Homeowners wishing to enclose basement appliances should take note of air-supply requirements for both the furnace and water heater, which are powered by electricity or natural gas, oil or propane. Fuel-burning appliances use room air for combustion and require an unrestricted air supply. Any enclosure requires installation of a louvered door between living areas and the furnace room to ensure an adequate air supply and ventilation in your basement. Without sufficient air, a house may fill with dangerous gases, including carbon monoxide or radon.
Your foundation should be inspected prior to finishing your basement. You don’t want to cover up any structural damage that would be identified in an inspection by installing framing and drywall. If items such as pipes have rust, the problem may be humidity instead of a leak, but it can be just as damaging. Waterproofing the basement and using a dehumidifier helps reduce dampness and the risk of mold development.

Maybe it’s just great extra space, a blank palette—there are so many awesome ways you can use the basement. A movie room, game room, family room or kitchenette can provide a special place for the family to bond and have fun. Man caves and/or woman caves have become trendy and there are plenty of modern basement cave ideas available to inspire your own private space.


This basement was nothing more than a dumping ground for holiday decorations and too-small clothing until the family realized its hidden potential. To open the basement to the outdoors and create a walkout, they excavated 5 feet out of the backyard. A set of double doors and windows, with the same details that match the rest of the home, were installed and allow light to fill the space.
Across from the sitting area, a home office was constructed using inexpensive IKEA pieces and a painted wood countertop. A 4-inch concrete slab was poured over the existing floor and a stained finish was used to match the wood floors on the main level. A gas fireplace replaces an old woodstove and the existing brick was made light and bright after being covered with plaster and white paint.
A luxurious contemporary basement opens to the movie and media room which showcases a drop round tray ceiling, recessed lights, light tone wood flooring and built-in entertainment center which stretches across one wall and doubles as bookshelves, provides extra storage for games, videos and other entertainment technology. A small pantry area provides convenience for food preparation and storage. Classic neutral colors add a sense of well-being, ease and coziness to the room.

There are no hard and fast rules about wall color in a basement, but there are ways to make your color look it’s best in a space that often has no natural light. Ensure that your lighting is in place and adequate before deciding on a color, determine what the space will be used for, and consider the tone that you want to set for the space. Your basement is one of the few truly personal spaces in a home, make it yours!
Basements are ideal for casual social activities for the whole family, or just for the kids. It's the perfect spot for the big screen TV, pool table, and to stash board games and craft supplies. Make this space inviting by finishing and decorating it like any upstairs room. Choose comfortable furnishings that can be easily rearranged to accommodate a few people or a crowd. Incorporate sound systems, internet connections, and good lighting to make the basement design functional.
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