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

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.