Make your home a better place by transforming your basement into one of these fun or functional rooms

So, you’ve finally decided to finish your basement. This is an excellent idea for a lot of reasons, including the fact that the return on your investment could be quite high. But even if you know you want to trade in your damp and dank cellar for something great, you have to figure out what that something great will be. You basically have two choices: fun or functional (though they don’t have to be mutually exclusive). Let’s take a look at 10 options

Making your basement a place for fun


If you have kids, you know that pretty much whatever room they’re in almost immediately becomes a playroom, which is why a designated spot for all their toys, games, dolls, and all else could be a terrific idea. Bring in some comfy furniture, add some shelving or other storage elements, paint the walls a bright color, and you now have the perfect place for your pirates or princesses. 

Man Cave

Sometimes you just need your own space to retreat to in your home, and a man cave offers a nice sanctuary. If you love throwing on your favorite jersey and watching hours of sports, your basement can become a sports haven, complete with easy chairs, big-screen TV, and a refrigerator (mini or otherwise) to hold your refreshments. You can also add a foosball or air hockey table, or perhaps some old-school arcade games. If you have cherished memorabilia, this is the place to display it. And ladies, don’t let the “man” part of this deter you; there’s no reason why you can’t put together your own woman cave. 

Movie theater

Pretty much everybody loves the movies, but nobody likes the weak selection of films, the over-priced concessions, and the sticky floors in the average theater chain. You can skip all of that with your own theater, and it can be as simple or as involved as you like. 

A large TV and some comfortable chairs may be all you need, but you can also opt for a screen and projector and some movie-theater-like recliners complete with drink holders. Installing the right lighting and sound system can help create an environment that will rival any theater in town.

Craft or hobby room

What do you like to do in your spare time? Perhaps you paint with watercolors. Maybe you play the banjo. Whatever it is, your finished basement could become an ideal space for whatever it is you like to do (especially if it is music-related and the rest of your household isn’t crazy about hearing you practice). 

Even if your favorite activity is reading, you have the opportunity to build a fantastic library – and maybe even add in a cappuccino maker – just to mimic the feel of your favorite bookstore. 

Wet bar

If you and your friends want to take a break from all your worries for a while, your own basement bar could be a great destination. In addition to the bar itself and some stools, there are tons of other features you could add, including cabinets, a built-in refrigerator, and a beer tap. And don’t forget the TV, dartboard, or pool table. 

Making your basement a functional space

Extra bedroom

If your family has expanded in recent years, you may be running out of space to put everybody. While rooming a couple of kids together may have worked for a while, if they’re starting to grumble, it’s probably time to do something. Your finished basement can help save the day. 

Teens in particular love having their own space and the extra privacy a basement bedroom offers. Another reason to create an extra bedroom is if you frequently host guests and don’t want to have to shuffle people around to accommodate them.

Second living room

Speaking of kids, if you’re tired of them constantly taking over the living room and forcing you to watch endless hours of cartoons, why not just give them their own living room? Down in the basement, they can watch what they like, play video games, and make as much noise as they want (think about some soundproofing options) while you get to enjoy your living room again. 


One of the best parts of making your basement a home gym is that you have no excuse not to use it to get in better shape. Plus, you get to decide exactly what kind of equipment you want and won’t have to be at the mercy of whatever your local gym offers. In addition, you won’t have to feel intimidated or self-conscious if you’re working out in the comfort of your own home. Add in a sauna or shower, and you’ll have everything you need. 


If you’re one of the many people who work at home – either all or part of the time – you need your own office. Sure, the bedroom or dining room may get the job done (pun intended), but you probably have to deal with people coming through, noise, or other distractions. A basement office will help you work in peace, and with a bathroom and perhaps a little snack station, it will help you be your most productive. 


Turning your finished basement into an apartment may be the most expensive item on this list, considering you may need to add a bathroom, kitchen, windows, and perhaps a separate entrance. However, it could be worth it if you want to use it to make some money. Renting it out to long-term leaseholders – or short-term guests though a home-sharing service – could be very lucrative. An apartment may also be a good idea if you foresee an older family member coming to live with you at some point. 

No matter what you decide to use your basement for, the most important step is choosing the right contractor for the job. At Tandem Contracting, we have years of experience transforming basements in northern New Jersey into fantastic new living spaces. To discuss your project, send us a message through our online contact form.