Basement Remodeling Projects
What do you need to refinish a basement?
Finished into a family room, add guest bedrooms, home office, Walk outs, Open floor plans, play areas, Bar and entertainment.
As the old saying goes, “home is where the heart is.” One of the biggest accomplishments in life is owning your very own home. When it comes to houses, most people tend to think of the exterior design and the interior amenities. Of course, these components are great as they’ll provide practicality and superficial benefits. One of the most underrated rooms in a house is the basement. For many people, these rooms don’t receive an afterthought thanks to their dirty, dingy persona. Basements have plenty potential to become something much greater than a storage area.
Unlike the state of Florida, homes in other states have basements. A finished basement can literally add up to $15,000 to your home’s property value, depending on how well the project was completed. Unfortunately, basements seem to have bad reputations. They’re dark, cluttered and downright scary at times. Remodeling this room could bring new life back into the home as well as more square footage. This isn’t the kind of project for the average (do-it-yourselfer) or weekend warrior and here is why.
Renovating a basement is more than just clearing out old boxes, furniture and clothes. This room is basically a part of the home’s foundation. What you’ll need to do before anything else is to look thoroughly for cracks and leaks. This can’t be stated enough because basements are prone to flooding. For example; if you remodeled this area without checking for water damage, all of your hard earned money will go down the drain. Materials such as dry wall, sheet rock and insulation will be totally destroyed. Of course, there will be costs for cleaning up the mess and for repairing the leak.
This is why basement contractors are so important. These professionals will inspect the home’s basement for any water leaks as well as cracks in the foundation, which is a total deal breaker. Basement contractors are highly trained to inspect, repair and prevent damage from occurring. These professionals are trained in dealing with proper plumbing, venting, carbon monoxide poisoning, molds and combustion air. Water weakens the home’s structure, and it causes dangerous molds to grow, which can be deadly if inhaled.
A good basement contractor is a lifesaver, literally. Remember, the basement is just another room in your home, and that room will require the essentials such as plumbing, electricity and gas. This is no easy feat for (do-it-yourself) types of people. Licensed basement contractors will repair any foundation damage, which will keep the structure from collapsing on itself.
These professionals will incorporate high quality water-resistant, mold-resistant and fire-retardant products before construction begins.
There are three types of basements and this includes:
Standard Basement, which has no windows
English Basement, which has windows
Walk-out Basement, which has windows and an exit
Creating a Livable Space is the goal and the basement has more than enough potential to do so. Most people tend to think of basement renovations as a place to store electronic equipment, tools, hardware and other random objects. For savvy individuals, the basement can be transformed into a number of practical yet beneficial rooms such as a home gym, a family room, a living space, a children’s play room, a home theater room, a man-cave, an office or a study.
The options are nearly endless here. Walk-out basements give you more room to play around with, and they’re usually turned into an extra bedroom with its own separate bath.
Most home theater remodels are located in basements. Why? The answer is rather simple, quality of quantity. Basements and home theater rooms go hand-to-hand because the room’s structure provides great sound acoustics. The sound from the satellite speakers bounce around continuously, which is great for “surround sound.”
The sub-woofer’s bass hits much deeper thanks to the room’s depth and closed environment. Most home theater rooms/media rooms have wet bars or small kitchens added for convenience. If you posses enough total square footage, pool tables and jacuzzi/hot-tubs are great luxury additions.
Basic Design and Ideas can be drawn up by the basement contractor. Though they’re not officially considered to be architects, these professionals have a firm understanding of blueprints since they’re dealing with the process of renovation. Depending on the home’s original blueprint, the contractors will generally design the basement into the direction of the home’s natural flow.
For those who are looking for a bit of flamboyance, contractors can definitely add columns, pillars or even change the angle of interior walls to meet your needs.
Interior Basement Walls can make a world of difference. Walls can transform a cold storage space into a cozy living quarter. Walls also cover up empty expansions of unintended space. There are numerous options to choose from such as stucco, drywall, beadboard panels or the innovative wall (fiberglass) finishing systems.
Just like any other room in your house, the basement is no exception to the rules when it comes to flooring and ceilings. Besides, you can’t have one without the other. The great thing about these principals is that the homeowner can add their own personal style. On the other hand, some ceilings require a specific surface to help the room function properly. Check out the different types of flooring options below. *Hardwood Isn’t Intended For Basements or Sub-Floors*
Laminate Flooring: This material looks great, it’s easy to apply, and it comes in numerous patterns and colors. Laminate is basically treated with resin or plastic and is bonded to (MDF) Medium- Density Fiberboard.
Just about any decorative image can be found with this product. One of its best features is that it’s resistant to moisture and stains. Laminate can also be installed over plywood sub-floor or concrete.
Carpet Flooring: This material is fairly common and popular. Just like the other rooms in your house, carpet adheres to the same principle. Carpet isn’t good for rooms with moisture and dampness, which can lead to mildew, mold and a bad odor.
Vinyl Floor Tiles: This material is inexpensive, easy to clean and comes in numerous colors/patterns. You can really get creative with the self-stick tiles more so than other types of flooring. This material is usually installed over concrete floors
Engineered Wood: This material looks just like real wood, and it acts like real wood by shrinking and stretching. Not to be confused with laminate flooring, engineered wood has a veneer top layer and softwood lower layer.
Paint: Paint is the least expensive product, and it’s designed for concrete basement flooring. There really isn’t too much more to say about it.
Basement Ceilings are a bit different than basement flooring. The material of the ceiling has a more practical tone that matches the specific type of basement. Check out these few ideas:
For basement home offices or study rooms, try using ceiling tiles that posses noise reduction. This special material has great sound blocking properties as well as light reflectance.
Suspended ceilings are great for playrooms and home gyms. These panels are light in weight and consist of a simple grid design. They also are great for covering up beams, wiring and duct work of the ceiling. You can choose between black, white or 3D.
Coffered ceilings are great for media rooms and home theater rooms of the basement. The coffered material replicates the look of an actual movie cinema. It’s also good for absorbing at least 50 percent of the sound. Black panels are great for a more contemporary appearance.
For wet bars or jaccuzi basements, try using coffered tiles that are all white. This helps to reflect the already limited amount of lighting, which helps to open up the room.
When it comes down to it, there are benefits and drawbacks to unfinished and partially finished basements. Unfinished basements are strictly bare in appearance. There aren’t any walls and the floor has no covering and the ceilings will display the home’s wooden rafters. Partially finished basements are just that, they’re halfway finished. These basements may have walls, but no ceilings or they may have good flooring, but unfinished walls. The combination can be either–or.
For those who are in the process of buying a home, having an unfinished basement will slightly decrease the home’s overall price. This is good if you’re planning on using the area as a storage, but if you plan on converting it into a room down the line, out of pocket costs is something you’ll encounter. If you’re in the buying or selling process, homes with partially finished basements generally cost or sell for slightly more.
In the end, the choice is that of the homeowner when it comes to unfinished and partially finished basements. The question to ask is, “do you want to pay for it now, or would you rather pay for it later”?
Basement remodeling contractors are highly sought after professionals because they can do the entire job rather than one job task at a time. Therefore if you take your time to interview local experienced remodeling companies it will pay off. Basements offer a great return on investment and are very attractive for potential home buyers should you ever decide to sell your home.
Ideally you want to work with a basement contractor who has the experience necessary to complete your project on time and on budget. Professional contractors also expect things from you the homeowner. Be up front with any questions or concerns you have. They will appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns.
How long have you been in business?
Do you have a contracting license?
Do you work with a dedicated team?
What if I decide to add additional rooms in my basement can you accommodate this as well?
When finishing a basement you may need permits. This includes all proper building inspections during the process and after the project is completed. Additionally, each specialty trade, such as electrical or plumbing, has its own permit.
Will you include the cost of all required permits into my contract?
Do you have experience in my local municipality pulling permits?
Basement Remodeling Contracts are important. Negotiate the items you want included.
How do you provide a description of the work?
How are you paid?
Can you add “start and end dates” into my contract?
How do you address changes to your contract if I need to change something?
How do your Grace periods to rescind work?
Can you add language into my contract that removes any liens?
Get an understanding with how the basement finishing contractor will run your project. Are they responsive, what does a typical day look like? How Responsible are they?
What is your working day like?
What are the approximate start and end times during construction days?
What items do I need to remove around the construction site?
How much noise can I expect?
Do I need to be at home during construction?
How do you cleanup at the end of the day?
How will you protect my property?
How and where will you store tools?