If your family is like many others, months of lockdowns and working from home due to COVID-19 restrictions means you’re probably keen to all find a bit more separation – especially if there are teens in the house. Everyone needs some of their own space and being all together for more time than usual, while a gift in many ways, can also point out when property area is limited.
If your property has a basement, though, it could be a spot that’s currently underutilized. Most people use this zone for storage, but with a little bit of time, effort, and money, you can turn it into much more.
Start by Preparing the Space
Your basement likely requires some attention before you set it up for regular use. For example, if it’s currently unfinished, you’ll want to hire a contractor to add insulation and plaster the walls and ceilings. Alternatively, patch holes in areas as needed. Add a coat of paint, get rid of any damp areas or leaks, and lay new flooring.
Also, replace windows, add proper lighting, and install heating or cooling options if required. Take care of pest infestations too. The space may need decluttering if you’ve been using your basement as a hold-all storage dump in recent years. Spend time going through everything currently in it to see what you can sell, donate, repair, recycle, or bin.
If you have too much gear you want to keep but don’t want taking up valuable area in the basement, consider hiring external space. For example, look up “storage Los Angeles” or “storage units near me” to find a place to rent for a period. Once you’ve readied your basement in these ways, it’s time to decide how to lay out the zone for the most practical use for your needs.
For many households, the best way to set up a basement is as an extra bedroom. You may want to design this lower level as an entire guest suite. This choice is helpful if you have a senior parent or a nanny who’s going to be moving in with you or if you want to give your teenager or live-at-home college student some private space. A basement can also work well as a guest suite if you plan to generate extra income by renting it out on a short-term basis, such as via Airbnb.
If possible, install a bathroom in the basement so it becomes a more self-contained area, plus a small kitchenette, too. Hopefully, there’s already appropriate plumbing and cabinetry in the area to use. If not, you’ll need to budget more funds to have a plumber and other contractors add these features.
With so many people working from home due to the global pandemic, basements are increasingly utilized as home office space. If you need more room to spread out for work or if you know you’re going to turn a temporary working-from-home situation into a long-term thing, the basement may be an ideal solution.
Add a desk and ergonomic chair to the room, plus storage, extra lighting (such as a desk lamp for evening work), a filing cabinet, bookcases, and perhaps even a corkboard or whiteboard for brainstorming and planning. If clients visit, put in a couch or other extra seating. You might also want to liven up the space for yourself and others with indoor plants and eye-catching artwork.
An alternative use is a games area. If you have a ping-pong, pool, or foosball table taking up too much space in another part of your home, it could be moved to the basement instead. The same goes for arcade games. Similarly, if you love throwing regular games nights and need space to host friends and family and spread out board and other games, this part of your property probably suits well. A basement also works for playing electronic games, as it tends to have natural darkness.
If you’ve put on a few “Covid pounds” or just want an area to maintain your fitness, perhaps you’re keen to turn your basement into a workout space. These lower levels are perfect for all types of health-based activities, such as yoga, Pilates, circuit training, and exercise on equipment like rowing machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, steppers, weights, etc. Plus, a basement is usually large enough to get turned into a personal dance studio.
These are some of the top uses for a basement, but there are more. For example, you could utilize this space as a media room, library, wine cellar, and tasting zone, photography studio, party area, music or recording room, or art and craft studio. The options are many and varied, and it all comes down to what interests you, your home situation, and your budget.