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The Dos and Don’ts of Developing or Finishing Your Ultimate Dream Basement

Are you planning on finishing your basement soon? Have you been dreaming of doing so for years? Here are the essential dos and don’ts you need to know about developing your basement before you get going on the project from our basement development company in Calgary. 

An unfinished basement is the perfect blank canvas for you to cast your creativity upon. With endless options for you to choose from and the ability to build it from the ground up the way you see fit, finishing your basement is one of the few chances in life where you get to be completely in control.

But with all that control can come uncertainty and a feeling of being overwhelmed. That’s why our interior renovation company wrote this guide to help you chart out the course for your dream basement with a few essential things you must and must not do. Let’s take a look at them.

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Chances are if you’re finally ready to finish or develop your basement, it’s been something you’ve been dreaming about for years. The perfect entertainment area. An at-home fitness centre. A wine cellar with a wet bar. A place for you to host your friends and family. Or more space for your kids to play so you can reclaim your former favourite upstairs enclave.

Honestly, the possibilities are endless. But the principles listed below are applicable to whatever dream basement you have in mind.

Do: Let functionality reign supreme

While you may have lofty ideas and expectations for your dream basement, functionality and practicality should still be your guiding light. If you currently use your basement for things you consider important to your home, say a home office or storage, you don’t want your basement development to remove that functionality from your home at the expense of nice to have elements such as a wet bar or home theatre.

Instead, you want your finished basement to enhance the current functionality you already have. While it may not be as sexy as a place to play billiards with your friends, you’ll quickly lament the fact that you no longer have adequate space to store all your stuff or a place to work while at home.

Don’t: Underestimate cost or construction

If you’ve been saving up for your dream basement, you don’t want to start the process only to realize you’re a bit short when it comes to getting everything you want. It’s certainly worth waiting a few years to increase your budget so you aren’t left underwhelmed with your finished project. Depending on the size of your basement and its layout, the typical cost for finishing one in Calgary runs between $25,000 to $50,000. Of course, that range can increase substantially if you have your eyes set on upgrades or special features. It’s best to call a couple of basement development contractors or companies and get their rough estimate for the work you want done, so you’ll have an idea if your savings or budget will cover the cost.

The other aspect of this “don’t” is the actual construction itself. You don’t want to overlook all the legwork that goes into making sure your basement is ready to be developed. This can include shoring up any cracks in the foundation, making sure vapour barriers and insulation are installed, and having the framing in place for your ducts and HVAC area. You’ll also want to factor in the cost of getting the proper permits for your basement development and hiring a contractor who will take care of that important piece of the puzzle for you. 

Do: Embrace the idea of an open-concept basement

If you choose to close off most of your basement, you’ll likely feel a little claustrophobic every time you head down there. Since basements tend to be smaller and have lower ceilings than your other floors, embracing the idea of an open-concept arrangement can help maximize your space and make your lower level feel more airy and inviting. 

The best way to find an open-concept setup that will work for your basement is to categorize the different areas within it by how you plan to use them. Try to group them together so they flow well and are complementary to one another. Like combining a TV or theatre area with a play section for your kids. Just be sure to use things like light fixtures and area rugs to better differentiate the two areas and leave a good amount of negative space between them to further demarcate the distinct sections.

Don’t: Overlook the aesthetic aspect of the space

If you’re spending the time, money, and effort it takes to finish or develop a basement, you shouldn’t be overlooking the actual aesthetics of the space itself. Too often, finished basements are where you can find mismatched furniture, bare walls, and other design elements that don’t work cohesively with one another. You should treat your finished basement like any other room in your house and formulate a plan well before construction begins for how you want it to look. 

A bit of colour and some nicely done art or accessories like throw pillows can do wonders for unifying a space. This will make your finished basement look well thought out from the ground up and will let the important features or design elements you selected shine through. 

By letting the above dos and don’ts guide you through your upcoming basement development, you can make sure all your saving and patience is fully rewarded with the finished basement of your dreams. If you have any more questions about developing your basement or would like to know more about how we can help you get the perfect one for you and your family, simply contact us today.

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