Remodel or Upgrade for 2020

Are you going to remodel your home in 2020 or are you going to upgrade rooms and lower levels? If you listen to the experts both are at the top of the list for trends that are going to take place in 2020.

Let’s talk about remodeling as this is usually a much bigger job than upgrading. I like to look at remodeling as a “living area increase” because as long as it gives me more living area I believe it’s worth doing and as long as you’re going to increase your living area you might as well do it right.  But what does that mean? For us, it meant that we were going to use the remodeled lower level as our living room and make the upper level one big kitchen and dining room combined with a small sitting area.

Get Organized

For me, every detail is performed correctly and that includes research of the area in question. Getting organized means staying with a plan for how you want the area to look and how are you going to get there. For example: if you’re going to remodel you untouched basement chances are you will need to add lighting. Lighting is everything and if you plan it right starting at the ceiling and working your way down to the floor is the way to go. This means upgrading your electric panel to support the outlets, switches and ceiling lights, entertainment devices such as a flat-screen tv, speakers and amplifiers. Having all the electrical laid out before you start is a beautiful thing.

You will probably want to add a bathroom as a must-do in your remodel plans. It doesn’t have to be anything big but it should be big enough for a shower. Adding a lower level bathroom is smart as well as convenient. I say this because having your guests walking up and down the stairs to use the bathroom gets very old if there’s no bathroom in the newly remodeled lower level. As long as this is a blank canvas you should always add a bathroom when you can.

Entertainment Areas, Shuffle board, poker tables & the bar

Any house that has a bar in it will always have friends and lots of parties. Everyone gathers at the bar so knowing this you might as well make the bar a great one. I prefer soft surface bars like wood and even zinc tops as hard surface tops like glass, granite, and tile are noisy. Bars should be unique and have plenty of storage and functionality. Our bar top was made extra-large to hold pizza boxes and many other appetizers and dishes. We added a power strip behind the bar to plug in dishes that can be warmed, or you can charge your phones, etc. Your bar should be awesome and fun to sit at and create memories. Our bar as perfect access to the 50″ flat screen and all the seating around the bar can view the TV as well so watching sporting events, movies and video games are easy to see from any location. We designed the lower level for that purpose. If you want to lay on the couch or sit at the bar the TV is in view.


If I could do our remodel all over again I would try and eliminate as much drywall as possible and add stone, brick, and other creative surfaces to the walls keeping drywall to a minimum. Drywall is boring and cold. Consider other materials and your lower level will look amazing.

When considering your lower level remodel, take all the important things with how you live and find a way to incorporate them into your design. But, one of the most important features you can add is the fun feature. Make the room fun and you will always go there and love it.