8 Best Ways to Improve a Basement

People’s basements are usually used as a storage room, or anything that is not usually a place to hang out. When people hear the basement, some would think of a lifeless room with nothing but dirt and mess. However, the others would disagree, and you should disagree too!

Basements should not remain a messy or dirty storage room in your house, but you can make it lively. You can follow the best ways to improve a basement and change it to one of the best places you can stay while at home. It may seem quite impossible to change the ambiance of your existing basement, but with a bit of patience and diligence, it surely is worth improving.

It’s difficult, sure, but it’s not impossible. Here are the eight best ways to improve your basement.

Just a quick note to remember: Ensure proper planning before making any changes to your basement. Hire professionals if needed, but never act in a rush. Some basements serve as, or connected to, the best foundation of the house.

1. Room Space Expansion

The first thing that you should observe is the amount of space you need for your planned improvements. Whether it’s the headroom or the overall floor area, expansion can be paramount before starting anything else. 

The expansion of your room space should solely base on your available resources. If you plan to buy new things for your basement, make sure you know their exact dimensions.

In consideration of expanding your room space, it’s best to determine beforehand the purpose of your improvement. This would allow you to give an estimate as to how much space you really need for your basement. The best way to do this is to make a list of necessary items and the number of people you want to fit in the room.

2. Waterproofing

The most common problems in basements are moisture, or water itself due to plumbing systems. Since basements are below the ground floor, it’s also where ducts and pipes are found. Moreover, the sun can’t reach most, if not all, basements, which means no heat to dry up the place.

There are two problems that you need to address in this case.

  • Damp Area. In your basement, you should expect it to be wet due to the existence of groundwater or inadequate plumbing systems. To make your basement suitable for any gatherings, make sure to get rid of that moisture and the unpleasant smell it leaves. You can do this by either applying sealants and hydraulic cement to your walls or buying a dehumidifier for your basement. For the best results, you can do both at the same time.
  • Ducts and Pipes. You should know the layout around your house, especially your basement, or ask help from a professional. Check all tubes and pipes for leakage and resolve them as soon as possible. Mind these pipes when you are renovating your basement, such as expanding your room space or merely replacing your basement wall systems.

3. New Flooring

When you have an existing basement, it’s best to replace it with new flooring as it might have degraded already over time. The damage would not only affect the floor itself but might do extensive damage to the whole basement itself, if you continue to use it more frequently than before.

Since basements are not usually used, the flooring might not be suitable for numerous people doing various activities. There are a lot of DIY floorings available online or any hardware shops near you, but it’s still best to seek professional help. There might be other factors that you might miss in your consideration, and you’ll need certain types of flooring only.

You can have wooden flooring for warm ambiance and tile flooring for heavy-duty. You need to make sure that your new flooring will be comfortable for the majority of the users. 

4. Placing Area Rugs

Placing an area rug to your basement helps to keep your basement cozy and warm. Aside from aesthetics, it also adds protection to your basement. Area rugs can cover minor floor cracks or defects and can even help absorb moisture in the environment.

Area rugs don’t have to be expensive and so good-looking. You can utilize carpet remnants or simple rugs of your choice to keep the floor soft and comfortable. Otherwise, you can use thick and padded carpets, but this would take up space in your basement, so be wise with it.

5. Adding Furniture and Gallery Wall

Put more life to your basement by adding various furniture and a colorful gallery wall. Make it a place worth staying for a long time, and relaxing at the same time. With these additional resources, maximize the comfort they give and minimize the space they take up.

Depending on your purpose, you can add beds and mattresses or merely a long sofa to lie on for resting. To avoid your walls from looking dull, you can make a gallery wall that compliments your furniture. You can do this by either matching the color or match the theme of your whole basement.

6. Optimize Lighting

Don’t ever forget the crucial aspect of your basement improvement – adequate lighting. Basements are usually unwelcoming and gloomy without proper lighting. You need to remember that it should not be too bright and not too dim; just the right amount of light in the room would suffice.

You can use pot lights and floor lamps to balance the ideal lighting in the room. You can also use customized lamp shades to give the room a more inviting environment. Just make sure that your furniture doesn’t block critical lighted areas, and everything is organized.

7. Room Dividers

As your home has several divisions, your basement can also be divided in any way you want. You can add storage rooms, kitchenette, and even a small game room for your family, friends, and visitors. It doesn’t have to be all chairs and television, but you can have fun and food as well.

There are a lot of room divider ideas you can get from people, or you can make one your own. Decide how many divisions you need for your basement and set aside a budget for that. Make sure you plan everything correctly, including electrical systems and other safety features for your basement.

8. Paint It

There’s no better mood setter in a place than the colors that are publicly displayed in the room. While you have furniture, and possibly a gallery wall, the paint will surely catch the attention of the people visiting your basement. So, determine the theme you want in your basement and choose the color of the paint that matches it.

Don’t leave your basement walls bare so that people can see the cement work on it. Paint doesn’t only make your place aesthetically pleasing, but it gives more security and safety as well. Paint can cover cracks on the walls, prevent moisture from coming in, and prolongs the lifespan of some materials in your basement.

The Bottom Line

The best way to start improving your basement is always through thorough planning. Make sure you have all the available resources you have before putting things in your basement. You need to do more research as well, since there are cheaper alternatives that you can use to make your basement livelier than ever. Most of all, enjoy every moment of it!