Look at these amazing rooms in this gorgeous basement! Wow! You can play golf, shoot some pool and have that glass of wine that you’ve so desired at any time of the day or night. Right in your own basement!
This basement features:
- Wine Cellar
- Wet Bar
- Lounge Room
- Rec Room
- Golf Simulator
- Master Suite
When the Sobb family decided to turn their unfinished basement in Denver into a space for the entire family to enjoy, they called ElkStone. Working with the unique foundation and existing systems, they designed a home theater, kitchenette, dining area, sitting area, and a specialty wine cellar. The new living space is accessed by a curved staircase and is accented with rich wood tones and their favorite Bronco accessories. CONTACT US if you’d like to turn your basement into a man cave every wife will enjoy, too!
Homeowner’s Buying Guide to Finishing the Basement
You can use the following questions to qualify the basement builders that you’re receiving bids from. ElkStone’s answers are included below…
Question 1 – “On what day does trim carpentry start?”
Answer – For ElkStone it’s always the third Wednesday after we start. We know this because we have a standard schedule for every job. In fact, we can tell you what’s happening every single day – who’s going to be there and what they’ll be doing. This question gets after the builder’s schedule: Do they have one? A schedule window like “8-10 weeks” is really not a schedule – it’s a guess. I know because I used to do this myself! Typically in this practice they’ll call their subs just prior to starting in hopes they’ll be available. With ElkStone, all our workers know weeks ahead of time what day they need to start your job, what day they need to finish your job, and exactly what to bring to complete your job. This is one of the reasons ElkStone consistently completes quality basements in less than four weeks with happy customers. ElkStone has been doing this since January 2008 so we’re really good at it. Cutting the completion time by 66% makes a huge impact towards a very pleasant construction experience. Just think, you can be enjoying your new space, watching the movie on the big screen and getting drinks from the bar – but with other contractors you’d have two more months of noise & dust.
ElkStone consistently completes quality basements in less than four weeks with happy customers.
Question 2 – “How many studs are you planning to use to frame my basement and long are they?”
Answer – This question gets after how detailed is the builder’s estimate. ElkStone will give you an answer something like 323 studs 92-5/8” long. We calculate exactly what it takes to build your basement. We can even tell you how many sheets of drywall and linear feet of baseboard we’ll need specifically for your project. ElkStone measures the wall length from the plan and inputs that data into our worksheet, which uses a formula to calculate exactly how many studs are required. This means two things:
- We won’t charging too much or too little for the materials
- We won’t cover our mistakes with change/add orders or cutting corners. If the builder doesn’t estimate your job correctly, you become a liability and they’ll prioritize other jobs over yours or compromise the quality and service of your project.
Question 3 – “Will my basement receive the attention it deserves during construction?”
Answer – This question will allow you to get an idea of how experienced your builder is and what resources they’ll allocate for your job. ElkStone has a full-time Project Manager who is assigned to your job and runs your basement from start to finish. Our Project Managers are pros at their job and critical to our operation. Kind of like an orchestra conductor, our Managers keep the work site humming and makes sure you’re in-the-know and satisfied. With our proprietary scheduling timeline we are able to stagger our start dates which allow us to build your basement in 5 weeks and still give you and your basement all the attention they deserve.
Question 4 – “How long have you been working with your dry waller & electrician?”
Answer – This question gets at the relationship with trade partners. Our answer is 12 & 13 years respectively. Our relationships mean everything to us. Our philosophy is that once we find a trade partner who shares our values in terms of service, quality and reliability, we hold onto them! And because we pay fairly and promptly (every Friday) they demonstrate extreme loyalty to ElkStone.
Question 5 – “How much tile do I need to purchase, where do I purchase it, how much will it cost, and when do I need it by?”
Answer – This question addresses what we call the ‘Project List’. This is a document we generate specifically for your project and it includes everything you need to know as it relates to items you are personally responsible for selecting such as tile, carpet, & electric/plumbing fixtures. We provide you with three tile vendors with seven locations throughout the metro area that we recommend. We also let you know what quantity to purchase for each area being tiled, who provides ElkStone discounts, how much you can expect to spend on your tile, and the date you need to have it purchased. We do this not only for tile but every item you need to purchase.
Question 6 – “What is your pay schedule?”
Answer – We require no money down, no money to start, no money to schedule, and no design fee. In fact, the first invoice isn’t due until three days after we start. ElkStone has a very equitable pay schedule because neither you nor ElkStone is too extended at any one point in time. Our pay schedule is based on progress payments:
1st payment: Due three days after we start, so you know we’re committed to the job and we’ve allocated all our resources in terms of materials, labor & scheduling.
2nd payment: Due after drywall completion.
3rd and final payment: Imagine walking into your basement and you smell the fragrance of new carpet and Pine Sol cleaner. The windows are almost invisible because they’ve been Windexed and the whole basement looks and feels like a brand new model home. It’s only at this point when we’re totally complete and you’re completely satisfied that final payment is due. So I would think twice about paying a contractor before work has begun and settling up before your basement complete.
Question 7 – “How many basements did you finish last year?”
Answer – ElkStone finished exactly 200 basements 2015. This question addresses a company’s serviceability and reputation. ElkStone has a lot of satisfied customers because we deliver what we promise. We don’t charge extra for the benefit to move into your basement two months early, but that feature is unique to ElkStone and is a significant value to you. One of our company core values is: ‘All of our customers refer us always’ and this is only possible because your satisfaction is our number one goal.
Question 8 – “Have you finished every job you’ve started?”
Answer – Yes! ElkStone is proud of our reputation and we take it very seriously because it means to world to us. Not only have we finished every job we’ve started, but ElkStone also has paid out in full to all our subs and vendors. In fact, we pay our subs in full every Friday.
Question 9 – “Will you be on time and promptly return my calls?”
Answer – Keep in mind, the other contractors bidding on your basement are on their best behavior trying to make a good impression. If they’re slow in getting back to you now, how are they going to act after they deposit your first check? I always ask my clients if they’ve already received other bids and I can’t tell you how many times their answer is, “I’ve left messages, but you’re the first one I’ve talked to.” ElkStone’s responsiveness up front is indicative of our service throughout the project. It’s our way of life evident in our work.
Reasons To Finish Your Basement in Denver
To finish, or, not to finish? This IS the question many homeowners are asking these days.
Life doesn’t come with an itinerary and so the home that you bought ten years ago, when it was just the two of you lovebirds, was more than enough room.
But now you have acquired 2.5 kids and a dog named Spot and it seems as though you are all living right on top of one another. You need more space so obviously the first thought that comes to mind is: MOVING.
I know, it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. People enjoy moving about as much as they enjoy root canals. Instead of moving, have you ever considered renovating that dreary, useless stuff-filled, space below your house? Some people refer to them as dungeons or “storage” but it’s really a basement, and it can be used for so much more than hiding old, embarrassing family photos and the sweaters grandma sends in the mail every Christmas!
So now that you are seriously pondering this, here are some really good reasons to finish your basement INSTEAD of moving into a new home.
1. Money, money, money. Depending on what you want to do with your unfinished basement space, renovations could cost considerably less than relocating your life entirely. The current average cost for a basic basement renovation is around $35 per square foot. So this would equate to about $35,000. Obviously the more amenities you include the more your price will increase, but it will still cost less than a new home.
2. Again, with the money. Finished basement areas are a desirable feature to prospective homebuyers. If you decide to finish your basement and create a useable and versatile space, this could mean a decent return on your investment if or when you decide to sell your home. The key is to make your basement functional and somewhat neutral. Obviously, if you decide to create a floor-to-ceiling replica of the moon landing in your basement, this might not appeal to many buyers, if any. Just try to think ahead!
3. Wait, you mean there’s MORE money? As lonely as an empty nest can be, every parent can find a reason to enjoy an empty home. The question is; what to do with all of that space? Well, why not make money off of it? That’s right. Many homeowners rent out their unused basement space and, according to Remodel Magazine, many basements can be rented out at anywhere between 50-75% of the monthly mortgage cost if zoned for multi-tenant use.
4. SPACE. That is what you are looking for, right? Think about all of the amazing things you could do with it! A well-constructed basement space can be used for so many things. Obviously the most popular choice is a space for the kids. Whether it is a movie room, a play room or a room or a room used specifically for arts and crafts, you will finally be able to reclaim your living room! Or, you could go the other direction and create a LARGER family room in your basement and save the space on the main level for grown-up entertainment. The options really are limitless!
5. Designed space. Yes, there is a difference. Most basement spaces in homes do come equipped with the necessary plumbing and electrical outlets to create additional living space. So, if you are thinking about expanding your family, whether you’re thinking of a brand new addition or a comfy space for your mother-in-law, if you have the space then you definitely have the option of creating more bedrooms and bathrooms.
6. Yard sale! A basement renovation will finally give you an excuse to clean it out! How much storage do you really need? Your home should be a LIVING space not a storage space. If you find yourself in a position where you need space to accommodate inanimate objects in place of people or family, then you should consider adjusting your priorities.
7. An unused space is a haven for unwanted guests! A dark, damp and unoccupied basement is precisely the type of environment in which insects, rodents and mold thrive. And if you’re never down there, with your vast amounts of stuff, then how would you know you even had these unwanted guests? No, you are not in any mortal danger from suffering a spider bite or a run-in with a mouse, but these creatures aren’t exactly pleasant. Some can cause mild illnesses and if you get an infestation, they can be costly to remove as well.
8. And lastly… MONEY. According to the 2010 U.S. Employment Census the average, annual income for a “full-service” mover is about $60,000. There is a reason for that and it is because moving is a loathsome and stressful experience. Oh, not to mention, EXPENSIVE. After acquiring three different estimates it was discovered that the average cost for a full service move, for a 2,100 square foot, 4 bedroom home, with 4 occupants, is about $7,000-$10,000. So, if you add up the cost of moving expenses (which doesn’t include your preparation expenses), mortgage and loan fees, closing costs and realtor fees, you could be close to spending the same amount on a move to a new location that you would on a basement renovation.
Convinced yet? If this has sparked your interest and you want to take a basement addition or renovation into consideration, contact us to start your free estimate. You might just be surprised how much basement you can get for your buck!