If you’re looking to add living space to your existing home or to add a selling point to your home for sale, consider finishing your basement. Not sure if this is the right choice for you? Read our past blog about what to consider when making that decision: Should You Finish Your Basement?”. If you decide that you can and want create a finished basement, here are the top 10 areas to focus on:

1. Decide what you want to transform your basement into. Are you looking to create a rec room, a game room, a toy room, a spare bedroom, an office? Once you decide, this will help you choose flooring, wall coloring, lighting, etc. Deciding this first will help bring quicker results down the road.
2. Waterproof the basement as best you can so that your new creation isn’t ever ruined. Fill in visible cracks with cement or insulation foam. Surround your exterior with drain tiles that catch the water and drain it away from the foundation.
3. This space needs to be comfortably ventilated. With a furnace, extend your heat distribution pipe to where you want it to flow from and install a boot and then install a register after constructing the ceiling. Also keep a dehumidifier around to release some of the moisture in the air. Insulate wherever you feel a draft!
4. Whether for natural light, fresh air or an extra fire escape, you can never go wrong by adding windows. It’s easy to dig wells deeper and larger to accommodate wider windows. You could even add a staircase that leads down to the window for an easy emergency exit. If you own a walk-out basement, fill the outer wall with windows and provide sliding or French doors.
5. When choosing flooring, consider what the room will be used for. Vinyl and ceramic tiling are good choices for moist areas or rooms that many people will gather in, because they are easy to keep clean and dry. Carpeting adds warmth and comfort. Area rugs are the ideal way to go. Concrete floors are easy too as long as they are smooth and painted.
6. With the walls, fill in visible cracks, drywall, then decide whether to use paint, wallpaper, murals or panels. In areas where the ceiling is lower because of plumbing, incorporate built-in features or closets.
7. Drywall the ceilings and add insulation for heating or for sound proofing. Insert recessed lighting or get crafty with light coverings to cover what you already have. This is a darker area that most rooms in your house, so don’t skimp on the lighting!
8. Adding a bathroom to the basement is almost necessary if you want to use it as a place for guests to stay or a place to host parties. Usually bathrooms are easily added with your current plumbing. If not, you’ll probably want to hire a professional to do the job.
9. When completing all this work, remember where vital electric and plumbing items are located. Don’t permanently block off valves, wires, drains or anything you may need to find in the future.
10. The staircase is the first part of the basement that you will view. Don’t forget to spruce up these walls and stairs as much as the rest! Make the décor flow and match the rest of the basement. Consider adding a French door so that you block the noise but can still see what’s going on.