Basements Archives

ayars complete home improvements basement bar wet bar coastal theme

The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Dream Basement Bar in South Jersey

Imagine transforming that unused basement space into the social heart of your home — a custom bar where friends and family gather to create unforgettable memories. Not only does a basement bar add value to your property, but it also offers a personalized entertainment area you can enjoy year-round.

With South Jersey’s unique blend of coastal and suburban aesthetics, a stylish bar can uniquely reflect your taste. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about planning basement bars, from understanding the basics to choosing the right design and features that suit your lifestyle.

Understanding Basement Bars: Wet vs. Dry

Before diving into design, it’s important to differentiate between the two main types of basement bars: wet bars and dry bars.

Wet Basement Bars

A wet bar is perfect for a basement social hub, complete with a sink and running water. Though the drink-making process is much easier with these commodities, a wet bar does require plumbing. This means you’ll need to factor in the cost of incorporating water lines into your design plans.

While it may add to your initial budget, the convenience of a wet bar can pay off in functionality and style, making it a worthy investment for your home’s new gathering spot.

Dry Basement Bars

For those seeking a more straightforward approach to their entertainment area, a dry bar is an excellent option. Without the need for a sink or plumbing, dry bars are generally easier on the wallet and less complex to install. This simplicity allows for greater flexibility in the design of your new basement bar.

However, it’s worth noting that the absence of a sink means you’ll be making a few extra trips to the kitchen to refill the ice bucket or fetch water for cleanup. Despite this minor trade-off, a dry bar can still serve as a stylish, functional centerpiece for your social gatherings, ensuring your home remains a hot spot for hosting without the added complexities of plumbing.

Basement Bar Designs and Ideas

Your bar should be more than a place to serve drinks; it should also be a reflection of your personality and the character of your home. Whether you’re drawn to the rustic warmth of a traditional tavern or the sleek lines of a modern lounge, the design possibilities are endless. In this section, we’ll explore a variety of popular design themes that can inspire you to create a space that’s uniquely yours.

Classic Pub

For those who appreciate the timeless appeal of a classic pub, incorporating dark woods, rich tones, and brass accents creates an atmosphere of warmth. This design theme pays homage to the quintessential English tavern, where friends gather for a pint and good conversation. The use of deep mahogany for the bar itself can be paired with a backdrop of burgundy or hunter-green walls to evoke a sense of coziness for visitors.

Consider adding brass fixtures for a touch of authenticity, or installing dim ambient lighting to complete the traditional pub feel. By choosing this classic style, you’ll bring the charm of an old-world tavern to your basement bar, creating a space that’s perfect for relaxed evenings and intimate gatherings.

Modern Minimalist

ayars complete home improvements modern minimalist basement bars design

A modern minimalist design can create a space that’s as stylish as it is functional. Embrace the essence of minimalism with clean lines, a monochromatic or neutral color palette, and the use of materials like glass, chrome, or polished concrete. This approach not only exudes a sophisticated vibe but also emphasizes open space and uncluttered surfaces, allowing your carefully curated selection of spirits to take center stage.

The modern minimalist bar is a statement of elegance and simplicity, offering a retreat where the hustle of daily life fades into the background.

Sports Bar

Transform your basement bar into the ultimate game day destination with a sports bar theme. This design is all about celebrating your love for the game, with multiple TVs ensuring you never miss a play, no matter where you’re seated. Adorn the walls with sports memorabilia that showcases your favorite teams or iconic moments in sports history.

Comfort is key, so be sure to include plush seating options that can accommodate all your friends and family as you cheer on your team. With a sports bar in your own home, every match becomes an event.

Wine Lounge

Ideal for oenophiles, a wine lounge theme is a sophisticated choice. Central to this design is an emphasis on wine storage solutions — think climate-controlled wine fridges, elegant racks, or even a custom wine cellar if space allows. The decor should evoke intimacy and refinement, with a color palette that complements the rich hues of wine varieties.

Soft lighting, comfortable yet chic seating, and subtle touches like a tasting table can all contribute to an atmosphere where every sip is a celebration. A wine lounge basement bar is not just a space; it’s an experience, inviting your guests to unwind in style.

Coastal Retreat

ayars complete home improvements basement bar design coastal theme

Embrace the laid-back vibe of the South Jersey Shore with a coastal retreat theme. Light, airy colors like soft blues, sandy beiges, and crisp whites set the tone for a space that’s as refreshing as a sea breeze. Incorporate natural textures such as reclaimed wood, shiplap, wicker, or rattan accents to add additional character.

Nautical decor elements like ropes, lanterns, and seashell motifs can subtly enhance the seaside atmosphere. This design invites you to kick back as if lounging on the beach, making your bar a serene escape where every day feels like a beach day!

Build-ins and Features

When it comes to creating a basement bar that stands out, it’s the custom features that make all the difference. These personalized touches elevate the functionality of your space while also significantly contributing to its overall aesthetic appeal.

Custom Cabinetry

Custom cabinetry is a cornerstone of a well-designed bar, offering tailored storage solutions that keep your space organized and stylish. Designed to fit your specific collection, these cabinets can house everything from highball glasses to your favorite bourbons, all within arm’s reach. Whether you opt for a classic wood finish or a modern paint job, custom cabinetry can be crafted to complement the overall design, ensuring a cohesive look that’s as functional as it is beautiful.


No basement bar is complete without the right refrigeration to keep your drinks perfectly chilled! Under-counter fridges are a sleek and space-saving solution, seamlessly integrating into your bar’s design while keeping mixers and beer at the ideal temperature. For wine enthusiasts, a dedicated wine cooler ensures that each variety is preserved at its optimal degree.

And for those who love the pull of a fresh pint, consider installing a keg to enjoy draft beer on tap. These refrigeration features contribute to the professional feel of your home bar, literally making it a cool spot to unwind.


The right lighting can transform your basement bar from ordinary to extraordinary, creating an ambiance that complements your gatherings. Pendant lights hanging elegantly over the bar area provide both a focal point and functional illumination for mixing drinks.

For a more modern twist, LED strip lighting can be installed under the bar or along shelving to add a subtle, contemporary glow. Whether you’re going for a warm, intimate atmosphere or a vibrant party vibe, the strategic use of lighting will set the perfect tone for your basement retreat.

Sound System

No basement bar is complete without the right ambiance, and a built-in sound system is key to setting the mood. Integrating speakers into your bar area ensures that your music blends seamlessly into the background.

For the ultimate entertainment experience, consider pairing your bar with a home theater setup to transform your basement into a mini cinema on movie nights.

Gaming Area

Carve out a space for a classic pool table, a foosball setup, or a selection of other favorite games to keep your guests entertained for hours. You can choose for this spot to be the focus of your bar or a complementary feature — it’s entirely up to you!

As a bonus, a gaming zone encourages interaction and adds an element of fun to your social gatherings. By integrating this playful area into your basement bar area, you’re creating a complete entertainment experience. From game nights to casual hangouts, your home will be the go-to spot!

Bar Tops and Stools

When choosing a bar top, you’re selecting the face of your social hub. Durability should be your top priority, as this surface will endure spills, the clink of barware, and countless interactions. Materials like granite and quartz offer a hardy surface that resists scratches or stains.

On the flip side, wood bar tops bring warmth and a classic feel; when treated properly, they can last for many years. Custom concrete bar tops are also gaining popularity, offering a unique, customizable option that stands up well to wear and tear.

Similarly, stools should be chosen not just for their style but also for the comfort they provide. Look for stools with adequate support, especially those with backrests or armrests that offer more comfort for extended periods of sitting. The height is also crucial; there should be enough space between the stool seat and the bar top for guests to sit comfortably without hunching over or feeling cramped.

Storage Solutions

ayars complete home improvements basement bar storage cabinets and drawers

Shelving is a versatile storage option that can be tailored to your bar’s aesthetic and functional needs. Open shelving serves a dual purpose, allowing you to display your impressive collection of spirits and liqueurs while keeping them easily accessible. For those who prefer a tidier appearance, closed cabinets offer a sleek solution, concealing barware behind doors for a clutter-free environment.

Drawers might be less visible than shelves, but their contribution to a well-organized basement bar is invaluable. They provide the perfect home for smaller items such as utensils, cocktail napkins, stirrers, and coasters. Dividers can be added to keep everything in its place, ensuring that you’re never rummaging through clutter to find a bottle opener or a wine stopper. With everything in its rightful place, you can focus on what truly matters — crafting the perfect drink and enjoying the company of your guests!

Build Your Basement Bar with Ayars

Ready to create your basement bar escape? We’d love to hear your vision. Let’s toast to creating your forever home.

finished basement bar with recessed lighting

Turning On to Finished Basement Lighting Ideas

At roughly one-third to half the cost of a comparably sized aboveground addition, finished basements are one of the best ways to add functional space to your home. However, there are a few important caveats that come with being partially or fully underground. One is that they are more susceptible to moisture. Another is that they may receive little to no natural light.

Of course, functional space isn’t really functional if you can’t see well enough to function. That’s why when we finish a basement, we should always have a plan to smartly and attractively incorporate lighting. In this month’s blog, we will share finished basement lighting ideas that will be sure to add both substance and style to your understory.

Basement lighting basics

It should come as no surprise that the first consideration of any basement lighting layout is the law, which is dictated by local building codes. Requirements vary depending on whether a space is deemed “non-habitable” or “habitable.”

New Jersey building code decrees that:

  • Non-habitable rooms (e.g. staircases, hallways, cellars, basements, landings, furnace/utility rooms) must have “natural or artificial light available at all times, with illumination levels of at least 2 lumens per square foot in the darkest portions.
  • Habitable rooms “have at least one window or skylight facing directly to the outdoors,” spanning at least 8 percent of the floor area of that room.

It may surprise you that finishing a basement does not necessarily make it habitable by the legal definition — it must be maintained with a set temperature range via connection to a home’s HVAC system. In other words, even if it looks pretty, it can’t be too cold.

If a basement room is habitable, code requires at least one lighting outlet and a corresponding wall switch, located near the room’s entrance (if it’s not a kitchen or bathroom, a floor lamp can serve instead of overhead or wall-mounted lights). Connecting halls or stairs must have their own lighting outlet and switch.

Basement lighting layouts

As we discussed in a previous blog about kitchen lighting layouts, there are three levels of lighting to consider when conceptualizing a space:

  • Ambient lighting: Intended to illuminate an entire space.
  • Task lighting: Focused lighting for specific tasks or activities.
  • Accent lighting: Meant to accent or highlight a certain feature of the room, usually for decorative purposes.

finished basement recessed lighting

Basement lighting types

Recessed/can lights

Recessed lights, also known as can lights, are by far the most widely utilized in modern finished basements. These cylindrical units (i.e. can-shaped) nestle into the ceiling (i.e. they are recessed), only revealing their trim. Pairing recessed lighting with dimmer switches allows fine control of luminosity and mood, and clustering them into zones can help define functional areas.

Ceiling lights

More traditional ceiling lights, which come in flush-mount and semi-flush mount varieties, are located in the center of the room and serve as ambient lighting. They check the box for meeting code requirements and can be aesthetically pleasing as well.

However, semi-flush mount lights may not play very well in basements with lower ceilings, as the fixture itself hangs below where the unit is mounted, increasing the risk of (literal) head-on collisions.

Sconce lights

Sconce lights attach directly to the wall and can be focused upward (for ambient lighting) or downward (for task lighting, such as reading). Sconce lights might be controlled through the wall switch or by a switch on the unit itself.

Floor lamps

Floor lamps offer versatility through portability — simply pick them up and move it to wherever it’s needed. You can plug them into a wall-controlled outlet and switch them on or off as you enter or leave a room, or you can place them next to a couch or seating area and use the switch on the lamp. They would function excellently in a den or game room.

Tray lights

As their name suggests, tray lights are housed within a tray that is installed along the perimeter of the ceiling. They are primarily used as accent lighting, as they do not generate much in the way of brightness (great if you’re reproducing a home theater, lounge, or nightclub vibe). A skilled interior carpenter will ensure they are integrated unobtrusively.

Track lights

Track lights are a popular form of task (e.g. above a basement bar) or accent lighting (e.g. above a painting, mantle, or trophy case). They consist of several units oriented along a solid metal or wire lighting track, which mounts to the ceiling. The major appeal here is the individual lighting heads can be swiveled or slid along the track without the enlistment of tools — you’re the director!

Like the semi-flush mount ceiling lights we mentioned earlier, they can cause clearance issues in basements with lower ceilings. This problem can be mitigated by locating the track closer to where a ceiling meets a wall, lessening the chances of anyone bumping into it.

Natural lighting

When we think of natural light and basements, we often think of the narrow hopper windows that hinge from the bottom and are just barely adequate for airing things out, much less capturing sunlight. As habitable spaces, we should expect more from our finished basements — in fact, in most states (including New Jersey), it’s the law that we have something more in the form of an egress (emergency exit) door or window.

Code requires that the following finished basement rooms have a point of egress:

  • Bedrooms
  • Rec rooms
  • Offices
  • Home theaters

In the event any of these spaces adjoin, only one of them needs an egress door or window — but bedrooms always take precedence. Deeper, below-grade basements must have an egress window well dug, with ladder or stairs for escape.

Egress doors and windows must first and foremost be openings through which human beings can easily escape, so they’re necessarily larger and operate differently than your standard basement hopper windows. With that comes the benefits of better airflow and more natural light — you might even forget that your basement room is in the basement!

See our friends at Egress Solutions in South Jersey to learn of all of the attractive possibilities available in a modern basement egress system.

Finished basements with Ayars

At Ayars Complete Home Improvements, we approach basement lighting design ideas like we do everything else — purposefully and with the big picture firmly in mind. We believe a finished basement should look like it organically belongs with the rest of your house — because it is part of your house. To see how this philosophy plays out in practice, visit our finished basement portfolio page for some prime examples

mudroom laundry area with hangers, cabinets, convertible utility sink, and bench with stowaway totes

Folding Creativity Into Laundry Room Design Ideas

The laundry — few of us enjoy surrendering our time to it, and few of us like ceding our space to it either. But given its place in the housekeeping trinity next to cooking and cleaning, all homeowners must sacrifice at least some square footage to a laundry room, whether it is confined to its dedicated room or integrated into another.

Despite its reputation as a utilitarian space, there are plenty of surprising ways to fold structure and creativity into laundry room design, making a chore we all hate to feel like less of one. Let’s take a look at the best laundry room ideas for any size room!

Where to locate the laundry room?


In many homes, especially older ones, the laundry area is delegated to a corner or section of the basement (also sometimes referred to as a utility room).

Pros: Extra storage space, easy utility access, flood containment, removed from bulk of activity and commotion of other rooms in the house.

Cons: Lugging laundry up and down the stairs can be strenuous for some, greater likelihood of cycle signals going unheard/unnoticed.


Locating a laundry space either within or immediately adjacent to a bathroom can be highly convenient if space allows.

Pros: Utility lines are already available, and clothing and linens have a minimal distance to travel.

Cons: Potentially conflicting with the private space of other household members, noise factor.

Second story

The second story has become fashionable in recent years for many laundry rooms.

Pros: Dedicated space for laundry, typical proximity to bathrooms and bedrooms, possibility of a light-filled laundry room.

Cons: Can be a complicated retrofit if your home is not set up for it.

modern master bathroom clarkboro nj stacked washer dryer custom cabinet

Maximize space for small laundry room ideas

It follows that the more space you have to work with, the more spacious laundry room ideas you can play with. We’ve even seen those with larger homes mirror design concepts from popular kitchen layouts, including island space, decorative lighting, a large window for light, and custom cabinetry. But for those with tighter living arrangements, the focus is on small laundry room design ideas that emphasizes vertical space, economy, and efficiency over visual interest.

Let’s look at the key tasks we need to accomplish in the laundry room and how we can implement clever design features to lighten the load.

Washing and drying

The most essential function of the laundry room, of course, is to wash and dry clothing. As such, our design process has to begin with where we locate the washer and dryer units.

Front-loading washers and dryers are far more versatile than their top-loading counterparts for layout purposes, especially in the context of small laundry room design ideas. By stacking the units, we can free up a good deal of valuable wall and floor space for the design elements to be discussed in the sections that follow, such as a sink, cabinetry, floating shelves, and/or countertop.

When placing front-loading units side by side, we also have the option of sliding them under a countertop so we can fold our clothes fresh out of the dryer. For air drying, we can utilize vertical space for a hanging rod or drying rack in a small laundry room.

Pre-soaking and stain treatment

Life can get especially messy at times, so it’s highly advisable that your laundry area includes a utility sink for pre-treating stubborn stains (or hand-washing delicate items). In terms of utility sink styles, the cast iron or white plastic tubs are probably the most universal. Although a freestanding metal tub could mesh well in some settings, most modern laundry room designs ideas will include a washbasin inset into the counter, with an attractive fixture to go with it.

If you go this route, you’ll want to ensure the surrounding countertop is composed of water-resistant material such as quartz, porcelain tile, or granite — these are non-porous and thus will not warp or grow mold easily. Likewise for your laundry room flooring — always choose vinyl, stone/concrete, laminate, or ceramic tile instead of carpet as your base.

However, a nice area rug can help add both style and traction underfoot.

Storing, organizing, and sorting

A sensible storage solution can go a long way to making your laundry area less cluttered, less chaotic, and safer. Open shelving and door storage are smart small laundry room design inclusions. But if you have the budget and the space, we recommend installing cabinets to hold all your laundry products – your cleaners, sprays, detergents, wicker baskets, rags, and towels.

While these are pretty mundane items, putting together the right combination of cabinets and pulls can truly elevate your laundry room to a hardworking space on par with the rest of your house. Again, some of the more luxurious examples we’ve seen take major cues from modern kitchens — complete with backsplashes and all.

We also have to think about what we’re doing with our clothing pre- and post-cycle. Pull-out baskets and sorting bins are a stylish and subtle way of containing clutter. If your home is old-fashioned enough to have a laundry chute, this might feed directly into your hidden hamper.

Ironing and folding

For a lot of people, ironing and folding clothes look a lot like anarchy — bath towels draped over kitchen chairs, this week’s work fits spread haphazardly over a living room sofa. It doesn’t necessarily have to be this way.

For the most compact of laundry spaces, a countertop built above front-loading laundry machines is probably your best bet for a folding area. If you have more wiggle room to work with, you might consider a small floating countertop projecting from an adjacent wall or a pull-out laundry table that can retract within your cabinetry setup.

There are plenty of nifty laundry room design ideas that pertain to ironing as well — ironing boards that fold out from the wall, can be flipped up like a leaf on a table, or slide out from under a counter. But if you can’t go with an integrated solution, you can hang that clunky ironing board on a wall- or door-mounted storage stand, or find a narrow gap between tall cabinets to wedge it into.

A fresh start with Ayars!

Laundry can be a source of high agitation for a lot of us, but there are ways to make things a lot gentler on ourselves. Start a new cycle with Ayars Complete Home Improvements or by incorporating any of these design ideas into your home.

finished basement

Modern Finished Basement Ideas: Getting Downstairs to the Details

What is your idea of a modern finished basement? Don’t let other contractors sell you on the idea that laying a carpet down and installing some cheap drop ceiling panels qualify as “finished.” There is so much more that can be done to convert your basement into a real, honest-to-goodness, bona fide living space that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. But as with any successful home remodeling project, it’s all about attention to detail every step of the way. 

Framing basement walls

Once we have an idea of the design for your finished basement, how it will be laid out, and what features it will contain, we can move on to framing. We take great care in framing basement walls because we know the setup phase is critical to the execution.

When framing basement walls, we are trying to accomplish four main things:

  1. Structural integrity — To help achieve this, we use steel studs for their sturdy and resilient properties.

  2. Fireblocking — Limiting the amount of oxygen that can get into spaces between walls (and in between ceiling joists) in the event of fire.

  3. Waterproofing — Moisture is the mortal enemy of any basement, finished or unfinished. When there is evidence of water issues (such as cracks) along the outside walls, it’s important we reinforce and draw water away from those walls before framing and hanging drywall.

  4. Housing and hiding our mechanicals — It’s what’s on the inside of walls that counts, too. You’ll need wiring, plumbing, and HVAC routed correctly for your modern finished basement idea to become a reality. The less conspicuous we can make these elements, the more “finished” your basement will look and feel.

Modern finished basement ceiling ideas

Many of those same mechanicals we just talked about have to run through the ceiling, too. If you favor a more industrial or nautical look (like that of the cabin of an ocean liner), painting the overhead joists and beams may suffice. 

Others may settle for the aforementioned drop ceilings, which is a gridded metal framework that hangs from the joists and is filled in with drop ceiling tiles. Although there are much better-looking options as far as those go than there used to be, most modern finished basements steer away from them.

At Ayars, dry-walled ceilings are our preferred method of finishing since it is more cohesively integrated with the rest of the home.  This opens up opportunities for a polished look and feel with recessed lights, crown molding, and paint, just as you would see on upper floors.

Modern finished basement flooring ideas

Whatever finished basement flooring idea you have in mind, a moisture-resistant material should be a top consideration — because raised humidity and flood risk just come with the underground territory. Thankfully, basement flooring material options are numerous and varied. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Luxury vinyl tile/plank: A major upgrade over conventional sheet or tile vinyl flooring on account of its thickness, durability, and impressive emulation of real wood and stone.
  2. Engineered wood: Engineered wood is less apt to warp in damper environments than solid hardwood and is virtually indistinguishable.
  3. Ceramic/porcelain tile: Naturally wear-resistant and water-repellant, ceramic or porcelain tiles are one of the best options for the long term. You may want to consider an anti-slip finish for condensation and/or radiant heating to keep things warm underfoot.
  4. Plank (“wood-look”) tile flooring: Plank tile flooring combines the durable qualities of ceramic/porcelain tiles with the timeless look of wood. Because of their rectified (90-degree) edges, they fit together nearly seamlessly with nearly invisible grout lines. 

Modern finished basement storage ideas

Many people conceptualize basement storage as tossing whatever it may be down the stairs into a dark abyss, never to be seen again. With finished basement storage, however, we’ll want to be more intentional and organized. And for a modern finished basement, we’ll want to be clever and creative, too. Here are some examples of the bespoke storage solutions we’ve drawn up for our clients:

Finish your basement the right way with Ayars

The best modern finished basement ideas begin and end with the details. Don’t miss a step on your way down to your favorite new living area; discuss your dream with the Ayars team today. 

finished basement sewell new jersey

Finished Basement Ideas to Take Your Lower Level to the Next Level

We’re going to be perfectly above ground with you on this — that partially or fully finished basement you’ve been getting ideas about is fully in your best interest. Now is the time for your basement remodel!

If you missed our blog post about the benefits of finished basements, here are the three main takeaways:

  1. Basement Remodeling can significantly increase the useful living space in your home.

  2. A basement renovation add serious value to the resale market (average of 70% return on investment)

  3. Hanging out there can help you save on energy costs — the ground temperature is not as susceptible to the ups and downs as the air is, so you do not have to expend as much energy keeping it cool in the summer or warm in the winter.

Finishing a basement remodel is almost always less disruptive (and expensive) than constructing a home addition, which is a significant consideration if you live with family or work from home. Furthermore, nearly as many finished basement ideas are out there to consider.

mickleton new jersey basement finishing

What kind of basement do I have?

Before you dream up and scheme up your newly finished basement, you must assess what you’re working with — depending on how the foundation sits within your property.

Standard lot basement

As its name implies, a standard lot basement is just that — standard. It’s your typical set of concrete walls buried underground, with narrow horizontal windows peeking up into the yard or driveway. They are not known for being light or airy, but you can use that to your advantage to create a secluded space away from distractions. This is perfect for an entertainment space, or game room. Not every basement is treated the same. Be sure to gather all the details or contact a professional for your dream basement. vapor and moisture barriers may need to be properly installed as a part of your basement remodeling project.

Walk-out basement

A much-coveted feature with today’s homebuyers, walk-out basements allow you to step right out into a backyard or onto a patio and get some fresh air. They have a lot of qualities in common with the main floor, and in some cases are counted towards your home’s total square footage. They are associated with properties with a slope of at least 6 feet from front to back. You’ll often see elevated decks attached to these types of homes, as well.

Garden-level lot basement

Garden-level lots are the middle ground; due to a gentle slope, some of the basement will be poking out above grade, while some of it will be underground. Though it will receive more natural light than a standard-lot basement, there is not enough clearance for a full-sized door for egress.

finished basement cubby under stairs

What can I do with my basement?

With a bit of creativity, your basement can become one of the most versatile and loved parts of your home! As you ponder over finished basement ideas, take into consideration your unique lifestyle for better functionality.

Smarter storage

Yes, we know basements have the reputation of being these dark voids into which things are thrown and never return. By incorporating a few organizational features into your finished basement design, you can still retain its traditional storage function while attaining a much cleaner and more attractive aesthetic. You might mount shelving onto the walls or into the walls, utilize a storage bench, ottoman, or built ins to serve double duty as seating, or even tuck a cozy little cubby under the stairs, as we did in a recent project near Mantua Township, New Jersey. While this isn’t the most attractive use of your basement space it can be cost effective and budget conscious way to upgrade your basement space

Undistracted work

Are you a busy mom or dad looking for some extra space to simplify your daily life? You might want to consider exploring the potential of your basement remodel. Imagine having a cozy finished basement, a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s an ideal place for your home office, a basement wine cellar, or your home gym where you can focus on your hobbies and well-being. To make it even more pleasant, you might want to think about soundproofing options, concrete floors, and more storage space. The space can even fulfill the role of a finished living space, a basement bedroom, or even a dedicated space for the whole family.

We understand how important privacy is for moms, and we’re here to support you in creating a serene and quiet space that’s tailored to your preferences. Additionally, if you or a family member need a peaceful corner to unwind, think about adding an extra basement bathroom, wet bar, or basement kitchenette to your finished basement. It could serve as a comfortable and functional home away from home. The addition of floating shelves, sliding barn doors, and an accent wall can quickly turn the unfinished space into the ultimate studio.

Unfinished Basement to Game Room 

Turn your unfinished basement into the ultimate game room with a pool table, video game lounge, or a board game paradise for more living space, value, and versatility. Make sure your basement is dry, insulated, and well-lit for your new space. Choose durable flooring and consider adding additional amenities like a wet bar, kitchenette, or a extra bathroom. With a little planning, you can create a space that your family and friends will love.

 Build Better Basement Ideas with Ayars Remodeling!

Basement Remodels are among our favorite project types at Ayars Complete Home Improvements — there are few things more satisfying than transforming an ugly, underutilized dungeon into a truly indispensable part of your home and your life that you can be proud of. Do you live in the South Jersey area? Are you looking for basement remodeling done right? Contact us today to get started on your basement renovation.

South Jersey Basement Remodel

Designing a Winning At-Home Sports Bar

You’re ready for some football, but is your home? Win big with your guests on game day with an optimized entertainment space. Creating an at-home sports bar, either as a patio feature or as part of an indoor man cave, is a great way to enjoy time at home and save money on Sundays. Before beginning, however, it pays to have a game plan.

South Jersey Basement Renovations

Indoor or outdoor?

In late summer and into early autumn, you can use an outdoor bar to replicate a bonafide tailgating experience. The elements are always in play in New Jersey, so ensure the bar is covered with a canopy, extended ceiling, roof overhang, or awning. Televisions or monitors should either be of the outdoor variety or shielded with an outdoor covering. Lighting should amply illuminate the primary task areas of the bar (preparation, serving, and clean-up) and assist with navigation as the days grow shorter. A firepit or space heater might be incorporated into the patio to help stave off the chill at nightfall. 

For year-round versatility, consider converting an unfinished basement into a finished basement bar area. The availability of water and electrical lines should be the first consideration when designing a finished basement — altering or adding plumbing or wiring can be costly, so try to work with what you have if you can. Make fellow fans feel at home while providing the best view of the action with comfortable open seating arrangements. Well-positioned speakers and surround sound work wonderfully in basements – in part due to their natural sound-dampening characteristics. Still, soundproofed materials might be a good idea if not everyone in your house is as into the game as you are. 

Dry bar or wet bar? 

The difference between a dry bar and a wet bar is the availability of running water. If your bar is going to be easily accessible from or attached to a kitchen, a sink may not be necessary. An integrated refrigeration cabinet or closet allows you to store a wider variety of perishable ingredients, as well as stow beers for quick handoffs rather than long jaunts to the nearest refrigerator. For barkeepers who want to go the distance, leaving room for a home draft beer system such as a kegerator might be a wise move. 

What materials will I be using?

For the bar’s framing and structure, construction lumber, oriented strand board sheeting, and plywood provide sturdiness and integrity. Treated lumber or composite materials are advised for outdoor bars to resist moisture and weathering. For aesthetics, trim your bar with hardwood fascia. Countertop workspaces should be resilient and easy to clean — granite, marble, tile, and laminated hardwood or plywood are popular examples.

South Jersey Basement Renovations

The best seats in the house

Your bar stools need to:

  • Complement the decor and be comfortable to sit in for hours at a time
  • Be positioned to the correct height (28 to 33 inches from the floor, with 9 to 12 inches left for leg space under the counter)
  • Offer clear sightlines to the action — do not place behind obstructions and keep level with the monitor or screen. If the TV is not behind the bar, swiveling bar stools are a must.

Take time to incorporate these design tips into your at-home sports bar plans and you’ll be sure to ring up the score with visitors. And remember, Ayars Complete Home Improvements is always game to help out with your next patio or finished basement project!


The Benefits of Finished Basements

Use Your Basement for More than Just Storage

Your basement doesn’t have to be just a dark dungeon where you store your Christmas decorations.  Finishing your basement can actually give you more benefits than you may think.  Not only can you add more living space and increase the market value of your home, but you can also increase your home’s energy efficiency!  Obstacles like low ceilings, disguising water heaters, and insufficient lighting are all issues that can be dealt with.


Most of us leave our basement space unfinished. Unattractive concrete walls and carpet scraps laid on the floor are only inviting to mold and mildew. The only time we use our basement is for storing things we don’t need.

Putting that space to use could be the best thing that can do for your home — it truly can come in handy for so many things. Here’s what you should consider when contemplating a modern finished basement design.


Most unfinished basements have a concrete floor, and to cover that, people generally lay down carpeting or wood flooring that traps moisture underneath, leaving the flooring vulnerable to mold and mildew. To avoid this, it’s a wise idea to install basement subflooring, which provides a level base for the flooring finish material while insulating and protecting against moisture infiltration. Options range from simple plywood 2x4s to rigid foam to specialty subfloor systems. The latter two choices do not sacrifice as much precious head clearance as plywood subfloor does while offering great thermal insulation properties.


After you’ve chosen the material, you can begin to focus on the aesthetics. Search all the floor designs that you might think will work for your space and the theme you have in mind. This could be a time-consuming and daunting task, so take your time and finalize a flooring style that will work best for you (or consult a design expert!)  You’ll need to consider these three attributes: durability, attractiveness, and water-tightness.

finished basement rec room


Begin by checking the basement walls for any excessive moisture. If there’s moisture on your walls opt for wall paneling. Unlike wooden framing that may rot or metal frames that leave ugly rust spots, paneled walls are made from durable high-density foam insulation. The paneling not only functions well but can also prove an attractive stylistic choice for your basement walls.


Suspended ceilings are a good option for your basement. They allow easy access to ducts, electrical cords, and cables. These ceilings are also water-resistant. Other important aspects to consider when choosing ceiling material are noise control and thermal regulation. Depending on whether you intend to use your finished basement for work or play, you’ll either want to keep the noise from the rest of the house out or the noise from the basement contained within.

Finishing touches

Last but not least comes lighting. Lighting is the crucial finishing touch that gives definition to your space and sets all the other design elements in place. In order for your walls, flooring, and ceiling to look perfect with the theme of the furniture, do not overlook the role of basement lighting in creating the perfect ambiance.

finished basement bannister

The possibilities for your new basement are endless. A finished basement adds value to your home as well as energy savings. Contact us for more information about how you can finish your basement or visit or project gallery below for inspiration.