Fewer homes in the US are being built with basements, but finished basements are rising in popularity.
If you’ve yet to remodel your basement, you’re missing out on an opportunity to create a beautiful space that can provide value to your family.
According to survey results, 25% of Americans say they wish they had a home with more square footage. A basement remodel can allow you to gain extra square footage and functionality out of your home.
Not sure how to leverage the spare area down in your basement?
Keep reading for some creative basement ideas to think about.
1. Ramp up Your Home Workouts by Creating a Gym in Your Basement
Challenges over the past few years didn’t just change the way we worked, they also changed the way we worked out. Having to stay home meant that many of us swapped out gym memberships for at-home workouts.
Reports show that this trend is here to stay, as many people continue to opt for the convenience of exercising at home.
Unfortunately, one of the side effects of a strong home workout routine is—you guessed it—space-hungry gym equipment. Bulky items like treadmills and Pelotons invariably get pushed into home office spaces, spare bedrooms, etc.
Not only does gym equipment take up space, but it can also ruin a room’s interior design scheme.
If you’ve invested in a bunch of gym equipment that’s taking over your living areas, creating a home gym in your basement could be the perfect solution. This will give you a dedicated space for your workouts.
Besides finishing your basement, you can also install workout-specific features, such as rubber matting, large mirrors, and racks for weights, resistance bands, yoga mats, etc. If you enjoy listening to music or watching shows while working out, you can also kit out your basement gym with an entertainment system.
2. Transform Your Basement Into a Dedicated Home Office
Another lasting effect of the pandemic was the move to remote working. Reports reveal that 35% of job holders now work from home full-time, and 23% part-time.
Of course, WFHing isn’t without some downsides. Distractions are often one of the biggest challenges of working from home.
If you don’t have a dedicated workspace, this can erode your concentration and blur the lines between work and downtime.
Are you trying to do deep work from the kitchen table? If so, converting your basement into a home office could be a very valuable investment.
Most basement spaces can easily be converted into generous home office areas. Besides being roomy, basements offer a high level of separation from living areas.
One downside of a home office basement conversion is a lack of natural light. Fortunately, there are ways to get around this drawback. Clever lighting is a critical thing to think about when planning your basement remodel.
Depending on the layout of your upper story, you might be able to ask your contractor about including a few skylights to help bring in natural light. If you can part with a little floor space on the upper story, you can also consider creating a wider stairwell that’ll allow more natural light to reach the basement.
If the walls of your basement extend above ground, you can also ask your contractor about installing windows into this space. If not, egress windows are another option to think about.
Besides these measures, you can also do a lot with artificial lighting placement. One of the most impactful lighting tips for any space is to layer your lighting sources. In other words, instead of relying on one harsh overhead light, make sure you plan in multiple light sources, including table lamps, floor lamps, and wall lights.
This alone can go a long way to transforming a basement from dark and dingy to warm, well-lit, and inviting.
3. Set up a Studio
Do you have a hobby, side hustle, or creative endeavor that requires a dedicated space? Transforming your basement into a studio could be ideal.
Whether you’re a painter, crafter, podcaster, potter—you name it—having a zone in your home that’s all your own can do wonders for your pursuit.
Instead of having to pack out everything when you want to spend time on your hobby or project, and then pack it all away again, you can spread yourself out and pick up and leave off at will.
Having a studio can also allow you to set yourself up properly, and conveniently organize your supplies, equipment, and whatever else you need.
For example, if you’re creating a podcast on the side, you can include soundproofing in your basement remodel, which can dramatically improve the quality of your audio.
If you’re a crafter, you can include customized storage solutions in your basement construction plans to house all your supplies so you easily access them and keep everything neatly organized.
4. Create a Second Living Room
If you’re after a good ROI on your basement remodel, as well as more room to relax, you can also consider creating a second living room.
According to reports, basement-to-living area conversions rank among the top 4 remodeling projects with the best ROI. If you remodel your basement into an additional living room, you could recover roughly 86% of the cost when you sell your home.
Finishing a basement also outperformed more popular projects like bathroom and kitchen remodels.
Not sure if you really need a second living room? Here are some potential reasons why two living rooms can be advantageous.
If you’re someone who feels like a big screen is cramping the design style of your main living room, creating a TV room in the basement could be a great solution. This can also be advantageous if one member of the family wants to watch TV while the other wants to socialize in the living room.
Creating a second living room or TV den in the basement is also a good solution if two people want to watch different shows at the same time. For example, if you want to watch a Netflix series, but your better half wants to watch football, a basement living room is a perfect way to keep the peace.
You can also take things a step further and turn your basement into a man cave.
5. Design a Playroom
If the TV remote isn’t a point of contention, but toys underfoot are, remodeling your basement into a playroom might be a wise move.
Instead of risking a sprained ankle every time you cross your living room, you can plan in toy storage solutions, and use the basement play area to house “in-progress” activities such as Lego builds, racing car tracks, etc.
A basement might not sound like the most bright and cheerful place to designate as your kid’s play area, but believe us, with planning and the right contractor on your side you can transform even the most uninviting basement into a beautifully finished space.
With the right finishes, decor, and furniture, you won’t even recognize your basement when it’s done.
As we mentioned early, lighting planning is key. Ventilation is another thing you’ll want to think about. You can improve ventilation through things like ceiling fans and dehumidifiers, as well as through installing windows (either hopper or egress windows) and widening the stairwell.
6. Transform Your Basement Into an Organized Storage Area
Are you struggling with storage? Basements often become storage zones, but instead of being well-organized and offering easy access to stored items—they all too often descend into a musty, dusty mess.
This is because unfinished basements aren’t equipped with the right storage solutions and systems. They can also be prone to damp and mold.
A basement remodel can allow you to convert your bare basement into a seamlessly organized storage area that can house all the things that are cluttering up your cupboards, closet, or garage.
7. Build Out Your Basement to Earn on Airbnb
If you’re looking to earn some income on the side, you can also turn your basement into an Airbnb unit. Last year inflation rose to a 40-year-high. One of the best ways to meet higher costs of living is by increasing your income streams.
If you’re located in an area where there’s a demand for holiday rentals, and you remodel your basement to a high standard, you could easily enjoy a steady flow of semi-passive income from the space.
If you choose this option, we’d recommend speaking to your basement remodeling contractor about installing a stand-alone entrance that will allow guests to enter from the exterior.
8. Create a Beautiful Bedroom for Guests
You can also use your basement to create a beautiful, private area to house friends and family. Depending on the size of your basement, you might be able to fit in an ensuite bathroom, or even a sitting room area, kitchenette, or coffee bar.
These remodel options won’t only give your guests their very own sanctuary in your home, but they can also increase your home’s value. If you can fit in a bathroom, sitting room, sleeping area, and small kitchen space, this can transform your basement into a standalone flat.
9. Go Big With a Games Room
If you’re a fun-loving family, why not transform your basement into a games room? Games like pool, darts, and table tennis take up space, and most homes don’t have enough square footage to accommodate them in the main living area.
If you have an unfinished basement, this is the perfect opportunity to create a games room that’s fully equipped for fun and entertainment.
After you remodel your basement into a games room, there’s a good chance your house becomes the Friday night go-to for your circle.
10. Build a Basement Bar
Speaking of entertaining in style, have you ever dreamed of having your own home bar? Not one that’s stuck in a corner, but a real bar where friends and family can gather?
If so, remove that rickety bar cart from your wishlist and instead envision your basement as a fully-fledged bar, complete with everything you need to whip up some killer cocktails.
Having a basement bar isn’t just a fun idea, it can also be incredibly convenient. If you’ve ever found yourself scratching through lower cabinets for dusty cans of tonic water, only to realize you don’t even have ice—you’ll appreciate the idea of having a dedicated area for all your bar supplies, as well as a beautiful ambiance in which to mix and serve.
Speaking of ambiance, here are a few basement ideas to create an envy-worthy bar area. Firstly, make sure you have an entertainment system installed. If the temps get low in winter, you could also consider installing a fireplace to up the coziness factor.
Besides a set of bar stools, you can also think about including some comfortable seating.
11. Design a Wine Cellar
If mixing cocktails isn’t your thing, but fine wine is, you can also remodel your basement into a modern wine cellar. Wines that improve with age should ideally be stored in an area that’s cool and dark. Basements are a perfect area for wine storage, provided the area is dry and adequately ventilated.
If you have the space, you don’t have to stop at finishing the area and installing wine wracks. You can also include a comfortable seating area, complete with a cabinet for glasses, mood lighting, art, a bookshelf, a music system, etc.
12. Turn Your Basement Into an Extra Bathroom
Finally, if your family is forever fighting over the bathroom, you can also turn your basement into a generous-sized bathroom. Most basements have enough space to accommodate all the non-standard bathroom features you might’ve been dreaming of, such as a freestanding tub, double shower, bidet, etc.
If you’re into cryotherapy, you could even fit your new bathroom with a sauna and ice plunge bath.
Are You Planning to Remodel Your Basement?
If you have an unfinished basement, this could be the perfect area to remodel into a space that truly serves you and your family. By partnering with a good contractor, you can create accommodation for guests, a quiet workspace, a dedicated area for a hobby, a second living room, and more.
Before you press go on your project, it’s essential that you pick a remodeling contractor you can trust to seamlessly complete the project.
Here at Michael James Remodeling, we don’t just remodel homes. We work closely with clients to bring their vision to life. We know how stressful remodeling projects can be in a home, which is why we are meticulous about maintaining a spotless work zone and minimizing disruption to you.
Ready to remodel your basement? Contact us today!
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Serving North Georgia: Forsyth, Hall, North Fulton, Dawson, and Lumpkin Counties, Including Cumming, Dahlonega, Dawsonville, and Gainesville
Michael James Remodeling
3473 Thompson Bridge Rd. Gainesville, GA 30506