How to Prepare for Your Basement Remodeling Project

How to Prepare for Your Basement Remodeling Project

basement remodeling

68% of homes in America have basements, and basement remodeling is one of the best ways to increase your living space and boost the value of your home. However, you can’t just rush into remodeling without first preparing your space. To make this easier, here are some simple ways that you can get started.

1. Identify Where You Will Need Additional Outlets

Before getting into the thick of basement remodeling, you will need to identify the areas where you want to have extra outlets added. Doing this early will allow you to take care of the electrical issues, before starting the overall finishing. While this can be tricky to visualize, especially since nothing is in place yet, try to think of where you will need things to go and work with an electrician to decide what placements would be best.

2. Don’t Forget Your Permits

Although you may not think it necessary, you will in fact need a permit to remodel your basement. The type of permit you need will depend on the scale of the work, the building codes in your area, and the zoning laws. Your contractor can help you get your plans together so that you can contact your city office to start the permitting process. In some cases, your contractor will handle this without you needing to worry about it.

3. Remove Junk

Basements can get cluttered fast, and in order to be able to remodel it, you’re going to need to decide how to clear it out. Make sure to give yourself enough time to thoroughly go through and sort everything into what you need to keep and what can be thrown away or donated. This can be made easier by dividing your basement into zones and tackling them one at a time. Keep in mind that once your basement is finished, you will have less room to store junk that you’re not using, so you may have to make some tough cuts. You may find the KonMari Method effective for this, as it challenges you to think seriously about what you need and what brings you the most joy to keep while respectfully discarding the things you no longer need.

Basement remodeling can be one of the best projects to complete in your home and it can both give you more space to enjoy and raise the overall value of your property. However, it’s important to think ahead and prepare as best you can before starting any of the work. Keep these three things in mind, and work closely with your contractor so that our basement remodeling project can go as smoothly as possible.

5 Things You Need to Do Before Remodeling a Basement

5 Things You Need to Do Before Remodeling a Basement

remodeling a basement

Basements are one of the most versatile spaces in a home and to finish them can cost almost 80% less than purchasing a larger home. However, before you can get started on remodeling a basement, there are five key things that you will need to consider first.

1. Check Your Foundation

Before remodeling a basement, you must first always check the condition of the foundation. It isn’t uncommon for basements to have cracked walls or leaks, both of which will require you to repair the foundation before you can get started on anything else.

Along with cracks, other signs that your foundation needs attention include doors that won’t latch, stuck windows, uneven walls, and bowing or slanting floors. All of these can cause issues if you try to remodel without fixing them, and you will just end up ruining your newly finished basement if you don’t take care of these issues first.

2. Identify Code Violations

When remodeling a basement, particularly an older one, it’s important to remember that building codes could have been different during initial construction. One of the most common violations that many homeowners run into is the lack of egress windows which allow for an adult to be able to leave safely in the event of a fire. However, these weren’t required in homes until the 1990s, meaning that homes constructed before then are most likely lacking these windows. When remodeling a basement with code violations, you will need to bring everything up to modern standards, so it’s nice to identify these early.

3. Removing Water Problems

Another thing to consider before remodeling a basement is the potential for water problems. Make sure to examine the ceiling, walls, and floors carefully for signs of previous water damage, and keep in mind that any issues will need to be resolved in order to keep your new basement clean and dry. This includes making sure that your lawn slopes away from the foundation and that all leaky pipes are fixed.

4. Consider Proper Insulation

Proper insulation is another thing that you’ll want to carefully consider because you don’t want to skimp on it. Insulating your basement properly can help with saving energy, and it can also help protect your foundation and home from the outdoor elements.

While insulation types vary, spray-foam is most highly recommended due to its efficiency overall. This is because it expands to allow all gaps and crevices to be filled and properly insulated. Although spray-foam can be more costly upfront, it makes up for it in energy savings and effectiveness.

5. Consider Your Ceiling

The ceiling of your basement is something that you will need to carefully consider with your contractor. Because older homes often weren’t held to the same fire code standards that modern homes are, older homes are more likely to have lower ceilings. You’ll also need to take into consideration the plumbing and electrical lines that often run along basement ceilings, as you most likely won’t want to leave them exposed. What your contractor advises at this stage can cause a change in design, depending on what you choose to do and what needs to be done. While it may not be an obvious road bump, your basement ceiling may end up being one of the biggest considerations to keep in mind.

Basements are extremely flexible, and they can be finished to create many unique custom living areas. However, before you can get started on remodeling, these five things should be carefully considered. Work with your contractor closely to identify everything that needs to be done, so that you can get started on creating a basement space that you’ll enjoy.

Basement Renovation: An Affordable and Accessible Option

Basement Renovation: An Affordable and Accessible Option

basement renovation

The basement has always been a utility function within a home. It’s immediately available for storage, a place to keep foods cool and protected, and a convenient location for home utilities. A finished basement is often an unattainable dream in people’s minds. They can envision the perfect space, but they don’t believe they could ever have something like it. Especially in today’s market with high material costs, it can seem like getting a renovation is just too expensive. The truth is that basement renovations are both affordable and accessible, and you can start pursuing your dream today.

Interest Rates Are Currently Low

Whether you have a lump sum of cash ready to spend on basement remodeling or not, such a project is not out of reach. Interest rates are currently low and there are a plethora of banks out there that you only need to visit in order to take advantage of this loan market. In other words, instead of paying for the full renovation upfront, you’ll be able to pay off a loan over time and at a rate that you find comfortable. The low interest means there won’t be crazy fees on top of those regular payments. Additionally, you can always consult with the finished basement company to discuss pricing and budgets.

More Space Means More Value

A basement renovation can turn a basic, bare cement block of a basement into a useful and valuable extra space in the home. That can be an extra bedroom, an entertainment floor, an office for a small home business, or a general hobby workspace. The options are only limited by what you can think of and what you want to pursue. Such an upgrade to the home will always pay off because when it comes time to eventually sell the house, you’ll see a grand return on investment, up to 70% according to Home Advisor. Additionally, until that time comes, your own quality of life will improve as you make use of these upgraded spaces.

Avoid the Current Housing Market

A renovation is simply utilizing an existing resource in a home that’s just waiting to be unlocked. It’s quite possible for a typical basement renovation to be completed within two to three months from planning to finish. If you were looking to buy an entirely new house, you’d spend just as much time in your search alone due to the current high-demand housing market. What’s more, you get to create the exact space you want, rather than settling for whatever house you’re able to win in a bidding war. You’ll save time, money, and hassle and end up with far better results in the process.

Basement renovations are within reach. Low-interest rates make them accessible, boosting the value of your home makes them affordable, and you’ll be in control of the project while avoiding a crazy housing market. It really is a no-brainer. And once you’ve decided to pursue this kind of project, you’ll get all the help you need from the experts. So what are you waiting for? Reach out to ElkStone Homes today!

7 Mistakes to Avoid During a Basement Fireplace Construction

7 Mistakes to Avoid During a Basement Fireplace Construction

fireplace construction

There’s arguably nothing more comforting than curling up beside the crackling fireplace hearth on cold evenings. A fireplace construction in your basement may not only enhance the room’s aesthetics but also increase the value of your home considerably.

While fireplaces are excellent additions to any home, a proper installation is necessary to avoid any liabilities at a later stage. Here are costly errors that you may need to watch out for during your fireplace construction.

1. Incorrect Sizing

Sizing may be one of the easiest pitfalls to avoid yet still catches a majority of homeowners out. Fireplace construction is all about planning and details. You may need to be 100% certain that you’ve chosen the correct unit that fits within your basement space. Too small a hearth may require you to build around it, while you may have to return the massive fireboxes to the manufacturer. To avoid sizing issues with pre-made fireboxes, you may opt for custom fireplace construction from experienced contractors.

2. Not Knowing Your Fireplace

Over 50% of the houses in the market are over 40 years old. Chances are that your home already has an outdated fireplace installation in place. Whether replacing your old basement hearth or opting for a new fireplace construction, you may need to learn about its construction from the flue down to the chimney and burners. You may need to watch out for fireplaces that don’t fit central to the chimney breast. There should also be enough clearance between the vent pipe and wood framing. Structural complexities may require a professional installation by licensed fireplace companies.

3. Lack of a Proper Air Source

It is critical to have a permanent and properly-size air intake for your fireplace unit. You may need correct ducting to ensure that your fire receives the combustion air it needs to prevent smoke and carbon monoxide build-up. If you have trouble designing, you can consult professional designers from fireplace companies in Colorado Springs.

4. Insufficient Clearances

The room where the construction takes place should be adequately clear of all obstructions such as stored goods or furniture. The clearance area around the hearth must also be safe for operation and maintenance activities, along with allowing access to gas supply lines, electrical conduits, and other ventilation equipment in the future.

5. Placing the Hearth in a Wet Location

A fireplace installation must take place on a suitable combustible base that can support the weight of the unit and its contents. Building it near water pipes or on wet soil may result in severe damage, while fireplaces installed over concrete subfloors are susceptible to cracking. To ensure that these errors don’t occur, you may work with professional contractors.

6. Improper Insulation Around the Fireplace

There is an increasing interest in better energy efficiency for modern homes as a whole. It may require proper insulation measures that ensure outdoor temperatures have a minimal effect on your indoor environment. Most gas and wood-burning fireplaces have a standoff system that can result in the hearth not extending right up to your glass fireplace door. Gaps around your fireplace opening can lead to smoke hazards, or worse, become a fire hazard. Expert installers can preemptively spot the error, placing mortar or steel abutment to correctly size it.

7. Not Having a Professional Installation for Your Gas Fire Insert

Most states require a valid permit and professional installation for all gas-related works. A fireplace construction that uses natural gas as the fuel source requires a particular two-tube set-up to function properly. You may need to hire fireplace experts with certifications to work on gas lines.

A fireplace construction in your basement is a fairly complex project. You can easily avoid the errors indicated above by hiring licensed fireplace installation companies to complete your basement renovation. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your new hearth ideas, reach out to ElkStone.

7 Vital Questions to Ask When Adding a Basement Wet Bar

7 Vital Questions to Ask When Adding a Basement Wet Bar

basement wet bars

Most American households regard their basements as a non-essential section of the home. However, your basement doesn’t have to remain a dull storage space. Basement remodeling or finishing can help create attractive living spaces for your family and friends. Real estate experts indicate that finishing your basement may provide you with an ROI of 77.6%.

Basement wet bars are among the most popular home improvement projects. With plumbing lines already in place, you can choose to add an icemaker, refrigerator, dishwasher, and other appliances, as your space and budget permit.

Here are five questions to guide you on the right design for your basement wet bars.

1. How Much Space Do You Need?

You may need to determine the space you wish to allocate to the wet bar. Do you envision your family and friends gathered around on stools, or is it a staging area for drinks and snacks to be consumed in other parts of the basement? Determining the functionality of the basement wet bars can help you accurately decide the countertop size and cabinetry to use.

2. LED, Fluorescent, or Incandescent?

A key feature of any basement remodels is the lighting. Your light features may need to be subdued but with brighter track lights over the workbench. Pendant lighting is a popular option, providing homeowners with a great deal of flexibility on style, height, and shade types. Recessed lighting, LED strips, or fluorescent lights can help create ambiance on the work surfaces, shelves, and the general area around the bar.

3. What Flooring Types Work Best With Basement Wet Bars?

You may need to choose durable flooring options for your wet bar. Given the proximity of basement wet bars to sinks and the likelihood of foods and beverages served to spill, you may need easy-to-clean, water-proof flooring. You can consider sealed wooden floors, stone, or expensive tiles that would easily blend with your home’s aesthetics.

4. Do You Need a Full-sized Refrigerator?

Most basement wet bars incorporate a refrigeration unit of some kind in the overall design. A mini-refrigerator is an excellent option to hold beverages and food supplies if you are short of space. However, if you do a lot of entertainment or your family spends more time in the basement, it is advisable to get a full-sized refrigerator.

5. What About Seating?

There are many different options to choose from when it comes to adding seating around the wet bar. If you have a larger basement, you may opt for built-in sofas or other furniture that your family and friends can enjoy while hanging out in the space. You can also choose to add bar stools, which are small and easy to install.

6. Are There Electrical Considerations?

Adding electrical outlets near the wet bar is important, especially if you opt for pendant lighting or other fixtures that would require direct power access. You may need to extend a few feet of wire from existing electrical boxes and hang them under your countertop area or above the cabinets. It’s also crucial to include sufficient power capabilities for refrigerators and dishwashers on top of charging electronic devices like smartphones and tablets.

7. What Other Features Do You Wish to Include?

A basement remodeling company may recommend a wide range of storage, sitting, and entertainment features that can accentuate your space. You can opt for ready-made cabinetry and bar stools as a starting point for your basement renovation. The storage options should be durable with easy-to-clean surfaces. Open shelving can help add interest and aesthetics to the design. The seating should be comfortable and should blend well with the overall basement wet bar design. For a true sports bar feel, you may need to incorporate a TV to catch all the action. Consider the placement of the television to maximize visibility while on the wet bar stools.

Basement wet bars are among the most popular upgrades homeowners can carry out. The questions above can guide you in achieving your vision for the space. You can contact ElkStone Inc. to help transform your Colorado basement into a fantastic wet bar that your family can enjoy. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation estimate.

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