Written by sitecontrol

How To Save Money On Your Basement Remodel

Having an unfinished basement is a perfect excuse to take on an exciting new remodel project.

But can you afford it? This is a big concern for a lot of people these days, yet we’re here to tell you it’s possible. We’ve got some tips to keep remodeling costs down while keeping the quality of your basement up.

DIY… Should You Do It?

There are many home projects that people think they can do on their own but making one remodeling mistake can turn your DIY project into something a lot more expensive than you thought.

Although it might seem like the cheaper route, some DIY projects should just be left to the professionals. If you choose to paint the walls or floor, sure, but if you decide to knock a wall down and end up bursting a pipe you’ll wish you’d hired a professional. And let’s not even talk about electric work.

Not only can DIY mistakes drive up the cost of renovating your basement, but the materials you use can also make the project very expensive. Although lumber prices are lowering, they are still high, and for some people the price of lumber might not be an option. Steel is another material that has gone up in price in recent years. While the price per square foot may not sound like it’s too expensive, it adds up fast and next thing you know is that material is no longer an option. Yikes.

Trying to DIY not just one or two things but the whole renovation can end up costing way more than it should have. Making mistakes along the way can result in hiring a contractor to redo whole sections of your renovation… making a once cheap project a lot more expensive, not to mention frustrating.

It’s not that we don’t believe in you. We do! But some jobs are best left to professionals.

Save Money The Smart Way

When it comes to saving money on a basement renovation there are many options to help stay under budget.

For example, did you know finding one contractor and only using ONE will help reduce costs? You want the cheapest contractor you can find who also has good reviews to ensure they don’t cut corners and turn your renovation into a mess. Using multiple contractors will drive up the price when that can be avoided, but cheaper doesn’t always mean better. Reputation matters.

Another way to save on a remodel job that you might not have considered is to renovate your basement in the wintertime. Although it doesn’t sound like the best timing, there are multiple benefits to this. There will be less competition, so you really get to decide which contractor you want. Since winter is also an off-season, there’s a possibility for discounts from contractors really needing the work.

This next part may not sound like it’s an effective way to save money, but trust us here. Buying cheap materials can be tempting. The price is right, right? Well, although you might be saving money now, you might not be saving in the future. If you spend just a little more now on higher quality appliances, carpet, or flooring, you won’t have to think about remodeling for a while. On the other hand, if you use cheaper materials, it might not be long before you have to start thinking about remodeling again.

If You Do It, Do It Right The First Time

While there is the possibility for a next time in case of failure, nobody wants to have to remodel their basement a second time just after going through all that work.

Remodeling should take time to plan out — if you plan to do it correctly — so make sure you can get the materials you need, all your measurements are correct, and everything will arrive on time to begin the remodeling process.

Don’t cut any corners, because chances are you’ll regret it. If cost is truly an issue, you can always come back to the remodel to add and enhance, rather than having to tear the whole thing down and start from scratch.

Basements and Bars is here to help you with all your basement remodel needs, whether you’re staying thrifty or shooting for the moon. Contact us today so we can get your basement where it needs to be, and check out our financing options to see what we can do for you to get you on track!

Stone basement bar with sink, cabinets, and tv.
Written by sitecontrol

Simple Ideas For Small Basement Bars

Small Space + Small Bar = Huge Potential!

Having a small bar in the basement is the perfect way to escape the nuances in everyday life. You may not have room for much else, but a small bar could be the ideal way to utilize the extra space.

Here are some ideas to tighten up that space and bring your dream to life.


Recessed-in-wall refrigerators and wine coolers are a clever way to save space and maximize your total storage area. Even if you’re a drink connoisseur, you definitely don’t need a full size refrigerator to make 90% of popular drinks.

Secret Seats

Folding bar stools for your space are a great idea; you can easily put them away if you need to open up the area for other activities while still maintaining plenty of potential seating for guests. You can also choose a bar design that allows stools and other seats to be hidden beneath the bar itself!

All The Overhead Storage

When there is nowhere else to build… build up. This is key to really maxing out your options for cocktail glasses and providing enough glasses for larger parties. At a minimum, you can’t go wrong with those cool under-cabinet wine glass stem holders — they look sleek and chic while saving space at the same time!

Keep It Simple

While it might be tempting to go all out with your bar project, when you don’t have as much room as you’d like it’s best to stay grounded. Take stock of the area you have to work with, then decide what is most important for YOUR ideal bar: is it seating? Decor? Glassware? Focus on the biggest piece, then work out from there and see what’s feasible. Any basement can accommodate a small bar, it just depends on what YOU want.

And guess what? We can help! Contact Basements and Bars to see how we can work with you to make the bar in your head become the one in your basement.

Written by sitecontrol

The Suite Life: Why a Basement Suite Is Perfect For Your Grown Child

Is Your Home Growing With Your Family?

As your kids grow and change so does their at-home dynamic and lifestyle. Once they’ve gained independence at college or taken their first steps into adulthood, they need a space that reflects that. Not only that, but you may have been thinking of ways to convert their childhood bedrooms to another space to better reflect your new lifestyle changes as well.

Many homeowners use their basements for a variety of reasons. They store goods, do laundry, play ping pong or foosball. Sometimes basements aren’t even a finished space and are used as a hangout space or a place for old furniture. But often, basements are overlooked when it comes to liveable spaces, and this just may be the solution you and your grown kids are looking for!

Benefits of a Basement Suite Remodel

There are several benefits that come from converting your basement into a suite for your oldest, some of which include:

Sense of Independence and Maturity

Whether it’s shared with a sibling or still covered in childhood posters, your grown child has most definitely outgrown their childhood bedroom. Why not move that renovation into a space that is more independent?

A basement suite allows them to have their own space to decorate and maintain. Have them do their laundry, make their bed, dust, vacuum, and so on. This is their space, so they can take care of it. This will give them a good idea of what living on their own will look like while also giving them the independence they need.

Privacy For Them, A New Space For You

While they have this newfound sense of privacy and independence, you have the opportunity to convert their old room into a more usable space without the guilt of feeling like you are taking their space away. There is plenty to consider for this new space such as:

  • Home Office
  • Craft Room
  • Library
  • Study Space
  • Play Room
  • Workout Room
  • Guest Room
  • Extra Closet
  • Bedroom or Bathroom Extension

Additional Value to Your Home

Like any renovation or addition to your home, remodeling your basement to include a suite adds value to your home, and it won’t increase your property taxes too much. Like any other addition to your home, you will see a slight increase in property taxes, but it won’t be as much as if you were putting in addition above ground.

If you do end up selling your home later, buyers are always looking for functional space and are often willing to spend a little more on it. Buyers also love finished basements and additional rooms, which a basement suite would provide. So, if it came down between your house and another, this could be the buyer’s deciding factor.

Factors to Consider

Just like any remodel, there are things you should consider when remodeling a basement suite. Is there outdoor access to the space? Do you meet state regulations and codes? Will you need to reconfigure any electrical, plumbing, or drywall? As exciting as this process can be, adding a basement suite is a major construction project

Are You Ready to Renovate?

If you are ready to start building the basement of your dreams, contact Basements & Bars! We are a  team of experts that will work with you every step of the basement finishing process to turn your vision into reality.

For more information or to set up your free consultation call (314)-550-9160.

Written by sitecontrol

17 Questions to Ask Your Basement Contractor

The home construction and renovation industry has its share of bad and untrustworthy vendors. An inexperienced contractor might ignore structural or water issues and forge ahead with a remodeling project before thoroughly evaluating the situation, or bringing in a foundation specialist if needed. If they avoid answering you directly about their process for pulling permits, it may be time to switch to a different vendor.

The variety of ways homeowners can be taken advantage of by our competitors and other types of home contractors makes us sad.

So, as a contractor who truly cares about homeowners and the quality of our service, we made this list of some helpful questions to ask contractors you are considering for finishing your basement.


What Areas Do You Serve?

This is an important question to get out of the way. If they don’t serve your area, there’s no reason to move forward. Don’t let your phone call go to waste – you can always ask for a referral if they happen to know of another reputable business in your area.

Basements & Bars proudly serves the St. Louis metro area, including St. Charles, Wentzville, and Columbia IL. If you have specific questions about your area, please contact us.


How Long Have You Been in Business?

A company that has only been in business for a short time may not have the necessary skills or labor to do a good job. Their processes may not be in place to guarantee you a great remodeling experience.

A company that has been around for a long time has most likely proven itself over and over again in order to stay in business. For example, Basements and Bars has been finishing basements for St. Louis homeowners for over two decades.


Is Your Company a Full Service or Specialty Firm?

A company with many offerings may not be the best at any particular project and may miss some important details or have an inconsistent workflow. Look at the service offerings and image galleries on their website, social media posts, and customer reviews to see the types of projects they typically take on.

Having team members who specialize in finished basements and foundations like Mark and Troy from Basements & Bars is critical to a successful project. They have the experience and knowledge to handle any challenges in your basement during the construction process.


Why is Your Price Different From the Other Quotes I Received?

The prices of some contractors may be inflated. But before jumping to conclusions, higher prices can be a good thing. You can ask them if they are including extra services or premium quality materials. You will often find that quality is the big difference between a higher bid and a lower one.

If a quote seems too low, it can be too good to be true. Cheaper isn’t always better, especially with contracting and construction work. Ask if the contractor plans to hire subcontractors to make sure they aren’t passing the labor off to cheaper, less skilled workers. Also, make sure to verify the following:

  • Quality of the materials
  • Estimated work hours
  • Anything important missing from the quote:
    • Waterproofing
    • Plumbing
    • Electric
    • HVAC
    • Flooring
    • Egress Window
    • Appliances
    • Inspections etc.

Are You Licensed?

Protect yourself as a homeowner by making sure that the basement finishing contractor is properly licensed and meets the minimum requirements held by the state of Missouri.


Are You Insured?

Make sure that you are not liable for any injuries or damages that occur during the project. Ask for copies of insurance certificates, verify that they are current, and make sure that the insurance amount is high enough to cover the worst-case scenario.


How Big Is Your Team?

Find out a company’s size by asking how many owners, employees, or contractors it has. Is the person you are speaking with also the one who will do the work? Does the team have the resources in order to complete the project on time? Will you always have access to the person in charge of your basement remodel with any questions you have?


Will You Hire Subcontractors?

Will the entire project be completed by your own team or will some of the work be subcontracted? The purpose of this question is to find out who will be in your home, how the project will be managed, and assurances of the quality of the work.


Do You Offer Financing?

If you’re unable to pay cash for your basement remodel, a loan can be the right way to go. Some contractors offer financing to help you budget your project and start construction right away. Basements & Bars offers financing through HFS Financial.


Will You Be Pulling the Permits?

Your city will require permits for any major remodeling projects and make sure that the construction in your home is properly completed according to local and state building codes. A failure to pull permits will adversely affect your home value and ability to sell your home. During each stage of the project, building Inspectors will come to check on the work and verify everything is done properly. The company should pull the permits on the homeowner’s behalf as they will then be the responsible party for the work.


What Makes You the Best Basement Contractors Near Me?

The two owners, Mark and Troy were born and raised in St. Louis and have a combined total of 55 years of construction experience. Every member of the team understands the intricacies of finishing a basement. Our team has knowledge and experience in heating and cooling, plumbing, framing, and multiple other assets that are often overlooked in basement finishing.


How Much Should I Expect to Pay to Finish my Basement?

That is not an easy answer; design requirements and material choices are a big factor in the overall cost of finishing or remodeling a basement. Typically, most people should expect to pay around 10%-15% of their home’s value.


My Foundation Has a Small Crack. Do I Need to Fix This Before We Begin Finishing the Basement?

Yes, it is a good idea to have any cracks in your foundation repaired so they do not spread. Some cracks are considered to be perfectly normal, while other cracks may be indicators of structural issues. Your contractor can talk to you about this process.


Do I Need to Waterproof My Basement First?

Yes, waterproofing your basement is an important part of your project and should be discussed during your consultation. Your contractor should fix all potential water issues; otherwise, you could be forced to tear out parts of your basement in the future.


Can I Call References?

The basement contractor should be able to provide you with references to check with as well as examples of their work. Check out our gallery to see photos of real basement finishing and remodeling projects we’ve completed in the St. Louis region.


How Long Will the Project Take?

Your contractor should be able to give you a timeline and set accurate expectations of what will be completed and when. It is your home, and you deserve to know who is going to be in your home and know the schedule of when the workers will be there.


What Is Your Basement Finishing & Remodeling Process / How Do We Get Started?

Your contractor should be able to give you a timeline and set accurate expectations of what will be completed and when. It is your home, and you deserve to know who is going to be in your home and know the schedule of when the workers will be there.

We have a two-step process to get your project started:

  1. We have a phone conversation about what you are looking for and what your ideas are, and then we come out and look at the space and have a design consultation.
  2. From here the Basements & Bars team prepares a plan to bring your dream basement to life, and we will come out to your home a second time to go over plans, iron out details, and look over the pricing of the project.

With our thorough process, we strive to take out the hidden surprises of your basement finishing project. Request a free quote or call (314)-550-9160.

Finished basement accent wall with fireplace & tv.
Written by sitecontrol

Bring The Big Screen Home: Basement Home Theaters

The Ultimate Comfort and Convenience

One of the best things about renovating your basement is the opportunities you can create. You’re essentially working on a blank canvas, so the possibilities are almost limitless. For many homeowners, a dedicated space for watching movies with the family, or a fun space to watch the big game are extremely popular items to add to the value of their home.

Everyone loves going to the movies, but having that experience in the comfort of your own home is an elevated luxury that offers complete comfort and convenience. You no longer have to worry about theater concession prices or sitting through commercials. Stream new releases or your own favorites in your very own basement home theater customized to your wishes. A basement home theater has endless value.

Here are a few things to consider when adding a home theater to your basement.

Home Theater Checklist

Basements have a lot of natural advantages for theater rooms. However, there are still many factors to consider when planning your basement home theater. Some of the first things you should ask yourself when thinking about installing a home theater are:

  • How do you plan on using/what are you looking for in your home theater?
  • Is this going to be an entertainment space for family and friends?
  • How much seating will you need?
  • Is this a dedicated room or an open concept design?

Once you have those basic points narrowed down there are more logistical elements to consider to use your space to its potential.

Some more things to consider when designing your basement home theater include...

Layout and Viewing Space

One of the first things you should consider when renovating your space into a basement home theater is space. Basement home theaters can range in size and type from a cozy living room with a projection screen to a themed home theater complete with platform seating and home concession stand! Whichever theater you are looking to create, your space needs to have some thought behind it to make sure it is as functional as possible.

When choosing where you want your basement home theater other factors come into play such as lighting, bedrooms above or nearby, wiring, wifi access and speed, and so on. If you plan your layout before jumping into a prestigious project, few expectations will be let down because you already know what will and will not work out for your space. Then, you can focus on bringing your dream plans to life.


Good lighting is an essential part of having an immersive basement home theater. For the most part, basements have a lot of natural advantages such as fewer windows which makes it easier for light control, but this is not always the case.

Depending on what you’re going to use the home theater for, you may want to consider how much ambient light is coming into the space. The lighting conditions of your space can impact the placement and type of screen you use for your home basement. Standing in the area where the theater will be located at different times of the day is a great way to see if lighting will be an issue.

Sound Quality & Soundproofing

Audio is one of the most important aspects when it comes to a basement home theater. Good quality audio allows you to fully immerse into whatever movie, show, or game you chose, so it’s important to do your research to get the best audio equipment for your needs and budget.

As much as you want that total immersive experience, you also want to stay on the right side of the rest of your household and neighbors, so soundproofing your basement home theater is going to be a key issue to address. It may not be possible to fully soundproof your space, but optimizing it to reduce the amount of sound that escapes.

Are You Ready to Build?

If you are looking to build the perfect basement home theater, contact Basements & Bars! Our team of experts will work with you every step of the process to create your dream basement home theater setup to bring the movie magic right to your home.

For more information or to set up your free consultation, visit our website or call (314)-550-9160.

Finished basement with bar
Written by sitecontrol

Top 5 Basement Remodeling Design Trends of 2022

Top 5 Basement Remodeling Design Trends of 2022

It is essential to use all of the space in your home. From carefully designing your space to showcase your taste and take advantage of your square footage to meeting your family’s unique needs, basements are finally getting the finishing treatment. So are you looking to maximize your space or remodel the basement of your dreams? Basements and Bars has you covered.

We've kept up with the latest designs and put together some of the most popular basement remodeling design trends of 2022 to give you a little inspiration for your basement renovation.


Open Concept

Over the past decade, the open concept has become the gold standard for remodeling a basement floor plan, which is no different in 2022. A new open floor plan can quickly be adopted if you have a large unfinished basement. People are attracted to the flexibility and flow of an open concept. This turns a basement into a multi-functional space, allowing the family to gather while having the option to have room for different activities. From adding an area for games, watching tv, or working out, an open concept basement allows everyone to be together without the hassle of compromising.


Extension of the Home

In 2021, we saw the basement become an extension of the home. Gone are the days of the dark, dank, unused cellar. Instead, those who remodeled their basements took the opportunity to carry the carefully curated aesthetic of the upstairs to the lower level. As a result, the basement became a part of the home completely furnished in the same style to create a cohesive, well-planned living space that adds value to your home, making it feel much larger and more expansive! We foresee a lot of basement remodeling in 2022 as this design trend continues going strong.


Theater Rooms

Over the past two years, people have missed the movies, and many have included a home theater in their basement renovation plans. Theaters deliver that authentic movie experience that families love without the hassle of going out. They are a great way to gather for family movie nights or mini-movie marathons with friends.


Guest Suites

Many remodels have added complete guest suites into their plans. This typically includes a bedroom and en-suite bathroom. Depending on the size of the basement, some include a separate living area or morning bar. If you have out-of-town visitors or guests, a basement guest suite provides the convenience of closeness with the benefit of privacy.


Fitness and Wellness

The basement is usually one of the largest, most open spaces in a home, ideal for a home gym. 2021 saw the rise of home fitness-related renovations, with many homeowners opting to include entire exercise areas into their remodeling plans. We expect this to continue through 2022, along with the addition of wellness amenities like spa tubs and saunas, turning the lower level into an all-inclusive fitness and wellness experience.

What's Next For Basement Renovations?

Looking ahead through 2022, we predict that the fully finished basement will continue to rise as homeowners take advantage of their large, versatile space. In addition, we envision even more use of this multi-functional space, from reading nooks to home offices. A renovated basement is your playground.

Make Your Basement Dream Your Reality with Basement and Bars!

As St. Louis’s premier basement and bar designer, Basement and Bars has a team of experts dedicated to helping you design and build the space of your dreams! Request a free quote or consultation to see how you can make your lower level an extension of your home, and if you need ideas, Mark can draw up whatever you envision. Backed by over 20 years of experience, Basement and Bars is here to help!

For more information or to set up your free consultation, visit our website or call (314)-550-9160.

Written by sitecontrol

How Much Value Does a Finished Basement Add to Your Home?

Investing In Your Space

Many Americans are sitting on top of a huge untapped resource: their unfinished basement! Finished basements can add an immense amount of value to your home – both in terms of how much your property could appraise for and how much the lives of your loved ones can be improved. There are many benefits to having a finished basement in your home. Let’s take a closer look at how the value adds up for those considering a basement renovation.

What Factors Impact ROI?

According to HomeAdvisor, the average basement remodel can give you up to a 70% return on investment (ROI). In general, homes with finished basements usually receive higher appraisals in comparison to those without, but there are other factors that affect how much of a value it will be worth.

Here are some of the main factors that come into play when it comes to the overall value of your home with a finished basement:

Local Real Estate Market

You could have a beautiful home that is newly renovated in a great neighborhood, but if your local real estate market is going through a rough patch it will impact the rate at which your home is valued. This is completely out of your control, but it is something to consider when starting a major home renovation if you are looking to sell.

The city you live in may also impact how much your finished basement is worth. For example, in cities like Washington D.C, St. Louis, or Boston finished basements are very common and square footage is a premium. When in a competitive market where having a finished basement is common will likely increase your ROI.

Material Selection

When you are remodeling a basement it’s important to remember that it is additional space and not the main living space. It’s a premium to be able to update a basement and you should renovate it to fit your taste and lifestyle, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to splurge like a main space renovation.

Instead, you may opt for using more durable, reliable materials such as laminate or sheet vinyl flooring. This will save you money upfront while still raising your ROI.

Usability and Appeal

When finishing your basement it is important to have a plan on what it is you want to get out of your space. Your vision for this finished basement space is an important factor when deciding whether this is the right move for your family. Some of the most common ways to transform your space include adding:

  • Home office
  • Home theater
  • Bar
  • Guest room
  • In-law suite
  • Home gym
  • Children’s play area
  • Game room
  • Craft studio

Whether it’s a home office, home theater, guest suite, extra living space, or a combination of things, it should be a space that you can utilize. When a space is open, with natural lighting, and can be a space that is enjoyable to be in, your ROI will increase.

Are You Ready to Renovate?

As exciting as finishing a basement can be, remember this is a major construction project. A building permit is required. Throughout the process, electrical, plumbing, energy, drywall hanging, framing, and windows are inspected to meet code.

If you are ready to start building the basement of your dreams, contact Basements & Bars! We are a  team of experts that will work with you every step of the basement finishing process to turn your vision into reality.

For more information or to set up your free consultation, visit our website or call (314)-550-9160.

Written by sitecontrol

6 Things to Consider Before Your Basement Remodel

1 Make Sure Your Basement Is the Right Investment for Your Home

Yes, remodeling your basement can be a great investment if it is done properly.  You might want to check with a Realtor to see what comparable homes in your market are selling for to determine if a basement remodel makes sense. According to surveys conducted by Remodeling Magazine, homesellers can recoup an average of 75 cents on the dollar for finished basements. An experienced finished basement contractor will help make sure you do everything you need to maximize your ROI.

A homeowner with some knowledge and skill may think they can save money by doing a basement remodel themselves. But don’t be deceived; homeowners who can successfully DIY their basements are most likely construction professionals themselves. The idea of finishing your own basement may seem exciting at first. But even the simplest mistakes can ultimately cost you more than hiring a professional to do it right the first time.

2 Make Sure Your Basement Is Ready to Be Finished

While you might be ready to decide on a layout and start picking out paint, flooring, and furniture, your basement might not be ready to be finished just yet. You should contact a professional to determine whether or not your basement needs some work before the fun part can start.. Especially in older homes, basements may have been built without proper water management or moisture prevention. An expert should always be consulted in this situation because basement waterproofing mistakes can cost thousands of dollars in future repairs and damage.

There are two steps to easily assess the condition of your basement’s water management.

Step 1.

Check to see if you have a sump drain. Is there a pump connected with the drain? This will help manage the level of water underneath the floor. If you do not have a sump drain, this could be a serious issue to consider before starting any work on your basement.

Step 2.

Check to see if you have rough-in plumbing for a bathroom. It will look like a bunch of pipes coming out of the floor.

If you do have a rough-in, then congratulations! Your basement was most likely built with the necessary designs to be finished. You should have a vapor barrier beneath your concrete floor and hopefully in your surrounding foundation walls to provide moisture protection. This greatly reduces the continuous moisture rising from the ground which could lead to wood rot, mold, and other hazardous conditions for your building materials and your family’s health.

3 Get the Right Permits for Remodeling Your Basement

In many locations, the municipalities must inspect the electrical, HVAC, insulation, fire-stopping, plumbing work, and new walls (drywalling over an existing framed wall). Although drywall installation might seem straightforward, building inspectors want to inspect what is behind the wall before it is permanently covered up. If you attempt to DIY these types of projects, they can cause you many headaches. It’s common for people to try to finish their basements themselves only to get stuck because they couldn’t get the permits, and end up hiring the pros to rescue the project.They lose a lot of time, money, and sleep over their mistake.

Failure to comply with local building codes can result in fines, removal of all unpermitted work, reduced value of your home, and costly complications when trying to sell your home.

4 Make a Plan for Handling the HVAC

This is especially important if you’re dividing the basement into multiple rooms. Circulating conditioned air through several feet of additional ductwork takes additional power your existing HVAC probably wasn’t designed to deliver. A professional HVAC technician can help you evaluate your equipment and the extra demands it will face, based on your basement’s proposed layout, duct dimensions, and insulation, as well as your area’s climate.

If your existing system won’t cut it, you must consider replacing your HVAC or adding an additional one for multiple zoning. Other important considerations are air quality, air duct placement, and adding additional ductwork.

Typically, you’ll need to design a well-ventilated utility room to hide all your HVAC equipment, yet still keep it accessible. Make sure to adhere to all the building codes for your state.

5 Make a Plan for Your Electrical Wiring

In refinishing a basement, electrical work should be done before drywalling, so the new space is ready for wiring and outlets. Your days of running long extension cords will be over. You’ll breathe easier knowing you’ll be able to plug in your tools, electronics, and appliances right where you need them..

Contact a local electrician rather than trying it yourself – as electrical work can be very hazardous. Professionals will be able to wire your basement correctly according to local codes and regulations, as well as your functional needs.

6 Make a Plan for Your Plumbing

In a perfect world, your new bathroom would be installed underneath the upper-floor bathroom and as close as possible to the existing plumbing and electrical wiring, but this is not always possible.

As soon as you choose the location of your new basement bathroom, you will need to make design considerations:

  1. Would you like a full or a half bath?
  2. Do you want a double vanity?
  3. Do you want a walk-in shower and/or a tub? Having a shower downstairs makes sense if you are also building a guest room. It can be a bit chilly, so some people opt to skip the tub.

Regardless of whether you have experience installing bathrooms in your home, underground plumbing is best left to the pros. Mistakes are much more difficult and expensive to replace than above-ground plumbing.

Are You Ready to Remodel?

As you can see, a basement remodel is a much bigger project than most DIY/weekend warriors are equipped to handle. If not done properly, mistakes could be very costly and dangerous. It’s best to leave it to licensed, insured, and experienced professional contractors. Contact the pros at Basements & Bars to assess your basement for waterproofing technology, electrical, HVAC, insulation, plumbing, and framing. Otherwise you are taking on a big risk and possibly throwing your money down the drain.

finished basement construction.
Written by sitecontrol

Start Strong with Basement Finishing Preparation

Start With a Strong Foundation

A basement remodel is a guaranteed way to increase your home’s value while turning an unused space into a beautiful additional living area for your family. When planning for a remodel it’s easy to jump straight to the end product of how you ultimately want to use your newly finished basement and the changes you’ll need to make to the existing space to achieve it. But when it comes to a space like a basement, there’s a lot of prep work you’ll need to complete before any major changes can be made.

Although it may not be the exciting changes you are hoping to see, the initial basement prep is necessary in order to start your remodel on a strong foundation that will hold up for many years and save you from any future pains or costs.

The Initial Steps

Basements are the most flexible room in your home and can be fit exactly to your needs and lifestyle while providing additional living space. However, it’s important to not take any shortcuts when it comes to basement finishing. The initial steps are the most important to the longevity of your space.

In order to be fully prepared for your basement remodel, be sure to cover these key areas:

Water Proofing

No one wants a wet basement. Whether you have had previous issues with flooding or leaks in the past, you will want to identify and address any existing or potential water issues before you dive into your remodel.

If water often pools in your yard when it rains, take the time now to grade your lawn away from your foundation to ensure that water can’t pool there and threaten your basement. It may also be beneficial to install a vapor barrier for your walls and floor if you haven’t already planned to do so. Vapor barriers help to keep any unwanted moisture from reaching your walls and installation as well as keeping your basement insulated and warm during chilly winter months.

Crack Repair

Another thing to look out for before you begin your remodel is cracks in your foundation. It is very common for cracks to form in your home’s foundation after it’s built due to rigidity and other various reasons. However, these aren’t something you should ignore. A small crack may seem like a minor issue, but over time these cracks can expand to cause you future headaches that can be extremely costly.

Egress Windows

If you don’t have them already, make sure your remodel includes egress windows in the itinerary. Egress windows are large openings that offer a secondary exit in case of an emergency, and basement bedrooms and living spaces such as offices, TV rooms, or workshops are required to have them.

There are a few more requirements in terms of egress windows stated by the International Residential Code that state basement windows must have:

  • An opening width of at least 20 inches.
  • An opening height of at least 24 inches.
  • A net clear opening of at least 821 square inches—or 5.7 square feet.
  • A sill no more than 44 inches off the floor

Since egress windows are a requirement, it is necessary to install them at the initial stages of your basement finishing preparation, but you will be grateful for them in the long run. Not only are they added safety measures, but they can also add more natural light and make your basement feel more inviting.

Are You Ready to Build?

If you are ready to start building the basement of your dreams, contact Basements & Bars! We offer waterproofing, crack repair, and egress window installation services which allow our team of experts to be able to work with you every step of the basement finishing process to turn your dreams into reality.

For more information or to set up your free consultation, visit our website or call (314)-550-9160.

Written by sitecontrol

Basement Offices to Separate Work From Home

Setting the Boundary

For many years, it was most common to work outside of the home, but now, as times change with the impact of COVID-19, workers around the world are finding themselves working from home. This may be the new normal for many workers, but just because you have made the switch, it doesn’t mean your home has.

It’s important to still keep your personal home life separate from your work schedule. Having a designated space to work helps to enforce a separate work from home boundary. Unfortunately, not all of us have spare rooms in the house to dedicate to work-related purposes. However, many homes have basement spaces that, with just a little work from professionals, could serve as the perfect home office.

The First Steps

Preparing your home for your new basement office may require a bit more than your typical room renovation. In order to create your new basement office, you have to ensure that the space is structurally sound. This includes sealing any cracks, waterproofing the space, or potentially moving HVAC, plumbing, or other infrastructure to accommodate.

It’s important to make sure that the area you choose for your office is suitable. Which is why you need to take into consideration all traditional office aspects. This space will accommodate business furniture and equipment such as computers, communications lines, including the internet and an independent phone line, and so on.

Key Elements to Turn Your Home Into An Office

When designing your new basement home office, you want to make sure it fits all of your job needs just like a typical office. However, since it is in your home, you are able to make certain customizations to tailor your space into the home office of your dreams.

Here are some of the most common essential features included in basement offices:


While the home is where the heart is, it is also full of distractions. Soundproofing your basement office seals you from any outside noise or temptations that may spring up throughout the day. This provides you with a more secluded, professional environment that allows you to focus on your work while the rest of your family, pets, and or roommates can go about their day without interrupting your schedule.

Comfortable Seating:

Being in the comfort of your own home may be one of the biggest perks of the switch from in office to work from home. When designing your basement office, you don’t want to lose this advantage. From advanced desk chairs, designed to provide proper support for long hours in a seated position, to armchairs or sofas, seating can provide a place to take a break or conduct business more comfortably.

Ample Desk Space:

Having a designated desk space that is comfortable and accommodating is crucial when planning your new basement office. There are a wide variety of desks available including the standard writing desk, standing desks, foldable desks, and l-shaped desks. Since you will spend most of your workday here, this is a decision you don’t want to rush. Take the time to research your options so that your desk best suits your needs!

Adequate Storage:

Staying organized and having a good filing system helps you to stay on track and keep peace of mind knowing where all your important documentation is stored. By including a variety of open and closed shelving, cubbies, and file drawers,your basement office is equipped to easily store any and all documents you may need. Additionally, if you work with sensitive information, you can include locked storage to keep important information secure.

Good Lighting:

Good lighting is a critical part of having a productive workspace. Harsh artificial lighting can drain your energy when you need it most during the workday. So it’s important to have a well lit space to help ward off seasonal depression, provide a boost of Vitamin D, and counteract the negative effects of artificial lighting on the body. Adding larger basement windows around the new home office will vastly improve the feel of the space as well.

Additional Amenities

We’ve covered some of the basics you should consider when creating your home office, but the possibilities are endless. Since it is your home, the design of your basement office is completely up to you. Having some additional amenities help to keep your workspace separate from family areas so that you can stay focused and on track.

Here are some additional amenities you might consider for your custom basement office:

  • Attached Kitchenette
  • Private Bathroom
  • Lounge Area
  • Tea/Coffee Bar
  • Surround Sound Speakers

Are You Ready to Build?

If you have recently made the work from home switch and are looking to build the perfect basement office, contact Basements & Bars! Our team of experts will work with you every step of the process to create the perfect basement office tailored to your needs and desires.

For more information or to set up your free consultation, visit our website or call (314)-550-9160.