Get a Better Basement: Remodeling TipsWhether your budget is large or small, a little planning goes a long way when you're thinking about remodeling or renovating your basement. You'll love the increase in space a finished basement provides.

Often, basement remodeling is the best way to add square footage to your home since it tends to cost less than putting an addition on the home.

Think About Flexibility for Basement Remodeling

You want a basement entertainment room, and your significant other wants an exercise room. There's no reason you can't have both and create a space that features something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

According to the DIY Network:

"Before remodeling a basement, think about the future use of that room. Sometimes the best way is actually keeping a very flexible space that way you can change it into whatever you need it to be."

One of the cool features of today's exercise equipment is space-saving design offered by folding equipment. The treadmill you want to place in the basement might fold up like a Murphy bed, which means you can slide it off to the side when the family wants to use the room for movie night.

Remember: There's no reason your finished basement must serve only one purpose.

Deciding on the Type of Room

You can usually design your room to accommodate more than one purpose, but certain types of rooms also require certain architectural features or space in order to be worthwhile.

The pros at This Old House offer some advice on what you'll need in your basement for rooms meant as an entertainment space, bedroom, or socialization area.

a) Put the main socializing area in a spot that gets the best natural light, to draw people in.
b) Bedrooms need a window for egress, so they'll need to be located at the perimeter.
c) The TV-viewing zone can be in a darker spot, to reduce glare and create a home-theater feel.
d) Store snacks and beverages in an area you can access without crossing in front of the TV.

Decisions on the Laundry Room

One popular way to utilize a basement is to build a laundry room with handy features that help you organize laundry, store a variety of cleaning products, and provide some extra storage for things like extra bedding and towels.

However, you'll want to think twice about putting a laundry room in your basement if you've got a house with two stories and if there's any room available for a laundry room on a different level. Consider the hassle of lugging the laundry basket and everything else that goes in the wash up and down the stairs to the basement…

How do you install an awesome laundry room in the basement and not have to deal with the stairs? Well, there's always the option of installing a dumbwaiter, which looks like a small elevator that carries things like dishes and laundry to different floors of a building.

If the structure of your home will allow for the installation of a dumbwaiter, placing your laundry room in the basement might not be a bad idea. Of course, it all depends on whether you're an agile stair climber or care about carrying laundry.

Combining Features in Your Basement

A finished basement is much more than a coat of paint, some carpet, and a couch. Many decisions you make may provide a better basement experience on multiple fronts such as the type of lighting you choose and the design of the ceiling.

Combine a drop ceiling and recessed lighting which will conceal electrical wires and plumbing, and you'll also enjoy the space-saving design and versatility of recessed lights.

Why It's Important to Work with a Professional

Finished basements are one of those projects that can turn into a monster nightmare if you take on too much or try to engage in projects that require a professional's equipment and expertise. Your contractor will know the local buildings codes backward and forward, and your project might need some permits.

"This is particularly important if you're planning plumbing and electrical work, which may have to be inspected."

Before you embark on your basement renovation adventure, consult with a contractor to see whether you've got the room to make a basement remodeling project a worthwhile investment. If your space is filled with HVAC equipment, you might run into some code issues since refinishing a room with a water heater and HVAC unit might not be possible.

How to Get an Amazing Finished Basement

Want to get the most out of your basement remodeling project? Download our FREE publication: "Wise Homeowner's Guide to Basement, Kitchen, and Bath Remodeling" and save thousands on your next renovation project.