basement remodels

In Portland, we’re lucky to have so many basements. Some places, such as Florida, don’t have many basements at all, due to the shallow water table. So, when we look around the area at basements, they seem to be a remodel job which offers the most in the way of variety. Most people don’t touch their basement much at all, while others install businesses, workshops, rec rooms, and whole apartments. In this post, I will discuss a few design ideas for basements, including:

  • Lighting
  • Flooring


After water issues, lighting is probably one of the biggest obstacles to a fun and livable basement remodel. If you have a low ceiling, be sure to install as many recessed lights as you can and then consider track lights for the perimeter, which you can direct to specific areas which may need extra light. You will need an egress window if the room is to be used on a regular basis, so try to place it where it will attract the most day light possible. Another option is to replace some of the regular wall with glass block. During the day, these blocks will allow plenty of light. At night, they won’t compromise privacy, since they are opaque.


For flooring, you can choose any sort of floor you like. However, it may be optimal to level and smooth out the existing concrete floor and then stain it. This will be attractive and highly functional. Since basements are prone to water issues, if you install a carpet, it may become ruined during a particularly humid summer. If you recall, the summer of 2013 was particularly humid and basements had their fair share of moisture. You can correct the problem with a dehumidifier before you have to replace any flooring. Concrete stains can be in any sort of color or design you like.

Cover the Basics

Basements can serve any number of function. It’s a blank canvas. So, if you’re not sure exactly what the end result of your project will be, try to think ahead and do some basic things. I recommend installing a minimum of a half-bath and then leaving space to install a shower, if not a bathtub. Not only will this increase the functionality, but an extra bath will improve the salability of the home. If you use the basement as a laundry area, section that off in case you decide to create a new bedroom or apartment, where the resident will want a degree of privacy.