Finishing your basement is one of the most important decisions you can make in terms of getting a huge return on your investment (ROI), especially if you ever sell your home.

Turning this oftentimes underutilized area into a livable space adds value.

If you have an unfinished basement, you are missing out big time on all that additional space that you could be enjoying.

For some, just the thought of tackling the basement makes them feel overwhelmed, which is completely understandable.

Depending on how old your home is and its condition, there may be a lot of work and expenses involved.

It’s usually less expensive to finish the basements of newer homes, because of the newer construction.

Older homes may have crumbling foundations and rotted wood, all of which would need to be corrected before converting to the basement.

Regardless of the age and condition of your home, here are some ideas for you to think about if you plan on converting your basement into a livable space…

1)) Recreational Room

Probably the most popular use for a finished basement is turning it into a recreational room.

This extra space could be a playroom for kids, an adults-only escape, the infamous man cave or she-shed, or even a home theater.

The basement is a great place to put a big-screen TV, pool table, air hockey, full-size classic arcade games, or maybe even a bar.

You could even fill the room with big couches so that the whole family could lounge around.

When choosing your flooring, look for practical choices that are easy to clean.

Consider concrete flooring, with throw rugs where you want something a bit plusher.

The type of flooring of course is totally up to you, but if you plan on putting down hardwood floors or carpet, be certain that the best padding is laid down first in order to prevent moisture from penetrating, which can ruin those materials.

2)) Home Office

An unfinished basement can be converted into a dedicated home office no matter how big or small the space is.

The basement is a great work area because it tends to be quieter due to it being separate from the rest of the house.

Having your home office in your basement allows you to be more productive because there are fewer distractions such as kids and pets.

Be certain to install plenty of soft lighting so that you don’t feel as if you’re in a dungeon or cave.

You can choose bulbs that emit a more natural-looking light but stay away from clinical fluorescent lighting.

You should get excited because starting with a blank canvas allows you to design your home office in such a way that it makes you happy when you enter.

3)) Extra Bedroom

Another great use of your basement is converting it into an extra bedroom, which can come in handy when you have guests staying over.

This spare bedroom could be given to family members such as your kids, in-laws, or relatives.

If your basement is big enough to have a closet with a door built, go for it, because the name of the game is the utilization of the entire space.

There are plenty of options if your basement isn’t big enough to accommodate a closed-in closet.

You should then consider the creative open closet ideas that make use of floor and wall space.

For smaller basements, you can make use of the wall spaces with shelves and hooks.

You may want to consider a platform bed with drawers.

For larger basements, you can fill up the extra space with nice furniture and maybe a seating area.

4)) Family Room

A finished basement could easily be converted into a family room.

Throw in a few comfortable sofas, luxurious chairs, and a large mounted TV that turns this once-unused space into a home base for your entire family.

Converting your basement into a family room even if you have one is a good idea because it offers flexibility.

For example; let’s say that your family wants to watch a certain movie that you don’t want to see in the main family room, you could simply go into the basement and watch what you want.

This doesn’t mean you don’t want to be around your family; the second family room in the basement gives you options.

The members of your household could do the same.

5)) Efficiency Apartment

An excellent renovation idea is to convert your basement into an efficiency apartment.

If there isn’t one already, consider adding a small bathroom and kitchenette to make a completely separate living space.

Not only is an efficient apartment useful for visitors, teenagers, and renters, the extra bathroom and kitchenette will add more value to your home.

You simply cannot go wrong by creating this separate living space.


Deciding what type of space to convert your basement into may feel overwhelming in not knowing which to choose from.

One of the easiest ways to determine what type of space to convert your basement into is by asking yourself the following question…

What type of room is more beneficial to my household overall?

In this article, we briefly covered the following:

  • Recreational Room
  • Home Office
  • Extra Bedroom
  • Family Room
  • Efficiency Apartment

Keep in mind that there are many other room types into which you could convert your basement and your choices are only limited by your imagination.

We recommend that you take your time before deciding what to convert your basement into.

If you have a family, you could hold a meeting with them to get their input. You could even have everyone vote on what type of room would benefit the entire family.

You could consult with a designer, look at designs on the Internet, look in home improvement magazines, watch home improvement TV shows, ask family and friends, etc.

At the end of the day, the decision is yours to make.

Good luck with deciding what to convert your basement into and enjoy the process!

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