Ideas for Finishing Your Basement

Ideas for Finishing Your Basement

Thinking About Finishing Your Basement?

Creating the Room You Want Out of the Basement You Have

If you are looking to expand your living space without moving, finishing your basement is an excellent idea. To get your basement renovation started, you need to first evaluate your basement for its moisture levels, ceiling height and overall stability. Once you know what you are working with, you need to decide how you want to use the extra space: maybe a functional workshop, a cozy family rec-room, or a luxury entertainment room. Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers can you help you with the planning, installation and the finishing touches for all of your basement remodeling needs.

Evaluating Your Basement Moisture Levels, Height & Stability

Ceiling Height

Before putting time, money and effort into remodeling your basement, you need to first figure out your basement’s potential. First, measure the floor to ceiling height. Eight to nine feet of clearance is optimal for the best results.

Moisture Levels

Next you need to measure your basement’s moisture levels. Is the humidity below 60%? Even after a rainstorm in the hot summer months? If the walls or the floors have dark moisture spots, or if they feel damp to the touch, you might want to look into adding a moisture barrier. If your basement is just a little musty in general, a correctly sized dehumidifier can fix the problem easily.

Unexpected Flooding

Since your basement is the lowest point of your house, you should also consider a plan B to protect your basement flooring against any unexpected flooding. If you have a large source of water, such as a water heater, washing machine or boiler, check to see if they’re sitting in pans. Is there a wet room, such as a kitchen or bathroom, over your finished space that could potentially overflow? Installing a drain with a sump pump in a far corner of your basement and choosing appropriate flooring as a preventative measure can prevent potential problems.

Flat & Level Floor

Finally, check the overall level and stability of your basement floors. Does your floor have any cracks that would indicate shifting? What about high or low spots? The more effort you put in to making your basement floor flat, dry, and insulated, the nicer the finished flooring will turn out and the longer it will last.

Leveling the floor with cement-based floor leveling materials or laying a subfloor of 2X4s and plywood can correct most imperfections and create the stability necessary for tile or wood flooring. An even better solution are subfloor panels that have both insulation and a moisture barrier integrated in the system.

Choosing Your Flooring by Budget & Type of Space

Functional Basement Workspace

If you have low ceilings, high humidity levels and a cracked, uneven concrete floor, your best bet is to create a functional workspace in your basement. There are many waterproof flooring options that are cheap, easy to clean and easily replaceable in case of unforeseen problems.

Epoxy paint is a great choice. Costing around only 35$ per gallon, the paint will seal the concrete and make cleaning easy with a wet-vac. Another options is waterproof vinyl tile flooring that snaps together. This type of flooring is nice looking, soft underfoot, and can be removed and put back down if water gets underneath. Indoor/outdoor carpet is also affordable and replaceable if it gets damaged. Tile is ideal, however: just shop-vac and set up air movers in the event of flooding — nothing to replace.

Family Rec Room

If your basement has a little bit of headroom and is relatively dry, you might want to put a little more time and energy into creating a cozy, welcoming space. There are many inexpensive flooring options that will help create a comfortable and inviting ambiance. Carpet squares that can be laid over a subfloor will definitely be soft and warm underfoot. These squares can easily be changed out if they are damaged. Another good choice is engineered wood flooring. Unfortunately, it won’t survive a flood, but it can handle some humidity without bowing or discoloring like traditional hardwood flooring, making it a good choice for most basements. Finally, you might consider luxury vinyl flooring that can mimic wood, stone and marble to perfection for merely 4$ a square foot.

For a Fabulous Finished Basement…

It is time to call Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers. They have the experience and design flair you need to create the basement of your dreams. Whether you prefer modern or traditional styling, they can recommend the best materials for walls, trim and flooring that will withstand moisture and complement your furnishings, ensuring that your finished basement is beautiful and designed to last.

Posted in: Remodeling

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9 Requirements of a Quality Tile Installer

9 Requirements of a Quality Tile Installer

A skilled tile installer – particularly a Certified Tile Installer (CTI) – will:

  1. Use the correct methods and materials for installing
    tile products.
  2. Use premium bonding materials.
  3. Carefully control site conditions.
  4. Ensure that the installation will be on a flat surface.
  5. Ensure that the installation surface is rigid.
  6. Know to use a crack isolation membrane when
    necessary.
  7. Pay attention to industry standards for minimum mortar
    coverage.
  8. Know to use movement accommodation joints for
    temperature and humidity variations.
  9. Plan for adequate curing time before exposing the
    installation to moisture, traffic, temperature changes or
    overlaying products.

Pay close attention to the above to ensure that your tile installation is a Quality Tile Installation.
You could waste time searching for a tile installer that meets these qualifications, or you could call Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers and rest assured that your project is in good hands!

Posted in: Tile

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DIY vs. Professional: 3 Questions to Ask Before Any Project

DIY vs. Professional: 3 Questions to Ask Before Any Project

Changing out the leaky faucets in your master bathroom doesn’t look so hard. After a couple of hours watching tutorials on YouTube and a trip to the hardware store, you are feeling pretty confident about this do-it-yourself project. However, once you get started, you quickly realize that the faucets aren’t the only improvement needed in the bathroom—your plumbing looks pretty outdated, too. That’s a bit more than you planned for.

There is a big difference between sprucing up a room with a coat of paint and tearing down an entire wall, and that difference usually lies in skill, experience, knowledge, and training. How do you know if you can handle a project yourself or if you should hire a professional?

Some simple DIY projects that many people decide to take on themselves include:

  • Painting
  • Basic landscaping
  • Adding storage to a closet, laundry room, or mudroom
  • Installing new light fixtures
  • Resurfacing or painting cabinets

Other more complex projects that may require a professional include:

  • Tearing out carpet and installing floors
  • Tearing down walls
  • Exterior painting
  • Roof repair or replacement
  • Replacing heating, cooling, electrical, or plumbing systems
  • Installing new windows or doors

Even with this list as a basic guide, it can still be challenging to know if the next project on your list is perfect for your capable hands or better left to an experienced professional. Here are a few questions to ask to find the answer.

Do I have the confidence and knowledge to do this safely?

There is a first time for everything. Homeowners shouldn’t be afraid to try something new, but it’s important to understand what the project entails and how that lines up with your ability to carry out the project safely. Do your research. Read books, watch videos, and talk to professionals to see if you feel you can replace your kitchen counters on your own without causing any harm to yourself, those helping, and your kitchen. If you still have questions, bring in a contractor for a quote. Comparing the costs of a DIY or a professional job can help you make the right decision.

Do I have the time to commit to this project?

While you may have plenty of knowledge and experience, it’s equally important to know if you have the time. Will the bathroom sit there half painted for a month, or can you complete this project in a weekend? For the sanity of the rest of your household, it’s critical you know how long essential areas will be unavailable. If going the DIY route means water will need to be shut off or kitchen appliances unusable for an extended period of time, consider if hiring a professional will cut down on the time for those inconveniences.

Do I have the necessary equipment?

In the beginning, tackling a project yourself might seem like the less expensive option, but a lot of that depends on the tools and equipment you need to complete the job. If you have to purchase or rent tools, will that outweigh the costs you save by sidestepping a professional? If you do have to buy power tools, such as new drills, saws, sanders, routers, or impact drivers, do you know how to safely use them? Also, remember that equipment isn’t just about what you use—it’s also about what you wear. If you will be working with power tools or hazardous chemicals, you may need specific protective covering for your hands, eyes, and even lungs. These costs can quickly add up and often don’t make financial sense if you only plan on using these tools once.

Every DIY project is subjective to the person taking on the majority of the work. If you have the skills but lack the passion, there is a higher risk of the project going unfinished. If you are excited to take on a new project, you might burn out quickly if your skills aren’t up to the task. Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers can help you achieve your vision. For a free consultation contact us today. However, if you have even the basic skills, enthusiasm, and a commitment to safety, planning and completing a simple DIY home improvement project can be very rewarding.

 

Article by Danny Knight, Fix it Dads
Photo by Pixabay

 

Posted in: Remodeling

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How to Conceal Evidence of a Pet When Selling Your Home

How to Conceal Evidence of a Pet When Selling Your Home

Proud dog owners believe that their pets are a part of their homes and, as such, are okay to show to prospective buyers along with the bathroom, kitchen, and the hardwood flooring. In truth, realtors routinely recommend that homeowners should do everything they can to conceal from buyers the fact that a dog or cat lives there. It’s an ironic fact that even other dog owners are apt to make negative assumptions about the condition of your home if they know you have a pet. It’s an attitude rooted in the desire to purchase a home that’s as free as possible of deep-seated problems that a buyer may have to resolve later on. It can be a real challenge to hide your pet’s presence, especially if he has left his mark on your home over the years. Often, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look and what to look for, and following a few simple guidelines for as long as your home is on the market.

Get rid of the evidence

As a pet owner, you no doubt have fought a long and difficult battle against the buildup of hair and stained carpeting over the years. This is the kind of unmistakable evidence that a potential buyer can’t help but notice, and which will almost certainly leave them with a negative impression of your property. Vacuum your floors and upholstered furniture carefully. Check along your baseboards for accumulations of hair and pet dander. If you have hardwood floors, make sure you haven’t missed any scratches that need to be sanded out. And consider having the carpeting and upholstery professionally cleaned to get rid of any stains left behind by dog or cat urine. Get rid of any furniture your cat has used as a scratching post.

Improve your air quality

If you’ve had dogs or cats for any length of time, anyone who comes into your home for the first time will notice the unmistakable smell they leave behind. A litter box gives off a distinctive smell that can be very hard to mask, as is cigarette smoke. Realtors identify strong smells as a leading reason why buyers walk away from a house, so spend some time deodorizing before you begin showing your home. Open the windows and doors to freshen things up with some natural air flow, and consider having your carpeting (a major source of bad odors) professionally cleaned. If there are still lingering odors, there are home remedies you can try. For example, vinegar and water make an effective spray cleaner. Try laying out a bowl of vinegar overnight or some coffee beans, which are excellent at absorbing odors.

Photographic evidence

Be careful to remove the pictures of your dog. Pictures will undermine any work you’ve done to conceal your pet’s presence, as will any pictures you’ve left up on your Facebook page, so don’t forget the “virtual” evidence as well.

A little time away

Once you’ve removed evidence of your pet inside and outside of your home, you’ll need to remove him altogether while showing your house to buyers. If you don’t have a friend or family member who can watch him for a while, consider a dog boarder or hire a dog walker or sitter, who can keep your pet safe and entertained.

Staging a home for prospective buyers is all about paying careful attention to detail. And when you’re encouraging someone to purchase your house, pets are a major detail. Make sure you’ve removed all the evidence—especially your pet—when showing your home.

When all else fails

Contact Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers to help you inexpensively resolve your problem.

 

by Paul Denikin with DadKnowsDIY where he offers advice on home repair and tips for home management.
Courtesy of Pixabay

Posted in: Remodeling, Wood Flooring

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Home Improvement Projects

Home Improvement Projects

Projects that Provide the Most Bang for Your Buck

Sometimes it’s hard to decide what home improvement projects are your best investments.  Ideally, you not only want to add to the enjoyment of your home but also to your home’s value.  Here are some tips to help you make the best choices.

Kitchens and bathrooms

If you’re looking for a “sure thing” to get a good return on your investment, HGTV says that kitchen and bathroom remodels are your best bet.  In top housing markets, sellers are often able to recoup more than 100 percent of their investments.  When deciding on kitchen style, opt for natural floorings such as stone or wood, stone countertops, traditional wood cabinets, and appliances with a commercial appearance.  In the bath, installing a walk-in shower is the current trend over a jetted tub, offering a quicker cleanse to meet our culture’s on-the-go lifestyle.

Facelift

No matter how much you invest in the interior of your home, if potential buyers aren’t attracted to the exterior, you won’t get them through the door to see your great upgrades.  Choose to lift your curb appeal with a look that is inviting; adding a front porch or replacing your old siding can boost your home’s allure.

Improved efficiency

Some professionals advise energy-efficiency as a primary attraction for many buyers, especially younger ones.  Improved windows and better insulation can be a worthwhile investment in your home’s market value. Not to mention that these types of improvements can also show up as saved money on your utility bills.

Useful space

Adding a room is another great investment.  You’ll find it’s especially important if your home is short on bathrooms; for example, homes with four bedrooms and only one bath can reap big benefits with an added bathroom.  Adding general square footage to the home with anything from a sunroom, craft room or exercise room can boost a home’s value nicely, or you might consider renovating an attic into a home office or guest bedroom.  This Old House suggests opening up existing floor space to make a home more attractive; removing a kitchen island or non-load bearing wall to brighten space and enhance the flow of your home can be a great investment.

When making big changes, US News and World Report notes it’s important that your new space works well with the rest of the home.  Adding a room with a sleek, modern feel, trimmed in metal and with broad expanses of glass to take in a view can actually lower the value of a home built in a colonial style.  Remember to keep the overall look of the home in mind when making your decisions.

Maintenance concerns

It’s important to understand that most potential homebuyers will be more enticed by homes that are “move-in ready,” even if some of those nicely functioning rooms have a dated appearance.  For example, a roof that’s in dire need of replacement should take priority over upgrading a working but unattractive bathroom.

If you’re needing to get that roof into shape, it’s important to note that scammers abound in the roof repair business.  As explained by Angie’s List, “Fraudulent roofing contractors prey on vulnerable homeowners and have become increasingly bold in their tactics.”  Beware of contractors who claim to need a down payment up front, as they may take your money and run, or contractors that don’t provide firm pricing.  Some scammers even drop by after storms, claiming damage to roofs in your area from wind or hail.  Another tactic used by scammers is visiting homes door-to-door and offering a “free roof inspection,” then providing fraudulent photos of roofs or other misleading information to unsuspecting homeowners.  Beware of pushy, high-pressure salesmen, and talk with your local building department before hiring any roofers.  Good contractors should be able to provide licensing information, references, and will usually have an office you can visit.

Good choices mean improved value

See your home through the eyes of potential buyers and make upgrades that will boost your home’s appeal.  Put maintenance ahead of cosmetic improvements, and consider boosting energy efficiency.  By making good choices, investing in your home will mean getting the best value from your dollars.

 

Seth Murphy started PapaDIY to help others make their home DIY projects a success.
Image courtesy of Pixabay 

Posted in: Remodeling

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