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14 Basement Renovation Ideas (and Why Waterproofing First is a Must)

Finishing your basement is one of the best ways to increase your living space and add value to your home. On average, finishing a basement will give you a return of 70 to 75 percent of your investment. And that’s on top of the enjoyment you will get from living in a new space that you’ve made your own.

What can you do with this exciting blank canvas? The possibilities are endless. Here are 14 ideas to help you get started.

Basement Renovation Ideas to Increase Your Living Space

  1. A basement guest suite. Forget the couch or kids’ futon—put your overnight visitors up in style in your new basement guest room. Deck it out with a kitchenette and bathroom to turn your basement into a rentable studio apartment.
  2. A basement family room. Create a cozy space for family fun with large sectional couches and side tables arranged for TV viewing. Add warmth and visual interest with wall art and a stone-veneer gas fireplace as the centerpiece.
  3. A kid-friendly playroom. Give the kids their own safe and comfortable space equipped with desks for arts and crafts, and shelving and cubbies for storing toys and supplies.
  4. A family game room. Create a dedicated space for fun and games with a basement game room where family and friends can play darts, billiards, ping pong, board games, and more.
  5. A basement bar and lounge. Buy or build a small bar to create your own subterranean speakeasy. Complement with comfortable seating and colorful accessories—think neon signs!—and you’ll have a space that’s perfect for relaxing and entertaining.
  6. A basement home gym. Hard floors and wide-open spaces make a great foundation for a home gym. Lay down foam tiles or rubber mats and equip with free-weights, punching bags, a treadmill or stair climber—whatever you need to reach your fitness goals.
  7. A basement home theatre. Every night can be movie night when you turn your basement into a five-star cinema. Get a large TV projector system and create a second tier of seating behind the couch using a tall, slim table and bar stools. Accent with movie-themed wall art for a theatrical flourish.
  8. A basement den or home office. Work from home like a boss with your very own basement home office. Assistant not included.
  9. A stylish storage room. Get organized and keep you space looking good at the same time with colorful shelving units and matching storage bings for attractive wall-to-wall efficiency.
  10. A posh party annex. A finished basement provides precious extra space for hosting parties and gatherings. When the rest of the house is full, give your guests a secondary space with its own unique look and feel.
  11. A basement man or “mom” cave. Create your very own place to get away from it all with comfy seating and all of your favorite things.
  12. An arts and crafts studio. Transform unused space into a maker’s studio with storage-equipped work tables and colorful wallpaper to inspire your creativity.
  13. A basement workshop. Save the garage for the cars. A well-equipped basement workshop makes an ideal space in which to create all year round.
  14. A hideaway hangout. Escape from the world in a space dedicated to rest and relaxation. Decorate with hanging string lights and a hammock swing chair for an uncommon treat anytime.

What to Do Before You Begin

Because basements are surrounded by soil, they are notoriously susceptible to water infiltration. Small cracks in the foundation allow moisture to seep in, damaging property and worse. Mold is one dangerous side effect that can cause both serious structural problems and health problems.

Even if your basement shows none of the warning signs of water damage—such as water stains and standing water—it still may have problems with moisture.

Tip: Here’s a quick DIY test to find out if your home needs basement repair. Cut a 12-inch by 12-inch square of plastic kitchen wrap. Duct tape it to a concrete wall in your basement and wait for 24 hours. If condensation forms on the inside of the plastic, your home may need basement repair.

Keep in mind, small cracks are just one of the ways water can enter your basement. Other entry points include pipe penetrations, windows and window wells, failed sump pumps, and more.

That’s one reason we recommend contacting a waterproofing pro to assess your foundation health. Another reason is that basement waterproofing can be a touch project, especially if your house sits in an area with a high water table or a region prone to flooding.

Get a Free Basement Waterproofing Evaluation

Regardless of whether or not you plan to renovate your basement, it is important to protect your home from water problems.

Contact Zander Solutions to request a free basement waterproofing evaluation today. Our waterproofing pros are seasoned vets certified in the industry’s leading techniques for residential and commercial foundation repair. They’ll make sure your home is sealed, safe, and structurally sound—so you can protect your investment and enjoy your home to the fullest.