Tips for Finishing a Basement

Mar 18, 2014 | Lighting, Renovations

An unfinished basement is an exciting prospect. While some people may perceive the space as a useless burden only good enough for the clothes washer and dryer, they should think twice about this assessment. Basements are very usable spaces with plenty of potential, but they need different attention than other places in your home.

Assessing the Needs

Before beginning the finishing work in a basement, check for common below ground problems. Is there moisture coming in? This can create mold, which can lead to significant structural and health problems. Consider other factors, too. Is the basement difficult to heat? Does sound carry upward too readily?

Once these questions are answered, consult with a professional remodeling company about options. Insulation can help with heating issues, and by using non-standard drywall, sound problems can be rectified. Drywall can also help prevent moisture, but consider installing extra drains away from the edge of the foundation. Think about installing a dehumidifier as well.

Plan Creatively

Once you have assessed the needs for your basement finishing project, it is time to have fun imagining a new space. You may envision a game room, workshop, play area, home theater, or family room — the choices are endless.

Regardless of your basement’s future function, keep these tips in mind throughout the finishing process.

Pay attention to the entrance

Too frequently, entering a basement feels like entering a hole in the ground. Fight this feeling by giving special attention to the basement’s entrance. If possible, rework the stairs to be less steep and daunting. This will make them safer, too. Also, pay attention to the lighting and color of the stairway. Lighter colors will give a better first impression and are more inviting overall.

Divide the space

Most basements are spacious. Utilize every inch of square footage it offers. Especially if you have decided to use the space for multiple purposes, dividing the space up can be one of the best ways to make it feel less cavernous and more like the rest of the house. Arranging furniture to create unique areas out of the room is one way to do this. Another option is to build walls to create multiple rooms on this level.

Optimize lighting

Basements are notoriously dark and dingy, so if you have any windows, use them wisely. Positioning the primary area of the room closest to the windows is smart. Be thoughtful with lighting choices, too. The brighter it is, the more inviting. However, if there are few options, why not create the ultimate home theater?

Suspend the ceiling

Exposed pipes and other kinds of duct work can make a basement feel too industrial. If this is the case, and you have enough head space, consider a suspended ceiling. It will cover these components and can be rather attractive. Look into patterned ceiling tiles or a punched metal ceiling for added charm.

Finishing your basement is ultimately a wise investment. It is a versatile area, and the possibilities are endless. What an opportunity to tap into your creativity!

Ready to explore that creativity? Contact RH Homes to discuss the options.