Basement Contractor

Basement Contractor

Now that we have established the importance of a basement contractor, finding the right contractor is now the problem. If you open up your phonebook or search online, you can find dozens of contractors in your area. So how do you know which one to hire?

This is a simple guideline in bringing you closer to the right contractor for your basement project:

1.) They are experienced in remodeling the rooms in your plan

You have to make sure that they are a stable contractor business. Checking the number of years they have been in business is a good way to know if they have garnered enough experience to your liking. And if the type of basement construction you have is pretty unique, you can also check if they have tried and were successful in the type of construction you need.

2.) Their references are good

You can call up references or previous clients to discuss and ask questions about the basement contractor. You can inquire if it was easy to communicate with the contractor, if they were satisfied with the workmanship and if they were able to deliver their services on time and in a professional manner.

3.) They have required credentials

In most areas of the country, contractors must have a license to run their business. Do not be afraid to offend anyone if you ask them to show you their license, if they have it, they would be happy to show it for you. You should avoid contractors without licenses to operate because this could turn out to be a shady business deal.

4.) You actually like their work

Most contractors would proudly display their finished projects in order to reel in more customers. You can visit recent jobs that are similar to your project and assess design and workmanship. You can also visit jobs that they have accomplished a few years earlier to see how they have held up.

5.) You should be able to trust them

The best you contractor you can hire is the kind that comes highly recommended by someone close to you and you trust entirely. With this guarantee, you can be assured that the contractor is to be trusted.

6.) You connect with them nicely

Don’t ignore your gut feeling when choosing the right contractor, because you need to be comfortable with the people who are remodeling your home.

Keep these things in mind and you’ll be able to find the right basement contractor for you home improvement project.

Basement Bar

Basement Bar In Your Home

So you have laid down the dirty work for your basement bar. The next phase is the fun part, building the actual bar.

Choosing the bar surface is the first big decision you have to make. This is important because it likely shape the personality of your bar. The most popular choice for a bar surface is dark wood because it gives a genuine, distinguished and professional look to your bar. But if that’s not the look you are aiming for, there are other surfaces to choose from. Such as: tile, granite and stone. And in recent years, chrome and steel finished have been gaining popularity among the younger crowd.

When considering the bar’s surface area, always make allowances for sinks or appliances that you might need to place there.

Being a good host means that your guests will be comfortable all throughout the party. This is why the seating arrangements that you prepare for your bar is also critical. Your bar stools should complement your bar, not clash with it. The height of the bar surface should be taken into consideration when building or buying the stools. The length of the bar should be noted because it determines the number of bar stools that you will need. If you get too many, the seats will be too close to each other. If you don’t get enough, there is a lot of wasted space in front of the bar.

Where you store your bar essentials (i.e. liquor and ice) is important too. It has to be convenient for the bartender (this could be you), everything they need should be at arm’s length as much as possible. Do not forget to allocate space for your refrigerator or cooler in your basement bar because you don’t want to end up serving warm drinks unless it’s tea time.

Now we arrive to the real fun part of the entire process, deciding your furnishing and theme. The decisions you make here will utterly affect the whole look of the bar and the people who will be spending time in it.

Some popular themes include:

  • The sports bar, where you can usually find multiple television sets and gallons of beer
  • The American-style bar, where neon lights seem to be its main feature
  • The British pub, with lots of dark oak, a snooker table and darts

No doubt you have already a look and style in mind for your basement bar. Just remember to have fun with it because that’s what it is for.

Basement Ceiling

Basement Ceiling

Most people will either go with the suspended or dry wall option for their basement ceiling, but there are other alternatives.

Both earlier mentioned options tend to eat up headroom, especially the suspended ceiling. So if you really cannot sacrifice any space above or the pipes wires and ducts are too complicated to work with, then you can opt for the Industrial Look solution.

First thing you should do is seek expert advice. Ask a contractor or home inspector to check if all the items found in your ceiling is safe to paint directly. If you pass the inspection, then you have to start cleaning your pipes and such. Make sure everything is dust-free before you start any painting.

Here are a few painting tips that you might want to use:

  • A paint sprayer will coat everything evenly
  • Lighter colors will give the impression of more headroom and will make the room brighter
  • Darker colors will disguise elements better
  • Painting everything in a uniform color blends the different elements together and invokes an industrial style

If you find the task of painting everything in your basement ceiling too tiring, then you should look into some cheap and less tedious alternatives.

1.) Bamboo or Match Stick Blinds

Try using inexpensive matchstick or bamboo blinds to create some fun ceiling panels in your basement. You can simply install them by using a staple gun and stapling the ends of the blinds.

Now, if you have pipes hanging down from the ceiling, then blinds are the perfect material. They can be draped to cover the pipes.

2.) Faux Wood Paneling

You can buy sheets of faux wood paneling in any home improvement store in your area and they don’t cost as much as the real thing but they are just as good.

You can attach the wood paneling by drilling a hole through it into the ceiling and by securing them with wood screws.

An added tip: try to buy pre primed wood paneling. They are white and they will add a ton of light to your basement. These wood panels are also a fun way to add an architectural detail or interest in a plain basement

Any alternative you choose is based entirely your good judgment, so make sure it is the right one for your basement ceiling.

Basement Plans

Do You Need an Architect to Draw Up Basement Plans?

Basement plans can be a little complicated to work on. And the question whether to hire an architect to draw up the plans or not does not have an exact answer. It could depend on a whole lot of things. Mainly, it depends on the complexity of the basement remodeling project.

Some people will opt not to hire an architect because they want to save on costs. But the architect may be able to give ideas that might save you money on the long run. They can offer ideas on how to maintain a proper basement with the right materials. But on the other hand, they might end up suggesting unnecessary changes in your basement plans that you don’t need in the first place.

Just read on and see for yourself if you should hire an architect or not.

You need an architect if:

· You are remodeling an old home that needs significant changes
· You want the added expertise and flair that an architect can bring to the basement remodeling project.
· You have no idea how to go about remodeling your basement.
· You will not be able to oversee the progress of your project because you will be out of town or will be at work most of the time.
· Your home is old and does not meet the requirements of new building codes. The architect is sure to be knowledgeable and updated on building codes in your area and will be able to work faster.

You don’t need an architect if:

· The basement remodeling project will only have small and minor changes to your basement.
· You have a background of home construction and design.
· You have all the time in the world to monitor the remodeling of your basement.
· Your house is new and you don’t need to reconstruct the entire basement to satisfy new building codes.
· This will be a simple matter or rearranging some furniture and putting up drapes in your basement.

Only you can answer for yourself if you need an architect to help you draw up basement plans.

Basement Drywall

Basement Drywall:  Is It Right For Your House?

So a basement drywall is cheap and gives a smooth finish. That’s only half of the story. What you may not know is that there are some disadvantages to using drywall material. Consider these first before installing one in your basement.

Limited Access

The single most crucial drywall disadvantage is that it offers very limited access to pipes and wires. If you have to install or repair some connections or leaks, you may have to rip open part of your drywall. Some home owners have solved this problem by cutting access points in some parts of the drywall and using pipes to house wires. This is only a good idea though if only wires need maintenance and if you know exactly what water pipe sections need repair. If you are unable to detect a leak early, you might even end up with a completely damaged drywall.

Limited access can also be bothersome if you want to renovate your basement again. You might have to destroy your drywall if you want to improve even just a section of the basement. Taking out an old drywall can be a messy task.

Can Attract Mold

The term basement drywall may be a bit misleading. You might think that if you have one, you are also fortifying your basement from common enemies such as moisture and molds. Your drywall however is part paper. That means it is even more attractive and inviting to molds. The mold in your drywall can become so bad that other items in your basement could suffer too. The worst part is that it may actually take some time before you notice that something is wrong.

Expensive in the Long Run

Drywall installation may be cheap at first. If you carefully sum up all your expenses however, you might realize that you have actually spent even more than you originally planned. It can be expensive for example to have to repair mold and leak damage. Removing and replacing a drywall because of a common basement problem can double your expenses.

Now you know both sides of the story when it comes to basement drywall installation. You can now decide if it truly is the best choice for your basement.

Basement Window

Why Is a Basement Window Important?

There is more to a basement window than enhancing the look of a house. Windows are an important part of any home, just as basement windows are important to any basement. Here’s why:

· Basement windows will not make your basements feel like a cage

Adding windows to your basement will make you feel less confined. Small basements will not seem too tight and crowded with a couple windows in place.

· A Basement window will let  light in

Get rid of the cold, “dungeon” feel by adding basement windows. These will let in natural light during the day and cut the monotony of being surrounded by walls. They will provide you with a view of the outside to give that homey environment.

· Basement windows provide ventilation

A basement without a window would obviously be very hot. Without air being properly circulated it, will definitely be very musty inside. Windows in the basement will make it a well-ventilated area with fresh air from the outside.

· A basement window will act as an emergency entrance or exit

If the need arises, you may use your basement window as an emergency entrance or exit. During unexpected events, a basement window will allow you to exit through it or allow rescue to climb in through it.

The basement is an important part of the house. It may be used as a storage room or a major house room.  Adding a basement window shows that you value your home and only want quality living.

Basement Finish Cost

If you have a basement, you should be thinking about basement finish cost. Finishing and remodeling your basement isn’t really a requirement. You will definitely not regret shelling out some cash though for basement finishing.

Why Basement Refinish?

Before you think of the cost, you should first be convinced that remodeling or finishing is for you. There are two good reasons why you should try to improve the way your basement looks.

  • Your basement is valuable extra space. Instead of neglecting this extra space, you can use it to create a room for family relaxation or guest entertainment. You can also use it for a variety of activities that you would otherwise be unable to perform in other sections of your home. Utilizing your basement in this manner would prove far cheaper than adding a new room or section to your first floor
  • Fixing and beautifying your basement can add to the value of your property. If you decide to sell your property in the future, a great looking basement can help you justify its slightly elevated price tag.

As matters stand however, a basement is rarely ever ready for the above mentioned purposes. You need to think about basement finish cost because your basement could be a dark, cluttered and disorganized section of your home.

Actual Cost Basement Refinish Cost

If you ask different people, you will get a variety of price estimates. In general, you can have your basement remodeled for anywhere between $20 to $100 per square feet. This is never an accurate range though. A lot of factors can influence the cost of your basement project. Cost estimates vary according to design, contractor, materials to be used, equipment to be installed and the region where you live.

The best way to get a good estimate of your basement finish cost is to have a clear plan. You first have to determine what you want to use the room for and what materials, tools, equipment and furniture will help you accomplish what you want. Once this is fairly clear to you, you have to find out next if you will be able to work on the basement on your own or if you need to hire expert help.

Basement Construction

You don’t have to own tons of cash to be able to undergo basement construction. Your dream basement need not cost you an arm and a leg. You can still be able to enjoy all the extra space you have without breaking your budget.

Basement Construction advice:

1. If you are certain you can handle, then do the job yourself. You don’t have to hire a general contractor to do everything for you. A handy do-it-yourself person will be able to handle the less complicated areas of basement construction. But if you think you are in way over your head with the construction, then it’s time to call that contractor.

Some jobs you can do yourself could be painting the dry wall and installing the floor boards. These tasks are not too difficult and it will certainly make you appreciate your basement more because you actually put some effort into it.

2. If you have to hire a general contractor for all the work, start your construction during winter. During warmer months, construction workers are much busier and don’t need the work as much as they do during the winter when work is more scarce. Therefore, you may be able to get work done for a cheaper rate.

3. Save money on materials. There are a lot of alternative materials that work just as well as their expensive counterparts. It pays to do your research. You can always opt for the cheaper materials but make sure you aren’t placing your life in danger with flimsy materials.

A good example would be if installing a suspended ceiling or a drywall on your ceiling is too costly for you, you can use bamboo or match stick blinds to conceal the wires, pipes and ductwork. Other alternatives you can use are faux wood paneling or heavy fabric.

4. Use painting tips and tricks to give the impression of space. If you feel too cramped in your basement, then you can use some painting tips to trick your eye into thinking that there is more space. It is a good idea to paint your basement in a light color because dark colors tend to make the room look smaller.

Basement construction need not be an expensive project as long as you do the proper research before starting. Following these tips will save you some money which can be used to buy things to fill up your new basement.

Basement Finishing

How Basement Finishing Adds Value To Your Home

One major point of consideration for those who are planning to move into a new home or for those who are planning to build a new one is the home’s basement finishing. A well-furnished home makes lounging with family, friends and guests more enjoyable and entertaining. If your basement is for storage purposes, it would require less time to sift through rubbish and find what you’re looking for if your basement is well-finished and organized.

A finished basement also adds style reflective of the homeowners’ taste.  Aside from style, a finished basement also has higher resale value.

Basement finishing project entails several points to consider:

1. Adding or Removing Walls – Walls are usually broken down if you want to create wider space for the purpose which your basement is created for. However, if you want some spaces or corners or your basement covered from the rest of the room, walls may also be added.

2. Paint or Wallpaper – If you are adding walls, naturally, you would want those walls papered or painted. Your choice and decision will depend mostly on the purpose of your basement, your budget, as well as the amount of time you have in finishing the project.

3. Water Resistant Coating – More than a finishing, a water resistant coating or sealant is a necessity.  The dark and damp environment of unfinished basements is the perfect breeding ground for molds.  Molds are harmful when inhaled and are also damaging to furniture and other fixtures in your basement.  Thus, it is important to try and keep moisture and water out by covering tiny wall cracks with water resistant coating and sealant from both the inside and outside walls of the basement.  Waterproofing is also important to keep rain water out if your basement has some wall or window access to garden or open grounds.

4. Flooring – In most cases, tile floors are more practical for basements than wooden floors. Tiles require less maintenance and do not absorb moisture in the air as wooden floors do unless, of course, these woods are pre-treated.

5. Furniture, Lighting and Decoration – The easiest way to choosing the right furniture, lighting and decoration for your basement is to identify the purpose of the room, its color theme, and the kind of people who are most likely to occupy or spend more time in it.

When doing a basement finishing project, the most important thing to keep in mind is to stay within budget without sacrificing the entire outcome of the project.

Basement Remodeling

Different Approaches to Basement Remodeling

There are several ways of approaching basement remodeling. Because there are so many things to consider, the best way to approach the project is by basing decisions and choices on the basement’s function or purpose.

People can have varied reasons why they want to remodel a basement.  Among these are:

1. For Added Space – As your family grows in numbers, you may need more storage space, new guest room, or laundry room.

2. For Lounging and Relaxation – Old basements can be turn into a place of fun, relaxation and a place where the whole family can unwind in.

3. Hobby Room – One of the more common uses of old basements is a hobby room for a specific hobby such as carpentry, woodcarving, sewing room, art or painting studio or a dark room for photography.

Remodeling Basements will also involve several steps before the actual process of tearing down or building up walls.  In order to have a smooth basement remodeling, make sure you have the following things covered:

1. Budget – It is better to have a budget first before deciding on how big or small you want your remodeling project to be. If you need to remodel a wide expanse of basement space, it would be better to be realistic about the project by investing right and going into it when you have the right budget already rather than doing a big remodeling project on a very tight budget where you can end up sacrificing construction quality.

2. Contractor – Hiring a contractor or not will also depend on how small or how big your project and how big your budget are.

3. Floor Plan – A floor plan is also another decision to make based on the size of your basement remodeling budget. You may need a floor plan depending on how big or how small your project is.  A floor plan will help facilitate or guide you on what to do first, what to do next, and where you are in the remodeling.

4. Building Permit – Before construction, it is safe to inquire first on permit requirements and have all the documents ready before beginning the work.