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Basement finishing materials according to Good Guy Home Improvements LLC

6 Mar


Should you use metal studs or wood studs framing a basement? Metal costs more for material, rusts with humidity, and is not as solid as wood, but it isn’t flammable. I prefer wood, I like a solid wall, it will last a very long time and if properly fire blocked won’t catch fire.


R-13 floor to ceiling on all exterior walls is code. If you are worried about mold from moisture in the wall you can install 1/2 inch foam board on the backs of all exterior walls and that will keep the wall completely dry. If you have a water issue get it fixed before you close it up. You can use rock wool on the ceilings if you want sound dampening.


14 gauge is all that is necessary for a basic basement.


Copper, PEX, and CPVC are all fine and will last a very long time. Vent to the outside whenever possible on your drains instead of mechanical vents.


Pretty standard, just make sure you add a 4 inch fresh air vent for your utility rooms if you don’t already have one for gas furnaces and water heaters.


-Use cement board behind tile in bathrooms, other than that just use regular drywall. You can use 5/8 on the ceiling for sound dampening or quiet rock for sound proofing. Don’t spend the extra money on moisture resistant drywall because if you have a water problem it won’t matter what you installed it will grow mold and get ruined.


You don’t need to spend a bunch of money on interior paint, exterior is a different story. It will last forever with Behr, Valspar, Ben Moore, Sherwin Williams just don’t let them up sale you on their high end stuff.


-Hollow doors are fine but for trim don’t try and save money by purchasing MDF which is basically cardboard. Always use real wood. You will spend a little more but water won’t ruin it.


-Carpet is cheapest and you should go with nylon not polyester carpet. At least a 6 lb pad but don’t use pet pad in your basement because it will trap water underneath and not let it out. Vinyl plank is popular, and water proof, spend a little extra on it to get the thick stuff so you don’t see uneven spots in your concrete slab. Tile is great, a lot more expensive but will last forever, get porcelain instead of ceramic because the color goes all the way through the porcelain in case of chipping and porcelain is much harder.


You want real wood not plywood, dovetail drawers, and soft close drawers and doors are nice. I like Tru Cabinetry.


Laminate is cheapest, it is plywood with a laminate top. Solid surface is the next step up then granite, then quartz and concrete, then glass. You can only cut on quartz with out scratching it and Laminate is the only one you can’t set hot stuff on.


Always pull the permits, yes your taxes will go up, but you have the peace of mind that a city or county inspector approved the work and your insurance company won’t deny a claim.

Just my 2 cents after 12 years of owning Good Guy Home Improvements LLC. Estimates are free and you can call me Joe Taulbee at 937-689-1635 or email me at joe@goodguyhomeimprovements to set one up. Thank you for reading my blogs!


Electric when finishing a basement

15 Feb

Anyone can pull an electrical permit to finish a basement. You don’t need to be a licensed Electrician to pull the permit or do the work but you should consult one and do your research before you attempt the work.

It isn’t that difficult to do and by pulling the permit you will get inspected by a city or county inspector so if you don’t do it right they won’t pass your inspections until you get it right.

The new breakers have to be the same brand as the existing in your panel and code requires Arch Fault breakers on everything residential these days. Arch Fault are about $40 a piece versus $8 for a regular breaker, so getting your service changed these days isn’t cheap. Arch Fault breakers trip easy too, but that is the code. They are fairly easy to install and you can find a how to video on youtube I am sure. Outlets have to be tamper proof by code and spaced no more than 12 feet apart and 3 feet off a corner or door. There isn’t a code for outlet height but they are usually 14 inches off the floor. You will need a GFCI outlet in any utility rooms in the basement as well as smoke detectors in each room that are hard wired to the existing upstairs. In a standard basement about 1000 square foot you can put all your lights on one breaker, and all your outlets on one breaker. Mini kitchens, bars, laundry rooms and bathrooms have to be on their own breaker. Bathrooms must have an exhaust fan and there isn’t a code for the length of the duct so don’t worry about a lengthy run.

Your wires need to be stapled to the studs on the walls a couple inches back to keep them away from drywall screws or cabinet screws. Be careful not to staple them too tight or pinch them because this will be tough to find once the drywall gets installed and it will trip that Arch Fault breaker.

Use fire rated spray foam to fill any holes you make in the top plate of your framed walls per code. You will call for a rough inspection once all the wires are run, outlet boxes installed, ceiling light boxes or canned lights hung, and exhaust fan hung. Then once everything is finished you will call for a final inspection.

I think I covered everything here and you are welcome to call me for advice (Joe Taulbee) at 937-689-1635 or email me at Thank you for reading my blog and if you would like a free estimate to finish your basement our estimates are free!


Basement finishing costs/financing

30 Jan

Right now January 30th 2018 it costs around $30 a square foot to finish a basement through Good Guy Home Improvements in Montgomery, Warren, Greene, and Butler counties. If you want to add a full bathroom that will start at $10,000 if the plumbing is already roughed in, if not it could be an additional $5000. Bars added in can run from $2000 for very basic designs to whatever you want to spend.

We don’t take any money up front when finishing basements. You don’t write your first check to us until your basement is completely framed. This way you get to see us in action on every level before you pay for anything. The second payment is made after all rough inspections just before we hang drywall and the final payment upon completion and satisfaction of your newly finished basement.

Material costs fluctuate through out the year. Lumber has tripled since we started doing this 12 years ago. Drywall hasn’t gone up much since 2006. We definitely won’t be your lowest bid when getting estimates. I know we aren’t the highest price in town but I really believe our quality of work and attention to detail is the best in town. Estimates are negotiable and we will work to get your basement finished in a reasonable budget.

We accept cash, checks, credit cards, and we work with Day Air Credit Union for financing as well. Day Air is offering up to $25,000 on a unsecured loan at just over 6% and you can go to to see if you qualify. If you pay with a credit card there is a 4% fee.

You will increase the value of your home by finishing your basement and can turn that part of your home into whatever you like. Man cave, craft rooms, bedrooms, bars, theater rooms, recreation rooms, wine rooms, etc… Let us make your basement into your personal oasis! We really love finishing basements, and I have really Good Guys on my team that are very skilled at what they do.

Estimates are free and so is consulting so call me Joe Taulbee anytime at 937-689-1635 or email me at for any questions or to set up a time for me to come out to take a look at your basement.

Thank you!


Basement flooring

23 Jan

I get a lot of questions about what type of flooring should be used on a concrete basement slab. Lots of customers request the laminate hardwood look but that is never a good idea in a basement. Laminate gets damaged by any moisture and the concrete can have moisture in it from time to time even if you don’t see any. This moisture will wick up into that laminate and damage it. You can get a similar look having Vinyl Plank flooring installed and water can’t hurt it. Vinyl Plank flooring will run about $5 a square foot installed, it looks great and wears really well. I have added a picture of some vinyl that we installed in a basement in 2017 at the bottom of this blog.

You never want to put real hardwood in the basement either for the same reason as not putting laminate down there. You can however have engineered hardwood because the glue underneath it is waterproof which will keep moisture from wicking up.

Water issues should always be addressed before you finish your basement. Sump pumps with battery back up systems, leaky cracks professionally sealed, and make sure any gutter downspouts are properly draining water away from the house.

Carpet is affordable. I tell my customers to always go with Nylon instead of Polyester carpet. Nylon is softer and wears way better than Polyester. Also I suggest at least a 6lb pad but 8lb is best for comfort. Nylon with 6lb pad will run $3 a square foot and up installed.

Tile is nice but expensive, it will run $10 a square foot and up installed. It’s hard to find contractors that properly install tile. Most trowel the floor with mortar then immediately lay the tile, but the back of that tile needs mortar on it too or it will not stick and simply float on top the mortar.  If you tap the top of the tile a day after it has been installed and you hear a hollow sound then it wasn’t properly installed. Tile is hard and cold on that basement floor but it does look great and you can have a thermostat controlled heated wire mesh installed under the tile to give you a warm floor.

The cheapest option is simply painting the concrete slab. There is a really cool but expensive option of staining the concrete with epoxy and the designs are only limited to the imagination but this stuff is high is VOC’s and you would have to vacate the house with your pets for a day or two until the VOC’s diminish.

We installed Vinyl Plank in most of the basements we did in 2017. It is pretty popular at the moment but we will do whatever you want. Estimates are free and you can call me Joe Taulbee at 937-689-1635 or email me at to schedule a free estimate. I can’t wait to meet you and thank you for reading my blog!Vinyl plank flooring



Adding a bar to your basement?

30 Oct

Costs can vary from just a couple thousand for a small wet bar to easily exceeding $20,000 for something like the photos I have attached. Good Guy Home Improvements LLC has been finishing basements in Centerville, Springboro, Bellbrook, Beavercreek etc.. for the past 11 and a half years. We only service the counties of Warren, Montgomery and Greene.

So to properly add a wet bar to your basement, electrical and plumbing permits need to be pulled. The bar needs to be on a circuit (breaker) by itself so if there are no more spaces on your electrical panel you may need a sub-panel installed. The sink needs to drain so the bar should be close to an existing drain along the wall and if you have a septic system the water will need to be pumped out.

You can purchase cheap cabinetry and laminate counters, add the permits and a contractor to install the material and you are easily over $2000. Do it all yourself with out permits and you still will be over a grand. If you don’t pull permits, insurance companies can deny you if problems arise from the electrical and plumbing additions.

My advice if you don’t know what you are doing hire a good contractor and don’t skimp on materials. Buy American made faucets (Moen or Delta) and spend more for good cabinetry.

Basement finishing is Good Guy Home Improvements favorite thing to do! We are really good at basements and I couldn’t be more proud of the genuinely Good Guys we have working for us. Everyone is meticulous and a true craftsman! When I go into any home or commercial property I always look at the work that has been done previously and it is very rare to see the type of quality that my guys put out. Many homes that we go into have been newly built and it is a pleasure to finish the basements of these homes because the homeowners get blown away when they see their basements are finished with much more attention to the details. I know I am starting to sound like Donald Trump here, right, LOL? Well we have unlimited references to back up what I have said here and 0 BBB complaints. Every basement we finish at Good Guy Home Improvements we try to do it better than the one we did before and we never sacrifice quality for profit! I am available for free basement finishing estimates and can be reached at 937-689-1635 or

Thank you for reading my posts!

Joe Taulbee (Owner)


Drywall in basements

24 Oct

A common question I get while doing estimates for basement finishing is should we install moisture/mold resistant drywall (Green board) in the basement. The thinking is with green board you won’t have to worry about moisture/mold. Green board is moisture /mold RESISTANT not moisture/mold PROOF! If you have a water problem in your basement the solution isn’t green board. Cracks on walls can be filled with a two part epoxy to stop water intrusion and sump pumps can keep the water level underneath the foundation dryer. If you live in an old home you may need the weeping system around the base of your foundation updated which is very costly.

Green board will still grow mold if it gets wet and stays wet. Green board is a good idea and is only a few dollars more per sheet. A better idea is using half inch foam board on the back of the framed wall next to the foundation. The foam board is 100% water proof  and will keep all moisture off of the studs and insulation. Like I said though if you have a water problem and continuously have water on the floor, that water will wick up through the bottom treated 2 x 4 into the trim and drywall, which will grow mold and destroy the building materials.

In my own home I would use regular drywall with half inch foam board and make sure I fixed any water issues before I finish the space. If you can afford it pay to have closed cell insulation sprayed on all your exterior walls. You will have to leave the home for a day until the VOC’s have aired out but the end result is 100% air and water proof as well as meeting the R-13 code requirement from floor to ceiling.

Just my two cents and I am available for free basement finishing estimates and consulting in the Dayton area. You can reach me, Joe Taulbee at 937-689-1635 or

Thank you!Drywall


Power washing/concrete sealing

25 Jul

Good Guy Home Improvements uses a 4,000 PSI power washer with a surface cleaner to clean driveways, sidewalks and patios. If the concrete has oil or rust spots we spot clean those areas first before we seal but we typically can’t remove all the stains. Concrete is very porous so it is easy to stain an area by setting potted plants on a spot for a season, or oil leaks and rust spots. The stain sinks deep into the concrete making complete removal next to impossible. Think of it like a piece of wood absorbing stain then to get it off you would have to sand away the wood until you get deep enough to remove it, well with concrete you could use an acid but it will remove fine layers of your concrete with it and if you don’t get all the acid off your sealant won’t stick to the driveway, so we use environmentally friendly chemicals to draw up and remove the stain as much as possible.

If you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing in the winter you will want to seal all your concrete. If the concrete isn’t sealed, rainfall will absorb into it in the winter then freeze and pop out pits in the surface of your concrete. The sealer is good for 3 to 5 years depending on where you live and how much traffic your driveway gets.

Good Guy Home Improvements has used everybody’s sealer and have found one to be superior to the rest but we aren’t giving that info away in this blog.  We charge 50 cents a square foot to power wash and 40 cents a square foot to seal. The larger the job the cheaper the cost.