When you first move into your house, there seems to be more space than you know what to do with. Where you lived before was smaller, and so everything that you have fits in just beautifully – with room left over.

However, that space seems to disappear over time and the house shrinks – leaving you with nowhere to go.

If your family has grown since you moved in – the kids got older and a new one has arrived – the situation is even worse.

basement-livingImage source: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-7kUFv4iXZDw/TW0vGP8qOQI/AAAAAAAABGE/LdunE1AsSDQ/s1600/057.JPG

Of course, the first line of defense is to have that big clear-out or rearrange the furniture – but in the end you just have to admit that there isn’t enough space. At that point, you only have two options – create more space or move somewhere else. The problem is that it’s difficult to leave a house where the family has grown up and all the neighbors are familiar faces. So, you’re back to trying to figure out how to make the most of where you are right now.

Sunroom

Let’s assume that you don’t want to spend huge amounts of money making major architectural changes to your home. In this case, there are really only two approaches you can take. The first one is to put in a sunroom, and the second is to renovate your basement. A sunroom is definitely an option, but there are limits on what you will be able to do with the space once it is completed. If you are comfortable with this, then a sunroom can be very pleasant. However, renovating your basement is a much better idea if you are looking to create space that can be used for a number of different purposes – for example, an additional family room, an extra bedroom, space for entertaining, or even a gym.

Basement

So, what are the things you need to think about if you are going to refinish your basement? The first thing to consider is whether or not you have the skills to do it yourself or whether it is better to get a contractor who is experienced in putting in Basement Living Systems. In general, unless you are confident that you can take on the project, it’s much better to get someone who knows what they’re doing. In fact, a good contractor should also be able to provide you with different designs to choose from – which can save considerable money when compared to hiring an architect.

basementImage source: http://www.downthemeadow.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/natural-light-basement.jpg

 Another important thing to think about is how you are going to get healthy natural light into your basement – without this, it will feel like a basement forever. As a minimum, have light wells dug against the foundations of your house, and then put in windows that the sun shines in. If you have a little extra to invest, put in an open stairwell from the ground floor – this will not only let in more light, it will make your basement feel as if it is an integral part of your house.