In the parts of the country where basements are common elements of home construction, that underground floor to the house too often gets underutilized. How often have you walked into a home and looked down the stairways that leads to the basement and got the impression that the basement is more of a dungeon than a usable space for the family? That is why with a little bit of remodeling, you can turn your basement into a series of rooms that may be the most popular place in the house.
If you have a basement that is basically an underground version of your attic, you are missing a golden opportunity to create family friendly spaces down that stairwell. There is something unique about basements that actually make them better living spaces than even the upstairs floors. Because basements are well fortified with concrete and brick and are surrounded by the earth, basements are almost always cooler in the summertime and warmer in the winter. One reason for that is that there is no leakage of heating or cooling through the walls. So if you air condition or heat basement rooms, they stay that way.
The first and most important step to turning your basement into expanded living space is to improve the lighting and the make sure the stairs going down to the lower level are safe and inviting. By putting in bright and safe lighting on the stairwells and on the rooms in the basement, you eliminate the intimidating feel that an underground space can suggest especially to the younger members of your household. Also, take a look at the stairs leading down to the basement. If they are narrow and do not feel perfectly secure, that is an important first step in making that lower level more inviting and safe for the family to use. It might take some structural work to make those stairs inviting and safe for the whole family. But it is perhaps the most important step in your remodeling.
The basement is a great location for bedrooms for the kids, for an exercise room, for an expanded and well equipped laundry area or even for a second family room where the family can go to watch TV and stay cozy on those cold winter nights. Take a look at the walls down there because you may already have the rooms in place that will just take a little wall paper or a paneling to turn into great places for people to use. Then you just add in some carpet and a splash of decorating and you have a wonderful new level in your home that may be space that is going unused today.