Need More Square Footage?

by Jane VanOsdol on August 16, 2011

If your home is running out of room for your growing family, you may need to consider what options you have to accommodate your need for space.  Of course, you can move to a new home, or you can add on to your current home. But one of the most cost efficient ways to add more space to your home is to finish off your basement.

A basement finish can add that much-needed square footage you’ve been looking for. Since basements can be quirky spaces with different nooks and crannies, sketch out a layout of how you want to use the spaces in your basement. You may alot room for a bedroom and bath, an office, a laundry area and a family room space. Perhaps you want a bar or media room. Consult with a designer if you need help configuring the space.

Before you begin the actual remodeling, have a basement waterproofing expert examine the room if you suspect that you may have a problem with moisture in the basement. You definitely need to address this problem before you begin any construction.

Now, let’s consider some budget-friendly possibilities for this space.


When it comes to basements, two safe alternatives for this space are carpet and engineered wood flooring. Both of these will give you beautiful results. If the budget is a concern, however, your most cost-effective alternative may be just to paint the concrete floor with paint made specifically for this surface. This makes for extremely easy upkeep of the floor, and you can then personalize each of the different spaces by adding area rugs.


If you want to the basement to be a truly comfortable, finished space, then you’ll want to drywall the walls. This will take a big bite out of your budget, but hands down it will give you the polished look you’ll want for the space, especially if you’ll be using it extensively.


Many homeowners install drop ceilings in basements. Some have the ceiling drywalled.  By far the safer choice in case of a problem in which you would need to access the pipes would be to install a drop ceiling. The last thing you need is to tear apart your drywalled ceiling trying to find the source of a leak. However, you may want to consider a third, even cheaper option. That is to leave the ceiling exposed, which is a popular choice in industrial-style loft homes and condos. Consider leaving the ceiling exposed, but give the pipes and everything a fresh coat of blue-gray paint for that industrial-style look.

Storage and Furniture

When keeping an eye on the budget,choose some budget-friendly storage and furniture from a store such as IKEA. You’ll be able to find stylish bookcases, shelving, couches, chairs, tables, desk and office accessories, beds, rugs and art work, all at prices that will fit in with your budget.

Ultimately, after considering all your options, you may find that a basement finish is the best home improvement option for you and your family to gain the square footage you need. Just be sure that you first address any moisture issues so that you don’t end up with basement mold concerns in the future. Do your homework right, and you’ll have a space to enjoy for years to come.

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