How to Turn Your Basement into a Livable Space 

finished basement

Basement renovations are a common project in many households. Perhaps you want to upgrade your basement or you want to turn it into a functional living space because your family is growing. You have plenty of options such as painting the walls and upgrading the flooring of your basement.  Here in Toronto, we have lots of basement water issues due to the weather and age of the structures.  Basement waterproofing in Toronto can be a tough task if you are considering finishing your basement and turning it into a livable space for your family.

Here are some tips on how to turn your basement into a livable space.


Aside from keeping the basement fresh, proper ventilation also ensures that fumes from cooking or heater are safely channeled away. You can make windows as large as possible to let in as much natural light as possible. Egress windows allow light to enter the basement and let people escape if an emergency occurs. Wide doors are also a good option. You can use columns and arches to decorate the doors.


Insulate the walls and ground of the basement to protect you from low temperatures and noise. You can use insulated panels for this purpose. The walls may need to be renovated as well. It’s also important to check for radon, a kind of ground-based radiation. Using a radon test kit can help you check the existence or level of radon in your basement.


Use durable materials that are moisture resistant and offer extra insulation like foam boards and wall panels. These materials are also easy to install. You should check for rot and pests as well. Check stone, concrete and wood for signs of moisture damage or pets. Replace damaged materials and block any entrances that pests can take advantage of.


Wood flooring is not ideal for basements as it warps and absorbs moisture. Some of the best flooring options for basements are tiles, carpet and engineered wood.

Outside Foundation

Prevent standing water or moisture from damaging the outer foundation of your basement by installing gravel beds, rain diverters or slanted soil beds.


Choose furniture that is comfortable to use and pleasant to look at.


Paint the walls with light colors. Go several shades lighter to make the area look more open and brighter.  Here are some ideas for painting if you need them.

Outlets and Connections

You need to place the connections and outlets properly. If you are planning to set up an entertainment system in your basement, you have to keep this thing in mind.

Some people want to turn their basement into a fun game room. If you want to do this, you can build shelves to keep the controllers and games organized. You can also include a wet bar area for the adults and kids. The bar area can be used to store snacks and juice. You can add a dartboard, air hockey table or pool table to make the basement a safe and fun place for everyone. The basement can also serve as a home theater. You can dedicate one wall for a projection screen or large TV. Paint the wall with a light shade and use it as the projection screen.

Don’t forget to set up a high-quality surround sound system and comfortable seats at a good distance from the projection surface or TV. You can also decorate the walls with movie posters and paintings. Stock up the wet bar with beverages and snacks. You can also turn the basement into an exercise room or library.

Regardless of your preferences, there are various ways to turn your basement into a livable and fun space. Determine what you want and look for design ideas that best fit your needs and compliment your home. You can also seek professional advice if you don’t have any idea about where to start to ensure that your basement is livable, welcoming and safe.

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