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Want a bonus room in your home? Need more space? Remodel the basement. Even if it's currently cold concrete and crammed with storage boxes , the basement of your home probably has loads of potential. Treat it just as you would any of the rooms above ground, and it might just become the most popular spot in the house—for a lot less money than a home addition. Of course, fix moisture problems first, if they exist, and then begin your basement remodeling. Here is some advice from This Old House for turning basement into a fun room you want to hang out in.

  • Put the main socializing area in a spot that gets the best natural light, to draw people in.
  • Bedrooms need a window for egress, so they'll need to be located at the perimeter.
  • The TV-viewing zone can be in a darker spot, to reduce glare and create a home-theater feel.
  • Store snacks and beverages in an area you can access without crossing in front of the TV.

If You Want to Add Partition Walls

  • Put them in sparingly. Too many below-grade rooms start to feel like a maze.
  • Place them between columns to turn support posts into design elements.
  • Build half-wall dividers or walls with window cutouts so that light can penetrate the interior.
  • Make them mobile. Sliding doors and movable screens can be closed for privacy as needed.

A dim basement is not welcoming, so you'll need more light fixtures than you've got elsewhere. A good rule of thumb: Divide the ceiling height by 2 to get the maximum distance between cans.

You don't need a full kitchen. But you'll get plenty of mileage from a mini fridge for beverages, a cabinet to hold snacks, and a microwave for heating leftovers or making popcorn for movie nights.

Game tables eat up a lot of square footage. For a small pool table (3½ feet by 7 feet), you need a clear space at least 11½ feet wide by 14½ feet long to play comfortably—if you buy the shortest cues, that is. A tournament-size pool table (4½ feet by 9 feet) or a 5-by-9 Ping-Pong table needs even more room. Unless you're positive you'll use it a lot, consider skipping a single-activity table.

An all-purpose worktable can seat several people for crafts, puzzles, board games, and much more, and it's often a better draw for crowds than a game table.

Today's video games involve actual physical activity, not just fiddling with a joystick. Check your gaming platform for recommended clearances around and above the console.

Wall-to-wall carpet is a good choice to deaden sound in a play area. Opt for synthetic fibers that resist mold and mildew.

Also, dress up the walls. 
Tall wainscot gives the space a homey vibe while saving the drywall from dings 
and dents. Built-ins near a walk-out entry have room for coats and boots. Positioned to hug the stairway, they save space.

Traditional wall sconces add charm in a basement, where can lights usually prevail. Here, a warm bronze finish and white shade complement the surrounding woodwork. Channel natural light by taking every opportunity to brighten up closed-off rooms.

For more information on basement remodeling, contact Manzola Carpentry.

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