You’ve got a finished basement in need of a facelift, but your budget is a bit thin? Not to worry, there are plenty of budget-savvy basement renovation ideas to turn this room into something new and inviting.
An already finished basement has most of the hard work out of the way. What you need are new finishes, fixtures, and a few upgrades to make what might be a dreary place, into one of your favorite rooms in the house. Here are 4 basement ideas to get you started:
Basement Renovation Ideas #1: Rethink Ceiling Tiles
Ceiling tiles are pretty common in basement conversions, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with them. Unfortunately, they don’t always look as nice as you’d like them to.
If you have a drop ceiling because it’s hiding plumbing, electrical, ductwork, or other permanent fixtures in the basement ceiling, you might need to consider keeping it to preserve access. There are replacement tiles with a lot more style, including those with embossed designs, and faux metal tiles that look like pressed tin. Pop out the old tiles and insert the new for a fresh, updated look. It’s really that simple.
If a drop ceiling isn’t covering anything you need access to, it might be time to think about a drywall ceiling. Drywall gives the room a more finished look, and you'll reclaim some ceiling height. Drywall with wood trim painted to match gives the illusion of a recessed panel ceiling.
If drywall seems too bland, bead board is another ceiling option. Another option is to expose the ceiling joists and paint that space, for an industrial chic look.
Homeowner tip: Before you finish basement space, consider where you can use more insulation. You'll be heating your new basement living space but drafts might be a problem. Consider adding insulation to the ceiling as well as the walls, and research which type of insulation will give you the best return on your investment (cost for savings on heating and cooling this space).
Basement Renovation Ideas #2: Replace Paneling with Drywall
Paneled basement walls are very common, but they can make the room dark. Also, paneling might not have adequate insulation behind. Replacing paneling with drywall can change the look from dated to timeless.
If insulation and wall framework already exist, your contractor will simply pull down the old paneling down and hang drywall in its place.
If there is no insulation, expect him to build the framework of a wall over the concrete, which includes the vertical studs and horizontal top and bottom plates. This framework creates pockets to hold new insulation, and gives you the surface you need for hanging drywall.
A bit of stone or brick veneer on an accent wall adds interest, depth, and texture to help anchor the room, and make it feel less like a typical finished basement.
Basement Renovation Ideas #3: Upgrade Flooring
Basement floors can be quite cold. Carpeting helps lessen the chill, and gives you something soft underfoot. If you like the look and feel of carpet, be sure to choose materials that are safe tor use below grade, which means below ground (soil) level outside.
If you prefer a hard-surface floor, you can uncover the original concrete and turn it into something shiny, colorful, and beautiful. A pro can polish and tint the surface in almost any color.
Laminate is another good choice, and it’s not as expensive as some other materials. Installed as a floating floor, you won’t have to worry about dampness, which can ruin wood.
Another idea is tile. Basement concrete is an ideal substrate for tile. It's cold on its own, but special radiant heat made for basements will add warmth underneath.
Basement Renovation Ideas #4: Improve Lighting
Basements have little or no natural light. If you like a darker space, then lighting isn’t a concern. But if you would prefer something brighter, LED lighting is a good choice.
To start, LED replacement bulbs are expensive. But they are very bright, and save money and energy over time. The're more efficient and last longer than CFLs, so you won’t need to replace them as often.
You can replace only the light bulbs in your existing fixtures with LEDs, or add more/new fixtures, such as recessed, track, and other lighting fixtures around the room. The more light, the less it feels like a basement.
Basement upgrades don’t have to be expensive. A small change here and another there can turn a dark, dated space into one of your favorite spots to relax.
With so many options available (check out our basement board on Pinterest), you could create a den, an exercise room, a play or craft room, or combination of these with minimal impact on your bank account.
Do you have a basement makeover that you’d like to share?
We would love to hear all about it!