If you’re lucky enough to live in a home with sufficient headroom in the basement (and no seasonal water issues, of course), there’s an opportunity to expand your living space. Whatever the need, it can often supply. And in the 22 years of remodeling, a few particular ideas have stood the test of time:
A kid’s room is probably the most common remodeling project for basements. Parents often dream of a place where kids can play without messing up the rest of the house. For most, this dream starts when their kids hit about age 5, and it doesn’t end until age 14…or, in some families, until age 18.
With younger kids, consider finishing a basement floor with harder materials. It provides a solid surface to play with a variety of different kinds of toys, especially those with wheels. And if you’re concerned about the temperature, under floor electric heat has become an economical option as the technology has improved over the years.
For the walls, chalkboard paint can provide kids a chance to explore their creative side—though my kids never understood the difference between their walls and ours. So, we found ourselves with artwork in the dining room, the living room, and the kitchen as well.
As kids get older, the room can easily be converted into a teenage space, with a pool, Ping-Pong, or foosball table. And if it’s wired properly, it can also serve as a great theater room.
Sometimes, people ask me about refinishing the utility room. While it might be nice to have a finished space, especially if that space also serves as the laundry room, the cost of refinishing it is generally not worth the cash. When you must have a nicer looking utility room, I suggest a coat of grey paint on the floors and white concrete paint for the walls. Perhaps some laundry room cabinets can also make that laundry space more useable.
Most people consider a basement bedroom a great place for a guestroom. If this is your intent, make sure to have an egress window in that space. It’s also wise to soundproof the ceiling with resilient channels. You don’t necessary want grandma (or other guests, for that matter) eavesdropping on family meetings.
As far as flooring goes, carpet is always a good choice, and wool is the best. From there, the room can pretty much double as storage space when grandma isn’t around.