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Lighting for your Basement

Lighting for your Basement

Installing the right lighting for your basement to make it comfortable or add to the area’s ambience is a very important consideration. At Basement Builders, we have extensive experience in ensuring that the lighting in your finished basement will be perfect for you and your family. It isn’t just a case of selecting the right lighting fixtures for your home but designing the…

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Basement Storage Space

Basement Storage Space

For many families, the basement, whether developed or not, becomes the home’s storage space and is often forgotten about. If you decide to develop the lower level of your property and add in living areas, bedrooms, and bathrooms, you’ll still need to organize the basement to maximize its storage potential. Everyone’s different of course, but you might need a place to store books, electronics, musical instruments, personal paperwork, toys, sports equipment, tools, decorations and many other items or you might simply require a place to organize laundry or…

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Basement Soundproofing

Basement Soundproofing

Even though basements are kind of tucked away in the depths of your home, it can be surprising how far sound can travel from one part of your property to another. As we’ve discussed in previous articles, there are a number of popular uses for basements once they’ve been developed, including home offices, gyms, playrooms for children and teenagers, or home theatres for the entire family. For some of these you’re going to have to consider soundproofing, particularly if your beloved teenage offspring is an aspiring musician that uses the basement for noisy practice sessions with the other members of his or her rock band. In addition to preventing sound from escaping from the basement to the upper level, soundproofing can…

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Home Gyms – Basement Development

Home Gyms - Basement Development

Installing a basement gym can be a great way to lead a healthy lifestyle and stay in shape, all in the comfort of your own home. Even with the best of intentions these days, it can still be a challenge to make full use of a gym membership. After a long day at work, it can be tough to motivate yourself to get to the gym on the way home. Similarly, getting up earlier to go to the gym before work can also be a challenge. However, there really are…

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Adding renovation costs to your mortgage

Adding renovation costs to your mortgage

Last month, we looked at ways to make sure that you’re truly ready to embark upon a basement building or renovation project. These should be considered as an investment, but it’s important to remember that some investments are more valuable than others. A refurbished kitchen might seem like a great idea, but it still has to be to a potential buyer’s taste when the time comes to sell your home. A kitchen will also show signs of wear and tear relatively…

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Are you ready for your basement development?

Are you ready for your basement development?

Home renovations are often projects that involve significant financial outlay, with some being more expensive than others, depending on the scope. If you’re looking to renovate an existing basement or develop an unfinished lower level, there are many considerations before the first stages of the project can go…

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Why should you use a reputable company for your basement project?

Why should you use a reputable company for your basement project?

Developing or improving your home’s basement is a major undertaking and the project is always going to be expensive. As a result of the substantial financial commitment, it can be very tempting to cut corners and reduce costs by selecting a contractor based on the price. In many of our previous articles, we’ve stressed the importance of hiring professionals and the considerable advantages a company such as Basement Builders will bring to your project. These include…

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How important are warranties for your basement development? 

How important are warranties for your basement development? 

We briefly mentioned warranties in a previous article regarding the payment of deposits, but exactly how important are warranties when it comes to developing your basement? At Basement Builders, we offer our clients a unique five-year warranty for both workmanship and materials, whereas many of our competitors only offer one-year warranties. This helps to reinforce our reputation as a reliable and trustworthy renovation company that can be relied upon to deliver a professional project…

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Be wary of paying deposits to renovation companies 

Be wary of paying deposits to renovation companies 

Most of us are familiar with deposits and how they are sometimes requested before companies or individuals start work on a project. The purpose of the deposit is to ensure that the client will be able to pay the final bill when the work is completed, even if they’ve already committed to this based on a detailed estimate. This might seem like a good idea when it comes to something like a basement renovation where so much money is involved and so many materials need to be purchased over a long period of…

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Matching your new basement with your main level

Matching your new basement with your main level

When developing your unfinished basement, an important consideration is whether to match your newly developed lower level with the main areas of your home. You can certainly make the new basement different and sometimes this will depend on what it’s going to be used for. If for example you’re going to be using it primarily as a storage area, a wide open space for a children’s playroom, or for a home gym, matching the upper level might not be…

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Basement Development: Is spray foam or regular insulation the best option?

Basement Development: Is spray foam or regular insulation the best option?

At some point during your basement renovation project you’ll need to think about insulation. The effectiveness of any type of insulation is determined by its ability to provide a consistent layer of protection wherever it’s installed in your basement’s framing. The two main choices today are traditional fibreglass insulation or spray foam insulation. Fibreglass insulation is made up of sheets of tightly woven glass strands that are available in a variety of widths and thicknesses. They are installed with a…

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Basement Development – Choosing a Basement Floorplan

Basement Development - Choosing a Basement Floorplan

When you’re developing an empty basement you have a lot more options with regards to your preferred floor plan. Do you want the basement to be one big space or to be clearly defined separate areas? Are you considering installing a bathroom or half-bath, which will require plumbing and fixtures? Would you like to build a workshop area that might need a range of electrical outlets and associated wiring? You’ll probably have some idea as to…

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Basement Development – Basement Windows

Basement Development - Basement Windows

Windows are one of the most important considerations when you’re developing your basement, no matter what you’re intending to do with your home’s lower level. Basement windows are also subject to the Alberta Building Code and a variety of City of Calgary rules and regulations regarding safety. There are many different shapes and sizes of basement windows to choose from and your choice isn’t that crucial when it comes to home offices…

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Basement Development – The dangers of NOT using a professional – Part II

Basement Development - The dangers of NOT using a professional - Part II

In your desire to cut costs with your basement development you might be tempted to cut corners and make serious mistakes related to local laws or building codes. This might occur even if you hire plumbers, electricians, or other professionals to do some of the work. In Calgary, there are a great many rules and regulations related to home building and renovations. Professionals are aware of all of these, whereas the homeowner that decides to go it alone usually isn’t. We’ve mentioned quite a few of these in previous articles, whether they’re related to electrical, water, and gas supplies, as well as to safety, such as the correct sizes of windows, ventilation for fireplaces and furnaces, or fireproofing the basement area. There are of course also regulations in Calgary related to secondary suites in basements. The sheer number…

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Basement suites – Generating Revenue and Return on Investment

Basement suites – Generating Revenue and Return on Investment

Once you’ve made the decision to develop your downstairs space into a basement suite, you have to consider the return on investment implications. You need to factor in the cost of professionals such as Basement Builders completing your project and if this will pay for itself in the long run.

Of course if you don’t have anyone renting there’ll be no payments coming in to offset the hosts of creating the suite. It’s a big mistake to cut corners on the basement project to save money and get your money back as quickly as possible. While you don’t need to include fancy drapes, top quality carpets, high-end bathroom fixtures or kitchen countertops, the suite still needs to be an attractive place to live. When it’s finished if you can imagine yourself living in the suite for a year or two then you stand a much better chance of attracting tenants…

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Basement Suites – Renters & Tenant Requirements

Basement Suites – Renters & Tenant Requirements

Once you’ve decided to develop a basement suite in your property and had all the work completed by the experts at Basement Builders, you need to think about renters. Improving your downstairs space isn’t going to do much for you financially until you have tenants paying rent to help you with your mortgage payments.

You might start by thinking about what types of renters you want. You can certainly do some research on potential tenants, including speaking to previous landlords and ask questions about a prospective renter’s workplace, how many people will be living in the suite, if they smoke or have any pets, and so on, but there are some things that you’re not allowed to ask according to the law in…

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Basement Suites – Rules and Regulations

Basement Suites - Rules and Regulations

n Calgary, there are many rules and regulations regarding basement suites and these can be very confusing for homeowners. Zoning and land use bylaws are different depending on the neighbourhood and sometimes aren’t even the same from one street to another nearby. As we mentioned in our previous blog, there are illegal suites in Calgary but the City is cracking down hard on these. Heavy fines are being imposed and there might also be severe legal consequences. If a fatality occurs in an illegal suite the owners of the home can be prosecuted. The contractor that…

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Basement Suites – Legal vs. Illegal

Basement Suites - Legal vs. Illegal

During Calgary’s current economic slowdown, it’s very tempting for some homeowners to make things a little easier by adding a basement suite and attracting potential tenants. Rental revenue is a great source of income for first-time homeowners. Older people might also wish to remain in their home but no longer need all the space in the house. Creating a basement suite allows them to stay in the area of the city they prefer. Secondary suites are defined as a self-contained residential area within an existing home that was originally built for a single family. In Calgary most of these are in basements. The suite has separate living and…

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Basement Flooring Options

Basement Flooring Options

If you’re developing an empty basement you’re likely to have a bare concrete floor on your lower level. Consequently, flooring is another aspect of the project that you’ll need to investigate. The type of flooring will depend on what your finished basement will be used for, such as an entertainment centre, children’s play area, family room, office, or gym. There are quite a few different types of basement flooring material for you to choose from, but a professional contractor such as Basement Builders can help you to make the best…

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The Dangers of NOT using Professionals

The Dangers of NOT using Professionals

At Basement Builders, we pride ourselves on the professional services that we provide to our many clients. However, we still understand that it’s only natural for homeowners to try and save money where they can when undertaking renovation or improvement projects. If you’re doing work in the basement, it’s sometimes tempting to try and do things yourself, since you’re not disrupting the main living areas of your home and can simply work on the basement when you have some spare time. However, if you’re only going to be able to work on the…

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