The benefits of building a kitchen in your basement

Basement Kitchen
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As you’ve probably seen in home remodeling magazines, on HGTV programs and throughout the internet, finished basements are “in.”

You’ve probably seen some elaborate game rooms, high-tech media centers and even playrooms fitted with every toy imaginable. The next big trend in lower-level amenities is a second kitchen. While even a small kitchenette can take a little time and money to create, the benefits attributed to repurposing this underused space can be significant.

Kitchen Designs

Cabinets

The basement environment provides a unique opportunity for experimentation that isn’t available in the main-level kitchen. Designing a tiny or galley kitchen that sits along one wall can offer a convenient workspace for entertaining or a basement apartment. Open shelving for display pieces will add a decorator touch and light-coloured base cabinets will give some added storage space for extra kitchen supplies without accentuating the small layout.

Contemporary Kitchen

Colourful kitchen cabinets paired with a stylish countertop can brighten the underground space and open up a wide range of innovative looks. You might worry about selecting wild patterns for your main kitchen, but the lower-level is a perfect place to try out some of your more creative ideas.

If you’ve got an abundance of space, a full-size, traditional kitchen layout will provide the perfect backdrop for entertaining or an in-law apartment. Include an island, appliances and a granite countertop, and you’ll want to move in there yourself.

If you’re into canning and organic cooking, stainless steel cabinets, range hood and appliances will give the room an industrial edge and great functionality. Include a high-neck faucet and farmhouse sink to accommodate those massive pots and make clean-up a breeze.

Multiple Uses

A basement kitchen can provide a perfect space for entertaining and special occasions. There’s no need to run up and down stairs or worry about a mess. You basement retreat will always allow easy access to cooking and clean-up without disturbing your main household.

Extra rental income can become a reality if you include a kitchen to a basement apartment. Acquiring a roommate will be an easier task if the cooking space is separated from the rest of the house.

Today’s households often include adult children and aging parents. An extra kitchen will reduce conflicts and provide a private, hassle-free zone for entertaining or everyday living.

Improved Space Utilization

Lowering the basement

With the majority of basements being under-utilized or catch-alls for unnecessary junk storage, doing a renovation project there makes perfect sense. While most new homes are prepped for future finishing, older homes may require some remedial work such as basement underpinning or the process of lowering the basement. You can convert a crawl space or basement with low ceilings into a full-height room for a fraction of the cost of an above-ground addition. It’s important to hire a professional contractor to complete the dangerous excavation and/or structural lift. Make sure the company obtains the proper permits and is insured to protect your family’s safety.

Cost Savings

For newer homes with plenty of headroom, creating a basement kitchen makes excellent financial sense. In this case, excavation and structural load requirements won’t be needed. All utilities such as electricity, water, gas and sewer lines are easily accessed for additional cost savings. Plumbing and drains are close by so adding a kitchen sink or dishwasher will be easy and inexpensive. With most circuit panel boxes located in the basement, adding electrical outlets and lighting won’t be a problem. Heating and cooling requirements are typically lighter for the lower level of your home, so you’ll be adding square footage without a large increase to your utility bills.

Kitchen renovations are listed as the most valuable selling point by real estate agents, and a basement kitchen will also significantly increase the resale value of your home. Money spent on your basement kitchen will produce a great return on investment – up to 85 percent of expenditure.

Extra Considerations

Contemporary Style Kitchen

  • Adding insulation to the walls and ceiling will provide soundproofing and keep the upstairs flooring warm.
  • Be sure to install an electric, vented or vent-less hood fan to eliminate cooking smells and reduce excess moisture.
  • Including stylish kitchen countertops made from high-quality granite or quartz will provide years of beautiful, low-maintenance performance. Even budget-conscious laminates come in a wide variety of colours and patterns to enhance your new kitchen workspace.
  • Fire safety should be a top priority. Be sure to add a smoke detector in the basement area and keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher close-by, just in case.
  • Laminate flooring is the perfect choice for today’s trendy basement kitchens. It comes in a variety of designs and patterns that mimic ceramic tile and hardwood so will tie in with any decor. It’s also scratch- and moisture-resistant, installs over concrete with a floating, tongue and groove system, and will hold up to the weight of heavy appliances.
  • With little or no natural light available to brighten the room, you’ll want to include recessed cans to eliminate dark spots and shadows. Under-cabinet lighting is a must as an inexpensive solution to illuminate your prep counter.
  • Whether you have a full-size kitchen or a small kitchenette, there are many new appliance options to make the room more functional. Add a standard-size refrigerator, stove and dishwasher if you have the room. If not, check out refrigerator drawers, beverage and wine coolers that fit under the counter. Microwave/hood combos and dishwasher drawers will provide convenience and some extra countertop space.
  • Don’t forget to add a table and chairs or bar stools. As long as there’s somewhere to sit and snack, friends and family will always gather. Add a few pieces of art or accessories to bring everything together and show off your personality.

The benefits of building a kitchen in your basement are numerous and will provide an excellent way to expand your home’s living and entertaining space. By taking your time to plan and assemble this basement retreat with the right components, you and your family will enjoy the room for years to come.