DIY Basement Finishing

basement-finishing-contractorIf you’re looking to make better use of your basement without breaking the bank, a partial basement renovation may be the best option.  You can also save money by doing part or all of your basement renovation on your own.

 Here we discuss some potential basement renovation options that will make your basement more inviting, but are also inexpensive and easy to install.  For a cheap basement renovation, you may also opt to only install some of the options and leave other features unchanged.

 DIY Basement Flooring

 The most important aspect for any basement floor option is that it be waterproof in the event of a flood.  This protects your investment and helps to prevent costly water damage.

Stained concrete is among the cheapest and easiest basement flooring options.  This involves prepping the surface such that it is smooth and doesn’t show seams using a sander and perhaps a thin layer of special finisher concrete, and then applying a specialized concrete stain and sealant.

If you’re looking for a more advanced but inexpensive option, laminate flooring is another potential basement flooring option.  Advanced amateurs can typically install laminate flooring, but if you’re inexperienced in home repair it may be best left to professionals.  For basement renovation Toronto homeowners have many excellent basement remodeling contractors available.

 DIY Basement Walls

 Simply painting bare walls can significantly improve you basement’s appearance, and the color scheme can be customized to your personal preference.  This is an easy job even if you’re fairly inexperienced in home renovation, and can usually be completed within a day or two.

For a more polished but inexpensive look, you can also use wooden side panels or house siding.  These options are typically a few hundred dollars, and are easily installed by intermediate amateurs.

 DIY Basement Ceilings

 Exposed ceiling are actually quite stylish at the moment, so a simple coat of paint could be an excellent finished basement ceiling option.  We recommend opting for darker colors that minimize contrast.  A paint sprayer might make this job easier.  Most local hardware stores offer fairly inexpensive paint sprayer rental.

If you’re after a more polished look, you can also install a drop ceiling, similar to those seen in office buildings and schools.  This is easily installed by most amateurs, but if you don’t have much home renovation and repair experience, it may be best to consult a professional.

We’d love to hear about your own DIY basement finishing experiences and ideas as a homeowner.  Tell us all about it in the comments section.

Basement Finishing Ideas

basementMost homes are sold with unfinished basements, which are usually used for extra storage space or as storm shelters.  However, your basement is an untapped source of extra square footage, and a finished basement can be a great place to enjoy your family and entertain guests.

 Because a finished basement is considered to be bonus space in most cases, the possibilities for basement finishing ideas are endless.  There are many potential uses for a finished basement, and your family’s hobbies, interests and priorities will play a role in determining the best fit.  A Toronto basement finishing contractor can help you to develop a customized renovation plan to fit your needs.

Family Friendly

Finished basements make an excellent play space for younger children.  If you are looking to designate part or all of your finished basement as a play area, choose wall and flooring options that are durable and resistant to wear and tear.  Also make sure that your design and décor are safe and kid-friendly.

Older children or teens may appreciate some recreation space with games and TV.  Allowing some flexibility in your finished basement design will help you to transition your setup as your kids’ interests change over the years.

 Entertaining and Hosting

 Many homeowners use finished basements as a space for entertaining guests.  Wet bars and entertainment systems are often popular options if you’re intending to use your finished basement to host parties or other visitors.

You may also want to convert your basement to a guest bedroom if you plan to host out of town guests on a regular basis.  For a basement guest bedroom, it’s ideal to install a full bath so that your guests can enjoy convenience and privacy.  This also makes company a little less intrusive for homeowners.

 Home Theatre

 Finished basements are also frequently used as home theaters.  A basement home theater setup can be as simple as a TV and couch, but can also be very advanced with a projector and specialized theater audio and seating.

Most homeowners opt for a happy medium between these extremes.  Your basement renovation contractor can help you determine the scope of this project.  Fortunately for basement remodeling Toronto homeowners have many well-qualified contractors available.

 Multipurpose Space

 You can also use your finished basement for two or more purposes, for example as both a playroom and entertaining space.  In this case it may be best to divide your space by installing additional walls.  This makes the basement renovation a little more advanced, but also makes the finished product more enjoyable.

If you’re currently in the process of finishing your basement or are planning a basement renovation, we’d love to hear your own basement finishing ideas in the comments section.

Kitchen Renovation Contractor Selection

kitchen remodelA full kitchen renovation is a big job, and many components of an in-depth kitchen remodel may be best left to professionals.  However, not all kitchen remodeling contractors are created equal, and you’ll want to make sure that your kitchen stays in good hands.  This guide to kitchen renovation contractor selection will help you to find the right person for the job.

Experience in Kitchen Remodeling

 Selecting an experienced contractor is of utmost importance.  You’ll want to find someone who has at least a few years’ experience, and who is familiar with kitchen remodeling specifically.  Because a kitchen renovation requires a special skill set, you’ll want to make sure that he or she is experienced specifically in kitchen renovation.  Fortunately for kitchen remodeling Toronto homeowners have many well-qualified contractors available.

Customer References

No one can better evaluate a potential kitchen remodeling contractor than a current or prior client.  A well-qualified contractor will be happy to provide you with customer references, so don’t be afraid to ask for a few.  Once you’re in contact with former clients, be sure to ask about overall quality of work, willingness to meet your personal needs and also whether the contractors’ work has been durable and long-lasting.

Warranties and Guarantees

 Many kitchen remodeling contractors offer a warrantee and replacement policy.  This becomes important in the event that something in the remodel goes wrong.  Be sure to ask about these policies, and take them into consideration when making your decision.

 Insurance and Legal

 Make sure that a potential kitchen renovation contractor is licensed, bonded and insured.  A licensed contractor is likely to do better work, and insurance helps to protect against any mishaps during the job.  Any well-qualified contractor will have these certifications.

A kitchen renovation is a substantial investment, and also requires an advanced skillset.  Be sure to select the right contractor for the job.  If you’re currently planning a kitchen remodel or have recently done so, we’d love to hear about what factors have influenced your decision, and what you find to be most important when choosing a contractor.  Tell us all about it in the comments section.

Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

kitchen remodelIf you’re the handy type and are looking to save some money on kitchen renovation cost, you may consider DIY kitchen remodeling ideas and do most part of your kitchen renovation on your own.  Depending upon your skills and level of commitment, you can pick and choose which aspects you’d like to do yourself, and which are best left to professionals.

We’ve come up with a few potential options for flooring, cabinetry and counter tops that are cheap and easy to install.  These DIY kitchen remodeling ideas can help get your kitchen renovation project on track and on budget.

DIY Flooring

 There are many kitchen flooring options available, and some are easier and cheaper to install than others.  If you’re remodeling your kitchen in your spare time, it may be best to keep your flooring simple.

The easiest and cheapest flooring by far is stained concrete.  In this process, you’ll strip your floor down to bare concrete, prepare the surface, and subsequently apply a stain and seal.  Stained concrete is also exceptionally durable easy to care for, so is a great option if you have kids, pets or enjoy cooking.

Other potential options for DIY flooring are laminate, linoleum and engineered wood flooring.  These options are also economical, easy to install and durable.  Shop around to find the look you like best, and that best fits your budget and relative level of commitment.

 DIY Countertops

Countertops are frequently one of the most expensive aspects of a kitchen renovation.  Depending upon your budget, you may want to hire a well-qualified contractor for this.  However, if you’re looking for a fast and easy option, we recommend concrete finishing.

Concrete finishing is an excellent option for smooth-surface laminate countertops.  For this you’ll purchase a kit with a composite concrete coating that you’ll spread over the countertops and subsequently apply a sealant.  This creates a shiny, marbled look.  You can buy concrete kits of a variety of colors, so can easily customize your countertops to fit your décor.

DIY Cabinetry

Cabinetry is expensive and installation can be somewhat difficult, so if you’re looking to work within a tight budget on your DIY kitchen remodel, you may want to consider painting your cabinets and installing new hardware.  This can significantly refresh your look, but is relatively inexpensive.

If you’re planning a DIY kitchen remodel or are in the process of one, we’d like to hear your ideas in the comment section.  Tell us all about what worked for you.