The decision to finish a basement isn't an easy one. Even if you're able to do much of the work yourself, it could constitute a very expensive home improvement project, and one that takes up loads of time until it's complete. Still, a finished basement is a great investment and one that may serve you well for many years to come. Here are just a few ideas for that newly livable space.
1. Rent it out
Depending on the setup of your basement and your state or county's zoning laws, you may have the option to rent out your basement to a tenant. That's a great way to recoup the money you spent finishing it, and it's also a good way to secure an ongoing income stream for the long haul. Keep in mind that your basement may need a certain number of windows, or a certain ceiling height, to be rentable. Make sure you fulfill all local requirements before signing a lease agreement.
2. Make it a playroom
If you have children, you're no doubt aware that their belongings take up lots of space. That's why it pays to convert your finished basement to a play area. That way, your kids can spread out, and you won't have to worry about stray art supplies or building blocks taking up real estate in your kitchen, dining room, or living room.
3. Convert it to a guest suite
If you have family members who live out of town, or you tend to have a lot of visitors, your basement could be the perfect guest accommodation. This especially holds true if you have a full bathroom down there (and it's reason enough to invest in one). That way, the people who come to stay get privacy when they visit, and if you have children, you can put some space between them and your guests during the early morning hours, when your guests may want to sleep in.
4. Put in a home theater
There's nothing like going to the movies and getting to watch a new release on a big screen. Well, with the right setup, you can have the same experience in your very own basement. Put in movie theater-style seating, blackout shades, and a projector, and you’ll have the makings for a very cool viewing experience. Add a microwave down in the basement, and you can even enjoy the smell -- and taste -- of popcorn as you watch.
5. Turn it into a home office
If you work from home regularly or even on occasion, you're apt to appreciate a dedicated office where you can spread out and block out noise from the rest of your house. To that end, your basement could be the perfect spot for a home office, especially if you have lots of equipment to store. And if your job is artistic in nature, a basement office could give you plenty of room for a studio or workshop.
Having a finished basement opens the door to many possibilities. No matter what you do with that space, remember that it's always adaptable. You can make it a playroom now, while your kids are young, and make it a guest area later on when the toys diminish. If you're on the fence about finishing your basement, just picture the many things you can use it for before making your final decision.