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The best thing about buying a home with an unfinished basement is the flexibility to finish the basement when your family is ready to use the extra space. But this benefit is only helpful if you take action and get started on that basement renovation when the time is right. With so many people home during the pandemic and the need for extra space, now is the time for basement remodeling. 

Basement Renovation: Where Do You Start?

For basement remodeling, you first need to come up with a plan. You might ask yourself, what should I put in my basement? There are a lot of basement ideas to keep in mind. Many people include a game room downstairs to entertain teenagers and have a gathering place for friends. The homes with pool tables are the places where everyone wants to be. 

You also want to think about the structure of your basement. As you’re thinking, what should I do with my basement? Think about the basement walls and where you would like to close off rooms. Do you want to include a bathroom? What are the design ideas that you have for your basement remodeling? Draw out a plan to get started. 

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Renovating Your Basement

As you’re coming up with your plan to get started on your basement remodeling, make sure your list includes the answer to some essential questions. 

  • What is your goal? If you are ready to invest in a basement remodeling because you are bursting at the seams of your current living space, think about what would help. Is the common room too crowded? Is there a need for a home office? What about a guest room or an extra bedroom so a growing teenager can have their own space? What is the motivation behind finishing the basement? 
  • Are you hoping for a return on investment? If you are looking to add bedrooms to increase your home’s value, make sure you do it the right way. If the construction crew is there and at work, remember that a bedroom needs to include a window and a closet. You don’t want to cut corners on that and regret it later. Even if you’re using the space for a home office or craft room right now, meet those standards to keep the flexibility of making it a bedroom to increase your home price in the future. 
  • Would you like more bedrooms? Plan out the structure of the basement remodel. If you would like more bedrooms, think about the use and placement related to the common room downstairs. 
  • Will a bathroom need to be included? If you have a couple of bedrooms plus a common room downstairs, then a bathroom is also needed. You will never regret adding another bathroom in your home, especially as the family grows and spends more time getting ready in the mornings. One thing to note, some municipalities do not allow bathrooms added to basements without a variance, so it’s best to check with your contractor first!
  • What is the budget? A big question you might ask yourself is, what should I do with my basement? And a lot of that depends on your budget for the project. If your budget is limited, then putting up walls and installing a bathroom are big ideas that may be limited as well. If you remember about the return on investment when you add an extra bathroom and bedrooms, then that will help ease the stress when looking at the budget.

This list will help you obtain a good idea of the bones of your basement renovation. You will be able to draw out where you want walls, a bathroom, and hallways. Then you can further decide what you want to do with the space and glean from basement ideas. 

What Should I Expect to Spend on a Basement Renovation?

For many basement renovations, people don’t usually choose a designer basement with all the bells and whistles. Even the most inspiring basement is casual and comfortable. You don’t find a claw foot tub and marble countertops in basements. Those luxury bathrooms are usually saved for the main suite bathroom. 

The price of the basement renovation will depend on the square footage and the structural needs. If you need to put in windows to classify the rooms as bedrooms, that will add extra cost. Remember, when you are increasing your home’s living space, you will get a return on investment when you sell. 

The average cost to finish a 1,000 square foot basement is $40,000-$50,000. That includes flooring and a drop ceiling. There are options to upgrade to include a wet bar at $7000 or adding a bathroom at $20,000. If the basement is already finished and you are remodeling, that cost can be lower. Of course, if you hire an interior designer and want to furnish the basement completely, then the price could increase due to furniture and design. 

There are so many ways to customize your basement and make it unique. When it comes to interior design, you may have the question, how can I decorate my basement? Design is important, but if it’s not in the budget, then you can wait to implement professional design esthetics when you’re ready. 

13 of the Top Basement Renovation Ideas

When you think of renovating your basement, you might ask, what should I turn my basement into? The sky’s the limit! There are so many ways you can extend the space in your home by adding basement bedrooms or a living room or family room. 

For basement ideas, take a look at this list: 

1. Second Kitchen

If your family is outgrowing your kitchen upstairs with everyone being at home during the pandemic, then a second kitchen isn’t a bad idea. The easy access to food and clean up when half the family spends their time in the basement is a great solution. 

2. Home Theater

With movie theaters mostly closed or too risky due to the pandemic, many people are creating their own home theater experience. Movies are being released straight to on-demand so that you can watch from your homes. Bring in gourmet popcorn and soda, and you have it all. 

3. Guest Bedroom

An extra bedroom is always a good idea, and you can be flexible with the space. Use it for guests when they come into town. Or use it as a school study or a playroom when it’s not in use. 

4. Home Office 

Many companies have their employees working from home during the pandemic, with no plans to change anytime soon. Remote work is here to stay. It may be time to create a home office space that is permanent. 

5. Wine Cellar

The basement is a perfect place to tuck away your prized wines and add a bar with a couple of bar stools for a night “away.” Bring the bar to you during the pandemic. 

6. Dance Studio

For dancers or teachers, a dance studio can be a great utilization of your basement space. 

7. Hair Salon

Many hairstylists are working out of their homes during the pandemic. A hair salon in the basement is an excellent solution to not having to wash your client’s hair in your kitchen sink. 

8. Gymnastics Room

A tumbling room in the basement is great for kids who need to practice at home or want a space to play around when the weather isn’t great outside. 

9. Basketball Court

A basketball court can have endless uses! Of course, use it for basketball, or you can ride bikes and play football indoors in the space. Or put up a net and play tennis. 

10. Sauna

Warm up after an outside run or a swim in your pool. A sauna can be a great way to relax in your own home. 

11. Swimming Pool

A lap pool in the basement can be a great time to exercise year-round. And the kids can have a place to play as well. 

12. Fireplace

A warm place to curl up by the fire on those cold winter nights sounds ideal for a basement living area. 

13. Track

You can get creative with your home remodel and bring the recreation center to you. With a track that goes around the perimeter of your basement, the kids will have a place to ride their bikes and scooters while you walk on cold days. 

This list should provide you with ample basement inspiration. Your extended space can be specific to your needs. When you are looking for basement ideas, remember to keep in mind where your main motivation came from when you decided to remodel your basement. And be sure to meet that need in the final plans. 

Should I Hire a Contractor for My Basement Project?

You may be wondering if a basement DIY is possible. Depending on your expertise and if you have a small basement or large basement, consider these other details before deciding whether to hire out. 

  • Drop Ceilings: Some people may like the look of an open, industrial ceiling. But when it comes to temperature control and soundproofing in your basement, it is best to finish out the ceilings. 
  • Bathroom Install: If you have an unfinished basement, then you are installing a bathroom from nothing. The pipes are usually in place, but that’s it. It may be best to hire professionals who are experienced in building bathrooms. 
  • Wall Structuring: A basement renovation often comes with closing off rooms and creating a hallway. This includes building the wall, then installing insulation and drywall. 
  • Electric and Plumbing: Think of the electrical set up and having to include vents for the HVAC system in your drop ceilings. An experienced basement remodeling team will be able to get the job done right and save you the stress. 

A full basement remodel is better left to professionals who have the knowledge in the industry of how to build out an unfinished basement properly. If you were to tackle a basement DIY project, it could take months and months as you’re working in the evenings and on weekends. When you have a full team working all day every day, your project can be done within weeks. 

How to Get a Basement Remodel Quote in NJ 

For the best contractor team for basement remodeling, contact Tandem Contracting. Our team is experienced with basement construction. What better time to finish your basement than winter? Our team is ready to get started on your project. Contact us today to get a consultation on your basement to remodel.