Tag Archive for: basement remodel

The Benefits of Finishing Your Unfinished Basement in Lafayette and West Lafayette, IN

Basements are no longer areas confined to storage and laundry. A finished basement can allow you to use your creativity to turn a dark and dull space into a beautiful and useful extension of your home. No matter what the size or shape, basement remodeling is one of the least expensive ways to add living space. Here are some of the benefits of finishing your unfinished basement:

Benefit #1:

Increase Your Home’s Value

Most families we talk with about remodeling wish they had extra room in their homes. By refinishing your unfinished basement, you add valuable living space that will only increase your home’s value. It is an especially good option if zoning laws and permitting in your neighborhood don’t allow for structural additions.

The cost of finishing your basement is usually less than adding an addition, and some of your cost can be recouped when you go to sell your home—you’ll recoup an average of up to a 70% return on investment, according to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report 2017. But your increased enjoyment and use of the space will be worth every penny as long as you live there.

Dance Studio

Benefit #2:

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Who doesn’t want to save money on their utility bills? When remodeling your basement, use this time to add insulation and other energy-efficient features that can reduce your heating and cooling costs. Items including energy-efficient windows and Energy Star appliances, LED lighting and compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs), and proper insulation help your overall energy savings and reduce your carbon footprint.

Benefit #3:

Create Flexible Spaces

While “upstairs” rooms are generally assigned a specific purpose, like a kitchen, bedroom, or dining room, your finished basement can be used in a number of ways, like a yoga studio, a children’s playroom, or a recreation room. Another benefit is that spaces in your finished basement can grow and change as your family’s needs change and are repurposed easily.

Basement Craft Room

Benefit #4:

Create Dedicated Spaces

As families were isolated at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, they needed to repurpose their homes to meet their work and leisure needs from home. Home offices and home gyms became necessities and more sought after than ever before. By finishing your unfinished basement, you can incorporate these dedicated spaces into your home for any specific requirement.

Benefit #5:

Add Storage

If you’re like most families, there’s never enough storage, so when creating your basement design, look for ways to add custom built-in storage. Utilize the areas under the stairs, add vertical storage, and built-in closets in out-of-the-way nooks and crannies, or create a dedicated storage room by closing off the mechanical area. Storage doesn’t need to be out of sight. Add attractive shelving, open cubbies, and wall storage units for children’s toys, crafts, or office supplies. Don’t forget overhead storage. Use hanging units and rods for wine glasses, gym equipment, or out-of-season clothing storage.

Benefit #6:

Generate Extra Income

Depending upon the zoning requirements in your jurisdiction, you may be able to transform your unfinished basement into a separate living unit. This can be used for multi-generational living or to rent out for additional income.

When adding a bedroom or two, keep in mind that to be considered an actual bedroom, bedrooms must have an egress window and a closet. This is more easily created with partially above-grade basements but can be achieved with below-grade rooms with some excavation. The addition of a bathroom also adds convenience, value, and the option of an income-generating extra space. A build-in rental unit may add appeal to potential buyers when you go to sell your home, as it can help supplement income and lighten, or even cover, the mortgage payments.

Benefit #7:

Make it Uniquely Yours

There is no cookie-cutter solution for finishing your unfinished basement. You get the pleasure of making it uniquely yours. You’ll work closely with our design team to incorporate the exact features you want to enjoy. It is a blank canvas upon which you can create something suitable for you and your family.

When you purchased your home, you likely bought it “as is” and had to compromise on some of the features you really wanted. This is your chance to get creative and add exactly what you’d like in your home. Make it your own with special features, including these:
Basement Wine Cellar

  • Wet bar
  • Wine cellar
  • Home theatre with built-in entertainment system
  • Cedar-lined closets
  • Sauna
  • Fireplace
  • Billiards room
  • Man cave
  • Craft room

Finish Your Unfinished Basement in Lafayette and West Lafayette with Riverside Construction

The benefits of finishing your unfinished basement are many, and working with a design-build remodeling firm like Riverside Construction can help bring your dreams to reality.

With a design-build remodeling firm, you work with one team throughout your entire project—from concept to design to construction. Riverside Construction’s well-planned-and-managed design-build process will ensure that your project runs smoothly and is delivered on time and on budget.

We’ll lead you through an initial in-home consultation meeting where we’ll discuss your remodeling goals, timeline, and budget and offer suggestions in these areas. We’ll then move to design, where all the fun begins. You’ll work closely with our design team and see your ideas come to life through 2D and 3D renderings.

We’re extremely proud of the beautiful basement remodeling projects we’ve completed for homeowners in West Lafayette and the surrounding areas. View our “before and after” photographs and project stories in our Basement Renovation Portfolio that will give you ideas for your own basement remodel.

Contact Riverside Construction to schedule a conversation with our design specialists. And download our free eBook: How to Start Your Remodel Off Right.

Maximize Your Basement Remodel by Including These Key Elements or Design Features 

An excellent way to create extra room in your home is to turn an underutilized basement into a functional and livable space.

Doing so adds a wealth of new lifestyle and work-related opportunities for your family, together with a potential increase in the value of your property, especially when it comes time to sell. 

Given your basement’s scope for improvement, this is a refurbishment that’s important to get right. Part of a basement remodel process is choosing how you want the space to be used and the functional design elements and features to match.

With this in mind, this article looks closely at what you can include in your finished basement to maximize the space and enhance its functionality.

Home Office

Working from home has never been more popular, and the trend will likely continue in some compacity. Your basement could be a great place to set up a workstation out of the way of general family life. When planning a basement home office, you’ll need plenty of natural light to keep your mood high and prevent eye strain. 

Consider placing your main work area near natural light sources such as an egress window or a walk-out door. You’ll also require plenty of electrical outlets for your equipment, plus air conditioning and plumbing. Depending on your work, you might also need storage, such as shelving and built-in cupboards.

Check out our article Design and Build a Beautiful Home Office for more inspiration.

Home Gym

Passionate about fitness? Build a basement gym! A functional, comfortable, and aesthetically appealing home gym is the best way to ensure you stick to an exercise routine. Designing and building a basement gym is a fantastic way to have a designated space to keep fit that’s private and doesn’t encroach into everyday family activities.

Consider vital aspects such as light, ventilation, strong flooring, and power sources during the design process. Think about how you will maintain the air quality, how close you are to a bathroom and water access, and how you can define different spaces for different exercises (i.e. weights, yoga, cardio). 

You may want to add sound systems and specialized storage units as well. 

Media Room

Media rooms or home theaters are another type of room that has gained popularity over recent years. Again, the basement is the perfect place for it to go, especially as plenty of natural light is not a priority. 

Media centers require a lot of electrical wiring to provide proper lighting, video, and surround sound. You’ll also want to carefully plan the positioning of screens, speakers, receivers, A/V equipment, and video projectors. 

Soundproofing is another factor. You’ll want to reduce the amount of sound traveling to other rooms or adjoining neighbors via walls, floors, and ceilings. 

And then there’s seating and their overall comfort and placement. You’ll need to consider how many people typically sit down together, how you interact during movies, and whether children will require special seating.

Check out our guide on Ultimate Media Room Design Considerations for more inspiration.

A Secondary Kitchen

Secondary Kitchen

A basement is a fantastic place to add a second kitchen. A basement kitchen provides extra prep space for entertaining guests or working from home, without the need to continuously walk up and down the stairs.

The kitchen can support other basement uses such as a home office, media room, game room, or even a guest bedroom. If you have a young adult or aging family member moving in, the kitchen will form part of an apartment-style living quarters that is private and self-contained. 

An Additional Bathroom

Basement Bathroom

A bathroom is another potential basement addition. A full bathroom with a shower is ideal, but even a half bath will suffice, depending on the room you have and other requirements. 

Bathrooms are practical, especially if you intend for your basement to double up as an in-law suite or entertaining space. Your guests or family shouldn’t need to travel between floors to use the restroom when nature calls. Bathrooms also add to your home’s resale value.

Wet Bar

Wet bars are a fantastic addition to basements where hosting and entertainment are the core function, especially if you are a movie enthusiast or sports fan. 

A wet bar makes it convenient for you to serve guests without missing any action, and they are great for drawing people in and sparking conversations. Wet bars are also a stylish accessory that can keep guests around the area and out of your kitchen.

Playroom

If you have kids, you’re likely familiar with the space needed to house all of their toys. You’ll also have painful memories associated with stepping on Legos in your living room or tripping over dolls in your family room. 

While certain toys are appropriately stored in your kids’ bedrooms, a playroom can be a welcome addition to a finished basement. It allows you to minimize clutter and provide a dedicated area for your kids to play that’s separate from the main living areas of your home.

Additional Storage

Many homeowners are so zeroed in on maximizing the functional space in their finished basement that they lose sight of one key area: storage. The original purpose of a functional basement was to house HVAC equipment and store household belongings. 

This need is still present. Even when much of the basement has been converted to other uses, storage space should still be included. During the design process, consider where valuable storage space can be retained, modified, or added. 

After all, the basement is likely the perfect place for items like holiday decorations, sports equipment, bulk food items, and so much more.

Lighting Details

When finishing your basement, don’t overlook the critical detail of lighting. Since basements rarely have much natural light, it’s important to create a lighting plan that supports diverse activities throughout the day. 

Recessed or slim disc lighting is recommended for all-over illumination. Undercabinet lights work well around food prep areas. Pendant lights can be hung above tables or areas that need a focused spotlight. Use dimmable lighting around the TV. 

Remember, you want your basement to have a warm and welcoming feel — not be dark and dreary. An effective lighting plan is critical. 

Basement Bedroom Egress Window

When complete, your basement remodel should be stylish, functional, and practical. But you also want to make sure that it is safe. So, in addition to testing radon levels and including a smoke detector in the finished space, if your basement has a bedroom, ensure you include an egress window. 

In fact, in Indiana, ensuring the availability of some sort of egress window or door is a state requirement for basement bedrooms. Egress windows essentially allow an additional point of exit aside from the main entry point to the basement, which can be life-saving in the event of an emergency.

Work with a Qualified Design Build Firm like Riverside Construction

Riverside Construction, founded in 2008, is the go-to professional design-build team that has earned the respect and confidence of discerning homeowners in the Lafayette and West Lafayette areas. 

With an award-winning team of highly skilled and experienced professionals in a range of fields, we excel at listening to client ideas and then translating those dreams into reality. We can help you decide on a direction, provide guidance, and be with you every step of the way to ensure your dream home is achieved. 

Whether you’re refurbishing a basement, transforming a kitchen, updating a bathroom, designing a home office, or building an addition, let us guide your decision-making and partner with you to achieve the results you envision. 

Contact us now to schedule an initial conversation. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, listen to your ideas, soothe your worries, and work with you to finalize your plans.

5 Considerations for Designing the Ultimate Media Room for Your West Lafayette Home

Media rooms or home theaters have steadily gained in popularity, and it’s not surprising after lifestyle improvements have spurred demand for home remodeling projects. So, if a home theater or media room space is on your wishlist, we’ve compiled a list of essential design options to consider.

It takes thoughtful planning to make your media space turn out exactly as you had planned. With the right design, your media room can be an inviting gathering place even when the lights are on, and the sound system is off.

Lights! Camera! Action! Pass the popcorn, please! Here’s what you need to know…

1] Choose the Right Space

Carving out a section of your basement is an ideal way to make good use of an unfinished or underused space. Basements typically do not have large windows, multiple doorways, or high ceilings, making them ideal for transforming a room into a dedicated home theater. You might also consider utilizing a section of a garage or unused bedroom that is approximately 20 x 13 feet—an ideal configuration for a home theater.

2] Wiring for Sound and Light

Media centers require electrical wiring—and lots of it— to provide proper lighting, video, and surround sound. Even if you have to remove sections of drywall to reroute circuits, it’s better to hide the necessary electric infrastructure than to “make do” with visible cables and wires. Your design-build contractor and a qualified electrician will assist you with planning your media room, including proper placement of wiring for essential speaker locations, a receiver, A/V equipment, a video projector, and essential lighting.

Generally, you’ll want to consider wiring that allows speaker placement 1) above or below the viewing screen, 2) at either side of the screen, 3) on the sidewalls, 4) and on the back wall. You’ll also want to identify a location for the receiver and A/V equipment, which can be placed in a hidden cabinet or nearly closet.

3] Keep It Quiet — Soundproofing

Soundproofing a media room involves modifying the surrounding wall, floor, and/or ceiling to minimize the amount of sound traveling to other rooms or adjoining neighbors. To quiet the noise, insulation plays a huge role. An insulation rating of R30 is recommended for use in exterior walls, the ceiling, and floors. To keep rumbling movie sounds to a minimum, you’ll also want to consider insulating the interior walls with loosely-packed R11 insulation. The more soundproofing you can apply, the more functional the media room will be.

If permitted, you’ll also want to consider using specialty drywall such as QuietRock Soundproof as an effective sound barrier.

Other soundproofing techniques to muffle sound include hanging wool or velvet drapes on the outside of the walls, or quilt batting covered with decorative fabric. To minimize sound transmission between floors you can even use acoustic ceiling tiles.

4] Optimize Your Viewing Experience

Do you remember, as a child, sitting in the front row of the movie theater? By the end of the movie, your neck hurt, and you were squirming in your seat, right? You’ll want to prevent this from happening in your home theater. There is an optimal location and placement of your screen so that you can minimize neck and eye strain. A rule of thumb from media experts is that the seating area should be positioned 1.5 times the diagonal measurement of the television from the screen for optimal viewing comfort.

And, when it comes to the video display, bigger is not always better. Investigate the relative advantages of LED, LCD, and plasma technology, or explore innovative OLED that is reputed to be thinner, brighter, and more energy-efficient.

Understand that, whether you create a dedicated home theater or you plan a first-class viewing center in your living room or den, your screen, sound system, and lighting must work in tandem. Clarity and picture quality are vital, comfort counts, and you want the sound system to be as easy to operate and as attractive as possible. That means planning! Avoid skimping on the planning process.

5] Design Principles

Once you have identified the room’s location, the next step is to create the “shell” of your media center, select the specific equipment, and plan its installation. When that is done, move on to the aesthetic choices that will enhance your viewing experience and create the finished space of your dreams. Here’s the shortlist of priorities:

  • TYPE OF SEATING: Your media room doesn’t have to have stadium seating, nor do you need reclining theater chairs, but if your room is large, it’s not too difficult to build in a raised section or two to hold overstuffed loveseats and plush lounge chairs. Room size and the number of people in the family will dictate your seating options. Consider flexible modular or sectional seating or a built-in banquette with plush cushions for children.
  • BLACKOUT SHADES: If your room has a large window, roller blackout shades will darken the room and provide an authentic theater experience. Drapes of a plush fabric also serve as additional insulation and can help improve sound quality.
  • LIGHT FIXTURES: Wall sconces add decorative appeal and eliminate the need for a central ceiling fixture or table lamps. Utilize dimmer switches or remote controls for safety and ease of operation. If you have different floor levels, consider low-voltage rope lighting at the steps or install step illumination to prevent accidents.
  • FEATURE WALL: Even though a large-screen television will undoubtedly become the room’s focal point, consider other decorative design features. For example, frame the screen with decorative molding or add columns to side walls as architectural accents. Alternatively, install a cabinet or counter on the back wall to serve refreshments or provide storage. Use one wall as a gallery for poster art, or install shelving to showcase movie or entertainment memorabilia.
  • PAINT COLOR: While most homeowners opt for lighter tones in living spaces, a media room will benefit from rich, darker colors: Navy Blue, Charcoal, Deep Wine Red, or an Earthy Terra Cotta or Forest Green are popular choices and will provide the perfect background for your media room. Darker upholstery or leather chairs work well in a home theater or media room. As an option for elevated seating at the rear of the room, consider pub tables and upholstered swivel stools.
  • FLOORING: Carpet is the right choice for a media room. It not only helps soundproof the room, but it amplifies the richness of movie soundtracks. Consider carpet tiles that can be easily replaced should they become damaged or stained by use.
  • CUSTOM BUILT-INS: Most media rooms are designed for viewing televised movies and DVDs and home movie films. You’ll no doubt have video games and other electronic equipment as well. Having a closet or specially designed custom cabinetry is a boon to organization and enjoyment.

When you’re ready to begin planning your home theater, call on Riverside Construction, which has experience in all things home remodeling. As the premier design-build contractor in Lafayette and West Lafayette, our team can help you determine the best location and the best materials, and the most economical ways to proceed with your media room project. Contact us or call 765.838.1644.

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2019 Basement Design Trends to Watch for in Tippecanoe County

Basements no longer need to be damp, dark and unattractive storage spaces in the home. Today, finishing a basement can add much needed, affordable square footage that will allow for a variety of unique uses—a dedicated home theater, a game room complete with kitchenette or private in-law quarters are just some of the possibilities.

A finished basement not only adds space; it adds lifetime value. But there are right and wrong ways to tackle a basement renovation. Here are a handful of emerging trends:

Flexible Design Is Good Design

When planning a basement remodel, a good idea is to keep your options open. Today’s desires might not constitute tomorrow’s needs. Consider the following: Open space plans are adaptable to many uses. They will make a small space seem larger, and enlarge the realm of possibility for using space creatively. Whether you want your new space to be used for entertaining or to accommodate personal interests or needs, think about how to manage the square footage with a minimum number of walls.

Include the features that are important to you: Perhaps a snack center for children and grandchildren, a combination game room and media center rather than a dedicated home theater; space to pursue crafts or hobbies. Other time-honored ways to repurpose basement space include adding a guest bedroom and bath, a family room with kitchen or bar facilities, or even a home gym.

Adding recessed lighting throughout the basement banishes the possibility of a dark, dreary space while keeping future lighting options open. And no matter how the area will be used, you’ll always want to use appropriate waterproof materials to ensure your basement stays warm and dry.

Meet Special Needs with a Basement Remodel

Farmstead West Lafayette Basement Remodel 1

Sometimes special use rooms are just what the “doctor” ordered. If you’ve been looking for space for a home gym, your crafting supplies, a home theater, a teenage retreat, or a comfortable guest bedroom, the basement is the perfect space for these rooms. Take the opportunity to personalize your space, tailoring it to meet you and your family’s specific needs and requirements.

Popcorn and a Movie?

With available technology, adding a large flat-screen television and auxiliary speakers is simple. But if you want a “knock your socks off” media room, plan for built-in bookshelves and cabinets, comfortable seating, light dimmers, blackout shades and noise-dampening materials that might include carpet and additional insulation. There’s also no reason the room cannot be used for reading and music, so assess all the options as you begin planning your basement remodel.

Add a Mini Kitchen or Wet Bar

Double or triple your entertaining options by installing food prep or drink-serving capabilities. If there is existing plumbing in the basement, it should not be too difficult to add a bar sink; assuming that there is sufficient electrical service, small appliances like coffee pots, blenders, and slow cookers should also be easy to add.

What you will want to consider is the need for serving counters and clean up space, as well as for storage. But with the ability to prepare and serve food and drinks on the spot, you’ll double the pleasure you get from inviting guests into your home.

Make Room for Sleepovers

There’s a distinct difference between making space for teenage guests by spreading sleeping bags on the floor and creating a comfortable bedroom in the basement. A guest-worthy sleeping space involves many considerations, including the needs for appropriate egress windows, and the desirability of an adjacent bathroom.

Both should be discussed in advance with your designer at Riverside Construction to ensure that your needs can be addressed and to determine the budget.

A newer trend is to remodel a basement to provide additional multi-generational living space. Many families welcome in-laws and adult children today, and semi-private living arrangements are ideal. Such renovations can be “sweet additions” to a home, especially if your basement includes a walk-out feature, but they do require advance planning.

Comfort Underfoot

Both lighting and flooring are worthy of extra consideration when you consider a basement renovation. Floors, especially in winter, can feel damp and cold; it’s essential to install flooring that will minimize the cool, be visually attractive and durable, and cost-effective. Luckily, the options range from carpet with a good pad to installing radiant heat under tile or luxury vinyl flooring.

Whether you opt for an applied moisture barrier or go with in-floor heating under the finished flooring, be sure to investigate with your remodeling contractor the pros and cons, and determine the best, most cost-effective solution for your particular need.

Finally, Finish that Raw Space

There is really no way to express the personal sense of satisfaction that comes from turning underused or totally unfinished basement space into something attractive and functional that you can enjoy for years to come.

Knowing that a finished basement also adds value to your home is an additional reason to get busy on your renovation plans.

Riverside Construction has the experience and expertise to help you design your perfect basement room or to enlarge your home by renovating the entire existing basement. We can show you examples to inspire you, and we will also explain the perils of some all-too-common basement renovation mistakes.

Why not contact us now to discuss your wants and needs? We’re up on the trends and ready to get to work!

Avoid These 5 Disastrous, But Surprisingly Common Basement Remodeling Mistakes

Photo Courtesy of State Farm

 

Are you thinking about remodeling your Lafayette, Indiana basement from a dark, spooky, musty storage catch-all into a bright, fabulous living space where you can welcome family and friends? As you load your Pinterest board and scrapbook with ideas, step back for a moment and please make sure you know what not to do with your basement remodeling project first! This will help you prevent expensive, time-consuming and downright maddening problems you don’t want in your amazing new basement! The key to avoiding many basement design mistakes is getting experienced, professional help. The design-build team at Riverside Construction can help you steer clear of these six common basement mistakes, as well as many others:

Creating Too Many Tiny Rooms

The mere fact that basements are underground can bring out the claustrophobia in many people, so you want to design a space that doesn’t feel like it’s underground. That means creating a lot of light and open space. While it’s fine to add a couple of rooms, you’ll want to consider space-opening options like in-line cabinets and shelves built into the walls. Whether you’re designing a family fun room, an entertainment room, a man cave or an in-law suite, make sure to choose basement design ideas that are open, airy and bright.

Forgetting the Waterproofing

Again, being underground makes basements extremely susceptible to water damage. Anytime a pipe bursts, a drain gets clogged or there’s a heavy rainfall, you can have puddles (even lakes) forming down there, costing thousands of dollars of damage. Even small amounts of excess moisture can cause mold and mildew—two other things you absolutely want to avoid (see point 4 below for more on this topic). Your design build team can help you by making sure your design includes the following basement waterproofing elements:

  • A sump pump
  • Good drainage
  • Waterproof building materials

Not Adding Soundproofing into the Design

There are two main reasons soundproofing is critical to your basement remodeling project:

  1. If you’re turning your basement into an entertainment room, it could get noisy down there.
  2. Many of your home’s mechanical systems live in the basement, humming, buzzing and clicking along at all hours. This can be unpleasant if you’re turning your basement into an in-law suite or guest apartment. All that background noise can bug you during movies too.

There are several ways to add soundproofing to your basement, including building extra space between wall layers or using soundproof padding. Our design-build team can make the best soundproofing recommendations based on your needs and basement design.

Installing the Wrong Lighting

Choosing the right lighting for your basement remodel is absolutely critical, not just for mood and space reasons, but for safety. As the naturally-darkest area of your home, you’ll need plenty of light to make it brighter and prevent safety issues.

Unobtrusive, space-saving recessed lighting is an obvious choice for basements due to the ordinarily-low ceilings, but you’ll need to check the insulation in your basement’s ceilings first. Depending on what type of insulation you have, you may need to install IC-rated pot lights to avoid fire hazards. Depending on how high your basement ceilings are, you may also be able to install some pendant or other hanging light fixtures as well. Also consider lighting built into the shelves, along the walls and other ways of bringing more light into this normally-dark space.

Neglecting Building Permits and Proper Egress (Emergency Exits)

Proper egress means having safe, essential exit methods in case of an emergency. Not only is this a safety issue that you must not forget for the safety of your family and friends, but neglecting this and other building codes can cost you a lot of money too. Insurance companies will make you pay. Building inspectors will make you pay. Potential homebuyers may cross you off of their list if you’re trying to sell. Your Riverside Construction design-build team in Lafayette will help you make sure that essential window and door exits are added to the design from the beginning, and that the stairways are strong and safe.

Also, if you fail to get the right permits for your building project, this can cause you a lot of expense and hassle too. Riverside Construction helps homeowners obtain the correct permits and ensures that all of the design plans adhere to the latest safety and building codes.

Do Your Basement Remodel Right the First Time

Remodeling your basement beautifully and safely can add a lot of value to your home, but only if you get an expert to help you avoid these and other basement remodeling mistakes. Your design-build team can also help you stay within budget and use the correct, waterproof building materials that will stand up against moisture mishaps that could happen in any basement.

If you’re still considering basement designs, flip through our basement design portfolio for some more inspiration, and contact us for a personalized consultation today: 765.838.1644.

A 2017 Recap: Riverside Construction’s Best Before and After Basement Renovations

Breathtaking Design Ideas for Your Basement Renovation

With the New Year, it’s only natural to feel a renewed impetus for change. It’s the perfect time to channel your energy into that remodeling project you’ve had on the back burner. Kitchen and bathroom remodels are popular, but an unfinished basement? Now THAT’S promising! Think of your unfinished (or partially finished) basement like a blank canvas. Paint in a gym, a studio, an office, or a “man cave” – to name a few ideas – and imagine the endless hours of enjoyment you and your family will find in the finished space. Whatever your downstairs dream room is, the possibilities are practically endless. Here are some exciting ideas that combine fun and function. Scroll down and get those creative juices flowing!

MEDIA ROOM

A Riverside Construction Project

Who doesn’t want a room devoted to kicking back? Whether you have a growing family or you simply enjoy entertaining guests, the basement is an ideal space for a fully loaded media room. With an adjacent half bath and a custom bar or kitchenette for drinks and popcorn, a media room brings a new functionality to your home. Enhance the space with a large screen TV, a custom projector, audio system, plush carpets, and a comfy couch, and your new media room is bound to draw guests and family alike.

 

 

 

ARTS & CRAFTS STUDIO

A Riverside Construction Project

Are you into crafting, sewing or other artistry? Turn your unfinished basement into a large sewing or crafting space with large workspaces, ample task lighting, and plenty of custom storage options. Whatever your hobby, a finished basement provides added function, versatility, and – best of all – designated places for everything you need at hand.

 

 

 

 

 

MAN CAVE OR SPORTS ROOM

A Riverside Construction Project

It’s every sports fan’s dream. Heck, it’s every man’s dream. If you drool over a secluded retreat of your own, your dark and dreary basement can make those dreams come true. Remodel your basement into the perfect man cave using hard wood flooring, back lighting, custom bar and beverage refrigerators, shelving for sports memorabilia, granite countertops, and a fireplace – to name a few ideas. The clubhouse days are over, boys. Welcome to the big leagues.

 

 

 

 

 

HOME GYM

A Riverside Construction Project

Getting to the gym can be difficult. But with a home fitness studio, there are no excuses. Installing the appropriate flooring for exercising and some custom cubby storage for your gear means you can ditch the excuses and catch a workout at a moment’s notice. Whether you’d rather revel in the added privacy, or invite your friends to hang, you’re guaranteed to reduce the distractions – and the germ count – while still getting in your daily reps.

 

 

 

 

HOME OFFICE

Courtesy of K. Marshall Design

Working at home doesn’t have to be a drag. On the contrary, remodeling your basement into an inspiring home office is one of the best things you’ll ever do for you. With great task lighting, a built-in desk, bookshelves, and wiring for all of your technology needs, you can work with ease in the comfort of your own home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUEST ROOM

Courtesy of Pavel Burmakin

Every house can use an extra bedroom. Whether you have visitors from out of town or just down the street, a guest bedroom is essential. Give your company the luxury escape they crave with great closet space, an adjacent bath, and reading nook in warm, neutral tones that everyone can enjoy. Your guests will thank you for a great night’s sleep in their cozy retreat. Better still, they’ll never guess their ultra-chic sanctuary could ever have been a dark and scary basement!

 

 

 

 

 

 

MUSIC ROOM

Courtesy of Contemporary Basement by Salt Lake City Photographers Lucy Call

Have you recently acquired a resident musician? A renovated basement can provide a much-needed space for jam sessions with plenty of storage for instruments and equipment. Consider designing a basement practice space that preserves the peace with soundproofed walls and flooring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAME ROOM

A Riverside Construction Project

Game rooms are great for kids and growing families, providing a convenient space to entertain and hang out. With the essential functionality of a half bathroom, kitchenette, an entertainment center for movies and video games, and a selection of seating areas, a game room means fun for the whole family. Better still, a basement game room can keep you enjoying outdoor sports – even in bad weather. With a miniature indoor sports court complete with the appropriate flooring and padded walls, kids can keep on practicing all year round.

 

 

 

 

KID’S PLAYROOM

Courtesy of Midcentury Kids by Grand Rapids Interior Designers & Decorators Mindi Freng Designs

Devote your basement remodel to inspiring your little ones with a playroom of their very own. Design custom playhouses and chalkboard walls to keep the magic of early childhood alive. Using pony walls or custom furniture, you can create designated play areas for a variety of activities. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination. Consult your kids, too! In the end, their fairy tale playroom will be your peace of mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WINE CELLAR

A Riverside Construction Project

You don’t have to be a connoisseur to appreciate wine, but those in the know will surely covet a custom, built-in temperature-controlled basement repository. What better way to add a touch of class to your home than with a luxurious wine cellar complete with proper storage, display cases, and a seating area? Consider transforming even a small, unused space into the ultimate wine cellar with special touches like rope lighting, unique countertops, and a coffered ceiling.

 

 

 

 

 

LAUNDRY ROOM

Courtesy of E/L Studio

Need a better space to do laundry? Consider designing the ultimate laundry room as part of your basement remodel. A well-lighted folding station, a custom drying rack, and a built-in ironing board go a long way to making chores seem less tedious. If your basement has a ground floor entrance, you might even consider an adjacent mudroom or a dog washing station.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN-LAW SUITE

A Riverside Construction Project

An in-law suite is a separate living space within a larger household. It usually includes a bedroom, a full bathroom, seating area, laundry area, and a kitchenette. Converting your basement into private living quarters is ideal for resident family members in need of a independence – with all the benefits of living just downstairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CUSTOM STORAGE

Courtesy of Spacecrafting / Architectural Photography

Courtesy of ACRE Goods and Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Riverside Construction Project

At the very least, a basement renovation is the perfect opportunity to enhance your home storage systems. Goodness knows one can always use more practical organizers! From custom built-ins to open shelving, don’t be afraid to utilize every nook and cranny – including under the basement stairwell.

For more specific details on how to finally transform your “empty canvas” basement into your very own masterpiece, check out this article on reclaiming your basement. Then, take the first step toward your new basement space and schedule an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.

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