“What a catch! He’s at the fifteen, the ten, the five–touchdown!”

The only thing better than the perfect play is watching it in the comfort of the perfect man cave. You can’t always guarantee dad’s team will win, but if you’ve got an unfinished basement and the right professional on the job, you can make sure his season of spectating goes undefeated.

With some imagination and little more space, you can even turn what amounts to a languishing storage locker into a family room with entertainment for everyone. These highly sought-after residential projects can multiply your living space square footage, add value to your home and might just seal the deal if you decide to sell down the road. 1 There are just a few things you should know about basement finishing projects before you lug your flatscreen downstairs and invite the gang over.

It sounds obvious on paper, but right out of the gate you should weigh your goals and expectations against the potential in your new living space. Transforming a previously underutilized basement into a living area also means changing the way you think about the flow of your entire home. Is a traditional man cave for sports and entertaining the plan, or should there be room to accommodate the entire family? Is home theater technology a priority? What about spare bedrooms and bathrooms? Talk to your family and come to your contractor with as many specifics as possible. If you’re having trouble visualizing your ideal end product, some of the most common client asks include space for table games, wet bars, kitchen space, and updated seating. There’s no such thing as too particular! It’s even worth discussing whether your primary viewing in the finished area will consist of sports, movies, or video games–every pixel plays a role in designing the pre-eminent underground escape.

After you decide how your remodel fits into the character of your home, it’s worth spending a little time getting to know your unfinished space better. The first step is to follow your nose. Notice a lingering musty smell or mildew? It could be a sign that your basement hasn’t been properly waterproofed. Left untreated, underground moisture can quickly rain on your new basement’s parade. Next, consider the height of the ceilings (or lack thereof). If the space feels claustrophobic, solutions abound. Your contractor can leave joists exposed in order to give the illusion of a larger room. The issue of height settled, keep in mind that your remodel has to be law-abiding. When adding a new bedroom or bathroom, remember that building code requires access to an exterior door or window. Finally, think about comfort from head to toe. Most basement floors are poured concrete with a smooth finish, fit for installing most any commercial flooring. Your existing HVAC unit may be right for an upgrade to handle the additional load, though most projects will require a small independent system.

Now, it’s onto the biggest question of all. What’s the price tag? Obviously, a finished basement for Father’s Day isn’t quite as affordable as another tie, but it represents so much more. Room for dad to do his own thing is an out of the box investment that will pay dividends for years to come. Every ground floor project is different, but relatively simple fixes like cleaning, new lighting/electrical, and flooring may only cost $10,000-$20,000. More complex remodels that include a new bedroom, bathroom, family area, flooring, lighting, and air conditioning may cost $65,000-$165,000. Generally, you can expect your optimal new entertaining area to be finished within three weeks to three months.

Dad was always there for the family; give him a space that will always be there for him this year! Members of The Greater Birmingham Association of Homebuilders can help make your ideal mega man cave, or fill the family room with fun for everyone! Contact us to get connected to the best area contractors and remodelers to make dad’s dream a reality.

1 https://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/finished-basements- add-space-and-home-value