These days, it seems home space for Southerners at a premium. As families grow, homeowners are often faced with two choices: maximize the space they have, or buy a new home. For many families, moving is not an ideal option, which leaves them to focus on working within their current space. Rather than adding on, it can be much more cost efficient to convert existing space into something new. A finished basement is a great way to expand living space while simultaneously increasing energy efficiency and adding value to the home.
Basements are like a blank canvas. They can be converted into almost any type of room, or combination of rooms, depending upon their size and the needs of the family. There are endless options for basement renovations, but some of the most popular are:
Family Rooms: Most Southern homes have ground-level family rooms, but they are often not large enough to accommodate parents, children, toys, televisions, furniture and the other “things” that can quickly clutter up a small room. Basement family rooms can be ideal for families with children, giving little ones their own area to watch television or play video games, or to create a room that will accommodate several couches and chairs to ensure everyone has a seat on family movie night.
Home Theaters: Basement home theaters bring the big screen straight to the home. Instead of shelling out the money to see a blockbuster at the theater, the family can curl up on comfy chairs and enjoy movies and sports without the noise or disruption of public places, and it provides extra space for everyone to sit in front of their own TV and watch their preferred programs.
Bedrooms: As a family grows, bedrooms become occupied, and this often means eliminating a guest room or home office to accommodate children or elderly parents. Basements can make fantastic guest suites, complete with their own private bathrooms. Some families allow their older children to move into the basement to give them their much-needed teenage privacy.
Playrooms: What child doesn’t dream of having a giant playroom? A basement can be designed to give kids their own space to make as much noise – and mess – as they like, without disturbing other members of the family.
Bars and Wine Cellars: A basement bar complete with beer fridge, kegs, a wine fridge, rack and cellar, dishwasher, sink and seating for guests creates a relaxing yet festive environment for entertaining. Space can also be created for wine enthusiasts to keep their bottles at a controlled temperature.
Apartments: Many Baby Boomers invite their aging parents to live with them, and a basement apartment can be a great way to give mom and dad their own private space, complete with kitchen and bath. This allows them to remain close by, but still maintain their independence. Basement apartments that have their own, separate entryway can also be used as a way to generate supplemental income.
Home Gyms: Basement gyms are a great way to stay in shape without trudging out to a gym or paying exorbitant, recurring membership fees. Padded flooring, weight racks, cardio equipment and mirrors can bring the health club to the home. For a little added luxury, a steam room can be added on, as well.
Basement renovations not only give a home an instant makeover, but they can also provide some added benefits. A finished basement requires a solid foundation that is free from mold and wear and tear. Many contractors will make improvements to the home’s foundation in order to prepare the basement for renovation, which can strengthen the foundation and protect your home investment for years to come.
Additionally, a basement renovation can improve energy consumption. Many homeowners take the opportunity to update their home’s water heater and heating and air conditioning systems during a basement project. Basements are also the coolest area of the home, providing relief from the heat during summer months, a benefit that is especially useful for those who live in warm, Southern climates. As they are naturally insulated by the ground, basements are not subject to the extreme temperature fluctuations of above-ground rooms.
Southern homeowners are choosing basement renovations as a way to add more livable space to their home, without adding on expensive additions. When it comes to these projects, the end result is often only limited by the homeowner’s imagination. How will you renovate your basement this year?
This article and its content are sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric US Inc., Cooling & Heating Division.