For those of us fortunate enough to have a basement, remodeling or upgrading one can feel like it is always out of reach. The question is, “is remodeling the basement really worth the time and money?”
The answer is: Yes!
Upgrading a preexisting space like a bare or unfinished basement has the potential of increasing a home’s equity. In many cases, a moderate investment can realize a return on average of $9,000 depending on the size and space used. So, if you are interested in upgrading your space, we have a few tips for you to consider before you get started.
Avoid Drop Ceilings
When beginning the planning phase of your basement upgrade, you should scrap all plans you might have for a drop ceiling. Drop ceilings work well in hiding otherwise unsightly necessities such as pipes and mechanicals, but automatically give off a “cheap” feeling. If your ultimate goal is to increase the value of your home, drop ceilings are the last thing on the list.
Drop ceilings also limit your ceiling height, which may already be limited in a basement and you don’t want the space to feel cramped. If you are in a situation where you absolutely must use a drop ceiling for mechanicals, try to create a design that turns it from an eyesore into an asset. Remember, you want to get as much out of your remodeling investment as possible!
Choose the Best Flooring—It Could Define the Overall Feel
Consider the uses for you basement in order to select the best flooring. Do you want your new basement to appear warm and inviting? To accomplish this, consider installing a good-quality carpet. This will make the room feel cozy. You will likely need to install a good carpet pad since you would otherwise be laying your carpet on a concrete slab. This will keep it from feeling hard underfoot and make it much more comfortable to walk and stand upon. Another method for opening up your space is to install an open stairwell. An open stairwell makes a basement feel more like an extension of your home rather than an afterthought.
If carpet doesn’t fit the type of room you want, consider tile with heated flooring. Some people like to have their basement be an “entertainment area,” equipped with a bar, game tables, small kitchen, etc. These types of can be incredibly appealing because it feels like a true addition to your house. Heated floors will still give it that cozy, no shoes, feel and eliminate the risk of staining the carpet.
Look for Ways to Maximize Space
Take advantage of the space you have by maximizing what’s available. Add built-in shelving and storage areas and check adjacent rooms to see if there is anywhere you can steal some space. You want to remember to keep your remodel simple and inexpensive, but expanding makes your basement more attractive so you might want to relax your budget a little when it comes to maximizing your space.
Will It Fit with the Overall Décor?
Remodeling or finishing a basement means you are increasing the living space in your home. It’s critical to ensure your new basement matches the rest of the house or it will feel like it doesn’t belong there. You want to make sure that you have a good “flow” between the basement and the rest of the house, so people feel comfortable in the new space. You should work directly with your builder, if possible, to ensure your transitional space is as seamless as possible. This means matching décor where appropriate and keeping the colors within the same palette.
Leave the Stairs for Last
You probably want to finish up your stairway as quickly as possible to make it safe and attractive, but we are here to tell you to stop! While it seems like the obvious choice, you may end up wanting furniture or gaming tables that will be nearly impossible move downstairs without damaging the finish. Get everything large and heavy in place before you finish up your stairway and its accompanying rails. You wouldn’t want to buy a new pool table that is impossible to get downstairs safely.
Regulate the Air Quality
Once everything is in place and good to go, you are probably going to be spending a fair amount of time in your new basement. Since we all like to breathe clean air, you should invest in an air purification system. As long as you aren’t trying to mask some sort of problems like mold or mildew, an air purification system will help make your basement smell as good as it looks. Remember, this is usually a confined space without ventilation so air purification is something you should consider!
We know that remodeling a basement is a large project and one that comes with a hefty price tag. Once the basement is finally done and you can enjoy your new space, your home value will increase, and you will have a nice area to enjoy. Follow the simple steps outlined above, and the final product will be better, you will have less stress in accomplishing it, and you will feel better knowing you did it right the first time!