Home Improvements

10 Things You Won’t Regret Doing When Finishing a Basement

We finished our basement around two years ago now. After living with it this long, we have grown to really appreciate certain things that we did when finishing it. I have compiled a list of 10 things that we did that we not only don’t regret doing but are thrilled with! If you plan on finishing your basement, I hope reading this list first will help you in the decision making process. Here are the 10 things you won’t regret doing when finishing a basement:

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1. Waterproofing

Waterproofing the basement

First things first, you’re going to want to protect your basement from water coming in and causing damage. It’s important to have a professional evaluate your basement to see what your needs would be. You don’t want your newly finished basement to be unprotected!

waterproofing, you won't regret doing it when finishing a basement.

2. Adding a Built In Dehumidifier

No more free standing dehumidifiers like this now with a built in dehumidifier system

Basements tend to be prone to moisture and being musty. Before we finished ours we went through quite a few free standing dehumidifiers like the one shown above. We opted to go with a built in dehumidifier system. It is centrally located in the utility area and has ducting to wall vents in the living space. It is much quieter than a free standing unit and more powerful, too. It drains directly so there’s nothing to empty, and you can also regulate how much or little humidity you want. It’s so nice and handy not having a free standing one in the middle of everything or having anything to maintain, and the air feels fresh down there!

3. Removing Any Poles

The pole that we don't regret having removed in the basement.

Originally there was a pole in the middle of the basement. It was in the way of where we were going to have the couch, and we just wanted a more open feel without a pole being in the middle of everything. So we had it evaluated and removed by professionals. In it’s place they put a support beam across the ceiling and two new poles on either end that are out of the way and encased in the new walls. In the picture above you can see where one of the new poles was placed by the stairs before it was encased.

Finished basement without a pole in the middle! You won't regret removing ugly poles when finishing the basement.

So glad there isn’t a pole in the middle of this room. That is why it is one of the 10 things you won’t regret when finishing a basement!

4. Adding Egress Windows

The basement before adding the egress windows.
The basement after adding egress windows. You won't regret adding them when finishing the basement!

The addition of egress windows made such a huge impact! They give less of a basement “feel” and add so much light and beauty to the space. It’s also so nice to open them and get fresh air. They also make the basement up to code, allowing for sleepovers (second exit/fire escape). This was important to us to of course make it safe, but also because we planned on using the space as a guest room as well as for sleepovers for our kids and their friends.

The egress windows from the outside.

5. Adding a Bathroom

Before and after of the bathroom added to the basement.
Before and After

Before finishing the basement, this house only had one and a half bathrooms. So we really don’t regret adding one down there. It is convenient to have one for when you need one and are down there already, but it is also nice to have another shower in the house when the other one is in use. The basement would also be used as a guest room, so then a full bathroom is also perfect to have for overnight guests.

You can read more about the basement bathroom addition here

basement bathroom, you won't regret adding one when finishing the basement!
basement bathroom

6. Using Pocket and Barn Doors

We had two spots that needed doors, one to the laundry room and one to the bathroom. Due to the smaller size of the basement, we chose to do a barn door and a pocket door. The look is so clean without any doors swinging open, and the barn door especially adds a lot of character.

You won't regret using a pocket door to the bathroom in the basement.
barn door to the laundry room in the basement
You won't regret putting in a barn door in the basement.
You won't regret adding a barn door when finishing a basement.

7. Using a French Door Entrance

The french door entrance to the basement. It's one if the 10 things you won't regret doing when finishing a basement.

I really love the look of French doors. This was a great place for one because it not only looks great both from the downstairs and upstairs, it also opens up the space. I like that when you are in this hallway you automatically get the feeling that there is more space downstairs, and not just a door blocking your view. We also added a pull down shade on the other side of the door in case anyone wants privacy or to darken the room.

8. Adding Stair Lights

You won't regret adding stair lights when finishing a basement.

When stair lights were first recommended to me, my first reaction was that they were unnecessary and even a little frivolous. Now I’m so glad we did it. Not only does it look great, it actually comes in handy when the staircase is dark (there aren’t any other lights here). They also add a great ambiance during a movie night as well as a lit path on the stairs if needed. You won’t regret adding them!

Stair lights in the basement at night. You won't regret adding them when finishing the basement!

9. Fitting in an Extra Refrigerator

We squeezed an extra refrigerator into the laundry room.

An extra refrigerator just fit in this spot in the laundry room under the stairs. We love having it here! It’s always helpful for extra food storage for the family or for a party, plus it’s great for grabbing a drink or snack while you’re in the basement.

You can read more about the laundry room here

10. Creating Lots of Storage

You won't regret adding extra storage like in cubbies.
Cabinets in the laundry room in the basement for extra storage. Storage is one of the 10 things you won't regret doing when finishing a basement.

You just can’t have too much storage space. When designing the cabinet that would go under the tv, I wanted there to be cubbies to fit containers for storage. We have the kids’ school papers, craft supplies, games, dvds, toys, etc. in these bins. We also made sure to fill the laundry room with cabinets as well. In there we have cleaning supplies, snacks, paper towels and more. You will never regret more storage!

You can read more about the entertainment center and cubbies here

That completes the list of 10 things you won’t regret when finishing a basement.

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