Winter is here, and we all have to take steps to protect ourselves against cold weather. For ourselves, that means bundling up in layers and warm clothes. Our houses need to maintain warmth and conserve energy and prevent freezing from occurring, but how do we do that?
Here at Elkstone Basements, we take pride in every basement project we do. From the initial planning to the finishing touches, we take care of every detail, whether you want a theater, living area, wet bar, or more.
Let’s chat about the winterization process and why it’s so essential for your home, and especially your basement.
Why Is Winterizing Important
Whether you’ll be spending time in your house all season long or you’ll be away for any period, ensuring your entire space is airtight is vital. Drafts, leaks, fire hazards, and clogs are some of the things that can occur over the winter months, and because it’s often the basement that gets cooler before the rest of the home.
If you haven’t done it yet, make sure to have a professional inspect your heating systems, especially your furnace, which is typically located in the basement. Ensure it’s in perfect working order and that your filters are in good shape. It’s also important to check that your windows and doors don’t have any drafts. Why? Because drafts can cause the temperature to fluctuate, causing your heating system to work harder, which can drive your energy bill up.
Ice damming can occur when your gutters are filled with debris from the fall months or clogged with ice and snow. It can cause your roof or walls to experience leaks and other potentially expensive damage that can trickle right down to the basement level.
Take Extra Steps If You’re Away
Whether you’re heading out for a weekend trip or taking a three-week vacation, there are a few other things you can do to make sure you’re safe from hazards.
Be sure to turn off the water supply and drain your water lines by opening all the faucets and flushing all the toilets. This will prevent water from freezing and expanding in your pipes, which can cause them to break.
Turn down the heat, and unplug all appliances that won’t need to be running while you’re gone (NOT your refrigerator, freezer, or another essential machine).
Why We Care About Your Home’s Winter Maintenance
First of all, we care about the safety of our clients, even when their basement project is complete. One of the many steps we follow when doing a final project walkthrough is to shut off hose connections to prevent pipe bursts from the winter freeze.
At Elkstone Basements, we believe your home is your most significant investment, so it’s essential to keep it protected from top to bottom. If you’re interested in making some upgrades to your basement, get in touch with our experienced team. We’d be thrilled to create the basement space of your dreams!
During the current pandemic, most homeowners are looking to turn parts of their homes into a sanctuary. However, finishing a basement into a room for relaxation has its challenges. More than 50% of homes are more than 40 years old. That means most basements are not structurally sound for creating a tranquil space.
If you’re looking to turn your basement into a relaxing sanctuary, here are the top factors you need to consider.
1. Moisture and Water Damage
Before finishing a basement, you ought to evaluate the risk of moisture and flooding. Given the location of the room, it can be vulnerable to water damage. Overlooking such problems will only cause costly complications later.
Additionally, a humid room is not conducive to a tranquil space. Humidity can cause discomfort and make the interior feel hotter than it is. Moisture can also damage your valuables and cause mold growth, rotting, and a host of other issues.
2. Foundation Weaknesses
You may also have to address the foundation’s structural issues, especially if there is moisture present. Water can damage concrete, creating cracks on its surface. Signs of foundation issues may include soft concrete, bulging walls, and stuck doors and windows. You should also check to see if the foundation is leaking whenever it rains.
3. Assess the Quality of Insulation
If you are finishing your basement into a tranquil space, an efficient air conditioning system is also necessary. For air conditioning to be effective in either warm or cold climates, the room may require additional insulation.
The type of insulation will depend on the climate and the parts of the room in question. Local codes stipulate the kind of material suitable for your home. A basement finishing service can help you determine whether you’ll need to upgrade insulation.
4. Upgrading the Walls
The wall is a critical aspect of finishing a basement since it provides room for cables and wires. It is often essential when you want to bring out an aesthetically pleasing interior. Walls are necessary for support, so it is advisable to have a basement finisher assess the beams to determine their structural integrity.
5. Enhance Lighting and Ambiance
One of the challenges with a basement finish is that the room is often dark and plain with no interesting features. It is one reason some homeowners opt to turn the room into a home theater. The dark space is suitable for watching movies or sports games on a big screen.
Although, if you are finishing the basement into a wet bar or family room, lighting is always essential. You can utilize different types of lighting to increase illumination while minimizing energy consumption.
There are many options for the kind of lamps you can use to infuse a tranquil ambiance for a relaxing room. A basement finishing company can help you address your home’s lighting needs.
Turning a basement into an area for you and your family to unwind can be a great idea. However, there are several challenges you need to address to avoid water damage and comply with the local code. You ought to consider hiring a professional basement finisher for an evaluation before commencing with the project.
The current average cost for a basic basement finish is $50 to $65 per square foot. But before you start thinking that might be too expensive, consider the benefits. Choosing the right basement finishing company guarantees a fast and professional job that is a great investment for years to come. Keep reading to learn about some great features to include in your basement finishing project.
Basement Wet Bar
Consider your basement finish as a blank canvas for your next big design idea. Always wanted a wet bar? With a wet bar design from your local basement finishing company, you can have the bar of your dreams — from a peninsula wet bar to an island wet bar. Home improvement has never been easier than designing a new wet bar with basement bar plans from your local basement finishing company. Imagine the fun you’ll have pouring drinks and sipping comfortably with your friends and family in your new basement bar space.
Looking for a basement design that is more functional and family-friendly? Then consider fireplace construction as one of your basement upgrades. A fireplace hearth and mantel adds both warmth and style to your basement, while expert fireplace design ensures a customized fireplace hearth to accentuate your decor. Basement family rooms wouldn’t be complete without an electric fireplace to add coziness and atmosphere to your family gatherings.
One of the most popular basement upgrades is a home theatre. Choose your style from an open home theatre or an enclosed custom home theater that will be the centerpiece of your basement family room. Your local basement finishing company can help you with the design process from start to finish before installing the home theatre set up of your dreams. Have a projection screen to hang on the wall, or an LCD TV you want to install in a custom-built niche? The options are endless when you choose a company that has expertise in both building and design. Entertain your friends and family with style in a custom-designed media room that makes any movie night special.
Basement finishing may seem expensive and overwhelming, but when you choose a professional local basement company, your home improvement project is easily transformed into the room of your dreams. With upgrades that include a custom fireplace hearth, fireplace construction and design, wet bar design, and a custom-built home theatre, you can turn your basement dream into reality.
For most households, the basement is a non-essential part of their home. However, it doesn’t just have to be a dull storage space. Basement finishing can help create a stunning and attractive living space for your family to hang out.
The largest factor that can affect the outcome of your finishing or project is the contractor that you pick. Here are five tips to help you make the right choice.
1. Licenses and Permits
The first item that you should tick off your list is to confirm that the contractor operates a legitimate business through their credentials. Ask them to provide a copy of an active license provided by the state contractor’s board.
Basement projects often require permits to ensure that you abide by local building codes. The company or contractor should assist you in getting all the permits required.
Another aspect of concern should be their experience as a basement finishing company. Find out their specialization as a finishing contractor and how long they have been in business. Go through their online portfolio with pictures from recent projects and check whether the quality of their work meets your standards.
3. Insurance Cover
Like any contracting job, basement projects carry a significant degree of risk for damage or accidents. You may need to find an insured contractor to complete your dream family living space.
The basement finisher should hold a general liability cover and a worker’s compensation plan. General liability protects your property if any of the technicians end up damaging part of your home. Worker’s compensation protects you from out-of-pocket costs for the medical expenses of any worker that may get injured while at your home.
You may need to first think through what you wish to have in your ideal basement rooms. Request and compare the multiple quotes from different contractors and find the one that fits within your budget. While the price is a vital factor, you ought to consider quality, expertise, and trustworthiness first.
To find a reputable contractor to finish your basement, browse through their website to get a feel of how they conduct their business. Take a look at their work ethic, recently completed projects, and past clients’ reviews. You may expand the research further to online review platforms to ensure that you find the right company for the job.
Basement remodeling and finishing can be an exciting way to create an extra living space for your family. ElkStone Inc. can help you transform your basement, creating attractive spaces that your family and friends will love. Contact us for a free, no-obligation estimate for your Colorado basement.
Are you tired of walking down the stairs to your basement, flipping on the light and seeing a dark, empty space? How about piles and piles of random stuff, strewn about?
If you’re tired of seeing a cluttered, messy basement, it’s time to do something about it. These days there are all kinds of basement renovations you can do to really transform your basement into a wonderful, inviting space. Not only that but if you’re looking to sell your home or prepare it for selling, the average basement remodel can have up to a 70% return on investment (ROI)
If you’re looking to pull off the perfect basement renovation, here are some easy ways you can make it happen.
Plan Things Out
Before you do anything as far as basement renovations go, you’re going to need a plan. The best plans for a basement renovation or basement redesign are those that have been discussed between a homeowner and experienced contractors. By talking things out and sketching ideas and really thinking about what you’d like to do versus what needs to be done, you’ll come up with a plan that works on all levels.
Add more bedrooms
One of the most common things people are looking to do with basement renovations is to increase the living space in their house. Believe it or not, your basement may be big enough that you can add an extra bedroom or two, creating a cool bedroom space for your kids or extra space if you’re hosting a family get-together. If you’re set on putting in more bedrooms, it’s important to remember that any bedroom must have at least one closet and two forms of egress (exit points).
Adding Recreation Space
If you’re tired of looking at a boring, unused space in your basement, what better way to transform it than by turning into a lounging area or a recreation area.
Want to turn your basement into a man-cave? Think about adding a wet bar, some flat-screen TVs and some couches. Want to turn it into a play area for your family? Add carpeted space for the kids to play with their toys and don’t be afraid to liven things up with a pool table or a gaming table or a pinball machine. If you’re a movie fan, you can even turn your basement into your own home theater where you can host movie nights for family and friends. You can even keep things simple and renovate to turn that space into a basement family room where family and friends can sit and relax.
Add more bathrooms
If you’ve got a big family and a small house, chances are good that there’s a fair amount of fighting going on for a time in the bathroom. For many homeowners, there’s nothing worse than sharing one bathroom with four or five people and getting two minutes of a hot shower or barely 30 seconds to do your business. Keep in mind that if you’re going to add bathrooms, you’re likely going to need some plumbing work done in your basement and drywall might need to be put up to create bathroom dividers. But in the long-term, having extra bathroom space can be invaluable for a variety of reasons.
Easy Does It
It’s already been established that basement renovations can have high ROIs and it’s a big reason why basement remodeling projects are among the most popular undertaken by homeowners. Think about this: If you spend about $1,000 on a basement renovation, it increases the value of your property by about $700, so if you really put some effort into a complete renovation, it could really raise your property values and make it enticing to potential buyers if you’re looking to sell it.
The flip side of that is if you want to keep things simple, you don’t have to do a whole lot to your basement, especially if you’re preparing to sell your home. By adding a decent source of lighting, perhaps a heat source and at decent flooring, that’s usually enough for many prospective buyers and who knows, they might take what you’ve done and do some remodeling of their own.
Modern families have busy lifestyles that only allow them to spend so much of their spare time together. On top that, gadgets and portable devices have become a distraction that affects interactions. This is why it is important to create living spaces that foster fun and communication at home.
You can enhance the layout and design and bring the family together. If your basement renovation project is for a family room, you’ll have to contend with several challenges. There are key elements you must work on to make the room warm, lively, and sociable.
Light Up the Room
Basements tend to be crammed, dull, and lifeless. For family rooms, you may have to make modifications to the structure to improve lighting and make it feel more spacious. The ceiling height and the size of windows should ideally match dimensions of a regular living room. But since adding windows is often costly or impractical, you can improve the ambiance by choosing suitable lights for that space.
Family rooms should be places full of fun and warm interactions. The ambiance should communicate warmth and relaxation, so you should avoid flat and one-dimensional lighting. For a basement remodel, there should be overhead lights, task lights, among other types of lighting. That way, you can illuminate the room to add depth and volume.
You may require special lighting for wet bars, media, and gaming rooms. For such spaces, you may want to add the capability to dim or brighten the room. Multiple sections of the room can be controlled by two switches; one for dimming, and another for normal lighting.
If the room is a place of many activities, avoid incandescent bulbs. They may be inexpensive, but they produce a lot of heat. Since basements tend to have ventilation challenges, you should try using LED lights for illumination.
Color is another critical element of design when it comes to remodeling basements into livable spaces. You can incorporate your family’s preferences into the decor. It is important to know what your loved ones fancy, but there are some hues you ought to consider depending on the function of the room.
- Crisp White: You can use crisp white furnishings and decor to brighten an otherwise dull basement. The hue complements the modern interior and could be the perfect option for a cozy living room. Another option is to use it on the wall as a background and break the monotony with rustic wood, or bright colored furniture.
- Neutral Shades: You can also use soft neutrals for the basement finish. Use neutral colors, if you are looking to turn the family room into a relaxing, serene, and cozy haven. You could try hues such as sky blue, azure, etc.
- Red: Many people consider the color to be unusual for family rooms. However, it can liven up the room and is ideal for spaces where there will be lots of activity. You can try red if your basement finishing project includes a gaming area, gym, or entertainment room.
- Yellow: Yellow is bright, energetic, and artsy. It invokes a sense of excitement and bursting energy. But be careful not to overuse it. One way is to pair it with soft neutrals to reduce eye fatigue. It can also be ideal for decor as a highlight to complement duller hues.
Use Versatility to Add Warmth
Family rooms tend to have multiple spaces, as there may be different activities taking place at once. Your layout may include areas for reading and relaxation, watching movies, playing games, or socializing. You don’t need partitions; a good layout can divide these areas by creating clear sections.
Also, ensure the seating facilitates communication and encourages people to interact. You can have multiple seats in different sections so that people can choose according to what they find comfortable. Place the sofas and seating across each other to allow eye contact and interactions.
You can turn the basement into a bright and warm family room by focusing on the critical elements of your layout. The project does not have to be extensive if you carefully take time to evaluate the goal of your renovation.
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
The market for home remodeling is already worth an estimated $450 billion, and that number is only expected to grow.
Along with basement remodeling, basement finishing, and things like wet bar installations, hiring fireplace companies to build new fireplaces in family rooms have become popular renovation projects. Whether you’ve selected a beautiful, front-facing modern fireplace for the living room or a corner fireplace for your bedroom, you must be careful when choosing the best installer.
Here are some questions you should ask fireplace companies before deciding to hire them.
Are you certified by the NFI?
While NFI certification isn’t always necessary (all a fireplace company is required to carry is a local license), it’s the gold standard for ensuring you get the best service possible. To obtain NFI certification, a contractor must demonstrate a high level of skill and specialist knowledge in building fireplaces. It’s not a deal-breaker if everything else about the company looks great. But it’s a good thing to be aware of.
How much does it cost to install a fireplace?
Unlike the first question, this one isn’t as simple as it sounds. To calculate the cost of the kind of fireplace you need, fireplace companies have to consider many factors and variables: labor, time, venting, travel distance, and installation. These complexities are just a few things the installer has to make before giving you a quote. When you get an estimated price from a fireplace company, make sure it’s comprehensive and detailed. You don’t want to get hit with unexpected or hidden costs later on.
How do local building codes apply to this project?
In a perfect world, you could simply stick a fireplace into the wall wherever you want. Unfortunately, it’s never that simple. Rules, regulations, and safety concerns all complicate the process. Some cities enforce emission limits, clearance zones, and construction material restrictions. You want to make sure the fireplace companies you’re considering are familiar with all building and heating codes that apply to you.
Have you had experience with this kind of fireplace?
Even if the contractor you want to hire has been building fireplaces for the past decade or so, you still want to look at their background. If they haven’t done anything much like your project before, at least talk to them enough to feel confident that they’ve done their homework.
These are the questions you should ask all fireplace companies you’re seriously considering hiring. By taking the right steps and precautions, you can get a beautiful fireplace with minimal hassle.
Did you know that finishing your basement can give you a 77.6% return on your investment?
Whether you want new basement family rooms, extra space to rent out, or just an added bedroom for guests, basement remodeling is an ideal way to get more value out of the space you already have. The following are the top seven steps you should take to transform your basement into a livable space.
1. Measure Your Basement
You’ll want to know just how much space you’re working with. Most importantly, though, you’ll need to know the height of your basement before you follow through with any more of your building plans. Most building codes and regulations require that a basement be at least seven feet tall to be fit for basement remodeling and finishing.
Along the way, before you plan any new building project, it’s always important to check local building codes to make sure your desires are in line with the law.
2. Inspect Existing Construction Quality
If your basement is unfinished, it may not have plumbing or wiring already. If this is the case, you will need to have your basement remodeling company install the wiring and plumbing themselves. However, if your basement has wiring or plumbing installed already, it will need to be inspected to ensure it’s up to quality standards and local building codes.
Keep in mind that a permit is required to inspect and modify plumbing or electrical wiring, so you will probably want to leave this to your basement remodeling company as well.
3. Install Insulation and Moisture Protection
Now it will be time to call upon your trusted basement remodeling company.
The next step in the process of remodeling an unfinished basement is to install insulation. Not only will this provide warmth during the winter, but it will keep unwanted noise out of your basement and unwanted basement noises out of the rest of your home. Insulated panels, batting, or other materials may be used to provide this insulation and noise protection. Important wall renovation choices may come into play here, so it’s integral that you consider all of your options carefully going forward.
Next, you’ll want to add moisture protection to your basement. When you live in a basement, you need vapor barriers to keep moisture from spreading past the concrete walls. This is something you should keep in mind as you think about basement living space ideas.
4. Install the Right Egress Windows
As you study basement building codes, you’ll find that one of the most important safety features in any basement is its windows.
Besides letting light in, egress windows are essential for doubling as escape hatches in case of emergency. If there’s a fire on an upper floor or some other emergency, you don’t want anyone getting trapped in the basement.
It may be necessary to expand window spaces and renovate your foundation in to make room for proper egress windows. This is an absolute necessity for a livable basement space, so don’t skimp on cost here.
5. Inspect for Radon
Radon is a specific kind of radiation that rises from the earth in certain areas. It isn’t found everywhere, but if present it can turn a comfortable home into a death trap. If you live in a location where radon can be a problem, you should get a radon test kit or hire a contractor to check radon levels in your basement.
6. Check for Rot and Pest Damage
Inspect the wood, concrete, and stone making up your basement and foundation for damage caused by moisture or pests, such as rodents or termites. To proceed with building plans, any moisture issues must be addressed, pests must be exterminated or blocked out of your home, and any rotting or damaged materials must be replaced.
7. Install a Sump Pump
If you live in an area prone to heavy rainfall or if your house rests in a fairly low area, there’s no questioning it: your basement needs a sump pump. Groundwater can destroy a finished basement if allowed to sit for prolonged periods. With your basement getting upgraded, you don’t want to come home from a vacation and discover that your basement transformed into a lake during your absence.
Did you know that the earliest known building code was a part of the Code of Hammurabi in 1772 BC?
Since then, our building codes have only grown in number and application. For example, building codes applying to fireplaces and stoves are especially critical since these involve flames that can cause a house to catch fire if not constructed properly. That’s why it’s especially important to choose fireplace companies that know what they’re doing.
Before you start looking for fireplace companies Colorado Springs trusts, you’ll need to settle on just what kind of fireplace is right for you. Read on to learn more!
Wood Burning Fireplace
Open-faced fireplaces — like the ones you see on Christmas cards — are probably the most popular, and the best known. Between the open flames, the flying sparks, and the charred logs crackling under the flames, open fireplaces are highly romanticized.
According to some open fireplace owners, however, these beautiful centerpieces might not be worth the necessary maintenance. They can be a lot of work to light and keep burning — not to mention to clean. It’s also not unusual for traditional fireplaces to fail to burn correctly.
Perhaps the worst aspect of traditional open-faced fireplaces is that, at the end of the day, they don’t produce that much heat. Most of the heat generated by a fireplace is sucked directly up the chimney, effectively wasted in the cold air outside.
However, for their warm, distinctive appearance, open-faced fireplaces can be worth all the hassle and inefficiency they involve — but only if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.
Possibly the most wonderful thing about gas fireplaces is not their often gorgeous design, but their cleanliness. Unlike traditional stoves and fireplaces, gas fireplaces don’t involve any necessary clean up after use. Because they don’t require a chimney, one can be installed virtually anywhere.
Unlike traditional fireplaces, gas fireplaces offer “turn on, turn off” functionality, providing instant heat when you power them up. That means there’s no need to spend an hour with a stubborn fire, trying to get it to take off. Gas fireplaces are also available in automatic, thermostat-controlled versions.
The only real downside to gas fireplaces is their inauthentic appearance. Yes, the flames are very real, but for some, watching gas-fueled fire being spurted up out of fake logs is deeply unsatisfying.
Much like a toaster or refrigerator, an electric fireplace is often considered to be another appliance. Since it doesn’t factually produce flames, its lifespan is practically infinite, and it’s possibly the safest option for homeowners. It can also be moved from one room to another quite easily — all you need to operate it is an electrical outlet.
The best thing about electric fireplaces might be that there’s no need to worry about either toxic fumes or fire hazards. The only real downsides are that electric fireplaces are very expensive when you depend on them for heat during the winter and that if the power goes out, so does your fireplace.
Pellet stoves are reminiscent of a traditional fireplace because of their authentic, open flame. In this case, however, you can watch the fire safely from the other side of glass panes.
A major plus for pellet stoves is that, unlike logs and other fuels, the pellets used to fuel fires are a truly renewable energy source. Pellet stoves are also very low maintenance — you can even pour 50 pounds of pellets into some models, and leave them alone to burn for an entire 24-48 hours afterward.
Clean-burning, efficient wood pellets and removable ash pans make cleanup a breeze. Pellet stoves can also be installed just about anywhere a normal appliance can be — all you need is an exposed wall.
The one downside to pellet stoves is the pellets themselves. While firewood is usually low cost, in pellet form, fueling the fire can be fairly expensive. Massive bags of pellets can also be a pain to move and store.
Good fireplace companies can add an entirely new feel to a home, just by installing a beautiful, warming fireplace. Connect with fireplace companies now to learn even more about your options for installing a fireplace in your home.
Are you considering remodeling your basement but you’re unsure about spending the money? Maybe you’ve been dreaming of a basement wet bar or adding a family room. Making the financial decision to go forward with basement remodeling isn’t always easy given the cost. However, there are some ways that having this renovation done is actually a fiscally responsible choice. Read on for some insight on how redoing your basement could be good for you financially.
More Space Without Moving
If you’ve reached a point where you know you want more space at home, basement finishing could be a great choice for you. It costs up to 80% less than moving to a new and larger home while providing you with extra space. You can create a basement family room or a new bedroom for a fraction of what it would cost to move. If your basement is sizable enough, you could even have multiple rooms added.
Boost Your Home’s Worth
Another great financial perk of basement finishing is that it boosts the value of your home. This means that if you need to sell your home later on, you will be able to get more for it. Updating your basement is an investment that you could get back when the time comes to move onto a new place.
Save on Energy
When remodeling your basement, you can have insulation and smart technology put in. This will help to cut back on any heat loss that your basement might experience. That means that renovating your basement can cut back on your energy use and save money on your monthly bill. It’s a decision that is both environmentally and fiscally wise.
Cut Back on Repairs
Full basement finishing is a great way to cut back on repairs and damage that can occur in regular basements. It’s a way to address any flooding issues or cracks in the concrete. You can have everything reinforced and properly laid out so that you don’t have to worry about costly issues in the future.
Renovating your basement might seem like a bit of a splurge at first glance, but it truly is an investment in your home. If you have it done right you can save money for years to come and increase the value of your home. When you’re ready to invest in a basement finishing company you can trust, rely on ElkStone Homes.
At ElkStone, we are very particular with the trades that we partner with. We strive to partner with companies that share a similar attention to detail at every aspect of the job. Today, I’d like to introduce you to one of our Preferred ElkStone Designers. While our estimators do a great job of helping you keep the flow of your home, adding a designer into the process can up the level of that flow.
INTRODUCING ELKSTONE PREFERRED DESIGNER:
What Kind of Degree Did you Earn?
A Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from The University of North Texas
What is your Signature Style?
Mostly Transitional; which is a blend of modern and traditional forms. If there is a common thread among every room I create it is, at least one antique, a special art piece, a plant to add warmth and a look of being curated with time.
HGTV defines Transitional style: a marriage of traditional and contemporary furniture, finishes, materials and fabrics equating to a classic, timeless design. Furniture lines are simple yet sophisticated, featuring either straight lines or rounded profiles.
How do you help me discover and communicate my style to you?
Asking good questions helps but I’ve also found the best way to “visually communicate” a style preference is to ask my clients to spend time scanning their favorite magazines and online websites and saving looks that speak to them in some way. I always tell my clients, likes are immediate, so usually if something makes you go hmmmm…it’s worth sharing. When they share these tear-outs, pins, etc. I’m able to ask deeper questions to really pinpoint a design direction.
Do you provide examples of work that are similar in style, scope & Budget to the
Home Owners Projects?
If a homeowner asks, I am always happy to share portfolio images from a past project and detail similarities, but truly, every project is unique and client specific. No two projects are exactly alike so therefore while a budget may be very similar, the project typically unfolds in a very different way based on the Client’s personal style, tastes and involvement.
How do you document and Share your work?
My free time is limited but when I have the time to do so, I enjoy sharing a recent project image and description on facebook. My up-to-date portfolio sits on my website and is easily shared online with prospective clients.
How do you manage the project budget?
I use google sheets which stores and shares information easily and in the 24/7 accessible cloud. My clients are always surprised with how this aspect of the projects seems so simple. When I hear this, I feel I am doing my job well! The design process should be simplified and fun for the client.
How much time does an average basement project take once the construction is finished?
We usually come onto a project while it is still under construction to help make the important finish decision and often consult on the interior architecture at this point too. The average is under 2 months.
Where do you find Inspiration?
I am inspired first and foremost through nature. I find the blue-greens of the ocean mixed with the neutral tones of sand the most soothing color palette in a home. When I travel I find fresh perspective too, especially in architecture.
How do you stay up to date with current trends, technology and codes?
I keep a library of books on hand in my office with I can easily research in when needed. New technology is something I’m always learning…it comes often times as I’m sourcing for, say, a plumbing fixture, I’ll learn about the new self-cleaning toilets on the market now and save the thought for the next client short on time to clean house! And I like to keep current on design trends such as color, pattern by watching fashion. Interior trends typically follow fashion trends, but do tend to be around a bit longer, thank goodness. ????
What is your communication style?
I use a lot of email. But then there are the times when a face to face conversation is the only thing that will do. I feel it’s the most productive as we can understand clearer and often communicate more effectively in person. Emoticons only express so much.
What does a successful project mean to you?
One that the client is proud of. If I hear they can’t wait to open the door to their new home or office each day as they walk back in, that brings me so much joy! And since details are so very important, I like to hear how the Client discovers new things they didn’t see at first when the project is complete. For example, how a mirror places just right reflects the sun into their room in the afternoon.
What is your feeling on trendy design features?
Trends are fun but should be considered as a short-term investment, and thus I caution on using too many as they will date the project. I encourage incorporating any trends in smaller ways, less costly ways such as through a pillow pattern or paint color. I lean toward creating interiors that will not be dated in five years’ time, so I tend to use colors & classic patterns that have longevity.
What does it look like to work with an ElkStone designer?
Fun, Of Course! As I mentioned before, the design process can be overwhelming, but when you have the right team, it should seem simple and fun. The right team can take the dilemma of too many decisions to make and turn it around to effective solutions that are budget-minded and beautiful.
How does the design process flow?
After an initial consultation at the job site, I create a Project Program to define the scope and get us on the same page for budget. The design process is fairly creative from there with some research, a little more development then one or two very fun design presentations with the client, always face to face, if possible. We may make a revision or three or some add-ons, but once the proposed design and any revisions are approved, ordered and wait time is over, the magic unfolds as we begin installing and the Client sees all the ideas come to life!
We welcome you to check out more of Kate’s portfolio at Noble Design Group or Facebook and if this is a service you are interested in incorporating into your basement finish space, please let your estimator know at your complimentary consultation.