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Basement Remodeling Ideas for Older Homes

By Carrie Dixon, Blog Editor

Basement remodeling for older homesDo you have an older home with a basement that is going unused? You may not even be sure if the basement is worth remodeling in the first place. But if the walls are straight and well-insulated, the floor isn’t cracked, and the basement is dry and comfortable, why not remodel the space into something that gives your older home more living space? There are many ways that you can transform a basement into something that not only gives you more space, but also increases the value of your home. Here are just a few things to consider while you dream up your remodel:

Be Sure to Consider Lighting

Lighting will be crucial for any basement remodel, but especially in older homes. Most older homes do not have much, if any, natural lighting in the basement, which gives everything a very cave-like feeling. You can sometimes install more storm windows to help add some light to a basement, but other options include recessed lighting (to protect the limited head room), wall sconces, and even strip lighting. The more lighting you can add, the more inviting the newly remodeled basement will look.

Give Your Guests Space

If you frequently host family or friends for overnight visits, your basement could be the perfect solution to feeling cramped during the visit. Older homes are often not as open and roomy as newer homes, which can make it hard to host guests for any length of time. Turn the basement into a guest suite, with a bedroom, a small sitting area, and even a half bath if the plumbing allows. One of the things you’ll need to consider for this is if the ceiling and floor are finished enough to allow for comfort. You may need to have a basement contractor cover an exposed ceiling or put flooring down on a basic sub floor.

Meet Your Goals With a Dedicated Space

Do you have certain goals that you’ve been wanting to meet, but you haven’t been able to dedicate the space? For example, those with health goals may want to transform the basement into a private home gym. Those who have always wanted to write a book could turn the basement into a quiet home office where they can finally get those words written. If it’s always been your dream to learn how to paint, throw pottery, or develop another artistic skill, your basement could easily become an art studio. Other options include a private dance studio, a meditation space, a crafting room, a space to shoot video, and more. One thing that older homes frequently lack is an extra room, like a home office, which so many modern homes often include. Let your basement offer you options for enriching your life.

Indulge in Entertainment

Finally, one great way to remodel a basement in an older home is to create a space for entertainment. This may mean a home theater or den, where you and your family can relax on comfortable furniture and enjoy surround sound for your movies. Basements are well-suited for this purpose because the sound from your home theater won’t bother the neighbors quite as much. You can turn your basement into a very personalized den with décor and furniture that you may not want to have in your formal living room due to the style of your older home. Another option? A game room for your family! Pool tables, gaming systems, and other fun additions are popular things to add to a basement hang-out zone. Add a wet bar to host your friends, and you’ve got the perfect place to have a party.

Basement Remodeling Considerations

In addition to the most important consideration of lighting, as well as the material of the floor and the presence of an exposed ceiling, there are a few other things to think about when it comes to a basement. Don’t put electronics in your basement if it could possibly flood or if the walls frequently have condensation on them. If the basement is not well insulated, it could get very cold down there in the winter, so consider how you’ll keep it warm. If you have appliances like laundry machines in the basement, they could be an eyesore if your goal is to create a space for guests, so consider how you’ll separate them from the rest of the space.

While many basement remodeling tasks can be done on your own, you’ll likely want to call in the professionals when it comes time to add walls, rearrange electrical elements, or install lighting. Be sure to choose a contractor with experience doing basement remodels, who will know about any special considerations for a basement space and have great solutions for common problems. Then get ready to enjoy your brand new space!