Memories of being a little girl in my Nana’s basement kitchen during the Holiday season invoke smells of manicotti and sausage, smells which filled that beautifully decorated basement as we kids anxiously waited for that special “early visit” from Santa. Every year after dinner and before opening presents with the family, Santa came to our grandparent’s house on Christmas Eve because Nana was his “personal friend.”

These memories have inspired me to create that same scenario for my family by building a kitchen in my basement. Below are some tips I found helpful to consider. However, before making a single pot of sauce, I know I must first consult a basement contractor as well as an interior designer who specializes in kitchens, as I not only want it to be safe and functional, I want it to look fabulous too.

In the meantime, here are some guidelines and questions to consider:

  • Be clear about the purpose of your basement kitchen
  • Have a safe basement kitchen design plan ready
  • Have an inspection to ensure the basement is properly waterproofed and sealed
  • Ensure there are sufficient power outlets
  • Install good lighting
  • Match the kitchen to the style of your house
  • Use smaller-sized appliances
  • Install proper ventilation

First things first, you need to be clear about the purpose of your basement kitchen. Are you aiming for a holiday wonderland like my Nana’s or simply a functional cooking space? Once you’ve figured that out, it’s time to have a fabulous design plan ready. This is where the pros come in. A basement contractor and an interior designer specializing in kitchens will ensure your vision becomes a reality without compromising safety.

Speaking of safety, don’t forget to inspect your basement. You’ll want to make sure it’s properly waterproofed and sealed so there are no unwelcome surprises lurking beneath your culinary haven. And let’s not overlook the importance of power outlets! Trust me, running out of juice (literally) in the middle of a cooking frenzy is not fun. So, be sure to have enough outlets to power all your gadgets and appliances.

Now, let there be light! Good lighting is necessary for any kitchen, but especially in a basement where natural light may be limited. Choose bright and inviting fixtures to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. And remember, style matters! Make sure your basement kitchen matches the overall vibe of your house. You don’t want it to feel like a fish out of water but rather a seamless extension of your home.

When it comes to appliances, size does matter. Opt for smaller-sized appliances that fit your basement kitchen without overpowering the space. This will save you money and ensure everything flows smoothly in your culinary hideaway.

And last but certainly not least, proper ventilation is essential. You don’t want the aroma of your delicious creations lingering underground forever, do you? Invest in a suitable ventilation system to keep the air fresh and your guests happy.

Now, I’m not going to sugarcoat it – building a basement kitchen is a financial commitment. HomeAdvisor estimates a price range of $25,000 to $50,000, and that’s before you start adding fancy materials and design elements. So, it’s crucial to set a budget and stick to it. You may want to consider consulting a design-build firm that handles everything from planning to construction, saving you time, money, and a headache.

How do you build a kitchen in the basement?

Once you hire the pros, they will move on to the kitchen design phase. Preliminary CAD drawings will be produced to solidify a floor plan. After an approved floor plan, a full set of scalable CAD construction drawings are done to be used on-site by your contractor.

These plans typically include a floor plan, reflected ceiling plan, elevations, custom millwork plans, and any other drawings that become necessary for your specific project. Optional renderings can also be done for a 3D visual. Material specifications are being done simultaneously at this point, and after these are completed, they will sit down for a presentation meeting.

The presentation includes physical samples, your construction drawings, quotes, and a discussion on implementing the design. Upon approval, materials are ordered and scheduled to be delivered on-site.

Here are some things to consider in a design for a basement kitchen.

Do you want a wet bar or a full-service kitchen? 

  • A wet bar has the appliances needed to make coffee, drinks, and some foods, but not full service with ovens, microwaves, and dishwashers. The wet bar is typically designed with cabinetry like the rest of the basement.
  • A full-service kitchen has all appliances and accessories with an above-grade kitchen. However, because this design will require more square footage, the cost may be prohibitive for some budgets.
  • A standard 18-inch wall-to-wall cabinet in a 12-foot basement is approximately 24 inches deep; most cabinetry is constructed with two cabinets that share one center wall.
  • Cabinets should be 5 feet or less from the sink to the cabinet top. This is where you want your dishwasher and trash can to go so they are within arm’s reach while working in a kitchen island.
  • Layout is critical in a small space. For example, consider an L-shaped kitchen with different heights for cabinetry. This allows for more counter space without the room feeling cramped.

What is a reasonable price to remodel a kitchen?

The entire remodel should cost no less than 5% of the home’s current value – and no more than 15%. Prepare for the unexpected. 20% of your budget needs to be set aside for unexpected costs.

In most major areas of the country, homeowners spend an average of about $25-$30 per square foot for a minor renovation, and, on average, it takes approximately 100 hours to complete a kitchen renovation.

How much to build a basement kitchen?

In conclusion, building a basement kitchen can be an excellent addition to any home, providing a functional and inviting space for cooking and entertaining. However, it is essential to carefully consider the purpose, design, and budget before embarking on such a project. Consulting professionals, such as a basement contractor and interior designer, will ensure a safe and beautiful kitchen that complements the overall style of your home.