Most homeowners don’t make very good use of their basement. If it’s an unfinished basement, it’s probably a laundry room and a very big storage space. Why leave a third of your home unused when you can make it a functional and useful space.
As a waterproofing company that has been servicing the GTA for over 30 years, the two biggest reasons people do not finish their basements are finances and pain of chronic water leaks.
It’s hard to have a bright and airy basement when it feels and smells like a dungeon. Chronic dampness and mould will do that. If you have the budget, finishing your basement or even creating a walkout basement, can do wonders for ventilation and lighting. Often times, finances don’t allow for a fully finished basement, however, stopping water leaks is a pre-requisite to a useful space, finished or unfinished.
Even without a finished basement, there are lots of cheap and creative ways you can make use of the space. Some ideas are:
Children’s Play Space
Create a safe and open space for your children to play. This gets them out of the main living areas, reduces hallway traffic, and minimizes clean-up! If they’re little, it can be a great downstairs play area for them while you’re taking care of the laundry! Unfinished floors are great for scooters, mini-stick hockey, and indoor activities throughout the winter months.
Need some peace and quiet so you can get some work done? Find a cozy corner of the basement to concentrate on your work. It doesn’t have to be complicated, simply run a cable line or power cord to your corner and design your own office space!
With many people worried about COVID-19 and going back to public gyms why not get some floor mats (Baby floor mats are a cheap alternative to fitness mats), a heavy bag, and some music to turn your dark basement into your own training center. Exercise equipment on upper floors can be loud and heavy, disrupting the living space below, making your basement the perfect option.
A couple of couches, a rug, a TV….and you have a great place to host family night! This area can be used for video games, watching sports, movie nights, board games, and more!
Step 1: Make Sure your basement is waterproofed.
As you can see, there are lots of great ideas for turning that unused space into something you can enjoy.
Before you start, here are some ideas to keep in mind.
While a little moisture in an unfinished basement may seem unimportant, it can be a big deal when you’re investing money to build it out. Moisture and lack of ventilation can ruin your basement fun if left untreated.
If you do have a water leak in your basement, find the source and call in a waterproofing expert to fix it before you start. Adding ventilation and/or a dehumidifier will also help by keeping the air dry and circulating.
Step 2: Have a proper plan
Do you have electrical outlets? Will you need them? How far away is the space from your utilities? These are all important questions to ask especially if you are adding a children’s play area.
Make sure the area is safe and that you have the proper resources before selecting the section of the basement for your new space. Remove all the clutter in the area and move it to a remote part of the basement.
Step 3: Proper Lighting
One of the things that make an unfinished basement somewhat depressing is the lack of lighting. If it’s going to be a space where you’re will be spending any sort of time in, be sure to brighten the place up. Ikea can give you some great, low-cost ideas for track lighting, as well as floor and table lamps.
If that is not enough to brighten your space, you can also consider hiring a foundation specialist to add windows or a walkout.
Step 4: Finishes
Your choice of colours can make a big impact on the look and feel of your space. There are several cost-effective paint options specific for concrete walls and floors that can turn your basement into a bright and happy atmosphere. You can also consider area rugs and child/gym mat flooring options, which are also inexpensive alternatives.
Step 5: Add Furniture and Fittings
Once the lighting, walls, and flooring are in place, it’s time to bring in your furniture. Consider using them in a way that divides your new area away from your unfinished space. This will give it, its own unique space.
It’s easy to get creative and gain functionality in your basement. As long as your basement is dry, it’s not expensive to turn it into an enjoyable space.
If you’re looking for ideas, check out Pinterest for some inspiration!
Nusite Contractors Ltd. is a Toronto based basement waterproofing and foundation specialty company. We can help get your basement ready so it can be finished for years of family enjoyment. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help fix basement leaks and dampness to create a functional space.
Nusite Contractors Ltd. has been proudly serving GTA homeowners for over 30 years! We are a family business and take pride in customer service and professional work. You can contact us here to schedule a free consultation and written estimate! We are happy to help!