If you’re looking at the possibility of finishing your basement, there’s one question you need to ask yourself, first. The obvious answer is to say that question should be about cost, or resale value. Yes, cost is a major component of your decision for affordability. There is also the question of what that investment will do towards boosting your home value. You might even ask yourself if it might bring your heating costs down, but although all of these questions are valid and important, they shouldn’t be the first question you ask.
Ultimately all of this investment of time and money really comes down to this: Do you need the extra space and what would you do with it?
Simple, easy to miss, but many people always jump on the money question before they ask themselves if they actually need to have their basement finished. There are all of the arguments about resale value, insulation, etc., but the most important question should always be whether or not you want more livable square footage.
So, what would you do with all of that extra space just going to waste in your basement? First, ask yourself if there are enough family members to warrant such an endeavor. A family of six, living in your average, two thousand square foot home would inevitably say yes. Adding another thousand or so square feet of space would seem like a godsend to any big family. However, if all the kids are long gone and you and your spouse are sitting in a big house by yourselves, the reasons to say yes are fewer, but not zero.
Here is what you can do with that extra space in the basement:
This is one of the obvious options, especially if you’re living in an older house that only has one or one and a half bathrooms to begin with. An extra bathroom is a great convenience to have in the house, especially when considering those busy mornings before work and school.
The only question outside of having the bathroom in the first place (and this is usually a must), is whether or not to go with a full-blown bathroom or to stick with a simple powder room approach. The answer to that question largely has to do with your family’s needs. If people are fighting for the shower in the morning, then installing a shower stall in that basement bathroom isn’t such a bad idea. If, however, this is a convenience that is likely to be used only when people are in the basement, then you can probably keep to a simple powder room.
Another great addition to any home, especially if you find that the living room upstairs is reserved for guests and hosting parties. When the furniture in the parlor is something that you have to be extra careful with, having a big room in the basement where you can watch shows and movies becomes a must. After all, everyone needs a place where they can relax and not worry about their feet being on the coffee table. Getting a room in the basement for that very purpose is what makes living life a little easier, and keeps anyone from worrying about the neighbors seeing a mess, should they drop in.
Bar / Man-Cave
If you’re someone who likes to relax on the weekend with a few cold ones and a couple of friends, having your own basement bar is not such a bad idea. There are many people out there today who want to unwind, but don’t want to do it at the local pub. Pub food and drinks can be expensive, and being able to save that money and still have fun makes the possibility of having that man-cave all the more attractive. Many people do this and are glad they did!
Are the children getting underfoot? Are you trying to watch the game but you can hear Pokémon clearly in the background? This is where a kid’s room is a great idea for when you’re home with the family or have a crowd coming over. With a kids’ room in the basement, your home life is easier when they’re playing video games in their big, comfy room and you can watch football in peace! There’s also the prospect of company coming over. Like you, they probably have children and being able to have the children go to a room where they’ll all be entertained and happy is a great plus.
This is where a small couple would benefit from finishing a basement. If you need extra cash to help pay the bills or you’re an old couple looking for supplementary income, having a basement apartment is a great way to raise some cash! Just be aware of the additional costs involved.