Explore different uses when finishing your basement

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If you’re considering finishing a basement in your home, there are a lot of exciting possibilities to explore. For many families, finishing the basement is a chance to utilize a space that’s been unoccupied or not being used to its potential. A finished basement can transform a cold, dark concrete room into a warm and welcoming spot where families can entertain or retreat for a relaxing evening.

There are a lot of technical aspects to consider when having a basement finished. You’ll want to make sure that the new walls will be resistant to mildew, can absorb sound and are insulated. Some of the best finished basements include removable panels so that people can still get to important areas, like the plumbing if work needs to be done.

When selecting a basement “system” (which comprises of several products put together as a single wall panel) make sure that the system has been tested and approved by agency’s such as the International Code Council. Not all systems have been tested and approved for interior use and may cause serious health and safety issues when applied together to form one panel. Ask for an “ES” evaluation from the system provider. Also, remember to follow local building codes when designing the basement of your dreams!

There are also much more fun considerations to be made when thinking about finished basement ideas. Here are some popular and unique options that families may want to consider when finishing their basement.

Create a mature playroom
Many families finish their basement then give it to the kids. But why should the youngsters have all the fun in your home’s new space? Consider installing an area in your new basement for yourself and other adults. A finished basement offers a great spot for entertaining. You don’t have to create a man cave to make a place for a mature company, either. Consider combining traditional ideas to create a space where you can have a pool table and an entertainment system without sacrificing style, so that people can come over and socialize as well as watch the game.

Get crafty
As Better Homes and Gardens magazine suggested, you don’t have to kick hobbies out of your basement when you replace the tool bench with carpeting. A large, finished basement is the perfect place to pursue your crafts and hobbies. If your passion is scrapbooking but your spouse’s is writing short stories, create a hybrid space that can accommodate both of you and more. Add a craft corner for your scrapbooking complete with organizational shelving, a corkboard wall and all the supplies you need. Add a large wooden desk nearby for your spouse’s writing. You can still use the rest of the room as a family room, but these two hobby areas will give you both a unique space to call your own.

Make it cozy
Now that you have a whole additional floor in your home, you have more flexibility with how to use your space. Rather than having a main floor living area that you use every day as well as when entertaining, you can now split up the two tasks. Divide the old combination family room/living room into a more formal, entertaining room upstairs for company and conversation, and then make your new downstairs a cozy, comfortable family area with oversized sofas, plenty of pillows and a great way to watch movies. You’ll be able to create a family room from scratch and no longer have to worry about tidying up when friends come by unexpectedly.

Don’t forget storage
One last item, always allow for a place for your “stuff.”  These items are often overlooked and if a finished or unfinished storage area is provided, it may have the lawn furniture, Christmas tree and lights, old golf clubs, etc. laying there in plain sight!! Everyone has “stuff” but not all stuff should be left visible in your finished lower level!! Consult with a designer to help you figure out fun ways to incorporate all different kinds of storage options from ottomans to bookshelves to closets.

Regardless of how you use it, a finished basement really opens up a lot of new options for how you use your home.

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