Did you know that an unfinished cellar doesn’t count towards the square footage of your house? So if you want to add value to a home, converting a basement into usable space is the easiest way to add square feet to your home and add value to your house.
1. Home Theatre
You may already use an unfinished basement for entertainment, but you can do so much more than that. Consider converting the space into a dedicated home theater experience. Because basements are naturally dark, you’ll get a great theater experience without having to invest in light control. You’ll need to install dimming recessed lights for the theater experience, and running some dim lights along the baseboard will make your home theater feel like a real theater. Consider a built-in TV cabinet to better organize your movies, and if you’re considering using a projector, you can customize the room with a flat white wall that can serve as a life-sized screen. Add a wired sound system, and your basement will be completely transformed.
2. Game Room
(Photo Credit: Kamloops Alarm)
If you’re not that into movies, turn your basement into a game room. Go beyond just buying a pool table or pinball machine and find specialized lights to install that will make your basement feel like a bar or game hall. You can add a built-in wet bar with bottle and glass storage to really get parties going. Don’t forget a professional-grade sound system for music.
3. Wine or Beer Cellar
(Photo Credit: Supercrew Projects)
If you like to entertain but don’t want to keep guests in the basement, consider installing a wine or beer cellar. Basements are naturally cooler than the rest of the house, so it’ll be easier to regulate the temperature. You can have shelves built in for all your bottles, and you can even install temperature control or a wine and beer chiller. You’ll never again have to worry about a bottle of wine going bad, you can age your favorite brews and you’ll clear up extra space in your kitchen.
4. In-law Suite
A private bedroom and bathroom in the basement is traditionally called an “in-law suite.” A separate living area could be used for guests, older children or even renters. You’ll have to make sure that the changes are up to code for a person to stay there, but once the suite is finished, you can start earning rental income or just enjoy the extra space.
5. Home Gym
If you like to stay in shape, maybe it’s time to consider investing in a home gym. You’ll want hardwood or linoleum floors and a wall of mirrors to check form. Install a small entertainment center in one wall so that you can watch workout videos or keep yourself occupied during your run. Weight racks are essential, but spring for some that are stabilized and bolted to the wall and floor to avoid accidents. If you’re planning on using a lot of free weights, be sure to buy some exercise mats so that you don’t damage your basement floor.
Your basement is a blank slate: You can make it into whatever space you want, and no matter what you do, you’ll be adding value to your home. If you have a large basement, don’t feel that you need to pick just one idea. You can divide your basement into multiple useful sections, but don’t forget to leave part of it empty for storage.
Andy Hall is the online marketing manager for Cornerstone Homes a Calgary home builder that specializes in acreages and estates.