4 Elements of a Great Basement Entertainment Area

Design Build Home Improvement Contracting – Basement Recreation Room

 

Looking for ideas on what to include in your brand new basement entertainment area? Whether your basement is large or small, there are plenty of options on how to make it great for entertainment. When remodeling your basement for entertaining, here are four elements to include to make it a truly great retreat for your family and guests.

 

Space for Pool/Billiards, Ping Pong, and Other Tabletop Games

 

A basement entertainment area doesn’t seem complete without a pool table. Billiards are one of the most popular games played in basements, so why not have one in yours? Is pool not your thing? Having a ping pong table in the basement is another great idea. Believe it or not, basement ping pong even has its own rules!

 

Want both games but don’t have the space? You could get a convertible pool table or ping pong table. Not only could you go back and forth between pool and ping pong, but you could even have air hockey or other surfaces for other games. When designing your basement entertainment space, be sure to keep this area of flexibility in mind.

 

TV/Entertainment Center

 

Sometimes you just want to kick back and watch a movie or a favorite show. Basement home theaters are more popular than ever today. You could also build in a gaming center with consoles such as XBox and Playstation. There are many different ways to build a basement entertainment center. You can build it on a budget, or you can go all out by adding soundproofing for a true theater experience! Your contractor can provide you with all of the options.

 

Bar & Sink

 

Basement bars are one of the most sought after entertaining areas for the home. They can be big or small, with a little or a lot of seating. Any basement bar should be complete with a sink and probably at least a small fridge. You could even make space for a dishwasher if you’re planning on having lots of guests. Ask your contractor what would work best for your home.

 

Bathroom with Possible Shower Stall

 

Extra bathrooms are welcome in any house. Who wants to run upstairs for a bathroom break? If games of ping pong get particularly competitive in your home, you may want a hot shower afterward. In that case, it’s not hard to have your contractor install a shower stall. Just be sure to have the necessary plumbing!

 

While not every basement may have room for all four of these elements, a great basement remodeler will work with you to create a basement entertainment area that you won’t believe is actually inside of your own home!

Basement Home Office

Running a business out of your home? Whether it’s part-time or full-time, you’ve probably found yourself wanting for a dedicated space that won’t be invaded by other parts of your life. Sometimes, a spare bedroom or random nook in the home becomes a designated office space. But more often than not, an office is usually the dining room table or shoved off in a corner or against a wall in a bedroom or den. The best solution is often a basement home office.

basement-home-officeThere are a few ways to approach a basement home office. In some cases, you may run a business where it may be useful to have clients visit you at your home. But you want a designated space that can be made separate from the rest of your house. If you have an easily accessible outdoor entry to your basement, you may consider this as an ideal location for a home office. You can then close it off from the rest of the home except for a door that you can lock so people don’t wander around your house. You may even decide to have a small half-bath or powder room off of the office. Not only does this make for a great convenience for you, but also for potential clients.

What if you don’t have an easy outdoor access? This doesn’t really matter if you don’t care if clients are going to be visiting you. If it’s just a private office, you can really put it anywhere that makes the most sense based on the layout of your home. The primary things that you need in any home office are sufficient electrical outlets, a strong internet connection (wifi is best), and enough space to store a computer, accessories, file cabinets, and any other materials to which you need consistent access. Also, you want plenty of lighting. Natural light is always best. Try not to make it too harsh, as this isn’t good for anyone’s eyes.

Beyond the obvious usefulness of a dedicated office space, you can even get a federal income tax deduction in the United States if you use the space for business on a regular basis. It’s based on your net business income, and can greatly offset the costs of actually operating the home office. Especially if you are in business for yourself, this is a very useful way of absorbing some of your expenses. It may only be a few hundred or a couple thousand dollars, but every dollar counts. This is one major reason why having a dedicated space that you can properly measure in square footage is so helpful. Of course, you need to make sure that your space qualifies, and Investopedia has some good advice regarding the home office tax deduction qualifications.

As far as resale value, they only pay back about 50 percent of what they cost to construct. But if you make it large enough, add a closet and enough natural light, you could later market it as a spare bedroom. It all depends on the buyer and a designated office space can even be a solid selling point. Whether it’s to save a bit of money on your taxes or just to avoid the headaches of sharing house space with the rest of your life, a home office is a solid investment.

Shrewsbury Homeowner asks: Laminate, Natural, or Engineered Stone Countertops?

Granite countertops are still the most popular choice among homeowners doing kitchen remodels. Even though many other options exist on today’s market, the natural charm and uniqueness of granite slabs continue to wow homeowners and potential homebuyers alike.

Five Potential Uses for an Unfinished Basement

 

It may seem like there’s a disadvantage to a basement being unfinished when a home is purchased. However, the good thing about starting with an unfinished basement is the fact that there’s  a clean slate. This means you have more options to choose from than if your basement were already finished. Since basements can increase the value of your home, as well as be a great place for a variety of activities, the possibilities are endless. There are many directions to consider and many ways to use an unfinished basement. Here are five of them.

Recreation Area

Many people choose to remodel an unfinished basement for recreational use. This could be something like a family game room or exercise area. Some might choose a plan that’s more involved, such as a family movie theater with a built-in sound system. Yet others might be more set on a party area with a built-in wet bar for serving drinks to friends. A Shrewsbury Design Build team can help you come up with a plan that works for your personal needs.

Extra Bedroom Space

Shrewsbury basement remodels often involve adding more bedroom space to an unfinished basement. Large families may find this will give them more room to feel comfortable. Some people will use the extra bedroom space for guests. Others may choose to create this extra bedroom space to garner additional rental income. Any of these options can help increase home value.

Utility and Storage

A common use for unfinished basements is extra storage space. You can take it one step further by having a space designed specifically for tools and other household utility items. For people with a large amount of storage, utilities, and tools, this can be a lifesaver. Utility storage rooms help prevent loss of time from searching the house and digging in unorganized boxes for the things you use but only need once in a while.

Workshop

For those who do use their tools every day, a workshop might be more appropriate. While some use their garages for this purpose, others may want to save that space for their vehicles instead. Transforming an unfinished basement into a workshop can help give you a more spread out and organized space to store tools and work on DIY projects. This can be especially handy for plumbers and other professionals that may have a large amount of tools and may need an area to prep certain items, such as pipes.

Office Space

Tired of trying to cram your work area into one side of your bedroom or living room? Perhaps that unfinished basement can be used for an office space instead. Whether you run your own business out of your home, need a place to organize family bills, or you work out of your home for another company, having a separate office area can help keep things in order. A basement remodeling expert can help make sure that your new office is up to code and is designed for your exact usage.

 

Basement Remodeling For Older Homes

Many older homes have basements that have remained unfinished from the day the house was built. These were meant only as a place to keep the mechanical guts of the house, such as heating and cooling systems and other utilities. But with additional living space a priority for today’s homeowners, it’s important to get any usable square footage that you can, and the basement is usually the best place to get that. When it comes to older basements, it’s important to understand that there may be a good deal of preparation required to make the space liveable.

Moisture and Mold

One of the most common issues with basements in older homes is that they can be damp. Because of excess moisture, they can even become breeding grounds for mold. Moisture issues can occur simply due to not having the proper waterproofing material installed below ground. Older stone or brick foundations commonly have this problem. Even concrete block foundations with older waterproofing and draining systems may need to be fixed to make them functional again. Before the basement finishing even begins, make sure that water isn’t regularly entering the basement. Also, if mold has become an issue, remediation must happen before continuing any basement remodel.

Grading Issues for Water Runoff

It’s also important to note that many homes built prior to 1940 were not built to have sufficient grading for water runoff. Improper grading can lead to standing water next to your foundation, eventually leading to cracks in the foundation and other problems. Even if your home is newer than that, you still need to be wary of any signs of foundation damage. Before you go about finishing your basement, any foundation issues must be repaired. If these foundation problems do exist, you may have to look into installing foundation drain tile (a requirement in many newer building codes) or even as far as grading your yard to prevent future water drainage issues. Proper gutters and downspouts are a must, as well, as they can tend to be one of the major factors in water pooling too close to the house.

Proper Insulation and Moisture-Resistant Materials a Must

Once any existing moisture or mold issues are resolved. Any wood framing should be treated to resist moisture. Also, mold and mildew resistant drywall should be used, and vapor barriers and insulation need to be properly installed. In addition, This Old House recommends basement subflooring which creates air gaps below the floor using corrugated or cleated plastic panels that typically come in 2×2 foot interlocking panels. This plastic acts as an additional moisture barrier which will help keep the finishing flooring dry.

Health and Safety Concerns

Air quality is a main concern when remodeling an older basement. Beyond existing mold, there is the potential for radon particles in the air. Radon can be easily tested for and dealt with before any finishing work is underway, as once finishing is done, existing radon can become trapped. While it is a radioactive gas, radon typically doesn’t exist in the air in enough amount to cause any problem. But if it is allowed to build up to toxic levels, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon typically is an issue when it comes to older stone foundations and extra radon can seep in through cracks in concrete floors. This is an important consideration when finishing your basement, as it is yet another thing that must be dealt with immediately.

Other important concerns that need to be keep in mind include old or faulty electrical work, proper entrance and egress, smoke & carbon monoxide detectors, and adequate ventilation. Checking local municipal building codes for any other requirements is a must, as well.

Finishing basements in older homes can do a lot for your home, not only giving you additional living space, but ensuring that your home’s foundation is protected from long-term damage. It also makes certain that your home is safe from air quality issues such as mold or radon. Not to mention, basement remodels greatly increase the value of your home.

 

Turn Your Basement Into an Indoor Sports Gym

Looking for time and space so you can play your favorite sports year-round? Not enough commitment or desire to run back and forth from local sports gyms? Try repurposing your basement space to create an indoor sports gym. Which sports you include are up to you. Some ideas include an indoor basketball court, an indoor football field, boxing area, fencing area, martial arts area, mini golf, and more. Be creative, as well as practical when choosing the sports that work best for your home.

Finding a  Reputable Contractor

The first step in creating your indoor sports gym is finding a reputable remodeling  contractor, such as Remodel Werks. A licensed contractor who is experienced in basement remodels is necessary for this kind of project. Permits will need to be pulled and any construction needs to be up to code. Experience is also important, due to the fact that specific materials need to be used for flooring and other aspects of a project, such as this one.

Decide Which Sports to Accomodate

How much space do you have? Discuss with your contractor what’s possible and choose the number of your favorite sports that will work for the area. Consider what you’re most likely to play, as well as what friends and family would participate in. Many people choose sports like bowling, mini golf, swimming, or basketball. However, a basement sports gym can be remodeled to include just about any sport.

Consider Usage, Space, and Lifestyle

When planning for your new basement sports gym, think about the way you intend to use it. Should it be designed for mostly your own personal use, for a family, or for a large number of friends? Will you need an extra living space or a place to relax, in addition to the sports area? Discuss your lifestyle, as well as the space available with your licensed contractor. Together, you can come up with something that incorporates various aspects of your lifestyle and usage of the space.

Remember Small Details

Whether it’s the type of flooring you prefer, a question about something your contractor suggested, or a change that seems tiny, communication is key. Keep a notebook with every detail, both large and small. This will help you remember the small details you’d like to discuss and have incorporated. Mention these items as soon as you can for the best results. Even small details are important to factor into the whole equation and can make all the difference in a successful outcome.

Enjoy Your Home Sports Gym

Once you and your contractor have discussed the way things should go and everyone has a clear picture, construction can begin. This is an exciting phase of remodeling, as you can see your dream coming together. As soon as this process is complete, the only thing left to do is enjoy your new home sports gym. Be sure to invite your favorite people over to show it off too…err, play your favorite sports with.

Call your contractor today to discover the possibilities of creating a home sports gym in your basement.

 

Breaking Ground in Your Remodel Project Before Winter

 

Wintertime doesn’t have to ruin your remodel project. However, there are some steps you should take when you’re close to winter and in the process of a rehab. Breaking ground before the cold weather hits is essential. Doing so helps avoid costly delays and issues further along in the process. The hardest part about remodeling in the winter is getting the ground to cooperate. There are actually many reasons why it’s important to get started well in advance of those colder months.

Cold Ground is Difficult for Several Reasons

Digging is possible in colder weather, but of course, it will be much easier when the ground is not solid or covered in snow or ice. While digging may be possible, some other things may not work well in the colder weather and require waiting for the ground to become softer. Freezing temperatures can also create other problems, such as with concrete. It will not set properly below specific temperatures. Plumbing is another problem area when it comes to cold weather, as pipes can freeze and break. Anything related to water should be handled above freezing temperatures.

Stay Closer to Budget

Untimely delays and unexpected issues can sometimes eat into the budget. Breaking ground before winter can help avoid some of this. Help things stay on track by getting ahead of the colder weather and communicating openly with your contractor about all concerns and changes as quickly as possible. If you simply must do the remodel during the winter months, have your contractor complete the major outdoor and plumbing work done before the cold hits. Your contractor may need to put some things on hold if the work is started too late. Also, some things that are possible during cold weather may be more costly, due to the extra efforts required.

Certain Aspects May Be Put on Hold if You Wait

By hiring your licensed contractor to break ground before the colder months, you’ll avoid costly or inconvenient delays. Some things may need to be put on hold if it’s especially cold. For instance, it’s not a good idea to pour concrete when temperatures are below freezing point. If you have a bigger project, it’s wise to first take care of anything that requires working on areas that are exposed to elements. In most instances, these things would likely be first anyhow. However, if the contractor is not hired in time to complete them before cold weather, this is where the delays can come in.

Finish Faster Before Winter

One benefit to breaking ground before winter is the possibility of getting a project finished more quickly. When you aren’t worried about the weather, things are able to move along much faster. This isn’t to say things will always be perfect when it isn’t winter, as unexpected things are possible in any remodeling project. This could be due to unexpected discoveries, changes in materials or design, and more. However, avoiding cold weather can certainly eliminate a large variety of issues from the equation.

Indoor Sports Gym and Work-Out Rooms

Looking for time and space so you can play your favorite sports year-round? Not enough commitment or desire to run back and forth from local sports gyms? Try repurposing your basement space to create an indoor sports gym. Which sports you include are up to you. Some ideas include an indoor basketball court, an indoor football field, boxing area, fencing area, martial arts area, mini golf, and more. Be creative, as well as practical when choosing the sports that work best for your home.

Finding a Reputable Contractor

The first step in creating your indoor sports gym is finding a reputable remodeling  contractor, such as RemodelWerks. A licensed contractor who is experienced in basement remodels is necessary for this kind of project. Permits will need to be pulled and any construction needs to be up to code. Experience is also important, due to the fact that specific materials need to be used for flooring and other aspects of a project, such as this one.

Decide Which Sports to Accomodate

How much space do you have? Discuss with your contractor what’s possible and choose the number of your favorite sports that will work for the area. Consider what you’re most likely to play, as well as what friends and family would participate in. Many people choose sports like bowling, mini golf, swimming, or basketball. However, a basement sports gym can be remodeled to include just about any sport.

Consider Usage, Space, and Lifestyle

When planning for your new basement sports gym, think about the way you intend to use it. Should it be designed for mostly your own personal use, for a family, or for a large number of friends? Will you need an extra living space or a place to relax, in addition to the sports area? Discuss your lifestyle, as well as the space available with your licensed contractor. Together, you can come up with something that incorporates various aspects of your lifestyle and usage of the space.

Remember Small Details

Whether it’s the type of flooring you prefer, a question about something your contractor suggested, or a change that seems tiny, communication is key. Keep a notebook with every detail, both large and small. This will help you remember the small details you’d like to discuss and have incorporated. Mention these items as soon as you can for the best results. Even small details are important to factor into the whole equation and can make all the difference in a successful outcome.

Enjoy Your Home Sports Gym

Once you and your contractor have discussed the way things should go and everyone has a clear picture, construction can begin. This is an exciting phase of remodeling, as you can see your dream coming together. As soon as this process is complete, the only thing left to do is enjoy your new home sports gym. Be sure to invite your favorite people over to show it off too…err, play your favorite sports with.

Call your contractor today to discover the possibilities of creating a home sports gym in your basement.

 

Benefits of an Efficiency Apartment in Your Basement

There are many reasons homeowners may decide on turning their basement into an efficiency apartment. Whether it’s for financial security in alternative income purposes, for the comfort of family, or to entertain guests, learn why you might love the benefits of an efficiency apartment in your basement.

Extra Rental Income

Use your extra basement rooms to your advantage by making a great space for renters. An efficiency apartment can easily provide a lasting income option. When planning your basement rooms, think of it as it’s own separate home. This will help ensure it becomes an apartment your renters will love. Your licensed contractor can help with this aspect. If you ever decide to sell your home, having an efficiency apartment could add value to your home and make it easier to sell.

Nicer Guest Room Space

When family and friends visit, it’s nice to have a place to put them, other than the couch. Giving them a space they can call their own while visiting will help them feel more welcome. Putting the guest quarters in the basement leaves more room for creativity and space. Imagine how comfortable your guests will be with their own apartment. At a later date, when you no longer have guests, you might opt to rent out the efficiency apartment for extra income.

Private Area for Aging Parents

Much like the guest area, aging parents would be happy with their own separate area. As parents grow old, they sometimes need extra care or have other reasons to be closer to loved ones. At the same time, they are adults and may want to feel independent. An efficiency apartment gives them the best of both of worlds. They can have their privacy, yet still have loved ones close by, if needed. If caregiving is needed, that could easily be you. If a professional caregiver is required, the separate space would likely make it easier. Even if your parents don’t require caregiving, it may still be a good idea to keep them close, for family or personal reasons.

Private Area for Older Children

When your children grow older, they may crave and even need their own space. Some may enjoy the efficiency apartment in teenage years, while others may be thankful to have it during college or tough times in adulthood. You may find both to true for your family. When you have an efficiency apartment in your basement, it helps ensure your kids will always have a place to come to if they need it. This should give everyone some peace of mind.

Professional Office For Home-Based Business

Do you run your own business or work in a business that requires a professional space to meet with clients or customers? An efficiency apartment can be a great space to use for this purpose. This would help cut down on commuting costs, as well as the cost of renting an office space or storefront. Having this space in your basement keeps you close to home, while still keeping g the business space separate from the living space.

Shrewsbury Remodelers Use Digital Media to Boost Customer Satisfaction

The demand for remodeling services in Shrewsbury has risen significantly over the last couple of years. Kermit Baker, a director for Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard said that recent data shows the need for remodeling services may surpass the peak in 2007. Competition is increasingly in line with the market, which is forcing remodelers to leverage new digital media to improve the quality of the services that they provide.

How Will Digital Technology Affect the Remodeling Industry?

Since the Massachusetts remodeling industry is on the verge of rapid market growth, contractors must offer their services more efficiently and find more effective ways to reach customers. There are a number of ways that they are taking advantage of new technology to reach their goals.

Bruce Case, president of Case Design/Remodeling, told CNBC that social media has been a very effective outlet for reaching new customers. “Most of us got into this remodeling business because we love the smell of sawdust, we love design, we’re passionate about homes,” said Case. “Now we have to be experts in social media and all these other platforms.”

Social media isn’t just more efficient for finding new leads. It is also becoming essential for earning trust and bidding against other competitors. Consumers have abandoned using the Yellow Page and started turning to platforms such as Yelp and Houzz to locate contractors. There are a number of reasons these websites are preferable to the old Yellow Pages:

  • Contractors can update their information immediately, which makes it easier for customers to reach them.
  • Customers can view feedback from other homeowners, which helps them choose the right contractor.
  • These websites can be accessed on any device in a matter of seconds.

These websites are clearly simplifying life for both homeowners and contractors throughout Massachusetts. They are even playing an important role for the remodeling industry in Shrewsbury and the surrounding area. There are currently 406 contractors in the area listed on Yelp. Feedback among prior customers shows that the quality of these remodelers varies considerably, so these sites make it much easier for customers to make unequivocal comparisons.

At Remodel Werks, we have found that sites such as Houzz have been especially beneficial. They have helped us draw more qualified leads, so we can work with the clients that are the best fit. We have also received great reviews from previous customers such as this:

“We would highly recommend Remodelwerks. Joe and his crew created a fantastic entertainment room in our basement. We are very pleased with the result, and our kids and their friends love this new, appealing space of their own. Mark and Ron did the majority of the work. These guys are hardworking, skilled, and professional. It was a pleasure having them in our home. Remodelwerks attended to every detail, and Joe did an excellent job of designing and coordinating the project. He was at our home regularly to check on progress and kept us informed about the schedule. We will definitely hire Remodelwerks for future projects.”

Since people are highly influenced by feedback from other customers, we appreciate receiving such reviews. They prove that we take pride in the work that we deliver to our customers.