A finished basement can be a wonderful addition to your home, adding value and giving your family more room to move.
Whether you’re considering a basement redesign to help sell your home, to create an
For the biggest impact in your newly designed basement, consider adding lots of natural light by installing new windows, replacing your existing windows, or doing some clever design work to maximize the impact of the windows you have.
Let’s talk about the importance of light and windows in your finished basement design.
Add value to your home
If your basement is currently a dark, dingy room only used for storage, you’re missing out on valuable square footage to impress potential buyers if you choose to sell.
On average, you can expect your basement remodel to recoup a 70% return on investment, however if you’re handy with a hammer or enjoy DIY, you could potentially increase the value of your home by creating a basement oasis. (1)
If you simply
If you want your finished basement to have some real wow factor, consider turning it into a home theatre with some couches and a projection screen, or a games room that the whole family can enjoy.
Experience the benefits of natural light
Natural light causes vitamin D to be absorbed into the skin. Vitamin D helps prevent bone loss and reduces the risk of heart disease, so anything you can do to increase your natural light exposure could benefit you in the long run. (2)
Many people are familiar with the irritation that comes from a flickering fluorescent light in the office. A 2014 study of office workers reported that workers tended to sleep better when exposed to more natural light during the day. (2)
Ensuring your finished basement is flooded with natural light reduces any annoyance you might experience with fluorescent lighting.
Using as much natural light as possible also helps reduce your electric bill, by limiting the hours you need to use your electric lights when using the space.
If you have big windows
If you’re fortunate enough to have big windows (or room for big windows to be installed) in your basement area, consider making these a feature by framing them with furniture or dramatic curtains.
If your windows are in poor shape, or you’d like a new look, consider having them replaced completely. A reputable window manufacturing firm can advise you on how to get the most impact out of your new window design and placement.
A recent cost vs. value report created by Remodeling magazine found that an upscale window replacement in vinyl provided a return on investment of 73.4%, with a wooden window replacement providing a return of 70.8%. (3)
Consider your existing furniture to ensure your new windows suit your design themes.
If you have small windows
If your basement is primarily underground with little room for windows, don’t despair.
Having some smaller windows near the top of your basement walls can still create a striking effect and allow a surprising amount of natural light to brighten your room.
Studies have indicated that exposure to bright light can decrease sleepiness and increase alertness, so it’s worth investigating all your options if any natural light is available. (4)
For the most impact, consider setting your smaller windows with an angled window sill, which will provide the visual effect of more light, thanks to the sun lighting up the sill.
Cleverly placed floor length curtains, or statement art under your windows can also trick the eyes into thinking there’s more light coming in, and make your small windows into a big feature.
If you have no windows
Some basements understandably don’t have room for windows, but this doesn’t mean you’re stuck relying on a traditional ceiling light.
For those who are very serious about their natural light in a windowless basement, a team of Italian engineers has created a first of its kind LED-based lighting system, which they claim is indistinguishable from natural light, although this is likely to be prohibitively expensive for most consumers. (5)
With some creativity, you can fake the effects of natural light by installing bright LEDs behind frosted or translucent glass shutters. If you’re really committed to mimicking the effects of natural light, you could install these lights with a dimmer switch, so you can replicate evening light as well.
A basement remodel is a great opportunity to
When you’re planning your basement design, window placement and natural light should be key considerations. By using these design tricks, or consulting a reputable window installation company, you can maximize the impact of your new space.