Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 by Gwen Hurd
Many people see their basements as separate from their home. It may be a dark space used only for storage. Or a space devoted to one activity. We see basements devoted to home gyms, movie theaters, and bar areas. While these single activity spaces can be fun, we recommend thinking of your basement as part of your whole home. Here’s why:
1. Resale value. Finishing a basement is expensive. You do not want to spend money creating an extravagantly personalized space that another homeowner would not enjoy. A library with beautiful built in bookshelves might be my dream basement room, but a potential buyer may be more interested in sports than books. Spending thousands of dollars on a very custom finished basement is not a great investment.
2. You might get bored. I don’t know about you, but my interests are a bit mercurial. Last year I was really interested in bird watching. This year, I’m thinking about taking up archery. If you create a finished basement devoted to your latest hobby, say, home brewing… you might be kicking yourself if you lose interest.
3. Your home should flow. In the upstairs part of your home, I’m betting that you chose complementary paint colors and attempted to create a cohesive aesthetic to your home. You probably don’t have a traditional bedroom and a contemporary bath? Your finished basement is part of your home. If you live in a colonial… creating an ultra-contemporary basement might sound like a fun departure… but it will create a jarring juxtaposition in your home’s overall aesthetic.
4. It’s important to share. Everyone learned about sharing in preschool. Hopefully? A man cave, a sewing room, even a play room, are rooms devoted to only a few members of your family. Instead of focusing on one person, create space for everyone. If you’re thinking about making a sewing room, instead make a craft room with tons of built in storage. If you want to include the whole family, kids are messy crafters, avoid carpet and fabric window treatments! Now your finished basement craft room can be used by the whole family.
5. Open concept means tons of space. Use it wisely. Many of the homeowners we work with choose to keep their basements open concept. If you don’t have room dividers, and you have a large basement, your space is going to be really big. If you take all of that space and dedicate it to one thing, it’s not going to feel like a cohesive part of your home.
This is my argument for creating a finished basement that flows with your home. But you don’t have to listen to me because your basement is YOUR space! If you want to build yourself a photography studio or bowling alley or indoor skydiving area (I’m not sure this is actually possible?) and you don’t care about the expense…. You go for it!
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