10 Fun Ways You Can Transform Your Basement

Do you have an unfinished basement that is also unused? Why let that valuable square footage remain that way. There are many ways you can transform your basement into a useable space the entire family can enjoy while increasing the value of your home. You will have finished square footage, increased storage and organization opportunities, increased energy efficiency, and in some cases, added income.

Here are some ways you can transform your basement while increasing the value and enjoyment you receive from your home.

A Relaxation Center

A basement works well for a hot tub, as the concrete floor can handle the weight of the tub. However, moving a hot tub indoors can present some problems that cause significant damage to the home. You need to plan for these issues when installing a hot tub in your basement.

Water splashing onto the floor can pose a safety hazard. Make sure you surround the tub with flooring materials that prevent falls when wet. Water can cause structural damage if allowed to remain on the floor. Ensure that a proper drain line has been installed, along with moisture-resistant flooring such as tile, around the base of the tub.

Making an area of your basement into a spa-like retreat would be enjoyable for the entire family. Follow the correct procedures for installation and safety, and your hot tub will give you years of enjoyment. Consider purchasing a used hot tub to save money. As you transform your basement, you may consider adding a bathroom with a steam shower, a wine rack with your favorite wines, a comfortable sofa, and a TV to complete the look and feel of a spa.

A Home Office

Would you like to transform your basement into a home office?. Many people now work from home, and a basement office can be just the thing for working in a quiet area. This can especially be helpful if you’ve recently started your own business and can’t find an office space for sale. At the end of your workday, close the door to your basement, go upstairs, and forget about work for the rest of the evening.

If making a little extra money appeals to you, consider renting out the office space to someone needing a quiet place to work, such as a working parent who has kids learning from home. Put an ad in the local paper and allow your finished basement space to work for you.

A Movie Theater

It has become a new trend with builders of upscale homes to add a movie theater space. If you’re looking to transform your basement, what could be more enjoyable for your family or friends than watching a favorite movie or that end-of-the-season big game together in your very own movie theatre?

A basement is a good location for a home movie theater. Typically, you can find an area with no windows that would be the perfect setting. Ensure that the basement has proper heating, ventilation, and cooling to ensure your family and friends’ comfort while using the theater.

If you decide to hire a contractor to complete the basement transformation, an HVAC company should be brought in to make necessary updates. If you choose to redo the basement yourself, you should bring in an HVAC company to ensure the heating and ventilation will be adequate for the area and ensure it is up to code.

A Bachelor Pad

Are you a single man that would enjoy an entertainment space for yourself and your buddies? Or are you a married man with the same wish? If so, why not transform your basement into a “bachelor pad” or “man cave?”

Add a pool table, dartboard, bar, seating area, big screen TV, and anything else that would make this the perfect space for entertaining. Then, invite all of your friends over to enjoy an evening of darts and drinks. You will be the envy of all of them.

Especially if you work a demanding job, such as that of a personal injury lawyer, surgeon, or business owner, this space will allow you to relax with your friends or family. Additionally, if you ever decide to sell your home, this renovation can add thousands to your home’s value.

A Bar

If you want an additional space to enjoy time with friends and family, consider turning your basement into a bar. Countertops, sinks, shelves, cabinets, and a fridge will be needed in the “kitchen” area of the bar. Then, you’ll need a flat-screen TV, a coffee table, and comfortable furniture to sit and enjoy the drinks at.

A wet bar is a sink with running water, whereas a dry bar is a spot you can prepare drinks with no sink. The difference is the matter of plumbing. As you transform your basement, take on the extra expense of hiring the proper plumbing services. This will ensure your basement-turned-bar won’t let you down when you’re entertaining friends or family.

A Family Den

A family den, or a family room as it is more commonly known, is an excellent use for unused basement space. A family room or den is an informal room in the house that can be used for any purpose. It is designed to be a space where family and guests gather to watch TV, talk, read, play games, or other family activities.

Prior to any basement renovation, however, you need to ensure that any defects in the foundation are repaired. Cracks in the concrete will only deteriorate as time goes on if they are not corrected. You will face water leakage, crumbling concrete, and other issues if the cracks are not repaired. Therefore, before you transform your basement into a comfortable den for your family, be sure to hire a professional to take care of basement crack repairs.

An Arcade

Before you contact a home remodeling service to undertake the renovation of your basement space, you need to know precisely what the area will be used for. Ask the opinions of other family members to see what they would like. Are you the parents of pre-teens or teenagers and would prefer that your children entertain their friends in your home? If you want to keep them home, consider adding an arcade to the basement space.

The teens in your family could have much input into which games to purchase for the arcade. It’s possible to find many older video games you may recall from years past from collectors of arcade games. However, new games can range in cost from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Make sure you use a high-quality surge protector for your machines to keep them safe from lightning and other electrical worries.

Make sure you keep your machines off the floor by using casters or rolling wheels in the event your hot water heater decides to spring a leak. Most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover the contents of your home in the event of a disaster, but make sure you document all of your possessions, including your video games, pinball machines, etc., with the insurance company to ensure you are protected.

An Art Studio

Do you have an artist in the family?t Transform your basement into a perfect space for an art studio. A home studio is not costly to set up. For $3,000-$4,000, you can have the ideal space to create your art. You may need to add a dehumidifier to protect and preserve your work from damage.

Before assembling your studio, make sure you check for water leaks, especially if you live in an area with a high water table. If you have a septic system, make sure you have a septic tank repair performed if needed to ensure you don’t have a potential problem that could cause damage. Then, check for any mold that may be present, and take note of temperature changes.

The best flooring choices for an art studio would be vinyl, tile, or laminate flooring. If you are sitting at an easel, these would be preferable because of easy installation and clean-up.
Proper lighting in an art studio is probably one of the most critical aspects. Artists say that for an appropriate balance of coolness and warmth, use bulbs equivalent to the midday sun. This would be especially important for a basement studio, as natural lighting from the windows would be non-existent or scarce.

A Giant Closet

It seems we never have enough closet space. Especially in older homes, closet spaces are generally lacking. How about using a portion of the basement space to build a custom closet made of cedar?

A carpenter will charge around $1,000 to install cedar planking in a typical 180 square-foot closet between labor, and materials. If you are a DIYer, you can do it for around $475 and save plenty of money. Cedar helps prevent the spread of mold and mildew, so it would be perfect for a basement. It removes moisture from the air, so where humidity is prevalent, it acts as a natural dehumidifier and will keep clothes from developing mildew.

The beautiful scent of cedar may fade over time but can easily be revived by sanding the surface of the closet. It is the phenols that give cedar the earthy scent. They are the secret of cedar’s ability to ward off a host of unwanted pests, as the aromatic hydrocarbons and acids it contains are toxic. They repel cockroaches, fleas, moths, rats, mice, and venomous snakes.

A Guest Space or In-Law Apartment

Do you live a distance away from family and friends? Transform your basement into space for loved ones to stay while they visit. Adding a bedroom, bathroom, a small living area, and kitchen space would be the perfect way to add functional space to your home and increase its value.

Decorate with homey and comfortable furniture, flowers, paintings, a big-screen TV, and whatever else you feel will make your visitors feel at home. But be careful not to make it too comfortable. They may never want to leave!

If there is access coming in from the outside, this space could also be used as a rental income source. If you want to add a full bathroom, kitchen, and other amenities, it could cost between $50,000 and $75,000. Basements in residential properties can be lawfully occupied or rented if the conditions meet the requirements for exits, air, light, and sanitation. Basement sleeping rooms are required to have emergency egress or rescue openings in each sleeping room. If you want to make your basement an apartment, it may be well worth the money you’d need to invest when you transform your basement.

Other Benefits and Tips to Consider

Expect to receive a payback when you transform your basement. It is a good investment, and according to experts, you will get an average return on investment for a basement project currently at about 75 cents on the dollar. For example, if you spend $1,000 on improvements for your basement, it would increase the value of your property by about $700. If you spend $10,000 on improvements, the value of the property will increase by about $7,000.

However, remember to make sure the plumbing and heating are in good repair. Make sure your electrical panel can handle the extra draw of electricity from all the electronics that will be used, especially if you are building that arcade, and consider adding a basement subfloor before any renovation.

For slabs that are below grade, a concrete floor will get damp at some point. A basement subfloor will add insulation to keep the floor warmer in the winter. A subfloor will also protect the finished flooring from water or water vapor moving up through the concrete, which will discourage rot and mold from forming underneath.

If you are installing carpet on the basement floor, make sure you install a soft pad essential for warmth and comfort. Do not use a rubber pad, but instead use a polyurethane foam pad.

If you are really concerned about floor comfort, consider adding a basement floor radiant heating system. They are installed above a concrete slab floor but below a finished floor. A concrete slab installation is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to install radiant heat. Correct installation is critical because it will be inefficient, very costly to operate, or may not work at all if not installed correctly. Consult a professional if you decide to add a radiant heating system in your basement.

A suspended ceiling is one of the most popular ceiling types for basement usage. It consists of a simple grid with lightweight panels or tiles. It is a suspended ceiling covering ductwork, exposed beams, and electrical wiring but allows easy access to handle leaks or repairs.

As you transform your basement, be sure to adds layers of insulation and drywall. They will help to keep the temperature consistent and reduce the energy required to heat or cool the home. If you find you have high energy bills, consider finishing the basement because it can help.

Looking to transform your basement? Consider the benefits associated with this project, and look to these ideas as you brainstorm with your family. Whether it becomes a spa, movie theatre, bachelor pad, closet, or guest space, it’ll be a worthwhile investment.

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