Imagine all you could do with extra square footage in your home!

  • Are you sick of the gym? Why not turn your basement into an exercise room?
  • Don’t like having the TV in your living room? Create a mini home theater (and/or video game room) downstairs.
  • Does your teenager want her own room? How about a basement bedroom? 
  • Need a quiet place to start your work-from-home business? A cozy basement home office might be the perfect place!
  • Laundry piling up? Turn your basement into a spacious laundry room. 

Fixing up an unfinished basement can really pay off in the long run too. A basement remodel can have up to 70% ROI.

The problem is that making a dark, dingy basement into a bright, inviting space is easier said than done. There are a few common problems homeowners tend to run into with basement remodels. Let’s look at them — and their solutions — one at a time.


Not enough windows: add an egress window

Depending on what you’re planning to use your basement for, you may need to update or add windows. For example, egress windows may be required for basement living spaces, especially if it’s a bedroom.

Many basements already have at least one or two small windows near the ceiling, and these can often be converted to egress windows more easily than many homeowners realize.

Just make sure you plan out any window changes before you start hanging and painting drywall.

Once your windows are up to code, all you have to do is beautify them. Adding window trim can go a long way towards making your basement feel homey. If you want to be able to control how much sunlight gets in, you may want to add window coverings too. Blinds and some airy, light colored curtains will encourage natural light to brighten your basement, making it feel bigger and more open. 

If you’re turning your basement into a home movie theater, though, there might be times when you want to shut out all daylight, so consider adding window shades or blackout curtains in that case.


Cracked, dirty flooring: update your concrete floors

finished waterproof basement flooring

Dusty, dirty, drab-looking floors have no place in a finished living space. If your basement is like most in the Portland area, it probably has concrete floors. The good news is that concrete is a great option for basement flooring. When properly sealed and finished, concrete floors are:

  • Durable
  • Water resistant
  • Energy efficient
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to clean

Plus, concrete floors can be easily stained and refinished in a variety of colors and styles to make your basement feel like a true extension of your home.


Not functional or comfortable: address practical concerns

What will you need to add in order to make your basement space functional and comfortable? There’s a good chance you’ll need to hire an electrician to run electrical wiring for lighting and other features.

If you’re adding a bathroom or ½  bath, you’ll also need to add plumbing. If it’s possible to locate your basement bathroom directly below your ground floor bathroom, this can make things simpler and help keep costs down.

You might also want to consider heating options. Good insulation will go a long way towards keeping your basement’s temperature under control, but you might also want to consider getting a space heater for the coldest winter months.


Doesn’t feel homey: make it cozy with decor

Once you’ve got the basics (like walls, windows, and flooring) planned out, it’s time to focus on the details that will make your basement into a comfortable, charming living space.


Choose warm lighting.

In addition to the natural light coming in through your windows, you also want good artificial lighting to brighten your basement. Recessed lighting is a popular choice for basements with low ceilings. If you’re concerned that traditional recessed lighting combined with eco-friendly light bulbs will create a harsh, white-light effect, consider flush mount lighting that evenly disperses light around the room with a warm, gentle glow.

Don’t underestimate the power of lamps either. Adding lots of floor and table lamps not only gives your basement space a warm, cozy feel, but it also gives you complete control over the amount and type of light in the room at any given time.


Select colors wisely.

If your goal is to brighten up your basement, the colors you choose are almost as important as lighting. Pale colors reflect light, so painting your walls a light color can really open up the room and prevent that claustrophobic “underground” feeling. 

You don’t have to limit yourself to only light colors, though. A few deeper or bolder colors here and there can add dimension and interest to your design.


Find textures you love.

Adding soft, comfy textures can really transform a basement design. Here are some elements to think about:

  • Soft rugs
  • Plush furniture
  • Cushions and throw blankets
  • Natural materials, like wood trim or a rustic coffee table
  • Curtains to conceal your home’s water heater, furnace, and other comfort systems
  • A faux fireplace


Damp and musty: waterproofing is crucial

If your family is planning on spending more time in your new and improved basement, you want it to be a safe, healthy environment. Moisture is one of the biggest threats not only to your basement’s flooring, but also to your health. Basement water leakage can lead to:

  • Mold growth
  • Bugs and other pests
  • Unpleasant musty smells
  • Soggy beams and rotting wood
  • Foundation damage to your home

You don’t want all the money and hard work you put into your basement project to go to waste. Make sure you get it thoroughly inspected and waterproofed by an expert before you remodel.


Give us a call before you start on your basement 

Waterproofing is an important first step in any successful basement project. At Rock Solid Waterproofing, we go the extra mile to keep all water completely out of your basement. We even keep out water you can’t see, which other waterproofing services sometimes miss.

We can also install beautiful decorative concrete flooring. We’ll help you choose an amazing color and style option for your basement design. Just give us a call or contact us online to tell us about your project and find out how we can help!