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An unfinished basement presents the homeowner with a blank canvas that is exciting and intimidating at the same time. You have the money to fund a basement remodel but what to do with all that space? And will what you opt to do actually add value to the home should you decide to sell in the future?
Perhaps the best way to look at all this unused space, especially if you want to add real value to your home, is not as a single room but as exactly what most full basements really are – an extra level.
More and more homes are becoming multi generational; either kids who went away to college are now back, staying with Mum and Dad while they save up enough money to buy a place of their own rather than wasting their cash on an overpriced rental or an older parent (or parents) are moving in with their kids as an alternative to the retirement community they feel far too active for.
This means that a home that can offer a potential homebuyer not just an extra room but a semi – or even fully – contained separate space is often very appealing. Some may even see it as a rental opportunity to help meet the costs of a mortgage.
Here are just a few ideas that may help you plan a basement remodel that not only adds function to your home but real market value as well:
Create Real Divisions – You can put a large basement to a number of different uses at the same time. You can, if you choose to create a full living area have the space divided into physical rooms with the addition of full walls. But that’s not your only option.
By erecting half walls – full walls can also often make things too dark by blocking out the natural light – you could divide the square footage into a media room, home gym and a children’s play area all at the same time. Or, a studio like sleeping area, dining spot and living area. To further divide the space visually when half walls are in place different areas can be painted and decorated in different colors to make the whole area a little cozier.
Add a Bathroom – If you are going to be using your basement a lot, or converting it into that semi living area, adding a small bathroom is great idea. Although that is not as huge an undertaking as it sounds it may not be a great idea to earmark it as a DIY project. Basement plumbing concerns of any kind are complex to say the least and really best left to the professionals.
Create Closed Storage Spaces – Many people use their unfinished basements for storage and you do not have to lose that convenience when you commission a basement remodel. Have your basement remodeling specialist wall of a section of the whole area and add a door to create an organized storage room that will not detract from the appearance of your remodeled basement as whole.
Lighting is Everything – Most unfinished basements are naturally rather dark and offer very little in the way of natural light. This can make them feel rather claustrophobic and less than pleasant to spends time in. If you can add new windows that let in more sunlight by all means do so.
Otherwise, work out a lighting scheme that has several elements – ambient, task and decorative – to make the room feel more like the rest of your home.
Don’t Forget the Stairs – The majority of unfinished basements do not have the most attractive staircases in the world, or even the safest, so this is an area you are definitely going to have to give some serious thought to.
There are many different basement staircase options available these days that can either fade away into the background and allow the space to stand out, or the staircase itself can become the focal point of the overall design.