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It’s nice to have extra room for social gatherings, relaxing with your family, or entertaining guests but there isn’t always room. If you’re looking for more room but adding an addition to your home is out of your budget right now, you may have a significant amount of space right below your feet. If you’re lucky enough to have a basement in your home you can turn it into the extra room you’ve been looking for without breaking the bank. It’s hard to imagine your dark and cluttered basement being the social scene of your home but with a simple renovation you can take your basement from cold and boring, to cozy and exciting.

One of the very first things you must take into consideration before remodeling your basement is safety. Moisture is often a big issue when preparing for a basement remodel. Newer homes are built with proper drainage and ventilation so moisture isn’t a big concern. However, older homes were typically used for storage and were never intended to be a living space so in these scenarios you must make sure that your basement is dry and inhabitable. Your contractor will be able to let you know what your options are for making your basement safe as well as ensuring everything is up to current building code requirements.

Now that you have determined your basement is safe and dry, you have to decide what you’re going to do with your extra space. Basements can be perfect for casual activities for the whole family. Adding cozy furniture, a TV, or pool table will make your basement the perfect family room. You can use the area under your stairs for storing DVDs and board games. Doors with divided-light windows add style and will help you keep your new family room organized. Incorporating a sound system, good lighting, and a new TV will bring everything together to make this space perfect for every family gathering.

If you regularly have guests staying over you might consider turning your basement into an extra bedroom. A basement bedroom and full or half bath makes an ideal suite for guests. You could add in a full size bed and enlarge your windows to allow for more natural light. If twin beds suit your needs better, make sure that you talk to your contractor about dimensions and amenities to make the space comfortable and not too cramped. These minor changes with ensure your guests have a cozy visit while still giving them privacy.

After transforming your basement from dull to lively it’s time to start decorating. Adding in paintings, throw rugs, and decorative lamps will be the finishing touches you need to complete your new remodel. Not only will you have an exciting new space for entertaining but you can also expect a payback if you decide to sell your home. According to cost versus value surveys by Remodeling Magazine, the average return on investment for a basement project nationally is currently around 75 cents on the dollar. This is the perfect time to meet with a local contractor, get some free quotes, and start enjoying your basement in less time than you may think!