Have you recently moved into a home with an unfinished basement and aren’t sure what to do with it, but aren’t ready for the investment of finishing the basement? Or maybe you’ve lived in your house for years but are running out of space in your primary living areas?
Unfinished basements are known for being dark, dreary, and damp. Most homeowners keep their washer and dryer down there, or their cat’s litter box, or their spare gardening supplies.
What you might not realize, however, is that with a little care and attention, your unfinished basement could add additional living areas to your house. Sure, it might not be suitable for a formal living room or a bedroom, but you can still utilize that space.
Also, you’ll want to make sure your basement is free from pests, mold, and moisture (a sump pump and dehumidifier can help remove water from your basement) before you start spending time down there regularly.
Here are five ideas to make your unfinished placement into a fun space.
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No matter if you’re a professional craftsman or if you simply need a place to keep your tools, an unfinished basement can make an excellent workshop area. A workshop area gives you a defined area where you can work on any woodworking projects. This helps keep sawdust and paint fumes from infiltrating into your main living area.
If you do make your basement into a workshop, make sure you have proper ventilation in the area. Ideally, you’ll have an exhaust fan installed. If an exhaust fan isn’t a possibility, make sure that there is a window or cellar door that you can open.
Nobody wants to clean paint off their living room carpet. If you love creating art or other DIY projects, consider keeping your supplies in your unfinished basement. Not only does this give you a space where you don’t have to worry about spilled paint, but it also gives you a defined space where you can keep any works-in-progress.
Something to keep in mind with creating an art studio in your unfinished basement is that you’re going to want good lighting to work on your projects. If there is a lack of natural light, try to get a pendant light or a desktop light.
An unfinished basement isn’t the place for a formal living room, but you can turn it into a rec lounge. Recycle your old living room sofa down to the basement, add some throw pillows, and put a tv or pool table down there. Older children will enjoy having a place to hang out with their friends.
Keep in mind that unfinished basements do tend to get damp. Running a dehumidifier should help, but you should avoid putting furniture you don’t want ruined down there. If your furniture gets damp or musty, you’ll need to get rid of it.
If you have active children, you probably dread rainy days when you have to keep them cooped up inside. An easy solution is to start keeping a few outside toys down in your basement. The concrete floor of a basement makes for the perfect place to ride a tricycle or ride on roller skates.
If you don’t want bicycles and scooters in your basement, other ideas include a mini-trampoline or a rock wall. If you’re worried about your child taking a tumble and hurting themselves on the concrete floor, you can always put foam mats on the floor for extra padding.
If you want to use your unfinished basement for multiple purposes—say a laundry room and a rec room—you might want to find a way to create different sections in your basement. This can help make it seem more cozy and organized.
An easy way to divide your basement is with shelving units, room dividers, or curtains. Another alternative is framing your basement so that you can install drywall or paneling. If you decide to frame, keep in mind you’ll need the proper tools, such as one of the hammer drills mentioned in this review. Framing is also helpful if you want to fully finish your basement one day.
An unfinished basement can be so much more than a place to store your Christmas decorations. As long as your basement doesn’t routinely flood and isn’t overly damp, it could be the perfect place for your next workshop or rec lounge. That unfinished basement is valuable square footage that can extend your living area!