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9 Basement Bonus Room Ideas

Clear up the cobwebs in your basement and vacuum the floor because we’re about to share some amazing ideas for changing an unfinished basement into a personal, purpose-built place you’ll use (and love) every day.

Extra square footage is a benefit for every homeowner, but it can be difficult to imagine what to do with it. If you have a blank slate for a bonus room, it’s in your best interest to turn it into a finished room that will add value and functionality to your house. We’ve compiled a list of the best bonus room ideas to inspire your next home renovation project. Before you begin any remodeling or renovations, check your homeowners’ insurance to ensure you are protected from any damages that may occur throughout the process.

A bonus room is a room that does not meet the requirements of a habitable bedroom. A room must contain the following features to be habitable:

  • A minimum floor size of 70 square feet is required.
  • A minimum of 7 feet across in any horizontal direction.
  • At least two exits: a door and a window.
  • A minimum of 20 × 24-inch window with a minimum opening of 5.7 square feet.

A bonus room is any spare room that does not satisfy the aforementioned criteria and is not a kitchen, bathroom, hallway, living room or closet. Some bonus rooms lack windows, a door, a closet, a connected HVAC system or even four entire walls. Adding some of these structural elements or functional conveniences to a bonus room may require some logistical planning, so consult with a contractor to discuss the cost and feasibility.

Which one of these bonus rooms are you trying out in your basement?

Home Theater

It makes perfect sense to convert your basement into a nice home theater. After all, there’s little light down there to begin with, so you can hang blackout curtains quickly. Splurge on multiple rows of leather recliners—with built-in cup holders, of course—or channel retro rec-room vibes with huge bean bag chairs. (You might be shocked how far these loungers have come since their 1970s heyday!)

Office

It may surprise you how many people have returned to work in person. Only 13% of American adults are still Zooming, Skyping and Slacking, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you’re one of the few who still works remotely, treat yourself to a change of scenery. You may already have the essentials, such as a desk, chair, filing cabinet and ring lamp. If that’s the case, you can focus your efforts on cosmetic improvements such as painting the room or adding a bright area rug.

Gym

The pandemic forced everyone, including gym rats, to retreat into our houses for a year or more. How have our workout routines changed as a result of COVID-19? Surprisingly, at least one study indicates that we are actually exercising more—a whopping 88% more! Have you been collecting workout machines and equipment but don’t know where to put it all? Why not keep it in the home gym you’re constructing in your finished basement?

Bedroom

A refurbished basement, especially if accessible via a side door, can be ideal for an extra-private—and extra-inviting—guest suite for visiting friends and family, or a temporary tenant, such as a college-age child. It may be essential to renovate an existing bare-bones bathroom, but this investment will pay off in the long run. Don’t have many visitors but reside in a desirable location? Consider a basement renovation as a first step toward opening an Airbnb.

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Entertainment Room

Basements are frequently used as game rooms for good reason: they are generally large and open plan. With fewer walls to contend with, it’s simple to set up and enjoy a ping-pong, air hockey, billiards or foosball table. It’s often large enough to house a pinball machine or classic arcade game. Ms. Pac-Is there anyone out there? Of course, you’ll want to outfit your game room with a saggy old hand-me-down couch, ideally plaid, a large retro TV, and a gaming system for real old-school authenticity.

Bar

A bar may be excellent for your additional area if you enjoy unwinding with a nice beverage after a hard work week. Install a large counter with seating so you can entertain guests as well. Just make sure you remind any visitors to drink sensibly and not drive drunk. To minimize space and keep drinks cool, use a beverage fridge that fits beneath the counter. All oenophiles, unite! Homeowners who serve a bottle of wine with dinner will most likely be fine with a wall-mounted or countertop rack or a small wine freezer. But if you’re a true cabernet enthusiast or an ice wine lover, why not turn your basement into a wine cellar? Keep it basic with purpose-built racks, or go all-out with a wooden bar or farmhouse table, abundant seating, and perhaps even a sound system to establish the mood.

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Playroom

Tired of stepping on Legos, tripping over toys, and navigating a minefield of misplaced art supplies? A finished basement playroom is required for your family. It’s an excellent opportunity to let your creativity go wild and experiment with some fun, unique DIY storage solutions. Enlist the help of your children while brainstorming colorful basement design ideas. Don’t forget to set up a table for arts and crafts, as well as food! Finally, assign all Disney DVDs to a comfortable TV lounge area so you never have to hear “Let It Go” again.

Workshop

If you enjoy woodworking or tinkering, a workshop is a great place to be. Set up your workbench with your favorite tools and begin the projects you’ve always wanted to tackle. If you have a lot of valuable equipment, you should make sure that your home insurance covers it or get personal property insurance for extra protection. With a door sign that signals when it is safe to enter the room, you can emphasize the safety of those in your home.

Music Room

The term “garage band” is well-known, but what about “basement bands”? No, but you can be the change you want to see in your basement. That much-maligned bottom floor, in reality, has enormous potential as a practice room for part-time musicians. Because of their solid cinder-block or concrete construction and underground position, basements are frequently easier to soundproof than their ground-floor counterparts. That means you can rock and roll all night (or jazz, ska or Norwegian death metal).

Finishing a bonus room can increase the value of your home by tens of thousands of dollars. Make your flex space your favorite location in the house by becoming inspired by these bonus room ideas. Always check your home insurance policy before beginning any big home improvements to ensure you have adequate coverage for your project. Once you’re ready to start your basement update, let Valor Home Services help. We have a team of stress-free basement finishers and remodelers ready to get your project started. Let’s get started by calling our office team