If you have ever watched Fixer Upper, or really any home fix-it show, then you are probably familiar with the term “open concept.” If not, open concept, or open-plan, is when a home builder (or remodeler) creates spaces that involve a larger space that encompasses multiple rooms, with little separation. For smaller spaces, this can be ideal, as it will make the rooms seem larger, and not compartmentalized into tiny rooms. As for larger spaces that may require separation, some homeowners and builders are on the fence.

Open Concept

basement kitchenette

Being able to not feel claustrophobic in your own space is a big deal. If your basement is fewer than 800 square feet, an open plan may really be the best option to maximize your area. Without big walls in the way, it will feel much larger, the air will circulate more efficiently, and it can be quite pleasing to the eye. It really serves as a simple way to solve a complex problem. You need more space, so this tricks the eye into believing there is more, while really only omitting walls. When it comes to prices of real estate, lumber, etc. these days, this literally makes less seem like more. That can be quite beneficial when finishing your basement or selling your home.

While watching many of the shows that have made open concept popular, it’s important to know some facts. You must be sure that if you are knocking down walls that they are not loadbearing. Pulling a wall of that importance could be detrimental to your home and everything in it. Once a contractor has informed you that they can (or you may) remove the desired walls, you must be super careful, as it can be a tedious process. Some walls contain electrical conduits, pipes, and other unforeseen elements, so take your time (or call Stephenson Construction).

More advantages of an open basement are that it allows the family to feel more together, gives you ample opportunity to show off sightlines (when it’s clean), and you can entertain seamlessly. After all, it’s your basement, you aren’t just finishing it so no one will see it!

open concept basement

Traditional (Closed) Spaces

Though a closed space might cost you a little more, the benefits may be well worth it. The space needs to be small enough to be open in order for it to not seem too big. That might seem obvious, but if you ever go into an open space and feel it’s too big, you’ll understand its need to be vocalized.

A closed space offers far more privacy (bothersome sound notwithstanding) than anything a basement that has an open space does. Being able to divide your basement into separate rooms – even only two or three – can make a huge difference. With a more traditional, divided concept, you can have a messy kitchen without it being on display for your guests to see. Yes, even in the basement. A kitchenette is a great way to offer the amenities of your main kitchen but use minimal space.

closed style basement

Loadbearing walls have no qualms with a closed space. Without knocking down and risking the structural fortitude of the walls, you already have an advantage over the Magnolia-themed basements of the world.

It really comes down to a few things.

Do you have goals for finishing your basement?

What is your budget?

How does your timeline look?

Should your basement be greater than 1,500 square feet things could get a bit dicey. For instance, imagine this scenario. You’re in the entertainment/common area trying to watch the big game. Only thing is, you can hear the people in the kitchen area talking. Now you have to keep turning up the volume on your soundbar to drown them out. Now you miss walls. You miss the closed area that offered only one sound per room. This is where the traditional closed space comes into play.

While your neighbors are knocking down walls, and rallying their inner Chip or Joanna Gaines, maybe your best bet is to hire a contractor who has been expertly crafting basements for years. Give Stephenson Construction a call for all of your basement remodeling and finishing needs.