Basements often house little more than a fuse box, a water cylinder and some storage boxes. Converting a basement into a usable living space can add great value to your property and is a popular way that homeowners cope with changing household set ups without needing to move. However, there a number of things which make basements more difficult to alter than other areas of the home.
These vary from house to house, but include relatively low ceiling heights, poor or no natural light, inaccessibility and dampness. If you are thinking about converting the basement space in your home to one you can use for everyday living, then it will be best to consult an expert and avoid these pitfalls. However, many problems can be overcome relatively easily and most basements can be converted without a huge price tag. Before embarking, you really need to think about the new use you want the basement to fulfil.
Nothing will add more value to your home than by having a self contained living space in it. An annex which is designed for semi-independent living is great for elderly relatives and older teenagers. By converting your basement to a living, sleeping and cooking space you will make it much more desirable if you come to sell your home. Fitting plumbing and electricity can add extra expense but think of it as an investment. Even if your basement is not the most spacious on the block a well designed one room, studio annex will add value to your property.
Modern Family Rooms.
A trendy use for subterranean domestic spaces is to adapt them into a family room. Lay ceramic tiling on your basement’s surface and add warmth to sitting areas with some rugs to get the modern, chic look. Disguise the functional look of your basement’s ceiling by whitewashing it. Don’t be tempted to lower the height of your family room by installing a false ceiling, as this can make you feel a little trapped, particularly if your basement has no source of natural light. Break up the look of any structural elements, like supporting pillars, by cladding them with wooden slats or by using colorful tiling.
Games rooms have been popular choices for basement conversions for decades. If you like to entertain friends and shoot the odd game of pool, why not give your basement the look of a welcoming bar? Like all basement conversions, keep wall and ceiling tones light. Install conventional light fittings, but double up with recessed spotlights so that the electric light in your basement is as uniform as possible. Even a well lit basement games room will look dingy if one corner seems darker than the rest of the space.
If your basement has a ceiling that means you can only just stand up in it, or if beams make it difficult to walk about in without ducking every few paces, then make a room that you feel comfortable sitting in. Media rooms or home cinema installations are a good choice for these type of shallow basements. For either sort of basement conversion project, it will be worth considering soundproofing the room above, since noise is likely to leak upstairs from your sound system. Keep your flooring and furnishings light in tone and use carpet for your floor, rather than a hard surface.
Laundry and Utility Spaces.
Some basements are just not large enough to convert into living spaces. If your basement is not sizeable, then make it over into a utility area. Any appliances you install in your basement will free up space in your kitchen. Install good quality units, the same sort that you would specify for a kitchen. Add lots of recessed lighting and make the space easy to maintain so that you won’t mind using it for dirty jobs, like boot cleaning or pet grooming.