A Finished Basement Can Be The Ideal Rec Room

One recurring problem all parents deal with — especially on weekends and school breaks — is keeping their children entertained and engaged. (Sound familiar?)

While you can sometimes take your kids and their friends bowling, to the movies, or roller skating, those type of activities are only short-term fixes. Once you’ve expended all the possibilities, you’re back to square one! The ideal scenario is to be able to fill in some of those gaps with fun, recreational activities at home.

If you have a finished basement or are talking about renovating an unfinished area, then that part of the house can provide the space for a dedicated rec room. The cost of finishing a basement can be expensive — with estimates ranging from $10,000 to around $35,000. The final cost would depend on factors like the square footage of your basement, contractor pricing, materials used, and whether you’re willing or able to do any of the work yourself. For growing families with active children, remodeling a basement or buying a house that already has a finished basement could prove to be a priceless resource for years to come!

Setting Up a Game Room

Outfitting a rec room with items like game tables is an additional expense that could have an impact on your budget. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep a lid on those costs. One idea would be to spread out those purchases over a period of time. For example, one year you could buy a billiards table; the next year, you could add a ping-pong table, air hockey game, or a foosball table to the room. Many of these items also make excellent birthday or holiday gifts for the kids, so you can potentially include those purchases in your gift-buying budget. With a little online price comparison, you’ll also discover that you don’t have to pay top dollar for any of those game tables. It’s rarely necessary to get the “deluxe” version of a pool table, air hockey game, or foosball table, and there’s a wide range of sizes and prices available — both online and off. You may also stumble upon opportunities to buy used versions of those popular rec room games, and save a lot of money in the process.

Two inexpensive ways to expand the range of activities available in your recreation room (and keep your kids happy) is to stock up on board games and age-appropriate craft supplies. A television with a DVD player, popular channels, and video games is also sure to provide hours of entertainment on rainy days, school holidays, and unstructured weekends. Finished basements can also be a great place to host children’s birthday parties, sleepovers, and club meetings. A TV in the basement can also help maintain family harmony. When the grownups want to watch one program and the kids want to watch something entirely different, you don’t have to draw straws or pull rank!

Simple Basement Renovation Tips

As a home seller, you likely will search for fast, simple home improvement projects to enhance your house’s appearance. However, in many instances, performing home repairs could prove to be costly and time-consuming. And in some cases, completing home renovation tasks may be more trouble than it’s worth, especially for those who lack the necessary home repair skills and expertise.

Fortunately, your home’s basement represents a valuable home renovation opportunity, one that should not be taken lightly. With hard work and dedication, you can revamp your basement’s appearance and make it a valuable asset that could help your residence stand out in the eyes of homebuyers.

What does it take to renovate a basement? Here are three tips to help you simplify the process of transforming your basement into a sleek, stylish and comfortable living space.

1. Choose Practical Flooring.

Basement floors may wear down over the years, and how these floors look could impact your ability to sell your residence. Lucky for you, there are many practical flooring options available that ensure you can revamp your basement floors without breaking your budget.

Carpet, laminate and vinyl floors often look and perform great in basements. These floor types will maintain their quality for an extended period of time and are sure to make a great first impression on homebuyers when they visit your residence.

Also, wood floors frequently serve as sub-par choices in basements. These floors may shrink or expand over time, creating gaps or warping. Thus, you may want to avoid wood floors in your basement.

2. Illuminate Your Living Space.

Many terrific lighting options are available to brighten up a basement. Plus, these lighting choices usually are easy to install and can help you transform an ordinary basement into an unparalleled living space in no time at all.

Recessed lighting represents a top choice in basements and makes it easy to illuminate big and small spaces. Or, you may want to consider track or pendant lighting to eliminate shadows on basement surfaces.

Of course, don’t forget about table and desk lamps as well. These lamps will brighten up your basement and allow you to show off your distinct sense of style at the same time.

3. Get Organized.

There is no reason for your basement to be filled with clutter. Therefore, you may want to pick up a bookcase, shelving unit or other storage options that enable you to organize your basement belongings quickly and effortlessly.

Getting organized will enable you to show homebuyers just how much space is available in your basement. Furthermore, de-cluttering now may help you save time after your home sells, and you won’t have to worry about scrambling to get rid of junk at the last minute when you move out.

Working with a real estate agent may help you determine the best ways to enhance your basement too. This professional will work with you to prioritize home improvement projects and ensure you can maximize the time and resources at your disposal. As a result, a real estate agent may be able to help you revamp your basement and boost your chances of selling your home quickly.

Renovating Your Basement

If you are looking to increase the living space in your home, the answer might just be right under your feet. Remodeling your basement has the potential of uniquely transforming the look of your home. Although this has a unique set of challenges, with proper planning, it can be achieved. Here are some tips on how to remodel your basement into a functional living space.

Make a Family Room

The basement is a great place for casual social activities, a perfect spot where the entire family can get together and relax with a board game or a big screen television. Make it inviting and alluring, just like any other room in the home. Some new furniture, a great sound system and excellent lightening would be a great way to start.

Include a Bath and Bedroom

Adding a bedroom and a bath makes the basement an ideal suite for guests. The dimensions should be determined by who will use it. For a double bed, you will need a minimum of 125 square feet, for twin beds, 150 square feet will serve your needs. When adding a bedroom, be certain there is an emergency exit that leads directly outside.  A professional will need to be consulted in regards to adding a bathroom as specific regulations will apply.

Add a Kitchen

With a mini kitchen in the basement, entertainment gets easier. This would require access to hot and cold water, electrical outlets, exhaust vents, a small dish washer, under counter refrigerator and anything else that would allow for more comfortable living.

Design a Safe and Attractive Staircase

In most homes, there is a staircase leading to the basement. When remodeling, take the opportunity to improve the look of this entryway to your new living space. If it is not properly positioned, consider moving it to a better location. Consult with a designer or an architect for guidance on redesigning your stairway.

Add Windows

Adding windows is great for basements, but this task is better left to the professionals. If this is properly done, it will improve the ventilation, add light, and make it very comfortable. Adding windows may require digging a window well. A retaining wall made of masonry, limestone blocks, or treated landscape timbers should be added to the well. If properly done, it could also serve as an emergency exit.

Finish the Walls.

The walls of the foundation are usually made of poured concrete and reinforcement materials. Cover the walls with materials of your choice. Plywood, paneling or any material that would make the area more inviting.  For example, covering the walls in the living area with sheets of maple-veneer would add an arts and crafts feel to the room. There are many options and trained professionals that can help you achieve the look you want.

Finish The Ceilings

Basically, there are three options available to you when remodeling the basement ceilings, leave the pipes and duct work exposed, conceal it with a dry panel or hide everything with a suspended or drop ceiling.

Choose Comfortable Flooring

In most cases, basement floors are made of concrete, unless plywood sub-flooring has been installed. Concrete works with most floor finish choices like tile, carpet, vinyl and paint. For below grade installation, solid wood flooring is not recommended as it shrinks and expands causing gaps.   However, engineered wood flooring is recommended as it shrinks less.