What to consider when converting your basement

by Housesimple on 5th May 2017

Space can come at a bit of a premium these days, especially if you live in a city. If you lack the room – or the budget – for a home extension, it might be time to get a little creative with your interiors. Adding value to your property could be as simple as converting that unused basement into a cosy and functional room. Here are a few ideas to get you started with your basement conversion.

What can a basement be turned into?

The short answer to this question is: anything you like. Since they're usually right next to the other living areas of your home, it makes sense to turn your basement into an extra sitting room or a snug where you and your family can relax. Many people turn theirs into something that suits their hobbies or lifestyle choices, with playrooms, games rooms and home gyms being popular options.

As more and more people work from home these days, an increasing number of basements are being turned into home offices. This means you can escape from the noises and distractions found in the rest of the house and you even have a room that you can leave and lock up at the end of the day, so you can get some distance from your desk.

Some homeowners also like the idea of creating self-contained units for their teenagers to move into when they're old enough, so they can experience a little independence.

What about heating?

As you live in the great British unpredictable climate, you'll probably need some form of heating installed in your basement. In general, your main options are:

  • Electric heaters – these are good short-term solutions, although not the most cost-effective.
  • Oil heaters – these are more cost-effective than electric heaters, and they're easily portable.
  • Radiators – these form an extension of your central heating.
  • Underfloor heating– a little costly but very effective and efficient.

It's good to think about which heating solutions will most add to the value of your home. Underfloor heating is sure to add a few pounds onto your house price, but extending your central heating is also a good investment for when you're ready to sell.

And lighting?

Basements don't normally come with a lot of natural light streaming through the windows, but there are ways you can make the most of the sunshine. Remove any objects and obstacles that might get in the way of the windows and fit some simple roller blinds that can be tucked away during the day and winched down at nighttime.

If your basement leads out into your garden, have a glass door fitted onto the patio, or replace the door to your entrance hall with something equally as transparent. The more natural light you have flooding your basement, the better.

When it comes to installing electric lighting, it's better to have fixtures that take up as little space as possible, as your ceiling might be a bit on the low side. Spotlights, track lighting,  and wall sconces are your best options. Uplighting from lamps can also help to create a warm and welcoming feel.