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How to Finish Your Basement With Projects People Love

By Bill Gassett | January 20, 2023

Finishing your basement could cost tens of thousands of dollars, but it is an investment that should offer a good return. It will make your home more attractive to buyers as it's a feature many want.

We will look at the ideas for finished basement projects that you can use to create a new, functional, and valuable space in your home.

Today's home buyers love having a finished basement and its additional space. A finished basement is often included when buyers put together a wish list.

Ask a real estate agent for a comparative market analysis to determine what the finished basement will add to your home value.

Make sure you let them know precisely what you plan on doing so they provide accurate, comparable sales.

Let's look closely at all your options for finishing the basement.

Finished Basement Project Ideas
Popular Finished Basement Projects

Build a Home Gym

If you want to work out at home, your basement is ideal. You’ll need some gym equipment and matting to protect the floor. Floor-to-ceiling mirrors on the wall help complete the look.

Before you know it, you'll be able to cancel that Gold's gym membership you have been hanging onto.

Create a Second Family Room

The living room is a space to relax in, but it might not be as relaxing as you’d like if you have a large family.

Creating another family room in your basement gives your family more options. The room could be dedicated to watching movies or as a cozy alternative for relaxing.

A family room in a finished basement is at the top of the list of the most popular options for families with kids.

Add a Bedroom in the Basement

An extra bedroom can be helpful when you have a family to stay with or to allow a child their own room.

A bedroom with a bath is the #1 option among many potential home buyers. It allows guest to have their own suit. It also works as an in-law when you want family members to live with you.

If you don’t have a large basement and don’t want it only to be a bedroom, you can create a built-in bed between shelving and use the space for other things most of the time.

Remember that for a room to be called a bedroom, it must meet legal requirements. This is essential when you sell your house and begin the marketing.

A Small Apartment

Turning your basement into an apartment, complete with a kitchenette, could be a way to earn extra income. It will need a bathroom, bedroom area, and living space.

Remember, some communities will not let you rent out space in your basement. It is essential to check with the local building department before turning your home into a full-fledged rental.

Kids Playroom

If you have young children and you’ve had enough of them playing in your living room, setting them up with a playroom in the basement could be the answer.

The room could have shelves for games and books, somewhere to sit, and perhaps a climbing wall or a slide would suit your kids too.

Laundry Room

If your home doesn’t have a laundry room, making one in the basement provides a separate area to deal with dirty clothes.

Sometimes folks will add a second laundry in addition to the one on the upper levels.

Your Own Home Theater

A home theater is one of the most popular features of luxury homes.

As your basement isn’t going to have much light anyway, it seems the perfect place for a home theater.

You could go all out with recliners on tiered flooring to give everyone the best view. A projector, a large screen, speakers, and mood lighting will help create the perfect cinema experience.

Do your homework when adding a theater. The costs can vary tremendously from contractor to contractor.

Run Your Own Bar in the Basement

Building a bar is one of the finished basement ideas you can use if you love entertaining. It gives a great and unusual place to socialize with friends and family.

Consider including a counter with beer taps and a fridge to serve your guests. Add bar stools, snacks, mood lighting, and maybe even a jukebox to help create the feel.

Some folks will go all out by adding granite counters and high-end appliances.

Your Wine Collection Can Be Showcased

If you have always liked the idea of a wine cellar, you could use some of the space in your basement for wine storage. Along with the racks for wine bottles, you will need a good air system and insulation to keep your wine tasting its best.

A wine room is another feature that has become desirable in high-end homes.

Finishing Touches

Whatever you decide to do with your basement, there are plenty of finishing touches you can add, to improve the look and feel of the space.

Many finish the space with the same quality as you would find upstairs.

Good Lighting

Lighting can go a long way to improving your basement. And since it doesn’t benefit from much, if any, natural light, making the right lighting choices is more important.

Wall Coverings

Getting creative with your basement walls will help make the space what you want it to be. Using different textures, like wood, brick, stone, or tile, in the basement can be very effective.

The Stairs are Essential

Stairs down to the basement are often forgotten, but they should be something you focus on to create a welcoming entrance. You could impress with light-up steps, glass walls, or even suspended stairs. But with a more modest budget, ensure you have a stylish carpet and railing.

Having Enough Storage

You don’t want your new basement to become cluttered, so make sure there is plenty of storage space. Built-in cupboards and shelves help to make the most of the space and are a way to showcase the style of the room.

They can be helpful in most basements as you’ll always have something to store. Additional closet space is great to have.

It will allow you to have a place to store all the clutter that has accumulated everywhere else. That will put a smile on many homeowners' faces. Keeping your home decluttered can be a pain in the neck when a home lacks storage space.

Don't Forget These Considerations When Finishing Your Basement

Now that you've got all these great ideas, it's time to implement your project. Before finishing your basement, pull all the necessary building permits.

While you can save on your property taxes without pulling permits, it could cause great anguish when it comes time to sell.

Most home buyers won't want to purchase a home without the necessary permits being pulled.

Final Thoughts

A finished basement can be a fantastic additional living area in a home. The possibilities are endless for what you can do. Take some time and look over building magazines and the internet for unlimited basement finishing ideas.

Bill Gassett is a thirty-six year veteran to the real estate industry. He enjoys writing helpful articles for buyers, sellers and fellow real estate agents to make sound decisions. His work has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Maximum Real Estate Exposure, Newsbreak, Credit Sesame and here at Realty Biz News. He has been on of the top RE/MAX agents in New England over the last two decades.
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