Ideas for finishing an empty basement

For some finishing a basement means adding more bedrooms, but for others the basement is the only space in the house where wants tend to trump needs.

So if you have nothing planned for your basement, here are a few ideas that may help you get started on the path to construction.

If your current home theater is wedged between the living room couch and the dinette set then why not consider taking a step down to the basement. A basement is the perfect spot for a home theater.

Basements aren’t usually inundated with natural light. And when it comes to watching a feature film, who wants or needs that light anyway? Moreover, the basement is an out of the way place with more than enough room to mount a 110-inch flat screen TV.

Make sure to consider arranging for plenty of seating. What better place to entertain friends and family that in a theater-size theater?

If you already have a home theater, then how about creating your own gym? Good exercise equipment once cost an arm and a leg. Not so now. If you do a bit of research you may discover that you can drop your membership in your local gym, save money and personalize the process.

Large mirrors on one or two of the walls, a cushioned commercial floor covering and three or four pieces of exercise equipment, and you will be the envy of the neighborhood.

The great thing about building a home gym is that you can configure it any way you like without spending tons of cash. As far as remodels go, it’s one of the more affordable.

If you have children, then the basement should definitely be deeded to them. Giving them their own space will keep them safely at home; it will keep their mess in one location; and it will allow them to whoop and holler without disturbing you and your guests.

The key to building a kids room (that they will love) is to ensure that it is furnished and equipped to support multiple activities. It’s hard to keep a youngster engaged. You may want to consider a desk or other large flat surface for making models or for assembling puzzles, a computer connected to the Internet (with parental controls), a television, a bookcase, a toy box, and, well, you choose.

Be sure to include lots of storage and shelving.

Ask most guys and they’ll tell you that basements were built for bars and pool tables. Of course, the nice thing about having a basement is that you can easily accommodate everyone’s needs. The kids’ play area can be located in one corner, a home office in another room, the home theater in one section, and the pool table and bar in another area.

Your pocketbook is your limit. Start planning now. Remodeling costs are at an all-time low. Take advantage now before everyone else.

For tips from James and Morris Carey, go to www.onthehouse.com or call the listener hot line, 800-737-2474, ext. 59. The Careys are also on KRKO (1380-AM) from 6 to 10 a.m. every Saturday.

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