Ready to remodel that basement? What should you do with it?
Did you know? That dark, cold, and empty basement can deliver some of the best returns on your home improvement dollars and time! In fact, basements are some of the most underutilized spaces in our homes, often left neglected despite all the great benefits they have to offer.
Finishing the basement is one of the projects homeowners frequently procrastinate on. Seize the moment and make this year, the year you not only finish the basement, but rocket the enjoyment of your home, increase your property value, and add some serious wow factor when your friends come over! 😉
ROI: A well carried out basement refinishing project can offer a cost to value return of 70 to 75%
Fifteen Basement Renovation Ideas:
Many of these ideas can be completed by a handy do-it-yourself homeowner who is comfortable with tools and enjoys being and active participant in the home improvement process.
If you are the type of person that gets super-excited every time you head to Lowe’s or Home Depot, then you surely have what it takes to tackle some of these home improvements on your own, while saving big bucks in the process! 🙂
1. Bedrooms and Bathrooms
There are many uses for this space. You can make it a decadent second master suite, sound proof room for those noisy teens, a truly separate living area for aging parents that may need to move in, or rent it out on Airbnb and bring in extra money each and every month.
Tiny bathroom in the basement by Sage Design Studio
2. Home Office
Space-saving basement home office desk under the stairs by Sage Design Studio
Home offices are quickly becoming the most important room in the house. According to Gallup, Forty-five percent of full-time U.S. employees worked from home either all (25%) or part of the time (20%) in Gallup’s September, 2021 update. The home office will make or break the mortgage payment each month, will make all the difference in quality of relationships in the home, and is increasingly becoming one of the most important features when it comes to advertising homes for sale.
White Maple Corner Office by transForm
A real office with plenty of space, high speed internet, and quiet, is a must, and the basement is the ideal space to accomplish this. The latest Cost vs. Value Report places a home office remodel as one of the least expensive at an average of $30,000-$40,000. However, don’t expect much return on this particular upgrade should you decide to sell your house. The ROI in terms of costs recouped is less than 50%.
3. Crafting Caves
‘She sheds’ and crafting corners have been trending as moms seek an escape, get to work documenting their family’s lives with scrapbooks, and flex their art talents and sell their work via online shopping boutiques like Shopify and Etsy.
Turning the basement into an art studio can prevent having to freeze your behind off to get out to a shed in the colder months, provides more room, and is a far more lasting and sustainable option.
Expect to spend between $50 to $150 per square foot, if you are starting from scratch with your basement remodel, in addition to your interior design touches and accessories.
4. Spiritual Spaces
The Wall St. Journal has noted that ‘spiritual spaces’ have been trending for a couple of years. This can be as complex as designing a full on detailed chapel with stained glass windows and a Michelangelo worthy painting on the ceiling, or as simple as a Zen dojo with authentic Tatami mats where you can just soak up the quietness. Tatami mats run as little as around $150 for a 3’ x 3’ from Wayfair.
5. Home Gyms
Luxury real estate agents continue to highlight the home gym as one of the best-selling rooms in a property today. This doesn’t have to be absurdly expensive, but don’t ruin it like many cheap hotels by simply sticking a treadmill in the basement and calling it a ‘gym’.
Wall mirrors can make a big difference and improve the feel of a basement space. Ceiling mounted boxing bags appear to be trending again. And lightweight equipment from yoga mats, to Bosu balls, to free weights can all be taken with you to your next home when you move.
6. Home Spa
Those looking for truly mind-blowing room ideas to boast about should consider a home spa. High-end home and condo builders are increasingly modeling bathrooms after the most luxurious resort spas. This includes marble countertops and walls, decorative sinks, room for massage tables, and super-sized walk-in showers.
Of course, most don’t have the space to expand their existing bathrooms enough to replicate the ambiance of a true spa. This makes the basement the ideal space to incorporate this home design trend. A simple basement bathroom may start at $20,000, the sky is the limit when talking about a 5 star resort worthy spa! 🙂
7. Wine Cellars
Wine Cellar in the basement by Brant McFarlain
Wine cellars are still hot. They continue to be one of the most boasted features by new condo developers, so why not install one of your own? If wine isn’t your thing, and you really want to stand out consider a cigar room, complete with humidor, and well stocked bar of fine spirits?
For those with smaller spaces and on a tight budget this may be accomplished with a wine cooler, DIY bars, and opting for a standalone air purifiers.
According to JR Cigars an acceptable air purifier may be as in expensive as $150 to $750. At the higher end a full air handling system for those planning to have lots of smoking guests may run $10,000.
For those that really want to show off these basement spaces and make them a focal point of the home consider adding glass flooring on the upper level. Glass is green, and a lot stronger than many think.
8. Extend Your Master Suite
The master suite is no longer just a space to sleep, shower fast on the wait to the office, and grab a change of clothes in a hurry.
Serious master suites now sport completely separate spaces for couples to get ready, expansive designer closets, separate shoe closets, and lounge areas for unwinding at the end of the day. The only way many homeowners can keep up is by adding square footage. That normally isn’t cheap or quick if you have to launch a home addition.
How about going down instead of up or outwards and cramping your outdoor space? Consider a decorative spiral staircase to your finished basement where you extended master suite expands with a private lounge, digital fireplace heater, and walk-in closets larger than your neighbors’ bedrooms.
9. Media Rooms
Home theaters are still in, though are hardly unique or sensational any more. Now the family needs a hi-tech living space where they can enjoy proximity, yet stay connected on their devices and enjoy their favorite video games.
Instead of blowing your budget on the largest movie screen you can buy and professional theater seating, consider comfy lounging spaces with oversized cushions, built in desks for workspaces and multiplayer gaming stations, and new coffee table sized tablets which get everyone engaged with multiplayer action.
With everyone spending more time at home simply converting the basement into a playroom for the kids can be one of the most affordable and personally rewarding remodels. Parents are working at home, teens are taking online school, and increased security concerns mean the youngest family members get out less, and are prohibited from getting their energy out when at day care or elementary school.
So create a spacious area where they can make a mess, run wild, and get noisy without driving the parents out of their minds. Some fresh paint or graffiti friendly walls, kid-friendly flooring, and a few bins for dumping toys in can be all it takes.
11. Home Gun Range
For gun enthusiasts an indoor shooting range at home can be one of the most coveted basement remodel ideas. This will certainly be attention worthy when it comes to re-marketing your home for sale.
However, it is critical for homeowners to not only consider preventing ricochet, and suppressing sound, but to account for lead and contaminants, and security for children, and even intruders.
This is certainly not a DIY project to take on a whim, or without great planning. It may also be wise to consult local building departments and law enforcement in advance to preempt any issues.
One of the best uses of a basement is still as a shelter or bunker. Tornadoes, hurricanes, home invasions, WW III, terrorist attacks, and even the zombie apocalypse are all drivers for building out basements for security.
How extreme you choose to get depends on the real level of local risk, your own level of paranoia, and budget. Homeowners may be able to improve their underground bunkers over time, but it is critical to make sure the most important elements are built into the design early.
You don’t want to have to rip out a sizable investment because you forgot about a ventilation system. Start as simple as adding bunks and storage for supplies, to blast proof panic roofs designed to stand a nuclear war.
13. Indoor Farming
Whether it is building on the above from a survivalist standpoint or a desire to be green and self-sustaining, basements may be used for hydroponics and aquaponics.
For around $4,000 to $8,000 homeowners can set up their own indoor aquaponics farms which produce vegetables, fruits, and fish. Just 200 sq. ft. space is estimated to be enough to feed a family of 8, or can even become an income source.
14. Your Second Home at Home
Crave a second home getaway for a new sensation, but just don’t have the freedom or budget? With the right décor you can be anywhere in the world, right in your own basement. No travel required.
Finish the walls in wood, add a stone fireplace, and some authentic wooden furniture and you can be in your own writer’s cabin with just a couple steps. Or creatively use wall art and bright pastel furniture to transport yourself to your own beach cottage anytime of the year.
Put up floor to ceiling skylines of Las Vegas, pop in a poker table, and you’re in a penthouse suite overlooking the gambling capital of the world. With a little creativity and sweat homeowners can apply this basement remodel concept from as little as $100.
15. Sports Rooms
Stay active indoors playing your favorite sports, not just watching them. Convert your basement into a bowling alley, indoor soccer pitch, hockey rink, MMA cage, or golf green and simulator. This can run as little as $1,500 to $25,000 and for a martial arts octagon.
What will you do with your basement this year?