5 Finished Basement Ideas for Your Home

by Team HomeServe
domestic gym

An unfinished basement holds nothing but potential. No wonder it’s one of the most common home renovation projects! Maybe you’ve spent the last several months wishing your family had more space to spread out. Or, perhaps you’re in need of a specific room like an office or gym. Either way, finishing your basement is a great way to add livable space and increase the value of your home.

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Here are some finished basement ideas to get you started — and how to finish your basement yourself.

The Best Finished Basement Ideas

So it’s time to upgrade your basement. Depending on your budget, you have endless options for how to convert the space. Here are some unique basement conversion ideas for inspiration:

1. Gym

Due to COVID-19, working out at home has become part of the new normal. Knowing your gym is just downstairs may motivate you to work out even more. You can install just a few of your favorite pieces of equipment or splurge on a full gym setup.

Home Theater

2. Home Theater

Replicate the theater experience by building a home theater in your basement. This can be as simple as a flat screen and some comfy chairs. If you want to go all out, you can install a projector and screen, stepped seating and theater seats or recliners. You could also put in a concessions area with a popcorn maker and a fridge for drinks.

Wonderful playland for kids in basement of custom home

3. Children’s Play Area

Can’t see your living room floor through the blocks, dolls and playsets? Take the toys downstairs and set up a designated play area for your kids. Install storage for their toys and let them help design the space. Depending on the constraints of your basement, you may be able to install fun extras like a slide, climbing wall or swings. As your kids get older, you can fill it with air hockey tables, pool tables and game systems.

A residential bedroom converted into a modern home office

4. Office

Whether you’re working from home for a few more months or for the foreseeable future, having a dedicated space to work is essential. Putting a workspace in your basement will allow you to get away from everything going on upstairs. Add a desk, a seating area and bookshelves or items related to your hobbies as space allows. Don’t forget to add memorabilia and photos of your family.

Card table in the game room

5. Arcade or Game Room

Turn your basement into a mini arcade complete with video games and pinball machines. To balance it out, add low-tech games like shuffleboard, pool, foosball and table tennis. This can provide a fun space for your family and guests. For the adults, consider adding a bar area to the game room.

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Is Finishing the Basement a Good Investment?

According to Remodeling, you’ll see about a 70% return on investment. If you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, a finished basement may attract buyers. And even if you don’t want to sell just yet, the added space may be worth it to you and your family.

How Can I Finish My Basement Cheaply?

The less you spend on finishing your basement, the more you can recoup upon selling. Getting a professional contractor to remodel your basement will be expensive, but it could be well worth it, depending on the renovations you want to make. The added benefit is that you can rest assured knowing you’re getting high-quality services that will be done in a timely manner.

However, if your main goal is to keep the budget small, you may want to do it yourself. Finishing a basement isn’t a DIY project for everyone, but if you have the knowledge and skills, it’s doable. Here are some helpful tips:

Where Do You Start When Finishing a Basement?

You’ll want to start by building frames for your walls. The next steps — installing plumbing and electrical wiring — are best left to the professionals. Putting in windows and doors may also require some professional help. If you’re going to use any room in your basement as a bedroom, you’ll need to make sure to follow building codes regarding doors and windows. You can install drywall, paint and lay flooring yourself.

How to Finish a Basement Wall

According to Family Handyman’s step-by-step guide, the first thing you’ll want to do — even before you start finishing the wall — is to make sure you don’t have water leaking into your basement. Leaks can lead to mold if they’re improperly sealed.

The next steps include installing blocking and foam sheets. Build your walls out of 2x4s on the floor, then lift and fasten them into place. Depending on the shape of the room, you’ll also need to frame the inside corners and build around the windows.

How to Cover Concrete Walls in a Basement

You can cover a cinderblock or concrete wall by finishing the wall as described above. Or, you can cover the wall bonding cement to create a mortarless, concrete finish. You can leave the concrete smooth, polish it or add texture. You can also apply paint on top.

How to Finish a Basement Ceiling

If your basement is unfinished, the ceiling is probably a mess of exposed ducts and wires. The easiest fix, in this case, is to just paint everything the same color. This way, no individual pipe sticks out. If you still can’t stand to look at these components, hide them with a drop ceiling.

Since we’re all home now more than ever, being prepared for unexpected home repairs with a plan from HomeServe is important. Having a plan in place gives you peace of mind knowing that you can simply call our 24/7 repair hotline for covered breakdowns. See what plans are available in your neighborhood.