Many homes have a basement, but not all are making the most of the space. Basement makeovers can seem expensive and something you might not be able to get into the household budget. But there are some great ideas for basement makeovers on a budget.
Things to consider before you begin
Renovating your home’s basement is a smart move to get more space. But it has the potential to increase the value of your home as well. According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), homeowners could recoup as much as two-thirds of the cost of a basement conversion when they sell their homes.
While a professional basement costs around $40,000, DIY renovations can be much less expensive. You can set a budget and work on the part of the basement within it while still getting the extra space you want.
However, a few things to consider before you ensure your basement is ready for the project.
Make sure there’s no moisture or dampness.
Moisture problems or damp issues are two of the biggest problems in basements, so before you do anything, it is essential to have these areas checked. Call out a professional to give a free estimate of anything that might need doing before you start your makeover.
Clean out any musty smells.
Musty spells are often blamed on dampness but can most often come from a lack of airflow. Getting better airflow into the basement before you start and boosting the air quality is a good idea. A simple air purifier can work well, and many cost less than $100. This makes it worth factoring into your budget, as it will keep working after the renovation.
Check the floors, walls, and ceiling.
Whatever the plan for the basement, check the floors, walls, and ceilings for signs of damage or other problems. Before starting any renovation work, These must be handled, as you want to have solid foundations for everything.
Get a professional to check it is to code.
You can do many things in a basement that don’t need to meet codes, but others do, such as electrics, framing, and plumbing work. So if you need to get any of these things done, factor into your budget that you’ll want a professional to check them at the end of the work.
Budget basement makeover ideas
You are ready to start the work once you have done some basic preparation. But what kind of projects can be done on a budget that will substantially impact your basement?
Select just one area for improvement.
There’s always the temptation when starting a basement remodel to aim to overhaul everything and completely change the area. That’s great if you have the budget, but if it is a little more modest, consider selecting one area for improvement instead.
Decide what the most important thing you want from the basement is. For example, is it to create a second living room or a play area for the kids? Do you want a basement laundry room? Or even something like a home gym. While you might only be able to complete some of your basement ideas initially, you can start with a single area to improve to reach your overall goal.
You don’t need to start with a large area, either. A great way to make a big difference is to take a small space in the basement and completely overhaul it. You might paint the concrete walls and floor and add a TV to the wall with area rugs to cover the concrete. You can add a sofa facing the TV, and you have a small living area.
Add an area rug.
Adding an area rug to your basement can enhance its aesthetic appeal and functionality. Here are some reasons why incorporating an area rug is a great idea:
- Comfort and Warmth: Basements often have cold and hard concrete floors, which can be uncomfortable to walk on. An area rug adds a layer of softness and warmth, making the space cozier and more inviting. It provides a comfortable surface for sitting, playing games, or watching movies.
- Noise Reduction: Basements can have echoes and sound reverberations due to the lack of carpeting or soft materials. An area rug helps absorb sound and reduce noise, creating a more pleasant and acoustically friendly environment.
- Visual Appeal: A well-chosen area rug can instantly transform the look of your basement. It adds texture, color, and pattern, creating a focal point or tying together the overall design scheme. Whether you prefer a bold statement or a subtle touch, an area rug can enhance the visual appeal of your space.
- Define Zones: An area rug can define separate zones if you have an open-concept basement with multiple functional areas. It helps visually delineate spaces such as a seating area, a play area, or a home office, providing a sense of organization and structure.
When selecting an area rug for your basement, consider the size, durability, and moisture resistance. Ensure the rug is properly secured to prevent slipping or sliding. With the right area rug, you can add comfort, style, and functionality to your basement space.
Create a DIY home theater.
Creating a DIY home theater in your basement can provide an immersive and enjoyable entertainment experience without breaking the bank. Here are some reasons why it’s a fantastic idea:
Building a DIY home theater allows you to tailor the project to your budget. Instead of investing in expensive theater systems, you can opt for affordable equipment like a projector, speakers, and a screen.
Designing your home theater allows you to customize every aspect according to your preferences. You can choose the seating arrangement, screen size, audio setup, and decor that suits your style and space.
A DIY home theater provides a fantastic setting for family movie nights, game nights, or gatherings with friends. It offers a cozy and private atmosphere for enjoying films, sports events, or gaming sessions.
Remember to optimize the space by considering seating arrangement, lighting control, and sound insulation to create the best home theater experience. With a little creativity and planning, you can transform your basement into a DIY home theater that provides countless hours of entertainment and enjoyment for you and your loved ones.
Use dividers to hide unimproved areas.
Another way to work on a basement renovation a piece at a time is to use dividers to hide areas you still need to work on. There are some very budget-friendly ways to split up a room, with something like a tall shelving unit from stores such as IKEA being one idea. You can get these cheaply; they are great for storing all kinds of things and look brilliant.
Breaking up the room into sections means you aren’t constantly looking at the areas where no work has been carried out. Instead, you can enjoy the areas you have worked on.
Paint or stain the concrete floor.
Concrete floors are a feature in many basements, and while they are great for the industrial look, sometimes you want a different feel to your basement. One of the easiest things to do here is to paint the concrete floor. A solid color is the best option, although you could get a little more artistic if you wanted to.
Add area rugs to break up the color once you have painted a color that works. Pair them with throw rugs on sofas or other seating, instantly creating a new vibe.
If you have wooden basement flooring, add some stain or paint to refresh its look. Choose a stain that matches the rest of the house to create a continuous feel, or choose something that fits in with the use of the room and is unique to the lower level of your home.
Paint the walls.
Like the floors, basement walls are often concrete and very functional. But this also means they are simple enough to add a fresh coat of paint. One can be painted with a bold shade and complementing colors on other walls. For example, you can choose a single color or use a feature wall on a back wall. Tie in the decor with the ceiling tiles and the floor color to quickly create a harmonious look in the basement.
Use a light color if you want to help lighten the room. Most basements only get a little natural light, but one of the best ways to make the room feel brighter is to use lighter colors on the walls.
Create a game room.
Creating a game room in your basement offers a range of benefits that make it an excellent idea. Firstly, it provides a dedicated and enjoyable space for entertainment and recreation.
With a game room, you can gather with family and friends to engage in various games and activities, fostering a social and fun environment. Whether it’s board games, video games, or classic arcade games, you can curate a collection that suits your preferences and interests.
Moreover, a game room is a retreat from daily stress and offers a space to unwind and relax. It becomes a haven where you can escape everyday life’s pressures and immerse yourself in leisure activities that bring joy and relaxation.
Personalization is another advantage of creating a game room. You can decorate the space with items that reflect your personality and passions. Whether displaying posters, showcasing memorabilia, or incorporating themed decor, you can infuse your unique style and create an inviting and vibrant atmosphere.
Lastly, a game room is versatile in its functionality. It can be utilized for gaming and hosting game nights, birthday celebrations, or even in a mini home theater for movie nights. The flexibility ensures that the game room remains a dynamic and multi-purpose space catering to various interests and occasions.
Overall, creating a game room in your basement allows you to carve out a dedicated space for entertainment, relaxation, and socialization, making it worthwhile.
Improve the look of the basement staircase.
A good choice for a simple budget makeover is to improve the staircase leading to the basement. This may be needed for practical reasons if the staircase is in a little bit of poor repair. But if it is in good condition, you can update it so your basement space has a smart and enticing entrance.
Add storage units to walls.
If you plan to use the basement as a storage space, the first renovation is definitely adding storage units to the walls. You can use stock cabinetry or grab freestanding units from different stores and then arrange them in different ways depending on your needs.
For example, if you plan to use it as a game room, you might want storage for games, somewhere to put tables and folding seats, or other equipment. If the room is a home office, you might need a filing cabinet and other drawer units alongside your desk.
Add new lighting.
A simple way to improve any basement is to add some new lighting. Depending on the basement use, this can be simple, but you want to consider things like LED bulbs. That’s because the lights will often be on longer in this room than in other parts of the house. So install LED lights from the start to ensure they are as cost-effective as possible.
Final Thoughts On Basement Makeover Ideas On A Budget
Basement renovations don’t need to be major projects that cost thousands of dollars. Simple changes can make a massive difference to the entire basement.
Undertaking a basement makeover on a budget can breathe new life into this often underutilized space in your home. You can transform your basement into a functional, inviting, and aesthetically pleasing area by implementing creative and cost-effective ideas.
The suggestions, such as painting the walls, adding an area rug, and new lighting, offer practical and affordable ways to revitalize the basement. These ideas not only enhance the visual appeal but also improve the comfort and functionality of the space.
Whether you choose to create a cozy lounge, a DIY home theater, a game room, or a craft area, each option offers unique benefits that can align with your interests and needs. Additionally, the versatility of these makeover ideas allows you to mix and match, tailoring the transformation to your personal taste and preferences.
It’s important to remember that budget-friendly makeovers don’t require compromising style or quality. With some creativity, you can repurpose and refurbish existing items, find affordable second-hand pieces, or use DIY solutions to achieve impressive results within your budget.