On average, people make 75% back on their investment when they build a finished basement. If you have already done the job of putting up drywall and pouring concrete, good job! But you might thinking about giving your finished basement a makeover? You’re not alone. A lot of people out there want to make their finished basement into extravagant living spaces.
According to real estate experts, underground living space is only worth 50% of what above ground square footage would add to the value of your home. However, it’s still going to make living in your house far more comfortable and fun. And if you ever decide to sell your home some day, it could very well make-or-break if a future buyer wants to put in an offer. Here are 30 amazing ideas of what you can do with a finished basement.
30. Build a Village
A 2.5 million home in Fort Hill, North Carolina gained some buzz in the news when it went up for sale, and its real estate photos revealed that the owner had built an entire village in their basement! Each of the store fronts opens up to another living space in their basement. For example, the soda shop has a real working bar with a soda fountain with candy and ice cream. The movie theater is the door to the family theater room, and the toy store has a display of the owner’s antique to collection. Lastly, the arcade has all of their pinball machines and arcade games.
These are all things that people want in their dream finished basement, and the village is just a creative way of decorating the hallway leading to various doors. Even if you do not make an entire fake village in your house, you could still think of a creative way to divide up the space of your basement.
One of the most common renovations in a finished basement is to add a new bedroom for your growing family. An extra bedroom could completely changed the dynamic of your home. If you have several kids, this could mean that they all now have their own room to sleep in. Or, it could provide a guest area for anyone who comes to stay.
The more bedrooms you have in a house, the more valuable it becomes. The value-per square footage changes depending on how many bedrooms you start out with. For example, if you are upgrading a two-bedroom home to three, you can expect to add a value of $214 per square foot. But making a four bedroom into five would only bring it up $175 per square foot. As we mentioned in the introduction of this article, having an underground living space is only going to increase the value of your home 50% compared to above-ground. So an extra basement bedroom would only be worth $106 to $87.50 per square foot.
If you don’t have room for a pantry near your kitchen, the next best options may be to build one in your basement. When you have a big family, you need all the extra storage you can get. This could be perfect to store your bulk products from places like Costco or Sam’s Club. Some people will build an actual closet pantry in their basement, so that they can close the door and enjoy the rest of the space for other things.
On a tight budget? You can still use your basement for storage if you buy plastic stacking shelves. These can be taken apart and stored elsewhere if you ever decide to do something more extravagant in your basement. They can be reused in your garage or storage shed.
When designing your basement, you might be torn between wanting the typical storage space, but also wanting some sort of living space, too. A good solution to this is to try to have the best of both worlds. Some people like to create a corner room. All you need is two sliding doors in a corner, and you have instant walls!
Once the space has been divided, you can focus on adding flooring, furniture, and decor inside of the small corner space. The benefit of having this sliding doors instead of walls is that you can choose to open up the space to the rest of your basement whenever you want to spend more time with family.
If you have kids, there can be no greater gift than building them a game room. The contents of the gaming room can change depending on your favorite games, but some classics are a billiard table, arcade machines, and basketball. All of these games are available online, and you may be able to find some second-hand on Craigslist. Then, of course, you should probably have a comfortable couch and TV so that your kids can play video games together. This can also be a room to keep the family board games.
When friends come over, they will immediately want to go down to your game room, especially during parties. Luckily, you don’t need to go over-the-top with a game room renovation. Even with the original concrete walls and floor, so long as you have great activities to do down there, most people will still have a lot of fun. The amount of money you spend on a game room is entirely up to you.
One of the most popular basement renovations for adults is to build an underground bar. This will automatically become one of the most popular spots for your friends and family to hang out. According to Angie’s List, it costs between $2,000 to $4,000 to build a basement bar area.
Of course, it will cost even more if you fill the bar with expensive alcohol. If you want the bar to feel really authentic, you can even buy a beer faucets to use at home so that you are drinking your favorite brews on tap.
Marriage is all about compromise. Sometimes, one partner will want the home to look clean and well-designed, which means that they don’t have any space for memorabilia. This is why a lot of men like to opt for a so-called “man cave.” A basement is usually at least 1,500 square feet of empty space where a man can transform it into an adult playroom.
Most man caves will have a couch, a smart TV, video games, and sports memorabilia. The price of a man cave will change drastically depending on what you want in there. It could cost a few hundred dollars, or over a thousand.
Not everyone experienced having a playhouse growing up. But for those who did, they often have fond memories of playing in the space with their toys, siblings, and friends. The only issue with an outdoor playhouse is that it is often not insulated or temperature controlled. It can also be a target for termites, wasps, bees, and any other critters who might decide to crawl in and make it there. Plus, some people simply do not have a big enough backyard to create a playhouse for their kids to play in. This is why building one in your basement might actually be a great option.
Your kids can enjoy having a temperature controlled environment so that they can play in their house any time of year. You are also more likely to feel safer letting your kids play alone, knowing that they are inside. Check out the Her Tool Belt blog, where a mom creates an insanely gorgeous playhouse for her daughter in the basement of their home.
Nowadays, renting out parts of your home on Airbnb has become far more common. Some people have a separate entrance to their basement, which makes it possible to transform the space into an extra apartment. Make sure you get the proper permits, and that you can legally build and rent a basement apartment in your local area. According to Budget Dumpster, the average cost of remodeling a basement is $19,000, but if you want to build an apartment with its own electric and heating system for your tenants, it will costs between $50,000 to $75,000 to transform a basement into a separate dwelling.
Creating a basement apartment will add value to your home if you ever decide to sell. And you get a lot of short-term value from the ability to rent out the space to travelers on Airbnb, or creating a month-to-month lease with a long-term tenant. Obviously, it will take a few years to make back the money from your initial investment to fix the basement. But over the 30 years of home ownership, you may turn a profit.
Find wine must be temperature controlled and kept away from sunlight if you want to hold on to it for several years. Serious collectors will go out of their way to build a custom wine cellar with wall-to-wall racks, so that they have all the space they need for their bottled investments. Not everyone can afford to pay a contractor to build a space like this. If you want to get a similar look on a budget, check out these modular wine racks made of pine wood.
Even with just one or two wine racks, a table and chairs, you and a guest can sit down for a drink. Some people will have a small corner of their basement dedicated to their wine collection, instead of taking up the entire room. Of course, if you have kids, you may not want to leave the bottles of alcohol out in the open. This is why some people build a lockable wine closet underneath the basement stairs, instead.
For movie buffs, having a home movie theater is a dream come true. A basement is one of the best places to have a theater, because it is underground and away from sunlight. Some people want to install real theater chairs, but it is possible to get leather reclining chairs with cup holders. Unlike a real theater, you can give everyone their own space.
The cost of making a home theater can drastically change depending on how much you already have in your home, and what you are willing to buy. It can be done for as little as $500, or you could go all-out with $50,000. Movies can be projected onto the wall, or you could buy one of the largest TV’s in the store. Getting surround sound speakers are usually essential to a movie room if you want to have the full experience.
Almost everyone uses their basement as a sort of storage space. Just like having a garage, the storage space can quickly get out of hand if you aren’t careful. This can be fixed by installing shelving units, but even those can get messy sometimes. Adding an additional closet space can be just a few hundred dollars, and the project could be completed in one weekend.
Clever people out there have figured out fun ways to create storage in their basements and still save space.For example, check out these drawers that have been installed under a staircase. This was space that would have been completely wasted if it had been drywalled and closed off from the rest of the room. Every basement is different, so try to think of something creative you could do, too.
In the last entry, we mentioned using the space under your basement staircase for storage. Another amazingly creative idea is to transform it into a desk nook. This is perfect for anyone who doesn’t have space for a home office in one of the upstairs bedrooms, and they want somewhere to put their iMac.
A basement office can also come in handy because it will most likely be quieter compared to the rest of the house. And if you have kids, they might enjoy sitting at the desk to do their homework far more than sitting at your kitchen table. A project like this could potentially be done with a desk you already own. If you want to fully customize it, this should only cost a few hundred dollars.
Bookworms out there probably wish that they could have their own library. The idea of opening double doors to an entire room that is dedicated to your book collection is a dream for a lot of people. However, most people do not have a mansion where they can dedicate an entire room to their books. This is why a basement could essentially be the space that you need to transform your dreams into reality.
However, you don’t necessarily need to take up the entire room to do it. Even just installing bookshelves underneath the staircase could be enough to have a beautiful Home Library. Depending on the staircase that you already have oh, you may be able to Simply put book shelves underneath the exposed staircase. Or, if you need to open it up, you may be able to install custom-made bookshelves underneath the space that you have available to you. This project should only cost a few hundred dollars if you hire a contractor to help you.
In the previous entry, we talked about having a library in your basement. But even if you just have eBooks on your iPad, you might still want to place to curl up and read. This is why having a reading nook might be something you should consider installing under your basement staircase.
Some people have created reading nooks with bean bag chair, or a comfortable chaise lounge. But if you want to go above and beyond, you could have someone come in to build a custom wooden reading nook. If you’re into DIY, check out YouTube for tutorials on how to make your nook dreams a reality.
Maybe you want your basement to mainly be a gaming or entertainment space, but you still wish you could accommodate guests down there when you need an extra place to sleep. A Murphy bed is an option that would give you the best of both worlds. In case you didn’t know, this is a bed that can be folded into the wall. So when it is not being used, it just looks like a set of cabinets, and you are free to use your basement space any way you want when no one is staying overnight.
Murphy beds have to be custom-built, and most people hire a professional to do it for them. If you are really into DIY, there are complete DIY kits online, as well as YouTube tutorials that will help you build it. Not sure you want to commit to building a huge piece of furniture just to hide a bed? You can also get a folding cot mattress that can be rolled in and out of a closet space.
Working out can be a great source of endorphins, and will help you stay in shape. However, paying for a gym membership and leaving the house at 6 a.m. is usually what comes between people actually sticking to their routines. This is why putting gym equipment in your basement has become a really popular option for a lot of people.
Unlike many other DIY basement projects, it might not be necessary to change the concrete walls or floor to create your basement gym. Pretty much anything you can imagine in a gym is available online; squat racks, elliptical machines, rowing machines are all available. You could even look at Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to see if anyone is selling their machines at a discounted price.
If you go down into a basement that was built over a hundred years ago, you might see that the walls are made of stone. For people who love history, this is a great style. Some people have a newly built home, but they still want to feel like they are walking down into a space that has been there for a very long time. So a way to achieve that is to add a stone veneer wall.
You can find the materials to do this at any Home Depot or Lowes, but you can also buy all of the equipment online. Even just having one accent wall is enough to accomplish the style, so it shouldn’t be necessary to create stone walls in the entire basement. Depending on how much space you want to cover, this could be a few hundred dollars, or a few thousand.
Most basements have cement walls when they are first finished, and drywall is installed to give the illusion that you are stepping into a regular room. This is fine, but if you want to elevate the look a bit more you could add shiplap to the walls. Having shiplap helps you feel as though you’re inside of a cozy seaside cottage, or a farmhouse in the country.
Shiplap panels are available at any hardware store, or you can buy them online in any color. Then, check out a YouTube tutorial to learn how to install them on your own. The cost will change depending on how large of a surface area you plan to cover with shiplap.
A lot of people choose to keep their washer and dryer in the basement if they do not have space for their machines upstairs. Instead of just letting those machines sit on a concrete floor, you could easily build a laundry room to encase an area dedicated to cleaning your clothes.
Complete laundry rooms have a folding table, utility sink, shelves, and a place to hang-dry your clothes. According to Home Advisor, building a laundry room costs between $500 to $5,000 to create one, depending on how much you need. The good news is that building a laundry room will increase the value of your home. It will make your life easier, but it will also be a huge plus to buyers.
Anyone who owns a dog knows how dirty they can get when they run outside in the mud. But depending on your dog breed, it might be difficult to convince them to jump inside of your bathtub with their tiny little legs. If you already have your washing machine down in the basement, you might already be used to using this space as an area where you are cleaning. So why not build a little doggy shower?
This is perfect for anyone who feels a bit weird about allowing your dogs to bathe in the same place that humans do. For some people, having a doggy shower area would help them save money from constantly taking them to a professional groomer.
Many people who love to craft end up having large collections of their supplies. For a lot of people, they it would only dream of having their own craft room to call their own. This is why having a she shed has become even more popular in recent years. Many women want to have their own space where they can do their crafting and sewing in peace. This is why having at least one section of your basement as a craft room might actually be an amazing idea.
Many people have created custom cabinets and tables to accommodate their crafting needs. What is great about this is that if you have children, they will eventually have to do school projects where they need a space to get them done. These tables could also double as a home workspace for kids when you are not in the middle of your crafting.
One of the more luxurious options for redoing your basement would be to create an entire indoor playground for your children. As you can see in the photographs we provided, these indoor playgrounds are incredibly impressive. Your kids will be some of the most popular in town, and everyone will want to come over to play. Birthday parties will instantly become a blast. And if you own a daycare center, it would actually be perfect to keep this up for years to come.
The one and only downside of doing a renovation like this is that there is a very small window of time where your children will be young enough to play on this. As your kids grow older, they are going to be more likely to ask for a gaming room, instead.
Just like a man cave, extreme sports fans have sometimes gone above and beyond to turn their basement into a sport paradise. Some people have even transformed the entire room into a space that looks like they are in a private box at a stadium. Others have taken the opportunity to display their expensive sports jerseys in shadow box frames, trophies, and more.
The good thing about making a sports room in the basement is that the fans can holler as loud as they want to during the game without disturbing the rest of the family. Most epic sports rooms have either a projector or a smart TV so that everyone can see their game on the biggest screen possible.
If you have a game room, you could buy a small bowling game set for you and your kids to play with. Or, if you are on a next-level bowling lover, you might want to upgrade to a full-sized bowling alley in your basement. Your friends would be incredibly impressed to see a bowling alley in your house, and it will most likely become a go-to place for parties. (You might even be able to rent out the space to people for special events.)
The cost of building a one lane bowling alley is between $19,000 and $45,000 depending on how elaborate it is. Of course, you also have to buy your own bowling ball and bowling shoes to use, too. Once you build this, you never have to worry about paying for an entry fee again.
If someone in your family is musically talented, they may want to practice their instrument or sing in their spare time. Sometimes, this can be wonderful to listen to their music. Other times, it could become very annoying to hear your kids play the same few notes over and over again with intermittent squeaking. This is why a basement could be a perfect place for you to have a music room. Most of the time, basements are essentially soundproof and you cannot hear noise in the rest of the house.
If your intention was to make it as soundproof as possible, you could add some soundproofing panels to the walls, as well as a throw rug on the floor. Some people even go as far as to build a recording booth in their basement by enclosing a closet with padded materials, as well as the wiring for a microphone. This can be very valuable for anyone who is serious about becoming a professional musician.
In the previous entry, we mentioned how a basement can be a great place for a music room. For all of the same soundproofing reasons, it also makes a great place to have a podcast studio. Since basements are already a lot less noisy than the rest of your house, it will make it very easy for you to put up soundproofing panels to make it even more silent than before. It is also a great location to have a studio that is away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of your household. You could always put up a recording sign on the basement door to let your friends and family know not to disturb you while the light is on.
When you are podcasting, you may have guests on the show. So you usually need a large table with two microphones, a sound mixer, and space to put your computers. If you were choosing to film it and put a video version on YouTube, you will also need space around the table to put up tripods and your cameras.
One of the most popular options for a basement makeover is to create a playroom for your kids. The great thing about having a space for kids to play is that you know that they will be inside. Unlike a backyard, you don’t have to worry about where they are going, and can peacefully go about your daily chores knowing your kids are downstairs. It is also great for parents to keep their kids toys all in one space so that they do not clutter the rest of the house.
Some parents decide to just let things get a bit wild down in the basement when their kids are playing. But you could just as easily install shelving units and organize the toys. This could be a great opportunity to teach your kids know how to clean up after themselves when they are done. Adding a small kid-sized table is also great for your toddlers to color, play with legos, and get their homework done.
Unfortunately, not every town has a skatepark. Even in the towns where they tried them out for a few years, many have been removed because skater culture is sometimes looked down upon. Skateboarding is actually a very difficult sport to get into, especially if someone wants to learn the toughest tricks. This is why some parents with kids who love to skate have gone above and beyond to create their own skate parks in their backyards or basements.
The great thing about building a skatepark in a basement is that a skate park needs a concrete surface, anyway. All you really need to do is build the ramps and grind rails in the basement and essentially leave the basement as it was before. And if your kids ever grow out of their skating hobby, it would be easy to dismantle the ramps and use the space for something else.
One of the most luxurious things you could ever do with a basement is to create an underground indoor swimming pool. You are guaranteed to never get a sunburn swimming in your pool this way. The obvious benefits of having an indoor swimming pool are that it will be temperature controlled, so you can go swimming even in the dead of winter. There is also no chance that your neighbors could potentially peek over the fence to see you in your bikini.
However, this would not be possible in places with a high water table. There are only certain geographical locations where you would be able to create a basement pool. And, of course, it is outrageously expensive. According to Home Adviser, building a pool in your basement would cost between $20,000 and $100,000.