We demolished almost our entire basement about a month ago. It also hadn’t been updated for 35-40 years.
There was a wall dividing the length of the basement, and we had that moved to one side by about 6 feet. The smaller part, which houses out laundry room and our utilities and some storage, will be left unfinished. They ripped out our staircase and completely rebuilt it. All the windows are being replaced. One little window was removed, and a huge hole cut in the side of the house to add an egress window - it serves as an emergency exit, source of natural light, and an opportunity for airflow, if needed. The registers (hot water heat) are getting a makeover, and one was moved. The water lines were updated. The ceiling is being replaced, new vinyl floors, drywall, etc. The electrical has been redone, light fixtures increased and improved, and my DH ran ethernet cable everywhere. They’ll be building a custom wet bar. They put insulation around this whole finished area - it is soooo warm down there, now! And, quiet!
Basically, by the end, the boys will have their man cave (bar, fridge, jukebox, slot machine, gaming set-up, woohoo party!), and I’ll have a mini home gym, a library/sitting room, and a space for sewing/crafting.
We have some furniture upstairs that will go down…mostly bookcases, a dresser full of fabric, and a desk. Everything else is going to have to be purchased. The previous furniture was as old as the paneling, and definitely needed to be replaced.
We’ll be updating our laundry room ourselves, most likely. Or we’ll have that done when we get the upstairs remodel quoted (because, yes, that needs an update as well, just not as direly as the basement).
Future man cave:
(The bar will be where the fridge is, boxed in by the two support beams.)