LA Design + Construction

Basement Finishing Tips: The Essentials

Basement Finishing Tips: The Essentials

It’s time. Time to turn that big open space that you call a basement into a great and useful living space.

There are quite a few options: bar, gym, playroom, home office, or theater. All of them have a few things in common, but each also has specific aspects that you should plan for to make everything comfortable.

The Basics

Each of these rooms require a few basic items:

  • Finished walls - You’ll want walls that are sheetrocked and insulated.
  • Waterproofing - Check your sump pump, waterproof the walls, and make sure all drains are clear and working correctly.
  • Electricity - No matter what you end up building, make sure there are plenty of power outlets for everything you might need to plug in.
  • Bathroom - If you can, put a bathroom in the basement. It will make it much more comfortable. You don’t have to cut out the concrete; give your bathroom a raised floor for pipes.

The Basement Gym

Your gym should have a few things beyond the basics:

  • Lots of recessed lighting - No one wants to work out in the dark.
  • Mirrors - This isn’t a vanity thing (unless it is); mirrors make the space feel more open and bright.
  • Padded floor - Extra thick padding will make the floor more comfortable and keep weights from damaging the concrete beneath.
  • Sound and TV - Working out feels a lot less like work when you can watch CNN or listen to the latest dance tunes.

The Home Office

Working from home is awesome, especially if you plan ahead with your home office designs:

  • Wi-Fi - Make sure your Wi-Fi reaches the entire room.
  • Storage closet - You will want a place for filing cabinets and supplies.
  • Guest chair - Put a guest chair in the room if you might be working with others.
  • Whiteboard - You can cover the walls in whiteboards if that’s your thing.
  • No TV - As ridiculous as it is, your office can’t be taken as a tax write-off if there’s a TV in it.


Ah, a place where the children can run and play, and make a mess, out of sight from the upstairs.

  • Padded floors and pillars - Many basements have metal pillars in them. Wrap them so there is less damage when small people smash into them.
  • Fun carpeting - You can get carpets that have games and even towns printed right into them.
  • Toy box / benches - Built-in toy boxes on the walls are a great way to give kids a place to store all their stuff.
  • TV - A TV playing a great movie will keep everyone happy.


A basement bar is perfect for having friends and family over or just unwinding at the end of the day.

  • Running water - Make sure your bar has a sink for washing glasses.
  • Lots of cool lights - Different colors and styles of lights will make the bar a nice place to hang out.
  • Pinball and video games - Games are a necessity in every bar.
  • Refrigerator - Every bar needs a beer cooler to make everything nice and chilly.
  • TV - Of course, your bar needs a great TV with lots of sports channels.

Home Theater

Get a huge screen, a great sound system, and lots of seating for your own movie premieres, plus:

  • A great heating and cooling system - Nothing takes the fun out of watching a movie more than being too hot or too cold.
  • Lots of speakers - Most of a real theater experience is the amazing sound.
  • A really big TV (or projector) - You need a TV that can be seen from the entire room.
  • Flexible seating - You don’t need theater seating, but some good seats that can be moved around are perfect.