Basement Remodeling – One Customer’s Transformation
The very words can conjure up emotions of dread & financial uncertainty! LET US ASSURE YOU… Basement remodeling does NOT need to be messy, contentious, or unaffordable. Consider what one customer, Judy O., said in a “perfect 10” online review about her DallaVerde basement transformation…
Just had my basement gutted and remodeled by Jason DallaVerde and his crew. The result is amazing! Everything that was done, was done to perfection right down to the smallest detail. They were dependable, hard working and honest men to have in my home. I highly recommend DallaVerde Construction if you want a job well done.
Let’s chronical Judy’s basement transformation from start to finish… (for expanded Photo Gallery, click HERE)
FIRST PRIORITY: Moisture Control
A basement remodel DONE RIGHT will not only serve your family well for years to come, but indeed add resale value to your home in the future. Almost universally, the key to maintaining the structural integrity & ongoing usability of your basement space is moisture control.[NOTE: Basements not requiring moisture control can reduce costs drastically!]
Ever been in a downstairs family room that was musty & moldy? That’s because few contractors and even FEWER homeowners pay initial attention to this make-or-break factor in the long-term sustainability of your remodeled basement.
At the very least, uncontrolled moisture can lead to a musty smell, making your space an undesirable location. But at worst, you can develop a potentially hazardous mold situation on paneling and drywall – with the most dangerous & toxic parts residing BEHIND the walls, producing a false sense of security because the problem often remains out of sight. And all it takes is ONE major episode of water innundation to destroy flooring, moldings, and wall coverings.
(for expanded Photo Gallery, click HERE)
PROBLEM: Judy HAD a preexisting remodeled basement family room. But the same scenario described above eventually overtook their space, rendering it undesirable, if not useless – complete with ruined carpets, walls, and a virtual petri dish for mold.
SOLUTION: Excavate the interior perimeter of the basement and install a pressure relief system by way of french drains into a sump pump, drilling holes in each cavity of every cinderblock.
Next, we install “cactus board” to allow water to drain from the walls into the drain under the floor.
The rest of the work involved replumbing for the new toilet & shower addition, and finally filling the trench with stone before pouring concrete.
For wall treatments, installing a vapor barrier is key – even if you do not perceive an overt moisture problem. In this case, we installed a 6mil layer of plastic over the cinderblock wall BEFORE framing & insulating.
After the usual plumbing, electrical, and insulation, it was time to create a few walls. Drywalling ALWAYS makes the space instantly feel like a room! But many do-it-yourselfers and EVEN some contractors will install drywall sitting directly on the floor below. It is recommended to leave a gap of at least 1/2″ (possibly more in basements or potentially wet areas) between the bottom of the drywall and floor. This is to prevent the drywall from wicking up moisture in the event of a water innundation.
(for expanded Photo Gallery, click HERE)
The other issue with drywall is understanding ‘how to’ hang it in such a way as to prevent future stress cracks. There IS a science to this! And although drywallers (AND framers) may be the undersung heroes of construction, you would NOT appreciate a stress crack developing from the edge of your door or window frame in a few years.
…Just another ‘little detail’ that distinguishes a DallaVerde job from many others. But if something DOES crack, we’ll come back and repair it, FREE of charge. Guaranteed.
Lock & Fold Vinyl Flooring
THAT’s vinyl??? Sure is! And if you were there in person, you would be hard pressed to notice the difference between this & a top-notch laminate floor. Judy chose a style that is medium in color, and would ultimately play well with the lighter tones of the wall paint, while preserving that rich look so endearing in wood flooring.
Once again, any contractor worth their salt HAS to consider the potential water/moisture ramifications of installing traditional laminate or hardwood flooring in a basement. The great thing about this product is that even if there WAS an innundation of water, this flooring can be lifted, dried, cleaned, and reinstalled… UNDAMAGED!
[Check out this GREAT Lock & Fold Vinyl Flooring webpage from Armstrong, featuring information, design options, and their unique ‘build-a-room’ tool! ]
Pure hardwood flooring for basements CAN be problematic. [read our previous post on this subject HERE] But there are always work-arounds. If you are considering this option, call us. We’ve assisted clients with choosing the right product through diverse variables.
Trim Molding & Painting
Trimming & painting a room is like coming down the home stretch at the Preakness! Within a few hours, all the raw spots are either hidden behind trim or smoothed over with color! We ALWAYS prime our drywall before applying a top coat or 2.
DallaVerde will always defer to the preferences of the customer. But there are a few products we like to recommend – products & brands we have used and have come to trust for a GREAT finish…
♦ DVC uses a certain brand of Ceiling White that looks like a pillow & leaves almost no identifiable roller lines
♦ Certain preferred paints/finishes for bathrooms & high moisture areas
♦ Enamels for molding (harder and most resistant to ‘shoe-kick chipping’)
♦ Certain oil-based primers designed to seal tannic acid bleed, and prevent knots & woodgrain bleed-through over time
[***NOTE: We won’t endorse them here, but PLEASE feel free to call us for our brand recommendations.]
Countertop & Fixtures
Judy’s space had a Breakfast Bar of sorts, with a sister area behind it for prep. DVC saved this client money by making 2 formica countertops that held a close second to the richness of granite, but for less than ONE THIRD the price!
The toilet, sink, shower, and light fixture installations served to marry functionality with design. A built-in bookcase, cabinetry, and a large bi-fold closet gave final accents while rendering Judy’s space liveable.
Years ago, a relative of Judy’s had made stained-glass window panels for the basement. But, several of the windows were in bad shape and no longer hosted these panels.
We were able to preserve and highlight these family heirlooms by cleaning, painting, & repairing all 4 basement windows. Today, they help define the dignity of this space, and add a splash of color to offset the neutral tones of the flooring & wall color.
And soon thereafter, Judy’s dream was complete… (for expanded Photo Gallery, click HERE)
If you have a basement remodel -OR- other home improvement project you would like to discuss, why not contact us? Our estimates are FREE!
Jason Dalla Verde is the Founder/President of DallaVerde Construction.