If you are finishing your basement for the first time you might be having an issue with the ceiling. To complete any room, you need a nice ceiling and your basement is no different. What you ultimately decide on will depend on how much money you have to spend towards a ceiling and what type of a look you are going for as well. Here are some basement ideas for a great ceiling that will help to make the space look livable:

1) Drop ceilings or suspended ceilings - These are the fastest and easiest to put in but it will not look the best of the choices. With a basement drop ceiling you will have quick and easy access to all wiring, pipes, and any ventilation system you have put in. If you want to install an entertainment system complete with a super sound system in your basement, you can easily run all the wires in the ceiling for convenience.

Suspended ceilings can be made with tiles that hang and thus they cut down the room you have from the floor to the ceiling. They don't look as good as a drywall ceiling but it is usually cheaper and easier to install. Additionally, if anything goes wrong with the wiring or anything else that is up there, you have easy access to it all, unlike drywall ceilings.

2) Drywall ceilings - This would look like the same ceiling in the upstairs part of your home so this would give your basement a totally finished look. Most people would have to hire a professional company to come in and install a drywall ceiling and the cost could be a factor. You will not have the quick access to the wires and cables in the ceiling like with the drop down variety but you will have a much better looking basement that can match the rest of the house.

3) Stretch ceilings - These are usually put in commercial shops, restaurants, showrooms, hotels, and businesses. They are expensive and usually very artsy which means very few people would spend the money to put a stretch ceiling in their basement. Usually they are made of a polyvinyl material that is stretched into panels. If you want more information on them, I suggest you Google "stretch ceilings".


Our basement is freezing most of the year and even in the summer, it feels like the air conditioning is on down there. So, my wife called someone to come out to see what they could do and find out how much it would cost.

There where two basement heating ideas we were given and the first is something called a King Pic-A-Watt heater that would be installed on the wall. You can see more information on it here and I am sure you can get something like it in your neck of the woods. We were quoted a price of $574 for a complete installation in the wall and that included running a cable from the unit into the garage all the way to the fuse box. The guy said that his company had installed hundreds of them and they were the most popular.

The second option we were told cost about $350.00 more but was cutting edge. You can read about the radiant system he said would do a great job and look better because it would be installed high on the wall and not be as conspicuous. He said it was neat because the radiant heat would shoot out and the minute it touched something it would heat it up. I'm not sure how it works exactly but it is supposed to be safe, energy efficient, and cost effective in the long run.

We wanted a heating source for basement that would work independently of the main forced air system in the house. Both of these options would come with their own thermostat that would help maintain the basement temperature at a constant level. Right now, in order to be comfortable in our basement, we have to crank up the heat in the whole house and have it boiling upstairs just so it is livable down there. There is a good 20 degree difference between our basement temperature and the 2nd floor temperature so we need another heating source badly.

These are the two basement heating ideas that our guy gave us and said most people pick between the two. If your basement is big though, you might have to get two of the Pic-A-Watt units to do the job. You might need two of the radiant heat units too. Check with your local electricity repairman for quotes in your area as that is who we got to do ours.


Proper ventilation is one of the basement ideas you should make sure to not overlook. There is not a lot of air movement in most basements and many might not have any windows. This means dampness and moisture is always a problem as well as the cool temperature.

When you have an unfinished basement, it may have some air ducts that protrude out of the ceiling that come from the central heating system. These air ducts might provide you with an air supply while they may also just be for returning cold air. If you aren't going to use your basement for anything, you might not be concerned about any ventilation problems you might have. But if you are going to finish your basement, you will want to get all the air circulating properly.

If you are going to be using your basement for a theater, guest room, play room, office, or game room you will want to make sure it has proper ventilation and heating. That means any hot air should come out at the floor level or near to the floor level as it is going to rise. This is why most forced air heating in houses have the vents on the floors. Your house will probably not have any heating in the basement and if it does it might be connected through the ceiling because the basement ceiling is really the floor of the main level.

You might look into getting something known as an air exchanger that keeps the air in your house fresh by exchanging it with the outside air. Many newer homes are built with this feature included in the central heating and cooling system. Something like that can be important for basement ventilation and keeping the air moving so it doesn't become stagnant.


If you have a basement that has a bathroom, you might have a suitable area for an extra guestroom. Many houses may not have enough rooms upstairs for all the kids and a guest and so one of the pracical basement ideas is to turn it into a bedroom.

One of the first problems though with a turning your basement into a guestroom is to figure out the heating situation. If you are going to use it as a bedroom, you need to make sure the basement has some insulation in the walls. Additionally, even if it does, you may find it exremely hard to heat in the winter.

In the summer time, a basement bedroom or guestroom will work great because it will be hot outside but naturally cool at the bottom of the house. In the winter though, heating your basement to a degree that it is livable could be expensive. you may have to have a stand alone heater or heaters to do the job. Radiant heat downstairs might also work well but that could be too expensive for many budgets.

Another problem you might have is installing ample lighting in your new basement guestroom. Many basements are partially or totally underground and thus have very little natural lighting. This means you will probably have to have several bright lamps or ceiling lights to give your guests enough light to see.

The color you paint your basement walls can either help or hurt the lighting. If you paint the walls a dark green or black, it will make the room look that much darker. However, if you use brighter colors it may help with the poor lighting situation many basements face.

As mentioned at the outset, a basement bedroom works best if you have a bathroom on the same level. If not, it may still be doable but having a bathroom with a shower is best for anyone staying down there. The more complete a room you can make the better and the more it will help with resale value as well.