Are you intimidated by your unfinished basement? Or perhaps you just don’t know what to do with all that extra space? You are actually sitting on a treasure that so many homeowners wish they had—the ability to expand the function and square footage of their homes!
The basement has come a long way from being merely the dark, dank place to store stuff (which barely saw the light of day because you were afraid to venture down there!) Nowadays, there exists an endless stream of unfinished basement ideas out there, with tips on everything from how to finish your basement space to suggestions for uses for that space.
There’s no shortage of unfinished basement ideas and suggestions for how to finish your basement. There will certainly be some challenges during the process, too. But it’s all worthwhile when you consider that—depending upon where you live—you can recoup as much as 77% of your basement expenses when looking at resale value. Some tips to get your started include going through the items that are (inevitably) in your basement and purge, purge, purge! In fact, it’s a smart idea to go through your entire home and get rid of any items that could eventually make their way to your basement. Take these items and have a yard sale or donate them to charity. Much of how you will finish your basement is affected by what you will use it for; but there are basics that you can decide upon no matter what you plan for the space, such as deciding upon what flooring to use.
Carpeting is a traditional finished basement flooring, as is laminate or vinyl. Flooring choices that are increasing in popularity for basements are concrete (either stained, painted, or stenciled) and the use of recycled materials to line the floors (such as cork, pennies, leather, or bottle caps). If drywall is a bit beyond your means, you can use curtains, paneling, and/or paint to cover or soften the concrete basement walls. If you’re looking to create additional walls without the permit requirements, you can utilize partitions, screens, hung bed sheets, even wood pallets to create a separate space within your existing basement.
Drop ceilings are very common for finished basement ceilings. Another idea that’s gaining popularity for its industrial feel is simply painting the entire unfinished ceiling (including any duct work, etc.) a solid color like black. A gorgeous effect with the dark painted ceiling is then hanging garden lighting from the beams for an almost starry aesthetic.
Some homeowners have attached decorative bed sheets to the existing wood beamed ceiling, creating a very unique look. The take away here is that, regardless of whether you have the funds to completely finish your basement or to give it more of a budget makeover, careful planning and an open mind can give you a very pleasing basement space.
Of course, no article about unfinished basement ideas would be complete without some suggestions for what to do with your space. What are your current wants? Do you have any functional needs that your basement can fulfill? You can create a space for just about any purpose you can fathom. Some frequent uses for basements include a dedicated office, a home gym or workout space, a spacious indoor laundry room, a game room, a music studio or practice space, a children’s playroom, a homeschooling space, a second (or third) living area, an art studio or crafting area, a home theater, a guest room, an additional living space for aging parents or young adults, a wine cellar or home brewery, and the perpetually mentioned man cave.
Ultimately, it’s all about deciding what will be best for your lifestyle and making it happen. Whatever you decide to create in your basement, you’ll be adding function and value to your home.