Many homeowners consider the basement just a large storage area with no real functionality other than climate controlled storage. Finishing out the basement is actually one of the best things you can do to increase the living space in your home. What is currently a large open area with block walls and a concrete floor can turn into an amazingly comfortable area if you so choose. Before you add onto your home while ignoring the potential square footage in the basement, ask yourself these questions:
Do you really need the things you have in storage?
I’m not talking about holiday decorations and other seasonal things. I mean those boxes of clothes that will probably go out of style before you wear them again. The boxes of toys that your children are finished playing with will likely never see the light of day again. Consider donating a lot of those things to a local charity to help those who may be in need.
Does your basement currently have an area with natural light?
Most basements have minimal lighting, but some have great ceiling-height windows that allow the perfect amount of light to enter for a nice, intimate setting. This could be the perfect place for a quiet media center for watching movies, or the area of the house where quiet time occurs.
Does your basement have an area with no windows at all?
Alternatively, you could use the windowed area as a play place for children or pets, or even an adult play place by adding a wet bar and gaming area. A pool table or foosball would likely fit perfectly. If your friends are into virtual gaming instead of pool or foosball, install a built-in entertainment center with your favorite console and video games.
The area with no windows at all could easily become the media room. Design the perfect home theater without any windows to reflect off the television screen.
Does your basement currently have large pillars that support the upper floors?
The answer to this question is usually yes. Those poles may look like they would be in the way of a perfectly good entertainment area, but consider using them as the corner or wall line for your rooms. You can hide them in plain sight by boxing them in and installing built-in elements that mask their presence.
What is the intended purpose of the room(s) you’re considering adding onto your home?
Can that purpose be made into space in another area of the house if you were to finish the basement and move a lot of items downstairs? For example: Creating a family room downstairs removes the need for one upstairs. You’ve just opened an entire upper floor room for whatever you need. The same goes for home office space – move it downstairs where it’s very likely going to be quieter, and you’ve made space upstairs for something else.
Consider Different Spaces of the Home Like Puzzle Pieces
Deconstruct the puzzle that is your home and put it back together in different ways to see how you can maximize space. There are several 3D programs online so you can get a good idea of how the finished product would look. You can also use Lego’s with different colors representing different rooms.