Basement Blues?


It happens every year.  Right after the holidays pass, the reality of a long, cold Illinois winter smacks us on the forehead.  We’ve got shut in fever and we’ll be looking for something to do in the tiny sliver of daylight we get in January.  But wait, there is another option.

Many folks already know the best way to deal with the dark and cold weather of winter in the Fox Valley area requires plenty of indoor activities and lots of imagination.  If you’re a parent with kids under age 5, you’ll be looking for some fun things for the kids to do indoors.  After running through the local library programs, South Elgin’s Never Grow Up playroom, friends’ playdates and kid classes, you might want to think about investing in your own basement!

As clutter keepers, basements rule.  But think about clearing out a section for play time out of that clutter and even an unfinished basement can be a change of scenery for the winter indoor playtime.  It can be as unfancy as a few area rugs to ward off a chilly concrete floor, plus a few bright lights and you’re good to go.  We hung a chalkboard on the wall and let the mess play out on the floor without worry or fuss when a masterpiece strikes back.  When we put the tricycle and scooters down there, the kids soon had a circle race track going and are wearing tracks in the floor with all the use.  Unfinished basements do come in handy!

photo by

In addition, a basement either finished or partially finished, can be a nice selling point for future residents when it is time to change homes.  Game rooms, wet bars, work out rooms and organized storage areas are all a plus when buyers are seeking a new home.

However, don’t put necessary home fix ups on the back burner, when considering a basement remodel.  The best bang for your buck is to start with the kitchen and baths in any house is always these two areas first, the rest can wait.  If you’ve already got those basics covered, then consider a basement update.  Ideally, if you’re planning on staying long term in the home (10+ years) remodel for yourself.  A full basement remodel that you enjoy for the long term is a worth while investment.

If you plan on moving out in 5 years or less, why not consider a remodel with an eye towards the next home buyer.   This is a short term investment, so get the basics done and don’t worry about the rest.  Homeowners  in this scenario are likely to recover a large part of the costs when they are ready to sell.

If all else fails, bundle up and head outdoors.  Although the daylight goes quickly, there’s a lot to enjoy right here in the nature loving Fox Valley area.

photo by Teklanika Nature Photography





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