Learn the basics of basement finishing and decor

If your basement is unfinished, it is likely still very useful. Unfinished basements often serve as unfinished laundry rooms, and as the main storage solution in the home. The open space, unimpeded by appliances or furniture, makes an unfinished basement floor the perfect platform for large wooden shelving units that can hold anything from camping gear to boxes of mementos to non-perishable (or, if you have a root cellar, perishable) food items.

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An unfinished basement definitely has its benefits, but you may still have a grander scheme in mind for yours. Depending on your basement design and structure, there may be many ways for you to transform a basement whose current main function is storage space, into something else or, at the very least, something more.

Popular Reasons for Basement Remodels

People make significant renovations to their basements for many reasons. Some of the most common include:

  • Finishing an unfinished basement. Basement finishing is the number-one biggest basement-remodeling job -- biggest both in popularity and in the size and scope of the project. Taking a space with a floor made of dirt or cement and a ceiling of wooden beams and electrical wires, and turning it into proper extra rooms in your home, is no small feat, but is certainly a worthwhile one.
  • Building an in-law suite. Creating a separate apartment in your basement for parents or tenants requires the completion of tasks such as ensuring the basement has proper heating and plumbing, installing all kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and trading out any old basement flooring for tile and hardwood or carpet.
  • Adding a bar. A basement bar is a fun way to create an informal entertaining and hangout area in an already-finished basement. On the plus side, the construction and installation work is minimal beyond the bar itself -- a few glass and mug racks, a couple of neon signs, some bar stools and sofas, and you're ready for a party.
  • Installing a wine cellar. Because the ideal conditions for wine storage are a cool, dark place, most basic wine cellars are best installed in underground, unfinished basements, unless they are enclosed in their own separate space.