Let’s face it – if we didn’t have a basement, we wouldn’t store half of the old junk we keep there now. If it weren’t for all that junk, we could turn the basement into a lovely room for us and our families, and do so without breaking the bank.
In this article, we will discuss ideas on how to turn a basement into a bedroom. This is not the first home remodel idea that comes to mind, but it is an excellent trick to create a cozy, private retreat at your very home.
All you will need is time and creativity. Give your basement a look, and you will get a grasp of its amazing potential. Of course, most basements are dark and challenging to remodel, but if you know your way around, you can turn them into valuable real estate.
Our guide on how to turn a basement into a bedroom
Look at our step-by-step guide toward a basement bedroom. These tricks will help you use the full potential of your basement and turn it into a charming retreat area.
Does your basement qualify for an additional bedroom?
Image source: FBC Remodel
Before you begin with the basement remodel, check the building codes that apply. A basement living space is only recommended if it offers an emergency exit, as provided for in the egress code. Don’t neglect these rules, as they will keep you safe and protected.
Basements are quite versatile in different houses, and they don’t always offer the same usable space. You would need to ensure there is no moisture or water damage, and renovate most of it before you create your cozy retreat.
Does a basement bedroom add value to your property?
Image source: FineCraft Contractors, Inc.
Think of it this way – well-lit and well-executed living spaces always sell well. They will sell even better if they are private, and have their exit to the back garden. In a finished basement, you call also try out all sorts of design tricks, so that it becomes visually attractive.
An important point to keep in mind is ventilation – if there is enough air circulation, the basement is livable. You can easily turn it into an additional bedroom or a guest room, and boost the market value of your house. Buyers will find the extra functional space more attractive than you think.
Consider the ceiling value of the room – in many estates and suburban areas, basements are very low and there is nothing you can do to improve this.
When it comes to property taxes, an extra bedroom in the basement doesn’t change as much. It costs less than above-ground construction would, and it is worth a second thought.
The most important steps in creating basement bedrooms
Image source: Kitchen & Bath Shop – Alexandria
You need to know exactly how many square feet you have available. The absolute minimum for a bedroom is 70 to 80 feet, with at least 7 feet of horizontal footage and ceiling height. The size and number of square feet you have matter. Egress is optional, but in the best-case scenario, you would have a door and a window in the room.
Inspect the condition of wiring and plumbing
Image source: Kitchen & Bath Shop – Alexandria
For most of us, it has been a while since we checked the wiring and plumbing in our basement. Give them a proper check, especially if you want to include a separate bathroom. You may need upgrades and expansions, so get a permit for these works.
Don’t compromise on insulation
Image source:Classic Homeworks
Insulation means the world to basement bedrooms, so don’t settle for anything with average quality. Only well-insulated basements can be turned into comfortable bedrooms. You must be sure that the temperature outside does not influence the room at all. If you don’t check this, you can forget to sleep in there during summer or winter.
Odds are high you will need top-notch insulation since most basements only have bare concrete walls. This is where most of your budget will go, but all for a good reason. We recommend using wood panels as insulators, as they do the best job keeping you warm and minimizing noise in the room.
Image source:Finished Basement Plus
To tank – or waterproof below ground level – means to apply layers of waterproof materials to the structure in question. Basements benefit greatly from the process, as they are more exposed to water than any other room in your home.
You can prevent water damage with cementitious render systems on the walls. The options include asphalt, sheet membrane, or even liquid-applied waterproofing material. It will all come down to your needs and the area you live in.
Image source:Sedona Waterproofing
Remember that you also need to waterproof the cellar to keep it dry. This way, it can withstand the hydrostatic pressure of the plumbing system, and the basement will be safe regardless of what happens. The tanking must be securely attached to the substrate so that it doesn’t fall. Take care of it right away, as ceiling leaks are very difficult to repair.
Ensure there is an escape route
Image source:ROAM Architecture
Many countries prescribe emergency exits in basements even when no one lives inside. Check your local building code to learn what type of rescue opening you need, and align with it. Note – emergency escapes are always a good idea, even if they are not prescribed.
Many lives were saved thanks to basement escapes, both in natural disasters and fires. At best, ensure there is an egress window that also provides natural light during the day.
Image source:David McGee Contract Services, LLC
These are the most common basement egress window sizes: 44 inches long and 24 inches wide. The opening must have at least 20 inches.
Carbon monoxide and smoke alarms
You can also optimize your bedroom space with security alarms, in case you don’t have any already. Without them, the basement remodel won’t be complete.
Smoke alarms, for instance, should be installed at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances. At the same time, they need to stay as close as possible to the stairs leading to the next level.
Conduct a radon check
Here comes an additional security check for the basement space. You may not know this, but radon acts as a ground-based radiation danger. Constant exposure to its presence may damage your health seriously.
Before you create an extra room in the basement, purchase a radon test kit and see how high the levels are. Go even further on precaution and install a radon detector that can warn you of its presence. This way, you will be safer even if you don’t have an egress window in the basement.
Check the durability of the walls
Image source: Sebring Design Build
Don’t use drywall, but more durable materials instead. Foam boards and panels, for instance, are very moisture-resistant and provide extra insulation. To make matters even better, they are easy to install in basement living spaces, even if you don’t hire professional help. Check them out!
Retouch the ceiling
Image source: Tracy Tesmer Design/Remodeling
Ceilings in basements are often neglected and left unfinished, but this is now how you want them to look in a cozy bedroom. You will need to hide the bricks, the wires, and the exposed plumbing as well as you can. The most helpful method is to drop the ceiling and insulate it.
Inspect the flooring
Image source: FLYNN High Performance, LLC
Not the most fun task ever, but you will probably need to redo the basement floor completely. To support the bedroom style, consider waterproof vinyl or tile, or install laminates or carpet squares. As you can see, all options are on the table.
Image source: Ventana Construction LLC
If we would need to choose an option that doesn’t work that well, we would say wood. Wood doesn’t react well to hard traffic and moisture, and you are way better off with tiles or engineered wood options.
Adjust the lighting
Image source: Leslie Goodwin Photography
Proper lighting is the essence of any basement DIY project since you are not looking to sleep in a dungeon. Plus, good lighting enhances the interior design, and makes the place cozy and inviting.
As you do in most bedrooms, combine several lighting layers to address your exact needs. Focused lighting should not be that strong, and there should be a couple of bedside lamps or scones for evening reading.
Image source: Catalyst Construction & Remodeling
Enhance the look of your basement bedroom with accessories and decorations. On top of our minds, try out decorative ceiling beams. This room already has challenging ventilation and limited lighting, so you want to make it as stylish and homey as possible.
Give it its charm and character, and make use of its full benefits. The finished space will look adorable, and you won’t even need to spend a fortune to make it happen. As an idea, you can intentionally leave original elements exposed to distinguish the place. These can also support the industrial style you had in mind.
If this is supposed to be a kids’ room, go for a tree cabin theme and get some rustic-styled bunk beds. The kids will love it!
When it comes to colors, try to stay on the safe side, and stick to the neutral backdrop. Your choices are limited because the room is small, poorly lighted, and has low ceilings. If you find it unattractive this way, compensate with bold accessories in small proportions.
Two predominant shades and textures will be enough, so keep the palette simple. You can, for instance, opt for a warm beige appeal to compensate for the lack of natural light in the basement.
Now that you know how to turn a basement into a bedroom, the options are unlimited. Basement remodeling is fun and doesn’t break the bank, so use it to boost your property value. Your entire family will appreciate the cozy getaway!
If you liked this article about how to turn a basement into a bedroom, you should check out these on how to keep an attic bedroom cool in the summer, how to divide a bedroom into two rooms, how to convert an attic into a bedroom, and how to build a small closet in a bedroom.
We also wrote about similar topics like how to add a walk-in closet to a bedroom, how to turn a living room into a bedroom, how to stage a bedroom, how to fill the empty space in a bedroom, and how to convert a garage into a bedroom.