An unfinished basement is like a blank slate. You can turn that space into anything you want. From a cozy home theater to a classy entertainment space, there’s no end to the fun and creativity you can put into your basement. No matter what your floor plan looks like, though, you need to keep a few crucial factors in mind before you start construction. Check out these three things to consider when finishing your basement.

Tackle Moisture Problems

Water and moisture can wreak havoc on your basement if you’re not careful. The first thing you should do when you think about finishing your basement is to inspect the space for any water damage or sources of excess moisture. In addition to repairing any existing damage, you’ll need to eliminate the source of the problem. Keep your foundation safe by keeping your gutters in good shape and ensuring that rain drains away from your home. Another tip is to reduce humidity in your house by maintaining good ventilation—especially in the bathrooms and kitchen. Finally, add a vapor barrier to your walls and floors before framing and finishing them. Doing so will reduce moisture, prevent water damage, and keep your basement clean and safe.

Find the Right Flooring

Once you have a clean and safe space to work with, you can start the fun part: designing your finished basement. One of the earliest and most significant choices you’ll make is the type of flooring you want. The best flooring options for your basement will be durable, comfortable, and stylish. Remember that all floors come with pros and cons. Concrete is a popular and long-lasting option, but it also creates a hard and cold surface. Engineered wood, on the other hand, is warmer and more comfortable. Carefully weigh your options to choose a floor that keeps you comfortable, fits with your dream design, and lasts a long time.

Keep It Cozy

Basements are notoriously chilly in colder weather, but that doesn’t have to keep you above ground when the temperature dips. Warmth is one of the most important things to consider when finishing your basement. While insulation is a key part of this, you can also incorporate some design ideas for a cozier room. If you have a harder floor, use thick and comfy area rugs to add a little warmth—and color—to the space. Adding a fireplace will also create a warm and cozy atmosphere no matter how cold the weather gets.