How to Remodel Your Basement One Room at a Time

How to Remodel Your Basement One Room at a Time

When you need more space but you like your current home, remodeling the basement is a great option. This solution avoids the need to expand up or out, which may not be an option. As you make your plans to remodel the basement into a living space, keep these four important tips in mind.

Waterproofing the Walls and Floors

Basements are at an increased risk for dampness because of their contact with the soil. Waterproofing the perimeter walls and flooring are important steps in the basement remodeling process. This can be accomplished through installing a perimeter drain system, reinforcing the walls and coating them with a waterproof sealant. On the exterior side of the basement, strengthening piers and additional waterproofing materials can be applied.

Installing a Sump Pump

Installing a sump pump before finishing your basement is also important to the remodeling process. The sump pump removes water collected in a pit by the perimeter drain system. Sump pumps are essential in areas with high water tables. The pump works to prevent a flood of water from seeping into your remodeled space.

Using an Air Compressor

Using an air compressor makes the remodeling process more efficient. An air compressor can be used to power key tools, which is helpful in a poorly-ventilated basement. Some companies, like Kruman Equipment Company, know how helpful these machines can be for remodeling projects. The compressor can operate drills and other hand tools so that no emissions are created. Compressors are also ideal for lifting heavy items and for clearing dust and dirt out of tight spaces.

Putting Up Interior Walls and Ceiling Tiles

Once the space is waterproofed, interior walls and ceiling tiles can be placed. The interior walls are usually framed with wood and finished with sheet rock or drywall. Ceiling tiles make for easier access to plumbing and air ducts to the rest of the house. You can arrange the interior walls to allow for a utility space, recreation room, workshop, laundry room or a “man cave” to suit your lifestyle or other plans for the space.

Remodeling your basement allows you to increase your living space without making any changes to the size of your house. It is an efficient and environmentally-friendly project that does not add to your carbon footprint, heating or air conditioning costs. The remodeling process for basements is complicated because of the potential for water intrusion, but the effort can be worthwhile because of your increased enjoyment of your home. The right tools and some helpful professionals will ensure a successful project.

How to Combat the Annoying Basement Smells and Odor?

How to Combat the Annoying Basement Smells and Odor?

Basements are great places for home improvement projects.  They can act as a storage space, entertainment area, impromptu room, or serve some other purpose. However, basements are also damp locations that are one of the biggest domestic odor producers. Unpleasant smells are usually the result of mildew and mold growth, so you should aim your efforts at these. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve the conditions and maximize the comfort in your basement.

Root around

Basement remodeling is one of the most exciting upgrades, and it is best handled by professionals. Bruzzese Home Improvements can carry out basement renovation for you and allow you to expand the living area. This gives you a well-designed and clean space. However, the problems could occur later, as the installations deteriorate. Also, not everyone can afford quality services, and many people go DIY when assembling a basement space.

basement remodel

Hence, some uninvited guests come to spoil the party: the incommodious smell and odor. Basements that smell like sewers are one of the most widespread issues homeowners deal with. Some of them decide to utilize perfumed candles or incense, but this brings only the temporary relief. Moreover, these products can give rise to various health issues. If you want to address the root of the problem, you have to take another approach.

The culprit

It is advisable to first check the plumbing system and search for leaks and cracks. Even the tiniest fissures and crevices can cause severe damage over time and damp the walls. Repairing and sealing them should allow you to keep the basement dry, and a waterproof paint coat or sealant usually does the trick. Bear in mind, though, that the orientation of the terrain around the house could also cause rainwater puddles.

Also, if you have a water trap under the floor drain, there is a possibility that water evaporated and sewer gas came up through the drain. To combat this menace, you can pour the cooking oil down the drain. Furthermore, another source of the problem could be the ventilation system. The remedy for this situation is regular maintenance. So, sweep the vents and ducts annually and enjoy air which is odorless and pure.

How to Combat the Annoying Basement Smells and Odor?

War on clutter

The foul smells could also originate from the piled-up dirt or malodorous objects. Basements are often used as storages, and spaces that accommodate hoarding habits. Hence, it helps to de-clutter the space and get rid of items you do not really need, those that are only collecting dust and nasty smells. And it goes without saying that objects beyond repair have no place in your environment. Clothes that have been stored for a long time, upholstered furniture, and floor coverings should be washed and dried if you want to keep them.

Remember that it pays off to have tools ready in the store. Find the best air purifier for mold, which should be able to remove the very source of mildew and mold. Or, you can take advantage of homemade solutions, like undiluted vinegar or a mixture of water and bleach. Apply them to the trouble spots and just do a bit of scrubbing. Another DIY option is to use baking soda every few months to soak in the odor. So, choose your weapons and do not stop until the vile stench is dispelled from your home for good.

Home, savory home

It is of the utmost importance to identify the source of the smell and treat it accordingly. Odors and other nuisances thrive in a certain kind of interior climate, predominantly in spaces that have problems with moisture and dust accumulation. So, wash and dry furniture and clothes thoroughly, and do away with the clutter. Conduct maintenance on a regular basis, and check the plumbing installations. Learn how to eradicate the smells and odors and continue using the space without any discomfort.

This article was written by Zoe Clark. Zoe is an environmentalist, home decorator and DIY enthusiast. When not obsessing about designing perfect homes, she is spending time with her family.

Bathroom Faucet Finishes Explained

Bathroom Faucet Finishes Explained

Together with other accessories, a faucet determines the level of attractiveness of your bathroom. With this in mind, buying a faucet finish can be a pretty challenging and confusing job. The safest option is to purchase all the fixtures and accessories from the same company to ensure they match. Nevertheless, if you’re in a process of remodeling your bathroom and you feel like experimenting a little bit, mixing different styles can produce outstanding results.

Whether you are installing or redecorating, make sure you take into account all the pros and cons of different faucet finishes. Also, consulting a pro will help you make a final decision relating to price, durability and appearance of the faucets. Bruzzese Home Improvements is the company that offers a full home improvement services and can be a helping hand when it comes to bathroom remodeling.

There are many different designs of faucet finishes, some of which include chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, copper, stainless, dark and light, brushed and polished options, and even faucets with texture. Whichever you pick, there are a few things you should bear in mind.

Attractive Styles and Designs

Bathroom Faucet Finishes

  • Chrome is one of the most versatile finishes at the moment and it works well with almost every style. This is a great option if you’re on the budget, as it can easily match any other type of bathroom accessories.
  • Oil-rubbed bronze is another excellent choice and can be used instead of chrome. It’s quite easy to maintain, durable and doesn’t show water posts or fingerprints. Choose this type of faucet finish if you want your bathroom to give Mediterranean/Tuscan impression.
  • Copper faucet finishes are easy to find, but difficult to match with other bathroom accessories. If it’s mixed with marble, it gives a really impressive rich feel. Copper has some antibacterial properties, but the shiny finish requires more maintenance than chrome or oil-bronze.
  • The cool thing about polished nickel is that it appears to change its color under different lighting. This material is smooth, shiny and very easy to maintain. It can be mixed with a wide range of bathroom accessories and still look as good as new, due to the fact that it’s one of the most durable finishes. Try not to combine it with stainless steel because it won’t be able to stand out.

Important Pieces of Advice

Bathroom Faucet

If you like your bathroom shiny and neat at all times, go for a brushed finish. This material hides fingerprints and water spots and it’s not reflective as, for instance, polished finishes.

If you’re into latest technology, consider purchasing the faucet that features PVD, physical vapor deposition. The finish that includes PVD is slowly but surely becoming an integral part of the faucet. Ozzy plumbing suggests you try this out since it’s one of the best options against scratches, corrosion and water scale.

While choosing the ideal finish, think about the style of the whole space, including the shape of the sink, door, window, edges on the counters, and even lighting. It’s also possible to go for multiple finishes if you think it won’t disturb the harmony of the room.

7 Home Renovations That Are Worth of Your Money

home renovation

Renovation is a difficult, long and often tormenting process that will suck out your time, money and patience, but the truth is that if you do it right it can be very rewarding. If you do it badly, though, it can become a true endless money pit, so pay attention. Some projects will be very helpful if you are trying to sell your house and you want to raise its value, but also if you just want to make life more comfortable for you and other household members. So, here are some revamps you can start considering today.

A Kitchen Revamp

Any real estate agent would tell you that home buyers always look at the kitchen most thoroughly, so if you are putting your house on the market, this is the first thing you should do. Even a minor kitchen remodel can add up to 80 percent of the project’s cost back to the total home value.

kitchen revamp

Some minor improvements you can do are new cabinet doors, countertops, appliances, faucet, sink, hardware and painting. Even if you are not selling, these remodels will make your staying in the kitchen much more pleasant.

Bathroom Refresh

bathroom refresh

It is similar like with the kitchen, an ugly bathroom is the buyers’ worst turn off, and it also makes family life more difficult. So, try to refresh it with some simple and low-cost updates, such as replacing the faucets, repainting the vanity cabinets, reglazing the tub, adding a new dramatic mirror, painting, installing a luxuriously looking chandelier and improving the overall lighting.

Repair the Floor

Holes and deep scratches on the floor can look really unappealing. If you were trying to hide them with wall-to-wall carpeting, this is the right time to change your approach. In most occasions there is no need for replacing the entire flooring, all it takes is rubbing fine steel wool for light scratches and lightweight sandpaper, wood filler and varnish combo for deeper scratches. After your floor is like new again, there is no need for carpeting any more. With the wide range of beautiful yet cheap rugs online and in stores, you can find a stylish area rug for each room.

Replace the Windows

replace the windows

Energy-efficiency has become a serious concern for new home-buyers, but that is not the only reason to invest in double or triple glazed windows. Eco-friendly windows can reduce heat loss up to 20 percent, which can significantly reduce your energy bills. New, improved frames can also contribute to the savings and make your house look newer and more beautiful.

Insulate

Another investment that can save you a lot of money, eventually. If your home is already insulated, check for some possible oversights. For example, people often forget insulating the attic, or they leave that for some other time. Luckily, laying the attic insulation is a DIY job par excellence – it does not require a lot of money, and it can be finished in one weekend.

Replace the Plumbing

If you are selling the house, rusty and old plumbing may become someone else’s problem (if the buyer fails to notice them), but if you are still living there, there is a chance that you have drank enough metal to build a small ship. Luckily, re-piping is not as complicated as it used to be. Now, you do not have to tear the walls and you can simply run plastic tubing through your walls.

Basement/Attic Renovation

basement attic renovation

This can be especially useful if you have small house and you lack some additional space. You can remodel your attic into a new or even a master bedroom and/or turn your basement into a family room, a playing room or a home office.

Before you decide for any one of these projects, you should set up a budget and be aware what you are dealing with. Remember to always increase the total sum for a certain amount of money, because with renovating it never goes quite as you have planned.

Guest Post By:

Chloe TaylorChloe is an art historian, recreational ballet dancer and a contributor at smoothdecorator.com. She is passionate about photography, dance and music. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world with her husband and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. She also enjoys learning and writing about home design, since she is crazy about aesthetics. You can find Chloe on FB, Twitter, and G+.

 

Unfinished Business: How to Care for a Crumbling Basement

basement

Considering their importance and utility, basements rarely get their fair share of TLC from homeowners. Older basements in particular are often ticking time bombs that can impact the health of the rest of the home if they’re not looked after properly. To ensure your own basement remains sound, it’s worth your while to adhere to these prudent practices.

Reduce Humidity & Standing Water
Ultimately, moisture is what kills a foundation the fastest. It’s important to keep a basement as dry as possible for its longevity. Install an automated sump pump or two if you experience standing water or flooding every spring. While you’re at it, set up a dehumidifier to keep the air as dry as possible.

Landscape for Long-Term Success
Whether your foundation is a stone-walled number or a poured concrete model, there are in-ground ways to keep water away from the basement. Digging out a perimeter trench, filling it with loose rock, and adding a few drainage pipes away from the building works wonders in making sure it stays dry and safe. Be sure to have an expert contractor do this kind of work.

Keep the Pests from Doing Damage
Varmints are especially problematic if you own an older home with a stone foundation since it’s easier for them to get in and cause damage. Come up with a strategy to prevent them from getting in and wreaking havoc by using traps and sonic deterrence. Chem-Wise Ecological Pest Management Services might have other options that can help deter animals and bugs from getting inside in the first place that work better for your home or location. Contact a quality pest control company to advise you of the right solution.

Reinforce Every Element Possiblebasement-old masonry
Keeping your foundation and basement walls in tip-top shape is a major priority regardless of the age of your home. Have concrete foundation cracks filled and strengthened when they appear, and make sure stone foundation mortar work is patched up regularly. Finally, use jack stands and beams to support floors and take stress off of basement walls.

Carefully Seal Up Each Surface
Your basement walls should be an impervious barrier between the ground and your home’s interior. If your basement walls consist of mortar, “parge” them by applying an even layer of mortar. If they’re concrete, thoroughly dry out the basement area with a dehumidifier and desiccant agents before applying a layer of waterproof sealer to the inside walls.

If you live in any area where humidity and high precipitation are normal, keeping an eye on basement walls is a must. Even after you’ve performed each of the preventative steps detailed above, it’s important to monitor the situation and enact fixes as needed to head off problems before they snowball into catastrophes. 

 

Budget Home Improvements: Seeing Home Repair as an Investment

Exterior home improvement project includes replacement windowsIt may be that your house hasn’t seen any home improvement for quite some time: the bathroom is covered with wallpaper, the kitchen appliances are avocado green, and the shag carpet in your living room keeps asking you to a Gloria Gaynor concert. It just may be time for renovation.

Renovating your home not only makes it a more enjoyable and comfortable place to live, but it is a wise investment. However, not all renovations are worth the time, the effort, and the cost of improvement. According to a report by US News, there are certain renovations that offer larger returns than others.

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Kitchen-designMost realtors will tell you that bathrooms (specifically the master bathroom) and the kitchen are typically the most important rooms of the house. The kitchen, in particular, is the first area potential home buyers notice. This is where people tend to congregate, thus it needs to be both welcoming and modern.

Bathrooms, on the other hand, aren’t really known for crowds. Instead, they are known as places where people can relax and pamper themselves. When a bathroom remodel is done correctly – with a custom shower, dual sinks, stellar lighting, or granite countertops – they can yield an average investment return of 62 percent.

Additional Notable Areas

Other renovations that are worth the investment include adding more livable square footage and new finished basementwindows. When it comes to the former, more is definitely better. Turning an attic into a bedroom or finishing a basement can have a positive effect on the selling price of your home. People are drawn to homes that offer larger areas in which to play, rest, or simply hang out.

Adding windows can also be quite profitable. New windows may be expensive, but they add value to your home in several ways. They are aesthetically appealing, but they are also practical. Old windows tend to leak, letting in cold air in the winter and warm air in the summer. This leakage can sky rocket the cost of heating and air conditioning.

Home Offices and Sunrooms

On the flip side, home offices and sunrooms aren’t typically the best investments. While working from home has become commonplace in the job force, most people don’t require a full office to do it. Usually a computer and some storage cabinets can suffice. Home buyers often find that there are other things they would rather do with this space.

A sunroom renovation may be equally futile. This is particularly true in areas where the weather is extreme. In states with winter weather, sunrooms are usually too cold; in states with hot summer weather, sunrooms can get way too stuffy to be comfortable. Thus, they are really only good investments in areas where the weather is mild for most of the year. There’s no point to a sunroom if you can’t use it.

To Build or Not to Build

Making the choice to remodel, modernize, or build an addition is a big decision. It takes a significant amount of commitment and money. However, as demonstrated above, certain updates may well be worth it. Renovating may also be necessary.

According to CNN, remodeling is surging among homeowners, who are hopeful with the surge in home values. In fact, spending on home improvements reached $131 billion in 2012. This was the highest mark since 2006. With so many improvements, homeowners might have to renovate merely to keep up with the Joneses.

This article was contributed by Chase Roberts, home & garden connoisseur, personal decorator, and all-around handyman. Chase recommends Remedy Roofing for homeowners in Dallas looking to make a great long-term investment in their home.

Bruzzese Home Improvements specializes in kitchen and bathroom renovations, additions, window replacement and pretty much all your home improvement needs.  Give us a call or shoot us an email to schedule your free in home estimate! ~Gary B.

Mold growth in your home

Take control and mitigate mold growth in your home

moldDamp, dark areas of the home, such as an unfinished basement, can often be trouble spots for homeowners hoping to increase their living space. Left unfinished, these areas of the home can potentially suffer significant damage, be prone to flooding or develop mold. When it comes to home improvement, homeowners are wise to consider the affects of moisture and mold buildup and how they can be combated.

Mold growth, usually a result of excess moisture, also can be detrimental to one’s health. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that mold can survive in almost any conditions, and can cause visual, respiratory and even skin problems. Mold growth can also contribute to poor indoor air quality.

Homeowners looking to turn an unfinished basement into a liveable space or take control of mold finished basementgrowth can help protect their home from unexpected expenses later on, and also add value to their home. There are several techniques to control moisture penetrating their home. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests homeowners consider techniques that manage water outside the foundation walls, ensure that the home is properly ventilated with exhaust fans in at least each bathroom and the kitchen, and size the home’s air conditioning unit correctly. Homeowners are also recommended to use construction techniques that can help control water, air movement, vapor diffusion as well as condensation.

More often than not, mold is found in homes that do not have adequate insulation. As moisture builds up within walls, the interior of the walls can start to slowly rot. This rot can emit a foul smell and eventually reduce the stability and quality of the home. Homeowners who want to address moisture and mold growth should consider a complete solution that halts future opportunities for mold growth and prevents potential costly repairs in the future.

Using a modern insulation material such as spray foam insulation is one solution that can assist. As a vapor-permeable material, spray foam insulation allows moisture to travel through it, enabling it to dry completely. Additionally, spray foam insulation is not considered a food source for mold, thereby quashing the probability of further mold growth. Properly insulated wall cavities and crawl spaces control moisture, minimize air leakage, save on energy bills as well as improve occupant comfort.

Getting to the root of mold issues is critical for any homeowner looking to add investment value to their home. A material like spray foam insulation can be applied within seconds to the walls, ceiling and floors of a basement to plug any cracks or gaps to deliver immediate results.

Basement renovations

Most of us have basements in our homes that are completely under utilized.  Your basement tends to become the place where you put stuff that you don’t know what to do with.  Our basements are usually disorganized and, frankly, kind of a mess.

I recommend you start by sorting through all the stuff down there and start purging!  If you haven’t used it or missed it, you probably don’t need it.  Have a yard sale, give it away to your favorite charity or just put it out by the road (I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression “One man’s junk is another mans treasure!”) and it will most likely be gone the next day.

Organize:  Section off an area of your basement where you need to store essentials (Holiday decorations, gardening supplies, tools, etc.).

Now we have an area to work with.  What I love most about remodeling basements is that we can provide an area where you and your family can gather and have fun together!  Here are two idea’s for your new basement:

Basement converted to a gym, White Plains, NY

Remember those New Year’s Resolutions to get fit and healthy in 2012?  Well, we can help you with that!  Why go to the gym when we can bring the gym to you?

Basement converted to a hockey rink, White Plains, NY

Imagine how much fun you and your family can have in your newly remodeled basement that we’ve converted to a hockey rink!  (Yes, these are actual remodeling jobs that we’ve done)

These are just some idea’s to get you started.  We’d love to meet with you and discuss how we can transform your basement into vision!

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