Creative Basement Living Space

With NBA finals and the NFL season set to kickoff, why not consider your basement as a great hangout spot?  It is hard to do that if it looks like a dark dungeon with cold concrete floors . 

It might be time to consider your options in basement remodeling and turn your lower-level space into a great venue for game watching, relaxing, exercising, gaming, socializing, and more!  First, decide if it’s a do it yourself project or one for a professional to tackle, and then get renovations underway by following these simple steps:

Decide how you are going to use the new living space .  
Is it going to be your new home gym, your game day sports bar, a man cave for the guys, a second living area with guest bedrooms, or perhaps something totally different?   When looking for ideas on how to use the space, try going to websites like and HGTV’s and TLC’s websites to get some cool ideas and some inspiration on how to use the space.  A word of caution: make sure the amenities and areas you’re looking to create are something you’ll use.  Most people think it would be fun to have a pool table, and then once they have them they sit around and collect dust, so make sure you are firm on how you are going to use the space.  Once you’ve set your idea in stone, create a layout with a detailed plan.

Lay the ground work. 
It’s time to consider waterproofing options, as well as determine necessary electrical, heating, air conditioning, and plumbing work.   If you live in a new home, then your basement floor should be built correctly to keep moisture out, but if it is older you may want to consider alternative options to carpet.  This can be disastrous for carpet or wood, so look into a stylish laminate flooring instead.  Due to the fact that your basement is below grade, it is going to always be a bit cooler than the rest of the house, so it is also good to consider a seperate zone for your furnace, or adding some electric baseboard heaters. 

Appropriately use finishing techniques to maximize look and feel. 
Unless you’re planning to style your basement to look like an old time dungeon, ditch the darkness and take advantage of light paint colors and mirrors.  Both mirrors and light colors help make the space feel larger by reflecting light.  Adding a drop ceiling cuts out even more precious vertical space, making the height tough for a tall person to negotiate.  Here’s a great idea: leave the original ceiling work exposed, and then paint it a dark color to create a camouflaged – yet modern – look.  Support beams and other structural work can be treated the same way to craft an undone, contemporary, and urban feel.  If you are working with a contractor, then you should ask them for some ideas of what they have done in the past for ceilings and even ask to go look at some of their past work.  There is a basement finishing Indianapolis contractor that we found online that has great ideas and products that they have used to help make the basement area feel open and bright while still keeping cost down.

Interior decorating. 
 This is an area where you can really express your personality and the options are endless!  The most unbelievable basement I’ve ever been in included a game room, and when I say game room, I mean a wild African game room!  The homeowner was an avid hunter and brought home many prize animals back from safari trips to display in his basement – including zebras, big cats, and antelope!  Maybe that’s a little out of your element, but what about decorating according to your favorite sports team and adorning your walls with Fatheads of your athletes? Another thought:  if the winter blues have you wanting to hit the links (and if you have the ceiling height and space), set up a golf net or even a virtual golf simulator.  Include a putting and full swing mat, floor to ceiling net, vertical mirror, and chipping basket.  Be careful of windows and stick to plastic golf balls: if my memory serves me correctly, I remember a certain family member of mine (who shall remain nameless) putting a golf ball through a basement window!  Put in a home theatre, a music recording studio, a tanning bed… the options are truly infinite!  In looking through websites of basement remodelers, we found an remodeling Indianapolis contractor’s website that has some great pictures and ideas that are worth looking at .

Don’t forget to consult friends and family for their advice if they’ve previously invested time and money in their basements.  They will likely know the inside scoop, including names of remodeling pros, best places to shop, and construction guidance.  Best of luck in fashioning the perfect underground habitat!