The basement is one of the least looked-after areas in the home, but it doesn’t have to be. Turn this wasted space into a recreation room, movie theater, and more with these tips on remodeling your basement on a budget.
#1 Turn it into a Movie Theater
One of the best things about the basement is the absence of light. It’s the perfect place to turn into a home theatre. Add a rug, reclining chairs, and an entertainment system, and you’re good to go. Avoid painting the walls a light color so as not to distract your ‘viewers’.
It’s worth mentioning, however, that one of the worst things about the basement is also the absence of light. Be sure that your basement doesn’t have mold or mildew. If you’re living in flood-prone areas such as Miami-Dade and Palm Beach, you should consider hiring a property management company to conduct post-flood care.
#2 Add a Spare Bedroom
If you’re a real estate investor, you’re probably aware of the benefit of additional bedrooms on the property’s overall value. If you’re looking for a reason to raise your rent, you should consider creating a spare bedroom in the basement. If you’re planning on selling the property, an additional bedroom can add around $30,000 to $50,000 to its resale price.
Before you build a bedroom, be sure to consult a real estate professional regarding building codes.
#3 Redo the Laundry Room
Chances are that your current laundry room doesn’t look that attractive. One of the ways to look forward to laundry day is to redo the laundry room. Your washer and dryer shouldn’t be out in the open but stored in a separate room. This way, they won’t be an eyesore especially when you have visitors. Start by painting the walls a bright color and adding cabinets with white countertops.
#4 Turn it into a Family Room
Want a space that has activities for the entire family? Turn the basement into a recreation room. Choose comfortable furniture that can be rearranged in case you’re having people over. Turn the basement from a damp and dark space into a peaceful place by adding bright lights. Throw in a couple of colored rugs and cushions to make the space seem more welcoming. Add a bookshelf for board games and, of course, books.
#5 Style the Staircase
What comes to mind when you imagine going down your basement’s staircase? If it spooks you, then you should think about styling the staircase. Paint the stairs white so they no longer look like they’re from a horror movie. Hang up colorful paintings to spruce up the space on the walls. You should also install warm wall lights for illumination on the way down.
Planning on changing the shape of the staircase? Consult an architect or building inspector to be sure that you do not violate the building code. Are you a landlord? Hire a property management company that can conduct regular inspections on the staircase’s safety.
#6 Don’t Forget Egress Windows
Egress windows are windows that not only let the light in but are also crucial in case of an emergency. You will need to add windows to a below-ground basement by digging a window well. A window well is a hole that is dug into the ground, giving the window access to the outside world. It is usually made of limestone blocks, masonry, or landscape timbers.
You won’t be able to do this yourself, so be prepared to hire a professional. If you’re enlisting the services of a property management company, they can help you hire a contractor at a cheaper rate.
#7 Finish the Walls
Basements show off their foundation. By leaving the walls exposed, the basement will look like extra or secondary space. Unless you like the look of poured concrete, you should consider covering the walls with wood paneling. This way, the basement will look like it belongs to the rest of the building. Plus, it will allow you to paint the walls whatever color you want.
#8 Build a Storage Space
The basement is often considered as the catch-all for items that don’t belong elsewhere, but that does not mean it can’t be clean. When remodeling your basement, remember to build well-designed storage space, too. Opt for floor-to-ceiling cabinets that are built into the walls. This creates the illusion of a taller basement ceiling, plus it provides a lot of space for your belongings.
#9 Cover the Ceiling
Covering the ceiling is one of the best things you can do to your basement. Cleverly concealing the clutter (e.g. pipes and ductwork) with drywall results in a polished appearance. This way, the basement will no longer look so bare and basic. It won’t look like it’s covered in cobwebs and creepy crawlies.
If you’re turning the basement into a theatre, consider adding a 3-½ inch layer of fiberglass between the joists. This reduces the noise of footsteps from the first floor.
#10 Hire a Property Manager
A property manager can pinpoint the areas of your basement that need attention. It is their responsibility to ensure that your property is in pristine condition year-round. A property manager can help you take care of your property in ways that you never would’ve thought of. They’ll handle the heavy lifting — literally — so that you can continue your day-to-day routine without disruptions.
Start with Luxury Property Care. As a full-service property management company, we promise to look after your property as if it were our own. Our team of property managers will begin by evaluating your basement to see what needs work. We’ll sit down with you to sort out the details and get started as soon as possible.
Our property managers will oversee the entire renovation, and when it’s done, we’ll be ready to give you a grand reveal, ala “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”.