themed bar should be a good idea too.
Regardless of your preferences, BCR basements can set up an in-home bar that will make you feel as if you’re in a New York City hotel.
3. A BASEMENT APARTMENT OR RENTAL UNIT
Basements typically have plenty of square footage to serve as an independent living space. If your basement doesn’t have a purpose, why not turn into a rental unit of an apartment to generate some extra income? Even though the renovation process can be pretty expensive, you should be able to earn back investment within a year.
A basement apartment needs certain rooms, including a living room, a kitchen, a bedroom, a full bathroom, dining room, a closet, and storage space. Before you start renovation, we recommend making a layout.
If it's an unfinished basement, invest in the walls, flooring, and ceiling so that it looks like the living space of your main house. For sufficient waterproofing, insulate the walls and look for ways to prevent water intrusion.
For fire safety, tenants' convenience, privacy, and legal reasons, consider adding a separate outside entrance for the basement apartment.
Arrange for the basic amenities as your tenants will need proper plumbing and electrical facilities. Ideally, you should plan for an independent heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing system for your basement.
Keeping your home utilities separate from those of the basement apartment will make it easy to split the utility bills. Also, when the apartment is unoccupied, you can shut off the supply of utilities to save costs.
Some regions have no restrictions regarding what you do with your property, but others require you to follow certain zoning and city laws and regulations. In some regions, basement apartments are not even legal. Therefore, be sure to check the local codes before starting renovation to avoid costly changes afterward.
Once your basement apartment is ready, list it on one of the following rental sites: Airbnb, Cozy, Zillow Rental Manager, Apartment Home Living, and Apartment Finder.
4. A BASEMENT GAME ROOM
Converting your basement into a game room is a great basement idea for families. If you’re worried about your kids leaving the home too often for playing games, with a game room, you can allow them to enjoy in a safe, controlled environment. A game room is also a great idea if your family needs a space to relax and socialize or you like to invite your friends to compete with you in your favorite games.
Depending on what you or your children like playing, you can add a pool table, a poker table, board games, a pinball machine, video games, such as PlayStation 5, and virtual reality-based games.
However, when turning your basement into a vibrant, versatile game room, you need to keep certain things in mind. One of the most critical aspects is soundproofing, which helps improve the quality of sound and keeps the noise from disturbing and annoying the neighbors.
If your basement is unfinished, begin with R11 insulation for walls and use 1.8" foam tape on the ceiling joints and wall studs. Use sound-dampening drywall for the finish. If you already have drywall or can't afford the specialty gypsum, use sound-dampening materials such as high-density vinyl, thin carpeting, or lightweight acoustic boards on the walls.
Install acoustic tiles, fiberglass ceiling panels, or the second layer of insulation on the ceiling and add a plush carpet for the floor.
Apart from soundproofing, wiring is a common problem with basement games rooms so think about how you’re going to deal with that. Unorganized wires and tangled gizmos are not only annoying to resolve but also hurt the aesthetics of your basement.
If you don’t suspect moisture issues, set the wires under the carpet. Otherwise, hide them behind the shelves. Be sure to use high-quality extension cables to connect the wiring.
When you talk about connectivity, Wi-Fi is an important aspect to consider. To make things interesting when playing video games, you’ll want to compete with real players online, and that requires an internet connection.
The connection may be compromised if the Wi-Fi router is located on the main floor. If you face signal issues, install a wired internet connection or extend the signals to your basement using a signal booster. Look for wireless internet options that will connect directly with your gaming console so that the connection is stable and free from buffering.
If you're looking forward to an exciting virtual reality gaming experience, leave some space open that's dedicated to VR games. You will realize how much space you need when you start playing. If your basement has limited space, add furniture that's easy to move around the space.
Also, don’t forget to add high comfortable gaming chairs or sofas and a variety of seating options to accommodate everyone. For card and board games, you’ll need to arrange a suitable table as well.
5. A HOME THEATER
Your basement has some natural advantages over other parts of your home, making it an ideal space for a home theater. For instance, the basement floors and foundation walls are typically constructed using concrete.
Concrete walls prevent sound from escaping your basement and disturbing your neighbors. Thus, you won’t need to keep the volume low while watching your favorite action-packed movies. As opposed to other floor types, such as wooden flooring, concrete floors help reduce sound vibration when you’re enjoying your favorite shows.
On top of that, basements usually lack natural lighting. This makes it easier to darken the space for a perfect home theater environment and feel, which may be difficult to achieve in other parts of your home.
If you like the idea of a home theatre, here are some themes, you can go for:
You can turn your basement into a great hangout space for you and your friends. Besides a stylish screen and a comfortable seating area, consider adding a bar to the theater to prolong your social time with the guests.
SPORTS-THEMED HOME THEATER
If you're a football fan or have a passion for any sport, decorate the basement theater walls with posters of your favorite team. A sports-themed home theater provides an opportunity to spend quality time enjoying the weekly fixtures with your friends and family.
HOME THEATER WITH COMFY SEATS
To ensure ultimate convenience for your guests and family, turn your basement into a home theater with comfy seats. The citadel personalized leather cinema chairs that allow you to recline are perfect for this setting.
SOPHISTICATED COLOR THEATER
If you are not fond of darkness, a colorful home theater is a brilliant idea. This involves arranging for ambient lighting and wall colors, both of which create appealing combinations with the LED screen, fixtures, and the furniture in your basement theater.
DARK HOME THEATER
The control over-illumination and acoustics of the basement make it an ideal space for a dark-themed home theater. This idea calls for a dark shade system, in which black and brown colors are used to set the tone.
6. A SUPER-COZY TEEN BEDROOM
Another great basement idea for families is converting the space into a bedroom. If you're looking to provide your teenage child some privacy, a basement bedroom is what you need. The extra space will make your child happy and allow them to host productive study groups.
Depending on what your child likes, you can decorate and renovate the room. If you lack space, you can also convert the basement, into a guest room.
Now that you’ve gone through some top basement ideas, it’s time to plan your basement renovation.
Whether you aspire to make money out of your basement or want to use the extra space as a bedroom, you must properly brainstorm the renovation process beforehand. Depending on your idea and the purpose your basement will serve, a basement remodeling project will cost you between 35,000 CAD and 55,000 CAD for a space of 1,000 square feet.
BCR Basements can help you transform your basement into a functional space in a way that will save you money. Having served more than 600 clients and created over 500,000 square feet of living space we have what it takes to turn your basement dream into a reality.
Since we totally understand how stressful home renovations can be, we’ve arranged for a simple process that enables us to finish within weeks. All you need to do is schedule a call, receive a quote, and leave the rest to us.
If you wish to know how our past clients felt about our work, check out client testimonials on our website.