Add living space quickly and affordably with a basement renovation. This popular home improvement is a DIY enthusiast's dream project, involving everything from flooring to drywall, plumbing and electrical. But in order to make this space truly livable you'll need to do some thinking first.
Designed For Living
The primary function of a finished basement is casual living. This isn't the place for your grandmother's parlor room furniture. You'll need to design an open, functional space that includes durable flooring, comfortable seating and an area for your family's favorite entertainment. Games rooms are popular in the basement and a pool table or pinball game is a great addition to this space. Or opt for home theater, your own personal library or a workout room.
Create a more open concept feeling and have room for those games, big screen TVs or treadmills. Steer away from building rooms unless you'll need a quiet area for study or sleep. It helps to use a reinforced support beam to cut down on posts. Alternatively, you could work the posts into your design by dressing them up. There are various decorative wraps and covers that can help to mask these somewhat obtrusive elements.
Remember to opt for low maintenance solutions for flooring and draperies as well. That way you can spend your time relaxing in the newly renovated space instead of always focusing on upkeep and maintenance.
Affordable Options Are Out There
Often a basement renovation is done to increase your living space, but it can also be done without increasing your debt. Because there are no exterior areas involved and all of the structural elements are existing basement renovations can be done one step at a time. That will allow you to work within your budget and possibly pick up supplies and materials as they go on sale.
You can also choose more affordable methods of finishing this area in your home. Paneling can be installed directly onto wooden studs (with insulation behind for better comfort levels) to save big dollars on drywall costs. Certain portions of the ceiling — or all of it if you choose — can be covered with drywall instead of installing a complicated and expensive drop ceiling. If a shower or tub isn't needed downstairs you could save a lot by simply installing a two piece bath in the basement. Think about what you really need in the space and investigate products and installation methods that can save you money.
Get Help Where Needed
Although you may want to tackle a basement renovation completely on your own, there are certain areas where the expertise of a professional contractor is necessary. When plumbing and wiring are involved it pays to call a pro. Not only will the project be completed quickly and safely, but the plumber and electrician can help you with permits and make suggestions about the design.
Leave room in the budget to pay for these helpful services. You may also want to have the flooring professionally installed, especially if you're going with carpet. Stretching carpet is a difficult task and even if you can rent the equipment, this is a job for a trained professional.
Your basement renovations will result in a much more comfortable, spacious house. When you design for your lifestyle and include low maintenance finishes the basement will become a true refuge. By working at your own pace and choosing more affordable options this home improvement can be done within budget. And when you need the help, advice and services from a seasoned pro will help to make this project even better. With a little thought and some hard work, the bottom floor could become the favorite hang out for the whole family.