Ideas For Finishing a Basement

March 17, 2020

In Colorado, you can buy a house with a basement – not so easy in some Southern states! — and you can finish it yourself or use a contractor. When you move into a new build with a basement, sometimes you opt not to finish and the reasons have less to do with the cost and more to do with indecisions about how you want to use it. If you have an unfinished basement here are ways to start thinking about design options before jumping into construction. 

Major Phases and Top Tips

The eight major phases of finishing a basement — from start to finish — happen in this general order: framing, electrical, plumbing, audio-visual, drywall, painting, trim and doors and flooring. If you’re dead-set on finishing the project yourself, take a look at Jason’s blog: I Finished My Basement. He’ll share on which projects he saved money and which were the most challenging for a DIYer. You can also get encouragement, suggestions and advice from Family Handyman and the DIY Network.

Leslie Goodwin

Craftsman Custom agrees with all the other experts about checking building codes before you start, and making doubly sure to keep the space moisture-free. There are a few ways to ensure that your subterranean space never sees even a dot of mold, including checking the foundation for any cracks and making necessary repairs and bolstering any vapor barriers. 

If you hire a reputable contractor – and experts agree this is one project for pros — he/she should not only know the building codes verbatim but take the extra steps to waterproof your basement. Yelp, Next Door, Angie’s List and Home Advisor are all places to begin getting ratings and referrals to vet a reputable contractor.

Design Ideas and Options

Now for the fun part – looking at all the ways you can design and finish your basement space. 

Most finished basements embrace the popular concept of open space, but there are dos and don’ts when it comes to design. If you want a recreational/workout space plus a TV viewing area the top tip is to leave plenty of “negative space” between each segment for ease of access and visual separation. Check out this TV plus hobby division on Fresh Home. Not only does each area have its own light fixture anchoring the space, but area rugs also serve to divide the uses.

You can create a traditional rec room with billiards, game tables, as well as a TV viewing area, go dramatic with darker colors and comfy furniture, or lighten and brighten with pale and pastel colors, adding a kitchen and plenty of linear divisions for different purposes. 

The perfect hangout for kids or adults might include lounging space and plenty of leg room for Just Dance 2020, the ultimate dance game featuring Miley Cyrus, Cardi B and Billie Eilish  – 40 new tracks to play with friends and family.

Libraries, Guest Quarters and Offices

Click through this HGTV video compilation of ideas for the ultimate guest getaway, fitness area, walls of projection TVs or closed-off office space. Or watch – and copy – HGTV’s Renovation Raiders as they turn a ho-hum basement into a library for a book-loving English teacher. Okay, they didn’t start from cement and studs, it’s true, but the end result is worth a watch – and so is the look on the teacher’s face!

Sebring Design sorted 72 different basement finishes into categories like Elegant, Entertainment, Chill, Gray and White, Artistic, Crafty, Media Rooms, Gorgeous, Hip and Happy and Stone Walls.

Houzz collected a variety of partially finished basement ideas, some leaving ceilings open, and others dressing walls and adding area rugs to make use of the space while you decide which design suits your lifestyle.

And don’t forget window treatments. HGTV’s Candice Olson shows you how in this menu of options to create the illusion of large windows, without closing in the space.

Find Your Future in Southshore

The new homes in the master-planned community of Southshore, embrace basements! Who doesn’t love the idea of extra living and storage space? Take a tour of the brand new homes from Taylor Morrison, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers for a taste of Life at the Lake. These ranch and two-story designs are priced between the $400s and the $700s, AND, are close to everything you might need: shopping, recreation and entertainment!