You may be sitting on a gold mine and may not even know it! Many homes – both old and new – have unfinished basements. These underused spaces have the potential to add significantly to a home’s useable square footage without the cost of an extensive home addition. It can be difficult to see the potential beyond the boxes and old kids stuff, but with some creativity and a solid plan, an unfinished basement can become a rich new living space.
A basement can become any number of rooms. It can even be divided into different zones for different purposes. The lack of natural light can make a perfect home theater. The even year-round temperature can create a perfect wine cellar or home gym. Do you have outdoor access? Combine your laundry area with a convenient mud room. External access can also make for a perfect guest suite or “Mother-in-law” apartment. Basements can also be ideal for family rooms, game rooms and home bars. Of course, the basement offers an opportunity for expanding your storage – don’t forget to design some storage space in your plan.
Unfinished basements do come with some special considerations. Their primary purpose is to keep the main living areas above moisture and provide insulation from the cool ground. Moisture can be an issue that affects your choice of floor covering and wall treatments. It’s a good idea to lay down a sub-floor before laying a finish floor covering. We also recommend tile or low-pile carpet that will fare better should moisture reach them. Rigid foam insulation is another important choice for basements. It’s more water resistant than blown foam or rolled fiberglass. Since most basements are below grade, additional lighting is critical, too. None of these are show-stoppers, but are important items to include in a basement finishing plan.
We’ve created a wide range of basement treasures in our 30+ years of remodeling experience. You can learn more about our basement remodeling services here. Check out one of our signature basement projects. Contact our design team today to see how we can help you uncover the buried treasure that’s right under your feet.