Josh Carlson
Josh Carlson

At Treasured Spaces, we bring serious value, quality and attention to detail to every home remodeling or new construction project we take on. With a sense of pride and integrity, years of experience and first-class professionalism, we’re the local contractor you can trust to get the job done on time and on budget.

Not many of us have the time for an all-consuming remodel project. Even in the age of DIY, some projects are just a little too tasking. Beyond the time it takes to remodel, it might not be in your budget yet to finish your basement.

Don’t let these things like money and time discourage you. There are still so many easy things that you can do with your unfinished basement to make it better space and more useable for your whole family.

There’s no reason your basement can’t be more than just a storage space before it’s finished. Today we’re giving you 12 ridiculously easy, yes easy, ideas to get better use out of your unfinished basement.

1. Fixing The Moisture Problem

Before you get too far into your basement, you might notice that it seems a bit damp. Most basements, especially in the midwest, tend to have a moisture problem because of the constant changing of seasons and temperatures throughout the region.

As long as your foundation is intact and there aren’t any leaks, then the majority of your problem can be fixed with a dehumidifier. These can be somewhat expensive, but don’t be afraid to look for them at garage sales, Facebook market, or craigslist.

After a couple of days dehumidifying, you’ll most likely notice a change in the air throughout your basement. The damp and sometimes smelly area should start to lighten a bit. Ideally, humidity levels should be around 45 percent.

As soon as you feel confident that the humidity is at a reasonable level, you’re ready to move onto the next step.

2. Add Some Fresh Paint

Most unfinished basements are left unpainted. While this isn’t a “bad” thing, it does hold your basement back from its fullest potentials. Adding even the simplest of colors to the walls can dramatically change the feel. The way you approach painting your basement might vary slightly depending on the surface that needs to be painted. Here are some quick tips.

Sheetrock walls: If you have sheetrock walls in your basement that have never been painted, you’re going to want to add a coat of primer before painting. Sheetrock tends to absorb a lot of paint the first time, but after a coat of primer and a couple of coats of paint, you’ll be in business!

Block exterior walls: A lot of the exterior walls are going to be unpainted block or concrete. While you can paint over this, it might be a good idea to seal the block or concrete with a simple solution before painting. This is going to help to preserve the foundation and help the paint to last longer. A long term goal might reflect having sheetrock against those walls to take away the harsh feeling of cold concrete in the winter.

Rafters: If the rafters in your basement are exposed, you might have thought to yourself, “Wow, those are ugly.” Rafters can take a lot of energy out of space, and you might want to cover them up. Another solution to installing a ceiling is painting them. Adding a white, black, gray, or other neutral colors can increase the aesthetic.

Floor: Concrete floors are an open canvas and can be painted any color you want. Some people might even enjoy creating some fancy designs or patterns. Here’s a great resource if this interests you.

3. Area Rugs

basement area rug, living space, home theater

If painting your floor isn’t quite enough or if you can’t stand painting, then adding some area rugs is a great option. The right rug can help warm up a space and make it feel a lot homier.

Consider adding these to playrooms or places that kids might be on the floors a lot to make them more comfortable. No-one likes sitting or kneeling on cold concrete.

4. Lighting

Unfortunately, basements are more often than not lit very poorly. Adding some lights will make your unfinished basement feel a lot more welcoming.

When adding lights, there are a few different directions you can go. Consider stringing some lights on walls or from the ceiling, lamps in the corners or free-standing if it fits the room well, and updating ceiling fixtures to match the vibe you’re going for.

You’ll definitely be surprised by how much lighting can change the mood in a room.

5. Storage

It’s inevitable. You’re going to need some storage space, and most often, the basement is going to be the best place. Instead of just stacking boxes in a corner, consider building some shelves along a wall. Maximizing your storage space is going to help you get a lot out of your space and allow you to do more with the space beyond just storage.

6. Play Room

Every kid needs a great playroom, and sometimes it’s fun to have it outside of their room. An unfinished basement can be a great place to have a playroom. The best part about it is that when the kids make a mess with their toys everywhere, you don’t have to worry about cleaning it up at the end of every day.

Playrooms can go in a lot of different directions. If you’re looking for some additional information, look no further, Pinterest has got you covered!

7. Man Cave

Most dudes won’t mind if the ceiling isn’t finished or if the floors aren’t carpeted. That’s why basements make for great man caves. Honestly, when the big game is on, and it’s getting intense, it’s better if you don’t have to worry about messing up the carpet with drinks and snacks.

Mounting a tv to the wall and adding some comfortable seating is a great way to get a man cave started on a budget. If you’re looking to go a little further and add a bar or a more robust entertainment system, don’t be afraid to give us a call.

8. Clean Up The Laundry Room

Laundry rooms are tools to help you keep clothes clean and keep the household running. Because of that, they often get neglected. If you’re tired of walking down the stairs to a disorganized laundry room, why not clean it up a bit?

Adding shelving, cupboards, and cabinets or putting a coat of paint on existing cabinets can make all the difference. You might also consider installing a simple curtain to hide your washer and dryer from the rest of the basement. This can help with noise if you’re in the basement while washing clothes and helps to make the rest of the room feel cleaner.

9. Office Space

Unfinished basements make for great office spaces. You might not think your basement could ever be a good office, but we’re here to disagree with that. Adding some paint, a new desk, good lighting, and some bookshelves can do more for your basement than you might think. In no time, you can have an office that inspires you to get more done and adds value to your home.

10. Pantry

There are a few foods that keep better in cool dark places. Lucky for you, most basements are cool and dark. Consider creating a pantry where you can keep dry goods, canned goods, and other foods that might traditionally be kept in a cellar. 

11. Wine Cellar

Just like a pantry for your food, a wine cellar is an excellent use of space. This is especially true if you enjoy collecting wine. Some shelving and a wine cooler would make a great addition to any basement and could be placed in an area where it adds to the overall aesthetic.

12. Throw Out The Junk

Lastly, if you’re considering how you could get better use out of your basement, then you might need to throw some junk out. It’s all too easy to let useless stuff collect over time. Hopefully, after reading through some of the different things you can do with your basement, you feel inspired enough to get down there and go through some of the stuff collecting dust in the corners.

You might even find a few things worth selling. That extra money could help you fund the project!

Professional Remodeling and Renovating

If you think your project is a little too big to take on by yourself, then reach out to Treasured Spaces. There are so many different ways that we can help you turn your basement into your favorite part of the house.

Check out some of our other blogs for more inspiration on the treasured space your basement could become!

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Josh Carlson
Josh Carlson

At Treasured Spaces, we bring serious value, quality and attention to detail to every home remodeling or new construction project we take on. With a sense of pride and integrity, years of experience and first-class professionalism, we’re the local contractor you can trust to get the job done on time and on budget.

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