Categories
basement

Finishing Your Basement To Add Value to Your Colorado Home

Finishing a basement feels like the ultimate goal for many homeowners. Not only is it a chance to add some more — probably much needed — living space to your home, but it allows you the rare opportunity to design a room from the ground up. Working with that much flexibility can often feel overwhelming, especially if you’re dealing with it for the first time.If you’re ready to finish your basement, but aren’t quite sure where to start, this post is for you. We’ve outlined all the do’s and don’ts you need to know to tackle this project from start to finish. Use this as a guide to creating a bonus space that works for you.

You need to think big, start small and fail fast.  This is a mantra I stress regularly in my day time profession as a digital marketer but it applies to basement finishing as well.

Stop worrying about getting permits or finishing some 20 page design or budget. Just stop. I want you to start by building a small wall in your basement during the next free weekend you have.  You can read the posts on permits, budgeting and planning later.

Most basements are relatively spacious and some have direct access to the outdoors. And while you could hire a basement-finishing company, such as Owens Corning Basement Systems, to finish your basement, where’s the fun in that? Here, we’re going to take a decidedly more hands-on approach and explain how you can flex your DIY muscles and finish the basement yourself.

How Your Basement Will Look When Finished

Before getting started it’s important to ensure the basement is dry and free of any excess moisture, which can promote the growth of dangerous mold. If there’s even the slightest evidence of moisture migrating through the walls, floors or ceilings, it must be resolved before starting construction. Trapping moisture behind walls, below flooring or above ceilings will eventually lead to a serious and unhealthy mold problem.

Just start small. You can use the wall you build to hold up some peg board and some storage shelves, so you’ll be getting benefit right off the bat. And yes, you will need permits, but not right away.

Beyond that, the sky is the limit. Before you get started on your project, think about all the ways you’re hoping to use your basement finishing. Maybe you’ve been thinking about adding a guest bedroom or another powder room or maybe there’s some wasted space that can take on a new purpose.

The traditional home improvement show or book always says the same thing.  Gather every single possible tool and supply, plan out in detail and then and only then begin.  Well that is crap!  The fastest way to the finished product is to start as soon as you have something of value.  Yes, you will make some mistakes.  But learning from your mistakes is the absolute best method to learn.

Categories
Countertop

Countertop Installation Process and Tools

If you have already built custom cabinets or purchased them from a reputable contractor, it is now time for you to install a countertop.

You may have already learned about the different types of kitchen counters and the pros and cons of each. I find that the majority of homeowners choose their countertop based on appearance and price. Other factors such as durability and weight may play into the equation a bit, but they definitely aren't the main factors that move the needle. We'll still cover them briefly below.

Types of kitchen countertops

Depending on the look you are going for, space you are looking to cover and price point that you are looking at, you may have several options to consider when selecting a countertop.

Granite and other stone

While stone countertops look great in most homes, they are even more prized for their durability. This is a hard rock that is thousands of years old after all.

The downside...price. These are not cheap options. The larger piece of stone you're looking for, the price goes up exponentially. Keep in mind that these stones are shipped whole from the quarry. To have one large slab cover a large counter costs a small fortune.

Tile

A more economical option, but looks a bit dated. When you upgrade to tile, you won't have the most aesthetically pleasing kitchen in the neighborhood, but it will be far from the worst. It is at a better price point than the stone, but is not as versatile or tough.

Synthetic

Just save your money until you can afford to do it right. These countertops are fine for a wash room or a shop...but not for your kitchen.

If all else fails during your kitchen remodel, you can call a high-end contractor to finish your project. Most of the time, they'll be able to make use of the products that you already built.

Some contractors get a bad reputation based on past performance or misleading their clients. While there are a few bad apples in every business, there are also great people in this industry. I have a great friend who is a home service contractor. I wouldn't hesitate recommending him for a kitchen remodel project.

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Categories
Construction Business

The Construction Business In Recession Times

Is now the time to run a construction business?

While running a business is difficult for everyone, there are certain business models that have proven to be withstanding of recessions. Unfortunately, for the owners and employees of construction businesses, they may be very profitable and have more jobs than they can handle when times are good. However, when recessions hit, the construction industry hits the skids and good jobs are hard to find.

I spoke to a friend of mine in the home remodel industry to get an idea of his experience in the business. He is the Co-founder of Colorado Remodels based in Denver and said "When the 2008 recession hit, business came to a stop almost overnight. Great workers were laid off and nobody made any money in the business."

Will this recession be a repeat of 2008 for the construction and engineering industry?

When diagnosing the construction industry and how likely it is that businesses will go out of business in the next recession, we first need to look at the economy as a whole and what the driving factors are in consumer spending, construction, engineering and the macro-economy.

The recession of 2008 was led primarily by a housing crisis. An over leveraged housing market led to abundant construction, an influx of property buyers and a decrease of equity in these properties. Because the economy built so many extra homes and commercial properties, when the bubble burst and millions of Americans defaulted on their mortgages, the housing industry and home construction in general hit the skids.

Whenever our next recession comes (possibly now), it will not be because of an over leveraged housing market. At least not to the extent it was in 2008. If we slide into a recession, interest rates will drop which is actually a benefit for the construction industry as many projects are financed with bank debt.

While the lowering of interest rates may be a benefit, the decrease in consumer and business income will negate that benefit. When businesses and families don't have the disposable cash flow to spend on remodels or construction, construction companies will be left with their hats in their hands.

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Will small construction companies and home remodelers be hit as hard as mega corporations?

One of the unfortunate facts in our economy is that small businesses such as home remodelers that are trying to make a living in construction are often hit far worse than large, multi-national corporations. While the SBA does have lending programs available for small business owners, they are much harder to qualify for, slower to grant capital and require personal guarantees. The major corporations that build mega-towers and stadiums have access to the capital markets and stock exchange to keep them afloat in hard times, the local remodel company is much too small to have access to these funds and therefore ends up shutting their doors all too often.