A basement need not be a dark, subterranean place in which you store junk. With a basement conversion you can add a whole extra floor to your property and open up endless possibilities.
Many of us consider our basements to be mouldy, damp spaces hidden away below stairs, yet converting your cellar into a usable living area is both cost effective and viable.
In some cases, creating a new living space beneath the property is the only way to increase the usable square footage of the building. Basement conversions are increasingly popular in places where the potential for above-ground alterations has become limited. It can also add value to your home.
Bringing your basement to life provides valuable extra room without significantly altering the exterior of your property. A cellar is located close to the main living areas of most homes.
You can create additional family living space or choose to locate functional areas such as a utility room, boiler room or create extra storage. The sky – or perhaps that should be the netherworld – is your limit.
Here’s 10 of the best ideas for converting a basement.
- Turn your basement into a bedroom
An additional sleep space is perfect for growing families without the means, or desire, to upsize. Creating a bedroom down below can be quicker and a more economical alternative to an extension. You could even add an en suite.
You will have to ensure that the conversion complies with building regulations and give adequate consideration to lighting, ventilation and waterproofing. British Standard BS8102 gives guidance on waterproofing.
- A chill out space for the whole family
A family room is a great way to make the most of your basement. With a focus on comfort, family rooms are one of the most popular requests for cellar makeovers.
Snuggly pillows, soft chairs, subtle lighting and statement walls, the only limit is your imagination and that of the rest of your brood. Whether you theme the space beneath or continue the design and decor of the space up above down below, a basement family room offers a whole load more room to spend time together.
- A home entertainment zone
A converted basement makes a great space for a cinema room. Your cellar is likely to be dark as it is which means you can control the lighting to recreate your own movie theatre within the comfort of your own home. Smart lighting systems are the ideal way to dim the lights from the comfort of a reclining chair.
A widescreen TV will take centre stage, or go with a projector system, and a surround sound system is a must to make the most of your underground acoustics. Crank up the volume without the worry of irritating the neighbours and add in a popcorn maker and invite friends for the ultimate movie going experience.
A home cinema in the basement is also brilliant for sports fans who can lose themselves in the action down under.
- A games room
Be it snooker, pool, darts, air hockey, table football or video games, a basement will even have the space to throw in the whole lot. The beauty of a basement conversion into a games room is that it will stand the test of time as your horde grows.
Younger children will have space to store, and play with, their flashing whizzing toys without disrupting everyone else in the family. Growing kids will have room for a scalextric or a train set and teenagers can entertain friends with games consoles and chill out zones. And remember the adults too.
- A kitchen, dining room and dinner party space
A kitchen in the basement is a great way to extend the social opportunities of your home. If the upstairs cookery is a little small, you can expand downwards to offer broadened culinary creations from the cellar kitchen. It also stops the rest of the house from acquiring those cooking smells which linger.
If you love entertaining, a kitchen-dining area is perfect for dinner parties or relaxed evenings in the company of friends with good food. You will want plenty of worktop and storage space as well as lots of lighting.
A basement kitchen that opens out onto the garden offers an amazing cooking and eating space that’s perfect for summer socialising, barbecues and parties.
- A wine cellar
There comes a time in any wine collector’s journey when the bottles collection becomes too big for the wine racks. Indeed, a wine cellar is the ultimate addition for vino aficionado. A basement allows you to control temperatures and lighting to keep the wine at its best and keep those vintage bottles safe.
- A basement gym
Building a home gym in your basement is the perfect way to stay in shape with a dedicated space. No queues for equipment and with more of us than ever working from home, you can have a midday workout to let off steam.
Converting your basement into a gym is relatively simple and it’s likely to be cool down there which is ideal for exercising, though you may want to add ventilation to improve the air quality.. Kit it out with weights and your choice of cardio equipment and membership fees will be a thing of the past.
- Office and study space
Finding a place to study, create, work or write can be difficult in a busy home. A basement is the ideal place for building a study, home office or studio.
Lots of us are now looking at ways we can properly set-up to work at home. Having a dedicated space lends itself to more productive homeworking and helps separate work life from leisure time. If you’re the creative type you will have a distraction-free space to write, craft or produce artwork.
- The ultimate man cave
We all need to get away from things every once in a while and indulge ourselves in the pastimes that we love. For those who want a space where they can kick back and do their own thing, a man cave in the basement offers the perfect solution.
You can have a bar, dabble in winemaking or even start your own micro-brewery. You may want games down there or fit the basement out with the tools and machinery for whatever handiwork you engage in.
- Your own spa or even a swimming pool
Spas are wonderful places to relax in. Home steam rooms or saunas don’t have to be huge and a hot tub can easily be installed in a basement. Cellar spaces typically have strong concrete flooring installed which can take the weight of all of these.
You’ll need water, ventilation and a means of dealing with humidity but basements also make the ideal home location for a swimming pool. The swim pool can be as big as the space allows and for smaller areas a plunge pool is a wonderful place to kick back and float away.