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 joe@goodguyhomeimprovements.com to schedule a free estimate. I can’t wait to meet you and thank you for reading my blog!Vinyl plank flooring

 

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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 joe@goodguyhomeimprovements.com

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 joe@goodguyhomeimprovements.com

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.

Materials for interior trim work.

26 Jun

A lot of companies will use what’s called MDF for all their interior trim work. MDF is compressed cardboard basically and is cheaper than wood but if it comes in contact with water it swells up, deteriorates, and will grow mold. I wouldn’t install it in my house so Good Guy Home Improvements won’t install it in yours. Good Guy Home Improvements always uses wood unless the customer wants to save money and take the chance with the MDF. Wood can get wet and still be fine once dried out.

If you know it won’t ever get wet you could use MDF trim but I would recommend you never install it in bathrooms, basements, or around exterior doors. If you hire a contractor to install trim make sure they are not using MDF trim in those areas and in my opinion don’t let them install it anywhere in your house. You can tell the difference by looking at the back of the trim and the feel of it. Good Guy Home Improvements will never sacrifice quality for profit! Call me (Joe Taulbee) at 937-689-1635 if you are in the Dayton area for a free estimate or email me at joe@goodguyhomeimprovements.com. We love to finish basements!Trim work

Egress Windows

7 Jun

A common request from our customers at Good Guy Home Improvements when finishing basements is adding a bedroom. Code requires an egress window/door inside any bedroom. Any person sleeping in a basement bedroom needs another way to escape in case of emergency.

The minimum opening requirement for the window is 5.7 square feet so a window 24 inches by 36 inches will meet the requirement.  Good Guy Home Improvements typically installs a 32 inch by 44 inch out swing window. The other code requirement is that the sill sits at a maximum of 44 inches off of the basement floor.

The outside of the house needs to be excavated down to the existing weeping system around the foundation of the house so that we can tie into that weeping system. This allows water a way out so it doesn’t come in your new window and into your newly finished basement.

There are many different wells that can be installed around the window that allows the person to climb out. We commonly use a plastic system made by wellcraft, but  there are metal ones, block, railroad ties, etc..

They say you can spend anywhere from $3500 and up to have one installed by a contractor but with Good Guy Home Improvements the price starts at $5000. It is pretty important that this is done correctly so if you are a DIYer do your homework, expect to spend $1500 to $2000, and it will be a really tough job.

Current costs for finishing a basement today (6-7-17) through Good Guy Home Improvements is $30 a square foot. To install a bathroom that is already roughed in starts at $10,000, if it isn’t roughed in $15,000. Egress windows start at $5,000 like I mentioned above for Good Guy Home Improvements.

As always I (Joe Taulbee) give free estimates and can be reached at 937-689-1635 or joe@goodguyhomeimprovements.com. We service Montgomery, Warren, Greene counties.

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

Basement finishing

6 Apr

It is April 6th 2017 and the economy is doing pretty well. Good Guy Home Improvements LLC is turning 11 this month and we just had the best first quarter to date thanks to our loyal customer base. Our favorite thing to do is finish basements and we are on our 5th one so far this year. Material prices have been rising which forces us to raise our prices as well. You can expect to pay $30 to $40 a square foot to finish your basement through Good Guy Home Improvements LLC. If you are adding a bathroom in your basement figure an additional $10,000 to start and bars start at $6000.

I get many calls a year from customers who tried to save money and hire a friend or someone who gave a cheap estimate to finish their basement only to have problems with code violations, poor quality, and poor materials used. It is worth it to hire a professional and to have the proper permits pulled. If you don’t you risk not only your house burning down but insurance won’t cover you if those permits weren’t pulled and inspections passed.

Yes your taxes will go up but so will the value of your home. We give free estimates, we don’t take any money up front, and you will have a one year warranty on all work and materials through Good Guy Home Improvements LLC. We take payments in three installments, the first being due after all framing is complete, the second after all rough inspections have passed just before we hang drywall, and the rest upon completion.

You can reach me, Joe Taulbee (Owner of Good Guy Home Improvements LLC) at 937-689-1635 or joe@goodguyhomeimprovements.com to schedule an estimate or just for consulting.