While you’ve done great things with the rest of the house, the basement is still basically like it was the day you moved in. That space in the raw is practically begging for some attention. The question is what you want to do with it. As any contractor who has finished Ottawa basements can tell you, the possibilities are almost endless. Here are five suggestions of how you can turn what’s essentially wasted space into something that’s useful. One of these may be ideal for your family, or they may provide inspiration for another approach that serves you well.
Another Bedroom for Your Growing Family
A large family is what you’ve always wanted and things are certainly heading in that way. While it’s true that you could have the kids share bedrooms, there’s another alternative. Consider converting the basement into one or even two bedrooms.
Depending on how large the basement happens to be, it might be possible to divide the space into two separate rooms. There may even be enough space to put in a full bathroom. That would mean two of the kids could occupy the space and not even have to come upstairs if they needed to use the facilities during the night.
One thing that may surprise you is how the older kids might like the idea of basement bedrooms. They would tend to offer a little more privacy and quiet. As a parent, you might like the idea of having the younger kids (who are more likely to need quick attention) upstairs while your more capable older kids are enjoying that extra privacy.
That Home Office You’ve Always Wanted
There’s a lot to be said for having a home office. It’s a place to work on the family’s finances, store important documents, and in general have a place to keep things organized. It may also be a good place to launch that revenue generating project that you’ve had in mind for some time. Choosing to arrange for a little basement finishing could mean finally having the office space that you’ve always wanted.
The nice thing about using a finished basement as a home office is that it’s somewhat removed from the rest of the place. If you had the office upstairs, the kids are more likely to be coming in and out with some frequency. Since the basement is comparatively off the beaten path, they’re less likely to drop in when you’re in the middle of concentrating on something important. In this sense, the basement ensures your time in the home office is more productive.
A Full Guest Suite
What’s the usual procedure when you have guests for the weekend? Do some of the kids give up their bedrooms to make space for your visitors? Perhaps they end up sleeping on a fold-out sofa in the den. While both solutions are workable, they are not necessarily the best approach for the family or the guests.
What if you converted the basement into a full guest suite? The suite would include a comfortable bed tucked away in a cozy corner. Augment that with a small sitting area with plenty of lighting for reading. Along one wall, install a kitchenette complete with a small refrigerator, a coffee maker, and a microwave oven. A little counter and cupboard space will complete that area.
Don’t forget to add a full bathroom to the guest suite, This allows your guests to arrange all of their toiletries for easy use during their stay. They can also take showers and get ready without having to stand in line at any of the upstairs bathrooms.
When guests have their own space, it certainly makes their stays more comfortable. At the same time, it also makes things a little easier for the family. No one has to give up a bedroom or put off watching television because someone is sleeping in the den.
A Media Room The Entire Family Can Enjoy
If you already have guest space and plenty of bedrooms upstairs, there are still things you can do with the basement. One option is to convert the space into a home theater or a media room. Consider a layout that includes a large screen at one end with plenty of comfortable seating nearby. Use it to watch movies, concerts, and other forms of entertainment.
At the opposite end of the basement, consider creating a game area where people can play video games. You can even allow some space for people to get low-tech and play board or card games. Some comfortable seats, adequate lighting, and a card table or two would be all it would take. Remember to include plenty of outlets for electronic devices. You could also consider adding a small kitchenette area with a sink, fridge, and a small pantry to store snacks.
Creating a Studio Apartment to Rent
You really don’t have a personal use for a finished basement. Even so, why not turn the space into something that helps to generate a little income? A studio apartment would be a great idea. Go with an open floor plan that the tenant can arrange any way he or she likes. Include a kitchenette and a full bathroom as part of the layout. You also want to consider creating a separate entrance so the tenant can come and go without having to use the front door.
The genius of this approach is that you get to boost the household income a little. The upkeep on the basement will be minimal and if you end up with a tenant who pays on time and is easy to get along with, the arrangement could last for years.
These are only a few ideas of what you can do with a finished basement. Can you think of more? If so, settle on a solution and call a contractor. The space could be transformed a lot faster than you thought possible.