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Creation of the Perfect Basement Living Space

Creation of the Perfect Basement Living Space

Planning Basement Living Space

Like many homeowners, you may think of the basement as a storage area—the place to keep seasonal items or housing utilities like the water heater & electrical panel. Structurally, basement walls typically form the foundation. However, a basement remodeling project can transform “storage” space into functional additional living space for your whole family. Imagine your possibilities; an extra room for guests or a home office, a family game room, or even an adult entertainment area are just a few ideas.

Proper planning is essential to create a basement living room area successfully.

First, consider moisture.

Finishing a basement without first dealing with possible moisture issues can result in potential future problems.

Adding a dehumidifier or an interior coating to the walls is less expensive but is usually only a temporary solution. However, a good starting point to combat this issue is to evaluate gutters, downspouts, and surface grading. Correcting problematic issues with rainwater and surface drainage can quickly resolve some basement water problems.

While planning, keep in mind that your basement ceiling's highest level is the same height as the lowest hanging pipe, duct, or wire.

So, secondly, you’ll want to decide how to finish the ceiling. A drop or suspended ceiling works well in basements because they both conceal utility lines while also allowing access if needed. You may have a preconceived notion that such a ceiling will look more like an office than a home, but plenty of attractive options are available.

Next, consider not all flooring materials are equal in a basement living space.

Basements have a reputation for being cold and uninviting because the floors are generally masonry, cement, block, or brick. However, the way you intend to use the space is a significant factor in deciding the best flooring choice.


  • Carpet is a good choice. Carpeting adds insulating and sound-deadening qualities and also a sense of warmth and comfort.


  • As real hardwood flooring is not an option for concrete applications, laminate wood flooring is the perfect alternative. Laminate flooring offers the warmth and appearance of hardwood, with low maintenance and ease of installation.


  • In utilitarian spaces, consider vinyl composition tile (VCT) because of its durability, low installation costs, and easy maintenance.


  • A newer and increasingly popular alternative in highly active and utilitarian areas is an epoxy floor coating. This attractive and inexpensive floor treatment is impervious to moisture, spills, and surface abrasions.

No matter what flooring you decide on, you'll want to consider your heating solutions wisely.

Cold air sinks, which makes basement areas a challenge to keep warm. Alternatively, warm air rises, so installing heating vents at the floor level makes good sense.

Heating the Basement Living Space

Baseboard heating is a good option, but make sure it’s easy to tie into your existing HVAC system.

Heating the Basement Living Area

Consider also radiant heat for under the flooring. While radiant flooring is not a heating solution for space and air zones, it has its place. Heating the floor makes an excellent choice for your basement, especially if you have tiles or concrete.

Basement Remodeling Heating Solutions

Additionally, you’ll want to think about lighting.

Additionally, you’ll want to think about lighting, especially if the room lacks natural light sources, as many basements do. 

Recessed lighting is an excellent choice because it doesn’t take up valuable overhead space. Plus, it’s easy to install with a drop ceiling. Many rooms, but especially the basement, benefit from a combination of lighting fixture types. Combining recessed lighting, which adds broad illumination with adjustable floor lamps, helps illuminate shadowed areas. Likewise, accent lighting, such as built-in shelving or cabinetry, highlights areas in your basement. Try mounting a wall sconce directly above built-ins to focus light downward to draw extra attention.

Another unique lighting alternative is a false lighted window.

Basement Living Space

Create an above-ground ambiance with a clever illusion. First, frame and trim a window opening in one of the walls. Then, paint the concrete wall behind it reflective white and mount several inexpensive fluorescent fixtures. Equip the light fixtures with daylight-spectrum bulbs. Lastly, hang a translucent light-filtering window treatment, such as a gauzy accordion shade, and enjoy.

Finally, creating the perfect basement living space, can be simple or complex.

No matter the complexity, basement remodeling is a great way to increase your family’s living area and home’s value. However, before beginning any home improvement project, a smart start is to contact a local professional, like Merrell Building. As a licensed general contractor, we can help you address ventilation, plumbing, leaking, and humidity issues. Adhering to your county’s local codes is also essential. Give us a call today to see how we can help create your perfect basement living room.

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