The basement gets a pretty bad rap. It is typically the featured setting of a horror flick, with a reputation for being cold and dark—the place you store stuff when you have no other plan. But homeowners are discovering ways to capitalize on this valuable square footage in diverse ways, and it happens to be the sort of space that has chameleon qualities depending on the stage of life you’re in. Whether you are a bachelor wanting a man cave or a family needing a playroom, the basement can keep up with the pace of your life by become an extension of your living space.

The 2017 national average for a basement remodel was $71,115 with one of the highest recoup values for an interior home project, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report. Here are three examples of how to convert your lower level into usable, livable space:

Wellness Area

Can you guess what the leading New Year’s resolution focuses on every year? You probably guessed it: health and fitness. Instead of joining the flocks of people rushing to expend hundreds of dollars on a gym membership, create your own at-home wellness area with the exact equipment that interests you. Here are a few important things to consider for this option:

  • Flooring that is kind to your joints and can endure moisture from sweating or heat is essential.

[TIP: Installing overhead fans will help circulate the air as workouts will heat up the temperature of the room.]

  • Vibrant aesthetics and lighting help make the space feel bright. Half of the battle of physical training is showing up, so you want to use lights that emulate sunlight with lively colors to make the environment motivating.
  • Mirrors add to the gym vibe and act as a tool for safety by giving you a means to ensure the exercise is being done correctly.

Multipurpose Room

Telecommuting arrangements are a growing trend for the workforce, with working parents seeking balance for professional and personal responsibilities. A basement is roomy enough to serve many purposes for the at-home professional, such as a play area, office, and laundry room. The key to creating such a space is to designate specific areas for each activity, but to use a unifying style throughout:

  • Windows add natural light and ventilation to any room, but they can be especially useful for making the basement feel like an inviting part of the home.
  • Storage is a must-have for organization and for elimination of the possibility of clutter. Low-cost options can be durable Tupperware containers or more formal solutions, like built-ins.
  • Soft tiles or plush carpet are recommended for any space where children may be playing to prevent injury and to make the room feel warmer.

Home Theater

A dedicated media room isn’t only for Hollywood-types. Families are finding budget-friendly ways to forgo costly movie theater trips by creating the experience under their own roof:

  • Soundproofing materials eliminate noise upward and downward, including the walls and ceilings.
  • Electric wiring installed by a professional trained in safety measures is key. An expert can make sure the wiring is done to code and can also choose locations for the wires that are out of sight.
  • Dimming light controls give the full-cinema experience.

A basement remodel offers several benefits to homeowners, including extended space for whatever the above-ground portion of your house is lacking. It also offers leverage in the future if you ever decide to list your house on the market. HPI offers free consultations to discuss what your budgetary requirements are and how they can work with your renovation vision. Call 410.757.2658 to set up an appointment.