An unfinished basement is a blank slate for a contractor. The possibilities are endless; it’s your canvas to create a masterpiece for the homeowner. Most homeowners are pretty savvy and most have done their research when it comes to a big-ticket job like a basement remodel. While others may lean more on you for design guidance. Keep these five lessons in mind as you prepare for any basement remodeling project and you’ll have happy clients.
(1) Lighting Zones: It’s a basement; it’s going to be naturally dark even with the few small windows that may exist. It’s better to offer more lighting options than not. Recessed lighting has always been an ideal choice for basements. But keep in mind that homeowners may not want to light up their entire basement like a stadium. Creating zones with dimmable lights will allow flexibility to keep some areas in the dark or dimmed, while enjoying light elsewhere.
(2) Accessible Utilities: The furnace and hot water tank will not always be tucked away in the best location. As walls are designed to box these in, keep access in mind. You don’t want to be getting cursed at years down the road when the hot water tank goes and the only way to access it is by cutting a hole in the wall. Yes, sometimes for design sake you just have to box utilities in tight. But, if the hot water tank is going to be stuck between a wall and the furnace then suggest a door install also. You’re going to have a decent size vented grate in that wall anyway, so why not just put the door in now?
(3) Storage Access: Even the most designer basements still call for some storage areas. If you don’t want to take away too much square footage with a big storage closet, how about creating several smaller ones scattered throughout the basement? Some homeowners may prefer to have separate areas to keep better organized. Just remember that a little bi-fold door may not be ideal when attempting to get bigger items in and out. Go with a standard size door when ever possible to allow for easier access.
(4) Think Water: Flooding in a finished basement will turn any homeowner’s stomach into knots. Beyond the obvious suggestions of waterproofing the foundation and installing sump pumps, a house doesn’t need to sit in a flood zone to become a victim of water damage. Even a quarter inch of water that gets in from a downspout not extended far enough out during a freak summer storm can ruin carpet. Consider using pressure treated bottom plates, or even metal studs, when framing basement walls to avoid future water problems. Many homeowners are deciding to switch to floating vinyl wood flooring that can withstand a small amount of flooding. It’s also a nice design look, and depending on the usage of the area, can hold up better over time than carpeting.
(5) Scale Down: Creativity is a huge factor when determining how best to finish a basement. You may be at a standoff with a homeowner that wants a theater area, bar, workout, storage and play areas all in 400 square feet of space. A scaled down version of some requests may be just the trick. What if a long countertop with cabinets below could fill the dead space under the staircase? It’s not the freestanding bar they want, but could be a great compromise for the space. You might even fit a bar sink in there so it doesn’t just look like a fancy storage area. Maybe there’s a way to safely incorporate both a workout section and kid’s play area together.
Regardless of the scope of your project, Scrail® fasteners save time and labor costs! You can use Scrail® almost anywhere ordinary screws are used. Scrail® collated fasteners are the incredibly versatile fasteners that can be driven with a pneumatic nailer at a rate twice as fast as collated screws and eight times faster than bulk screws.
Enjoy dramatically increased holding power versus nails, while gaining the added benefit of easy adjustment and quick removal. Customers can rely upon Scrail® fasteners to have the bite to hold strong, without callbacks to fix a squeak or a nail pop. We want your next project to go as smoothly as possible and invite you to watch our Scrail® Time-Trial Competition video to see the difference for yourself.