questionsany advice or ideas for finishing a basement?

vote-for18vote-against
vote-for3vote-against

probably a good idea to finish building the basement before the rest of the house?

vote-for3vote-against

depending on age of kids, have you considered asking them what they want?

vote-for2vote-against

Currently, I have no concrete plans (pun unintended), other than an idle meeting with a contractor friend of mine for some general ideas. The only thing that is definately going in there is a Nintendo VS arcade game - a gift from a friend of mine.

I'm more looking for dos and don'ts, and words of advice from people with success and horror stories.

vote-for3vote-against

@kamikazeken:

Naah. I built the rest of the house, now i'm digging a hole underneath for the dead hook...err, the kids to play in. :P

In all seriousness, i have bare concrete down there - it's just begging to be turned into a rec room / spare office utility room / workbench / etc.

vote-for3vote-against

@moosezilla:

I've brought it up with the kids - but at 14, 12, and 6, they'll be happy with an open area for sleepovers, and the PS3.

I'm the picky one.

vote-for2vote-against

If it were for me, I'd totally make a small recording studio. But I'm a big music nerd. Studios probably aren't too kid friendly.

What you can do really depends on the ages of the kids.

For starters, I would definitely section off the water heater. Maybe build a small room underneath the stairs and just have the heater (I assume WH is water heater?) and some storage in that small unit. Would be a good idea to do something similar with anything else potentially dangerous/ hazardous.

I would make the area between the shelves and the stairs a reading area. Put a couple nice chairs there, have some books.

Then designate the other half of the basement a play area. Maybe some carpet, you can put a TV in one nook, a nice toy chest in the other if you have younger kids. Maybe a sofa and a coffee table if they're at a video game age. You've definitely got room for bigger things (possibly even a pool table!) but my specific ideas would really be age-dependent

vote-for3vote-against

Ah. Just noticed the above post with the kids' ages.

Open area's good, I'm still a fan of my reading area suggestion.

Video game nook is a definite possibility. I've seen lots of basements that have an at-home version of that basketball carnival game thing, if your kids are into sports they might dig that.

I think sectioning off the right side of the stairs might be good; lower half has a sofa and a coffee table facing the TV, upper half is relatively clear, maybe some more seating. It would make the basement a good place to hang out, and if the kids want to have sleepovers, they'd have plenty of room for sleeping bags.

A minifridge could also be useful, if you plan on the basement having heavy use

vote-for3vote-against

if sleep overs are a plan then consider a hide-a-bed type couch. (besides more time will be spent there than elsewhere). or maybe a loftbed over a couch. figure on rugs over carpets because the floor will be cold even in summer for extend periods (like if you have 10 people sleep over). consider a "toy" box for keeping video games in (tried shelves but the stuff never made it back onto them until mom went to clean up). if you don't wanna do perminent walls use sheets on rope to section off the rooms so "stop looking at me" isn't as much of an issue. beanbag chairs? lamps? extra blankets? white boards for decorating? mini fridge? microwave?

vote-for2vote-against

Are you in a flood plain? If so, I'd advise against finishing the basement at all. My parent's previously-finished basement flooded in '93 (several feet of water); it still hasn't been finished again. (It's also seen a few minor floodings in the years since then too.)

vote-for2vote-against

@msklzannie:

I am not in a flood plain, but it does get rather wet around here. Not enough for moisture in the basement, but enough that the sump pump runs every couple of minutes whenever it rains.

And yes, I'm going to get a battery backup for the pump. :-\

vote-for2vote-against

@thedogma:

I'd be all for the reading area suggestion, but I already have a front room with built-in bookshelves and amazing lighting... I'm an avid reader myself, and that was one of the selling points of the house for me. :)

vote-for1vote-against

Even though you don't live in a flood plain, here is my flood-plain-dwelling advice: try not to have anything down there that you can't carry up if there's a problem or that you'd mind losing.