In many homes, basements just collect boxes and dust. Aside from the occasional storage or maintenance need, these massive areas can go unused and families will miss out on hundreds of additional square feet of livable, usable space to enjoy.
Luckily, people can finish their basements to transform the cold, dark concrete room into an extension of the rest of the house without the cost of a whole new addition. In fact, many homes are built with basements that are ready to be finished, with high ceilings and quality windows already installed.
Custom basement design expert Greg Griffin explained that redoing or finishing a basement can drastically improve a home’s function because you can make the space whatever you want it to be.
“It changes how your house runs overall. Adding 600, 700, 800 square feet of living space can mean the difference of whether you have an office or gym, or a place to watch the Rangers,” he said in an interview. “It’s an exciting time in terms of what you can do with the space. You have a blank canvas where you can create something incredible.”
Popular features Like painters, homeowners don’t all create the same picture with their blank canvases. Although each space is unique to the home and the homeowners, there are some themes that are popular throughout subterranean getaways.
Griffin pointed to the open floor plan as the feature that most homeowners look for in a finished basement. One reason open floor plans are popular is because they foster versatility. They allow the space to transform with needs. People can use furniture to create separate “rooms” within the space that change over time, so that a play space can become a home entertainment area as the kids grow up.
The other important factors for many homeowners are that the space can be energy efficient and resistant to mold and mildew, Griffin explained. Using specialty basement panels can help basements reduce the heat loss as well as achieve greater sound control. It also allows for easy removal if plumbing or electrical work needs to be done.
Accent lighting, LED lights, bathrooms, bars, stylish staircases, durable professional-grade vinyl flooring, kitchens, and cutting-edge heating and cooling control are also very popular options for finished basements.
Common uses A finished basement can be used for nearly anything, but Griffin explained that most people just want that space to expand their living area as a family, living or recreation room. Of course, there are other uses as well.
Some people finish their basements for a quiet home office space that avoids the distraction of the main floor. Finished basements are also popular for grandparents who are looking for a durable area where their grandchildren can play without tearing up the whole house. Man and woman caves are also popular options, Griffin explained.
But regardless of the use, a finished basement is a great option for anyone looking to maximize their home’s potential and transform an ugly, unused space.
“At the end of the day a finished basement should function like the floor of a home,” Griffin said. “The big trick with getting a successful project in the basement is making it so it doesn’t look like a basement.”
A finished basement can add a whole new level of versatility and function to your home.
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