“Homeowners simply using their basement for the sole purpose of storage may want to reconsider their approach,” said Paulette Sodemann, CKBR, Senior Designer with Callen Construction, Inc. in Muskego. “A basement remodel not only increases the livable square footage of a home, but it also offers an exceptional return on investment.” What are the best basement remodeling ideas?
On average, you can expect to see a 70 to 75% ROI when remodeling your basement in the United States, according to thebalancesmb.com. If you need a little inspiration for creating the basement of your dreams, consider some of the most popular remodeling ideas, including an additional living room, a spare bedroom, a bathroom, an apartment suite, a home theater, a wet bar, a home gym, or a new laundry room.
Remodeling your basement to include a living room is ideal for families. “The kids can spend their time in the downstairs living room watching movies and playing games with their friends, while the parents can relax or entertain guests in the original living room upstairs. Moreover, incorporating bright colors into the décor and fixtures of the space helps ensure the basement living room is warm and inviting,” Paulette said. Additionally, it’s helpful to include at least one egress window in or near the basement living room as it will help filter sunlight into the space.
Alternatively, another common basement remodel involves creating a bedroom or two. This is a sensible idea for growing families or for those looking to garner interest from potential buyers. “It’s important to keep in mind that according to the residential building codes in most towns, a basement bedroom must include one or two forms of egress widows and must also have a closet in order to be considered a bedroom,” Paulette said. In some instances, adding an egress window involves altering foundation walls so as to widen existing openings. At the same time, a basement bedroom does significantly enhance the property value of a home.
A new bathroom is another popular option for a basement remodel, especially if a bedroom is already in your basement remodeling plans. “When building a new downstairs bathroom, you may want to consider incorporating drop ceilings as they are helpful for concealing unattractive wiring and pipes,” she said. “Whether you’ve simply grown tired of fighting with family members over the bathroom, or if you want to create an invaluable investment for prospective buyers, adding a bathroom to your home is a wise course of action.”
For those looking to expand on the idea of a spare bedroom, an apartment suite is another possibility. Including a kitchenette, modern appliances, and plenty of comfortable seating will complete the functionality, look, and feel of the space. “Additionally, a half wall would help define the perimeters of a bedroom and a bathroom,” said Paulette. “Your college-aged kids could utilize this space during breaks, or you could rent it out for added income.”
Are you a movie buff or do your children and their friends need their own space for movie nights? If so, a basement home theater may be in the cards. “Basements tend to exhibit a dark environment due to the lack of natural lighting, which means it’s an optimal space for a theater,” Paulette said. “That being said, you’ll need to incorporate recessed adjustable dim lighting and rows of recliners to achieve a true theater experience. Most importantly, a projector and screen will ensure everyone can see the movie easily and clearly.”
A wet bar is an idea for those who enjoy entertaining loved ones. If you’re in favor of making the wet bar the focal point of the basement, consider incorporating a wrap-around counter with trendy bar stools. “If you prefer more space, the wet bar can be situated up against a wall and include a built-in countertop and cabinets,” she said. “Whichever your preference may be, you can always choose to enhance the experience with a beer tap system and a built-in refrigerator.”
Do you need your own space to exercise? Consider transforming your basement into a home gym, as the space can be customized to your personal preferences. For instance, you could include a treadmill, a stationary bike, a bench press, or other machines or equipment. “To help make the space feel official, consider adding a gym wall mirror,” said Paulette. Furthermore, the type of gym stations you create should influence the types of flooring you select. To give you a better idea, high impact workouts, that often include cross training, jumping jacks, or knee-highs, are best done on hardwood floors, while carpeting is more suitable for low- to moderate-impact workouts, such as marching or walking in place. Additionally, rubber mats should always be placed under heavy equipment in order to protect the floor.
Whatever way you decide to remodel your basement, it’s beneficial to give the downstairs laundry room the attention it deserves. “Creating a space in the basement specifically designated to laundry will help ensure that the other spaces in the basement are free from dirty clothes and sports equipment,” she said. “Be sure to include an energy-efficient washer and dryer, and if you’re worried about stains or spills, opt for low maintenance tile flooring. Remember to account for ample storage room in order to accommodate various laundry room items, including detergents and ironing boards.”
When it comes to a basement remodel, the most crucial considerations are form and function. What type of layout do you wish to achieve with your basement? And what purpose(s) would you like the new space to serve? In other words, you’ll want to carefully evaluate your basement wants and needs and determine what type of space is most advantageous to you and your family. “Whether an extra bedroom would create a new living space for your oldest child, or a wet bar would establish an appointed space for entertaining friends and family, it’s important that your basement remodel compliments your family’s unique lifestyles,” Paulette said.
To discuss your basement remodeling ideas and start planning your renovation, call Callen today.