Which Materials Should You Select for a Basement Remodel?

From on April 29, 2008 in General Remodel

Mass ConstructionFar from being dark and full of cobwebs, the basement can be a light-filled, spacious living area for your family to enjoy. Homeowners who need the extra square footage take advantage of basement conversions to create an extra bedroom, playroom, family room, or entertainment area. The first question: what materials work best in this part of the home? I spoke with Mass Construction Vice President Nick Gramprie to find out.

To begin, let’s go with flooring. Here’s Nick’s take on tile, vinyl, and carpet in the basement:

“Flooring is such a personal thing with homeowners. Flooring can make a great room look mediocre just as easily it can make a mediocre room look great. When it comes to bathrooms I always recommend tile floors. The right tile can be very comparable in price to some vinyl, yet it makes the room stand out. You can’t go wrong with a good carpet in a basement, but you should always pay attention to the type of pad you use. I always suggest either a 6 lb. or 8 lb. rebond pad over concrete. You will get better wear and longer life to your carpet.”

Speaking of light, what about windows? Here’s what an experienced contractor recommends for your basement remodel:

“Vinyl windows are pretty much standard in most basements nowadays. Some companies still use steel windows and I would steer clear of those if possible. Most window companies offer different levels of window quality. I personally suggest using Marvin or Andersen windows, and look at windows that are at least one step above builder grade. Most window reps can point out the differences.”

For materials overall, Nick’s got a lot good of advice on budget, color pallet, theme, climate, and more. He encourages homeowners to keep the following in mind:

Budget: Set a budget and stay within it. Many people are drawn out of the budget thinking they can’t get the look or the quality. A good honest budget can still have quality built in at a reasonable price.

Color Pallet: Try to pick a color pallet to work with or work with a designer to put together a color pallet. An example would be your cabinet color in a kitchen. If you find a cabinet design/color that you like, use it to determine the rest of the colors/materials in the kitchen. Start with something you like and work from there.

Theme: Most people have a theme to their house. Keeping with the theme can help to keep the feel of the house (if that is what you’re looking for). An example would be if you have an old Victorian house that is staged – that way you might not want to go with a modern looking theme for your basement.

Climate: The climate in which your home is located can greatly dictate your choice in materials. Wet climates will want to use materials that have a better mold resistance were as climates that have severe hot and cold seasons will want materials that can acclimate to the changing conditions.

Avalability: Products that are more readily available will most of the time be more cost friendly. Special order items can get expensive and can also have long lead times before delivery or backorders which can cost the homeowner time and money.

Quality: You don’t have to go to the highest quality to get quality. The quality of the products you put into your basement will show with time. Knowing what is good quality and what is not is not always easy. This is where having a good quality contractor or interior designer comes into play. Ask for references and “Call Them.” Do a little homework; it pays off big in the end.”

Thanks for the good advice, Nick. Remember, when it comes to homework on contractors, CalFinder’s busy staying on track of references and paperwork. To receive free estimates on your home improvement projects from quality companies such as Mass Construction, contact us today!