How to Transform an Unfinished Basement
If you purchased one of the Detroit houses for sale, or a home anywhere else with an unfinished basement, don’t just use it for storage, keeping that cold, dreary place closed off to your guests. It presents a massive blank canvas for using your creativity, just waiting for you to transform it into the space of your dreams.
The cost of finishing your basement depends on your particular plans, but the average, according to SmartAsset.com, is $25 to $50 per square foot, or around $30,000 for most. As much of that cost is labor, if you’re a DIY pro, you may be able to do it all yourself. Even if you aren’t an expert, there are simple options that just about anyone can do, including these.
Before you do anything, if your basement has a damp feel, which many do depending on the area of the country in which you live, you’ll need to dehumidify. Assuming there are no leaks and the foundation is intact, all you need is a dehumidifier. After just a few days of dehumidifying, you should notice a change in the air – as soon as the humidity is at a reasonable level, ideally around 45 percent, you can get started on the transformation.
Most unfinished basements haven’t been painted – adding color to the walls can make a dramatic difference, and painting is obviously best done before bringing in furniture and any decor. If you have sheetrock walls, add a primer first. Concrete floors are perfect for getting creative, you don’t have to use a solid color, you might even paint patterns or fancy designs. Don’t forget about the rafters – instead of installing a ceiling, paint them in a neutral color like gray, white, or black.
Foam Mats or Area Rugs
If you’re turning your basement into a playroom or an exercise space, instead of painting the floor, you might want to add foam mats that are soft and super easy to install and remove as they come in puzzle-like pieces. If you’re using it for any other purpose, whether or not you’ve painted the walls, area rugs will help warm up your basement floor quickly and easily, giving it a homier feel.
Brighten it Up
Basements tend to be rather dark, making them feel unwelcoming, with perhaps a couple of naked bulb fixtures in the ceiling. Adding the right lights will change all that. You might hang string lights from the ceiling and walls – using several strings can illuminate quite a large area, and you’ll only need one outlet. Free-standing lamps in the corners can give it an updated, brighter look too.
Shelving for Storage
You’ve probably been storing boxes and other items in your basement, so you’ll need a place to put those. Don’t just stack them in the corner, take advantage of the transformation to install shelving along the wall, which will help you maximize the space to get more out of it. They can be used for tools, sporting equipment, off-season clothing, and more.
If your washer and dryer are in the basement, it will look even better if you can install a temporary wall like a curtain that can be drawn in front of those appliances so that they’ll have their own space. That allows the rest of it to take center stage, no matter what use you have planned, from a workout room or a playroom to a man cave or a workshop.