Basement Rec Room Considerations

Basement Rec Room Considerations
  • Opening Intro -

    If you're fortunate to have a basement or its more basic cousin, a cellar, then that is one area in your home that may be underutilized if it is used at all.

    The advantage of having this space is that it is already there.

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If you’re fortunate to have a basement or its more basic cousin, a cellar, then that is one area in your home that may be underutilized if it is used at all. The advantage of having this space is that it is already there — you can quickly convert a cellar into a basement by framing the walls and a basement can be outfitted with a pool table, an infotainment center or converted into a reading room. A rec room is what most people call these areas, but no matter how you view it this section of your home can be whipped into shape in as little as a few hours.

Let’s explore some ways you can put the “living” into the area of your home that is located beneath the ground:

Carpeting or an area rug

— Basements are naturally cool and floors can be very cold even on warm days. You can make this subsection of your home bearable by placing waterproof carpeting throughout or by strategically placing area rugs where people gather such as around the video console, a pool table or near a refrigerator. Area rugs should fold completely flat for safety reasons.

Local and overhead lighting

— Natural lighting is typically hard to come by in most basements as windows are small and be partially obscured by the ground. If you have overhead lights in place, then you can supplement your naturally lighting accordingly. If there are sufficient outlets in the basement, then free-standing lamps or table lamps can provide the lighting that you need. Add bright colors to the walls to project warmth and light throughout the basement.

Stairwells and an escape route

— Basement stairs can be hazardous, especially if these are steeply pitched. Stairs should be free of obstructions and nails should be even with surfaces. Consider sanding your stairs and repainting them. Add non-slip carpeting if people are coming in directly from outside. Take into consideration an alternate exit route in the event the stairs become blocked in an emergency. Never block an exit door with furniture; if your exit is through a window, have a ladder nearby to ensure easier egress. Having a fire extinguisher handy is important and install a smoke detector.

Comfort items

— The more time that you spend in the basement, the more likely you’ll want to have convenience items at the ready. A small refrigerator and a microwave may be in order. That means you’ll want to include a cabinet that can hold cups, bowls and towels. Consider keeping a first-aid kit nearby, something that is especially important in an active living area. Chairs, a couch and other living room favorites can help personalize your space.

Points to Ponder

The cost of outfitting your basement rec room may be negligible, especially if you already have these items in your home or stored in your attic. If you plan to renovate your kitchen, consider sending your old cabinets to the basement. The same can be said for your living room furniture or anything else that you plan to replace on the main living floor.

Home Improvement reference:

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Categories: Basement

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".