basement renovation

How to Make the Most of Your Basement Space

Are you ideating expanding the living space of your home, but no idea has struck your mind? If so, you can consider renovating your basement to convert it into a living area. It can be an excellent way to make the most of your basement space.

But, it is easier said than done. The fact is that the process of converting your basement into a living space will pose challenges.

Usually, basements have a low ceiling height and no windows. And that means you have to craft a design for the conversion thoughtfully.

Remember, it can be a challenging task that will not be budget-friendly. But, once you deal with the challenges to successfully convert your basement into a living space, you will get the value of the investment. You can use the area for various activities.

Successful conversion of your basement into a living space requires actuating the correct steps.

It will help if you proceed through the following steps in your basement-to-living-space conversion project.

Hire a Competent Contractor

Remember that the contractor you will hire can make or break your project. So, you should refrain from hiring a contractor straight away. Instead, you need to spend some time researching for the best contractor who can handle your job successfully.

Shortlist several contractors and scrutinize each of them to select the best one.

It is a good idea to hire a general contractor who can execute the role of a project manager to handle the entire project.

But, you should construct a detailed project plan involving every aspect before starting your project.

You might also need to hire specialized contractors in addition to the general contractor to handle jobs related to kitchen, bathroom, cabinetry, electrical, and plumbing.

Decide What Will be its Use

Before you set your project in motion, you should decide the rooms you will include in your basement.

In this context, there can be many permutations and combinations. So, think carefully to make a good decision.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • You can turn your basement into a family room. If space permits, you can think of adding a mini kitchen
  • A playroom cum study room for your children
  • A home office for you to work in privacy
  • A home gym
  • A games room

Moreover, your contractor can suggest you the best basement space ideas.

Decide the Flooring Type

An important consideration for your basement renovation is the flooring that plays a significant role in the overall comfort. Therefore, you should select the right colour and material for the flooring.

A cost-effective way to enhance the look and feel of your basement floor is to go for carpet or laminate flooring. Also, the vinyl plank can be a good alternative that is also waterproof.

If you choose hardwood flooring, ensure that you do not forget to add a rug during colder temperatures to protect it from damages.

Consider Light Sources

Usually, basements are dark. So, you need to think about how to provide lighting facilities. With a good lighting plan, you can significantly improve the basement’s looks.

You should plan for windows and doors to allow natural light into your basement if possible. To prepare things better, you can ask your contractor to check if any provision exists to enlarge existing windows to allow more natural light. But, you should ensure that there is no compromise to the structural load of the house structure.

If there is no such provision, you can have the option of using a combination of light sources, such as recessed or pot lights, which can provide good light to the entire basement space.

To complete the look, you can add other lightings, such as task and accent lighting.

In addition, you should ensure that the electrician is experienced enough to handle the wiring correctly. Moreover, your electrician might suggest installing a separate panel for the basement. You should accept that because it will be a safe option despite being not cheap. Furthermore, you can negate the possibility of overloading your existing panel with such a panel.

Consider Adding a Bathroom

The consideration of adding a bathroom to your basement can be valuable. It will offer convenience to people living in the basement and significant value to the entire house. For example, the day you will have many people in your home will require an additional bathroom to facilitate the excess people.

But, you should plan the bathroom carefully. You should ensure the available space will allow what you plan for.

You should ensure that the bathroom has been built correctly with seals to avoid any water leakage. In addition, you can ask your contractor to include a waterproofing membrane over the substructure. Also, you can install a good extraction fan to keep humidity levels low.

Obtain the Relevant Permits

The essential permits are crucial to obtain before you set your basement renovation project into motion.

If you are not fully aware of what permits are, you need to explore what they are. You can regard a permit as a document, usually issued by the local building authority, approving construction, renovation or demolition of properties in Canada.

A permit also shows that your construction, renovation or demolition plan complies with the codes mandated by the authority. For example, some local building codes require installing the egress windows for a basement room to be considered a bedroom.

In addition, you may need to obtain other permits to go ahead with your basement renovation project. For example, you will need separate permits for electrical work and plumbing.

Therefore, you should discuss with your contractor to figure out the permits you need to obtain for your project. Moreover, you can also ask an official of the local building authority to know the necessary permits for your project.

Although your contractor can get the permits on your behalf, you should obtain them yourself as that is your responsibility.

It will help if you note that obtaining the essential permits is mandatory before starting your project. If you fail to do so, you need to prepare yourself to pay the resultant fines and abide by a stop order.

Heating and Cooling Facilities

After getting your basement ready after renovation, it should be a comfortable space for people staying there. And for that, it has to have the facilities for cooling and heating.

Usually, basements extend below the ground. So, they are cool inside. Also, the temperature inside a basement can become too high during the summer months.

Understandably, your renovated basement will not give a comfortable living with high or low temperatures.

Therefore, you should ask your contractor to include the essential heating and cooling systems in your basement to provide people with the correct temperature.

Remember, the correct temperature has a critical role to play. If there is no temperature-regulating mechanism, the basement will be an uncomfortable space to live in, regardless of how fantastic it is.


Finally, you need to think carefully about how you will decorate your renovated basement. You should not take the decoration lightly because it can add to the appeal of your remodelled basement.

You should carefully decide the decoration to make it appealing to its people. For example, you can consider painting the walls with a light colour. It can create the impression of a larger space while making it brighter. However, there is nothing such as not using a dark colour. Instead, you can use the dark colours of your choice.


Renovating your basement can be a valuable investment to get the most out of it. A remodelled basement can add significant value to your entire home. For example, it can help you to use your basement as a living space, a home office, or rent it out to earn money. But, you should follow a systematic strategy for the renovation to get the most out of your basement.