DIY Basement Finishing

The great thing about the basement area of the house it that you can make it into anything you want it to be. Attitudes about the possibilities of the basement area have changed a lot over the past few decades. The basement is no longer thought of as a dark, dingy place, that children are scared to enter. Basements can be decorated and turned into play areas, study areas or even converted into small apartments or bedrooms. Depending on the size of your basement, you can turn it into almost anything.

Uses

How are you currently using your basement space? Whether you are making good use of the space right now or whether it is currently a damp, unused space, go downstairs, do a walk through the area and think about the possibilities. Basements can be fixed up to become living areas, storage areas and as work areas.

Cabinets can be installed for storage, carpeting can be laid down to make the space more comfortable and homely and workstations can be installed to make the area more practical.

Planning

Like any other type of renovation, you will need to take a few moments to figure out what you want to do with your basement and how you want it to look. While you are working out what you want from your basement, also think about your budget.

How much do you have to spend on materials and on possibly hiring someone to do the work? If you plan on finishing your basement yourself, you will need to do some research into the best materials to use. If you plan on hiring a consultant, they might be able to offer you some advice on how to get the best look for the best price.

Materials

Unlike the rest of the home, basements are mostly concrete and brick. They also tend to be the dampest area of the house. This can pose a challenge when flooring the basement although there are ways to deal with this with layers and sub-floors.

Depending on your decorating ideas, you may want to leave some the brick work exposed. You may need to clean the bricks up a little with a hammer and chisel. This takes time but the final looks is well worth the effort.

If exposed brickwork is not your thing- You have the freedom to decorate you walls in any number of ways: you can plaster and paint walls, use tiling or even wallpaper. In addition to this, wood paneling can be used to decorate the lower portion of your basement walls. Wood paneling is easy to install and can really add style when blended well into the design.

Storage

It is a good idea to install storage cabinets in the basement regardless as to what you plan on using the area for. There is such a huge variety of cabinet styles available. Look through catalogues, web sites and home and garden stores to get ideas.

Find something that suits the size of your basement as well as the look that you are going for. If you have a very, large area, you can choose large, oversized, storage cabinets. These are great, especially if you plan on using the basement as a work area or even if you just want to increase floor space by keeping things up off the floor.

Lastly, basements are often built with very few electrical outlets and very little plumbing. You may find that some electrical and plumbing work is needed in order to make the area comfortable and practical. Be sure to take care of all electrical and plumbing work before you begin decorating the basement. This way, you will not have to redo or spoil the finish of your basement.

See Also:

Waterproofing Finished Basements