What are the pros and cons of designing a basement?

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Gibson Square IQ Glass UK Modern style doors
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With so many of us exchanging corporate offices for home-based studies and other areas, space these days has become more important than ever. But luckily, the design gods still smile down on us via basement designs, which can be the ideal project to gift your interiors with more space to treat yourself to a home office (or kids’ play spot, or guest bedroom… ). 

But, like everything else in life, designing a basement for your home is also privy to advantages and disadvantages. So, ensure to balance these pros and cons properly before deciding if a basement design is, in fact, what your home needs or not…  


1. Pro: Additional space

A beautiful place to store your bottles! PAD ARCHITECTS Classic style wine cellar
PAD ARCHITECTS

A beautiful place to store your bottles!

PAD ARCHITECTS

Whether you’re in need of a new study space or a room dedicated to entertaining, buying a property with an existing basement immediately treats you to additional space – and options. 

And remember that because basements are subterranean, they can help muffle noise levels (just in case your future plans involve turning your basement into your own music studio). 


2. Con: Extra costs

Sunken courtyard TAS Architects Modern garden
TAS Architects

Sunken courtyard

TAS Architects

Purchasing a house with an existing basement will cost you more. And depending on the state of said basement, you may need to incur additional renovation costs to make it as perfect (and practical) as you need it to be. 

3. Pro: More storage opportunities

Who would dare say “no” to more storage space in their home? From holiday decorations to seasonal clothing, a basement can be the perfect solution to keep clutter out of sight (and help you cut some costs by not having to store items in a storage facility). 


4. Con: Moisture

Basement - Gym Conversion SJ Construction London Modern gym
SJ Construction London

Basement—Gym Conversion

SJ Construction London

Since basements have limited access to the outdoors, these spaces can become damp quite quickly, resulting in various issues for anyone struggling with asthma and other similar health problems. 

And don’t forget that basements are also at greater risk for flooding. Thus, be prepared to tackle your basement’s moisture issues head on right from the start! 


5. Pro: Easier repairs

Gibson Square IQ Glass UK Modern style doors
IQ Glass UK

Gibson Square

IQ Glass UK

With a basement, it can be easier for you (and a professional such as a Plumber, Electrician, etc.) to get to those repairs (like a leaky pipe or faulty wiring) as there’s more space for standing up instead of ducking and crawling around a dimly lit crawlspace. 


6. Con: Dark and gloomy

Rear Extension Oakman Modern dining room
Oakman

Rear Extension

Oakman

Unless your basement is a walk out, proper planning in terms of lighting design needs to happen to keep the space bright and welcoming. And, as always, layered lighting is key. So, aim to have an overhead and at least two other fixtures (like a floor lamp or wall sconces), depending on your basement’s size and layout. 


7. Pro: Emergency shelter

Cantilever staircase with glass balustrade Railing London Ltd Modern corridor, hallway & stairs
Railing London Ltd

Cantilever staircase with glass balustrade

Railing London Ltd

Whether it’s a tornado or a break-in, another huge basement benefit is that it can offer an extra hiding space for safety and shelter. 

8. Con: You might not recover all expenses

Shower Room MAGRITS Industrial style bathroom
MAGRITS

Shower Room

MAGRITS

Renovating your basement can drive up property prices, but chances are slim that you’ll recoup 100% of what you’ll spend. As a rule of thumb, the boosted value is equal to only about 70% of your expenses, yet that’s still a rather good return on investment than none at all, right? 

9. Pro: Better property value

basement creation and 3 storey house extension Ar'Chic Minimalist houses
Ar'Chic

basement creation and 3 storey house extension

Ar'Chic

Yes, most potential buyers love the idea of getting a basement / bonus room when scoping out potential properties (who wouldn’t?). And that might encourage them to spend a bit more…  


10. Con: Difficulty accessing plumbing lines

An unfinished basement can offer you easier access to plumbing and electrical wiring in case of problems. Once the basement has been treated to a new design (with finished walls and ceiling), reaching those pipes and lines often requires slicing open drywall. 

homify hint: Minimise this issue by installing removable panels over crucial plumbing/electrical access points. Remember to paint the covers to match your walls/ceiling. 


11. Pro: Expanding your home’s size

More often than not, we are restricted from expanding our homes outwards or upwards due to property restrictions. However, with a basement, you get to craft out a new indoor space for your home without technically altering your house’s size.  

Speaking of inspiring you for interior designs, have you ever wondered How to pick hallway colours the right way? 


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