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 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.