The Key To Success Is Choosing The Right Basement Remodeler

Are you ready to tackle an outdated or unfinished basement? You don’t need a good remodeler, you need a good basement remodeler. Here’s how to find a pro with the experience to solve dampness, lack of light, low ceilings and other basement challenges to create fresh, healthy, family-friendly living space.
Lots of remodelers will tell you they’re basement remodelers. But do they really have the expertise to solve the structural, environmental and comfort challenges necessary to make a basement “all that it can be?” Here are tips for making sure they do!

Assess their basement remodeling “IQ.” A good basement remodeler will be able to suggest specialty products that can make all the difference in how well your remodeled space will look and feel. Heated floors, for example, can take away the cold, damp feel not only of basement floors but of the entire lower-level living space. So, as you interview a potential basement remodeler, ask tough questions about what they recommend for everything from sealing out moisture to dealing with any mold or mildew that may presently exist and what they will do to prevent moisture, mold and mildew problems in the future.

Look for extra creativity. Basements typically have tiny windows, low ceilings and lots of infrastructure — ductwork, beams, furnace, hot water heater, etc. Given these challenges, you want to look for a remodeler who can apply an extra level of functional innovation and design creativity to your basement. Experienced basement remodelers, for example, are pros at combining ambient, task and spot lighting to make dark spaces glow and ceilings seem higher. They can draw on experience with other basement remodeling projects, too, to share smart ideas such as ways to tuck in extra storage or even add extra windows and doors.

Ask to see completed basement projects. Remember, plenty of remodelers can show you beautiful photos of above-ground rooms filled with light, high ceilings and open spaces. But an experienced basement remodeler can also show you actual before-and-after photos of basements they’ve finished or remodeled. This way, you can make an apples-to-apples assessment of their skill in working with basements just like yours.

Of course you should check references! This is always important with any contractor, but with a basement remodeler it’s especially important because you want to know how the work holds up over time. Did the flooring eventually warp? Did a musty smell return? Is the space cold and damp in winter? Or did the finished basement become the homeowners’ coziest, most favorite room of the house?

Make sure everything is on the up-and-up. Basement remodeling can involve working around gas lines, electrical boxes and ductwork. You want to be confident that your remodeler (or his subcontractors) have the skills and licenses to work safely and to code. Ask how the remodeler will handle pulling permits (and if he says not to worry about permits or pull them yourself, run!). Also ask to see the home improvement license, general liability insurance, workers comp insurance and business registration. Check any prospective basement remodeler on search engines and social media.

Do You Require An Architect For A Residential Remodel

After having dreams about all the changes you intend to undertake in your home, it’s now time to start the remodeling process. Obviously, you prefer to make the most of your budget. Many design build remodeling contractors have architects on staff or under contract. Some design build home remodeling contractors do not. Instead, plans are drafted by the remodeler’s in-house design team. With an experienced, professional remodeler, the design build process can work fine without involving an architect, especially on smaller remodeling projects that involve just one room and little structural change.

But often, even on smaller projects, an architect makes a crucial contribution to the design process. For example, the architect can frequently suggest very creative structural solutions or materials selection that the design team would possibly not think to consider. So, we are back at the original question: do you require an architect for a successful remodeling project? Here are several situations that you really do want to make an architect a part of your remodeling team.

1. Are you interested in “green” remodeling?

Architects have embraced the popularity toward using eco-friendly materials and designs and can be quite valuable in suggesting both practical and creative ways to lower your home improvement project’s carbon footprint and long-term energy and maintenance costs. Your most knowledgeable ally is definitely an architect who is LEED certified – credentials that reflect the architect’s mastery of today’s best sustainable designs, green building practices and alternative materials.

2. Are you going to remodel multiple rooms or make structural changes?

If you do, an architect’s professional eye can spot opportunities to add living and storage space, efficiency and “wow” to the plans. Often, an architect’s expertise might reward you with little changes in the location of a wall or the use of materials that will make a huge difference in how the spaces will flow and how well the new spaces integrate with the existing rooms and also exterior lines of your abode.

3. Is extremely creative design a top priority?

Some desire a “basic” remodeling job or they simply want to copy a room or layout they’ve seen somewhere else. But if you want superior design and functionality that is geared to your specific preferences and lifestyle, the creativity of an architect can reward you with a remodel that meets or exceeds your highest expectations.