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reVISION Renovations Blog

Category: Basement Renovations

  1. Going up? Adding Ceiling Height to Your Basement Remodel

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    Last post we started the discussion of adding basement ceiling height to your remodel. We discussed the strategy of digging down to gain height in the basement. In this post, we talk about up by lifting the house to gain basement ceiling height.  As mentioned in the last post, these strategies have a high degree of difficulty

    First and foremost you have to check what the city zoning will allow. A few things to look for are how will house raising affect your floor space ratio and will the new height be above what’s allowable. Providing you are able to check all the city boxes and get a building permit, then we get to the good stuff.

    Let’s Get that House Airborne

    Have your qualified contractor and structural engineer inspect the condition of the home ensuring it can sustain a house lift and the additional weight. Next disconnect services like water, gas, electricity and sewage. In the basement demo the existing interior walls. Confirm subgrade condition for stable placement of jacks and support cribs.  Cut holes in the foundation to allow beams under the building. Jacks are placed under the beams and the house is raised and crib supports take the place of the jacks. Now that the building is off the foundation, its time to build the structural supports between the foundation and the bottom of the home. Lower the home onto the new structural supports and voila you have a taller basement. Now you are ready for framing, plumbing, electrical etc.

    Questions? Please feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to help out.

    Basement Ceiling Height

    Beams Placed for House Lift

    Basement Ceiling Height

    Support Cribs Under Beams

    Basement Ceiling Height

    A View of the House Above the Foundation

  2. Bringing Height to Your Basement Remodel

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    Thinking about a basement remodel and need a little headroom? There are a number of reasons to gain some height in your basement. Be it to make a legal basement suite or a more comfortable primary living space. Whatever your reason, I have two basement remodel strategies for you that we have successfully compleated many times. These strategies are major construction with a high degree of difficulty. Sorry DIY guys.

    Let’s Dig down

    The first piece of business is figuring out how deep the foundation goes below the floor slab. You can figure this out by finding a spot (preferably two) to dig on the outside of your home and keep digging until you find the foundation footing.  The top of the foundation footing is the lowest you can install the bottom of a new floor slab. Providing that a new lowered slab will meet your height requirements and city bylaws then you can move onto the difficult part

    basement remodel

    An opening in the foundation wall for the excavator

    The difficult part entails a complete basement demolition including the concrete pad. First of all, the foundation walls are maintained, modified or replaced with beams (see engineer). Next start digging the basement by hand or excavator (if you can bring one in). At the same time, determine if you will lower your existing exterior drain tile system (very evasive and rarely practical) or install an interior weeping tile system.

    Once you’ve got to your desired depth, install the interior weeping tile system, prep and pour the pad and install strip footings (per structural engineer). Upon completing the concrete work, you can begin the process of reinstalling mechanical, framing walls, plumbing, electrical etc.

    In part 2 I’ll explain the system which involves lifting/raising the house from its foundation

  3. From Rec to Rentals – What To Do With Your Basement Renovation?

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    Basement Renovation

    Basement suites are incredibly common in the Lower Mainland, yet many sit unused and gathering dust. What to do with them? That’s the big question. Do you create a whole new suite? A family room? A playroom? the list goes on. With living space being a luxury here in Vancouver we think it’s crazy not to be utilizing your space and getting the most out of it. We have picked our top 7 ideas for basement renovations.

     Rent out your suite

    The most obvious option is to rent out your suite. Studies show that four in ten home owners in Vancouver rent a part of their place out (News1130),  indicating, it’s clearly a great way to make some added income. Alternatively perhaps you need two generations of your family to live under one roof, sharing out the costs. Basement renovations are an effective way of adding value to your home, however it’s important you investigate your options. Info from Vancouver city can be found here which explains everything you need to know to legalize your basement.


    A playroom/playhouse

    Ok, we thought about putting the wine cellar next, but decided to go with the more practical option (boo us, we know). A playroom is a great way to keep your young ones busy, learning and having fun in the safety of your own home. There are so many ideas you could incorporate into your basement to entertain your kids. Built in playhouses, kitchens and shops are a great way to save on space. They could be easily transformed into storage as your children grow up. We also love the idea of having a stage or reading area to help bring out their creative side. Plus, lets be honest, it’s fun for the adults too!

    Home Theatre

    The type of thing you used to see on ‘MTV cribs’ – a home theatre built for family viewing. If you’re into your films, sports and TV it could be a great idea to renovate your basement into a home theatre. Just imagine watching Game of Thrones on the big screen! This type of renovation is likely to be more straight forward than converting your basement into a suite. It also takes less time. It’s also a great option for a basement with little to no natural light. The styles of home theatres are endless, you could go novelty theatre to chic home comforts. 

    Wine Cellar

    What most of us dream of, could become a reality for those of you with a basement. Renovating your basement into a wine cellar, is the perfect options for those wine lovers and those who love to entertain. Perhaps you could create a traditional wine tasting room, a chill out with wine zone or purely storage. The basement tends to stay much cooler than the rest of the house so already has a head start in being a successful renovation. It would certainly wow your guests on your next home tour.

    Office space

    For those of you working from home you will know how difficult it can be to focus with every day home distractions. Renovating your basement to a home office is a great idea. This might mean adding in amenities such as storage, printing facilities etc. If you have a more practical job it might mean creating a craft office, a workshop or an art studio. 

    Games Room, Bar or Man Den

    For the ultimate fun zone, why not renovate your basement to a games room or even a bar! This basement renovation is likely to stand the test of time. Unlike a children’s play area it can’t be outgrown. For those who like to entertain, this is the perfect basement renovation. If you are planning to sell your home it also adds the wow factor and really stands out. 

    Laundry space

    Perhaps you have a smaller basement? A laundry space could be a perfect basement renovation to get the most out of your home. Annoying rooms such as laundry can take up valuable living space. By putting it down in the basement, it also means all that drying, noise and commotion can be kept out of the way. 


    To view all of these images check out our Pinterest board here.

    If you have been inspired by this blog, feel free to get in contact with us today to see how we can transform your basement.

  4. 5 Inexpensive Ways To Give Your Basement A Makeover

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    Basement Makeover

    A survey has shown that more Canadians will be renovating their homes this year. Moreover, the rising cost of house prices are making Canadians think twice about buying a new home, and 56% of homeowners are opting to stay put and renovate instead of moving to a new place. One of the top projects that homeowners will be undertaking this year is basement renovation as it has been estimated that by making improvements to an unfinished basement, you can get a return on investment of about 73%.  reVISION Custom Home Renovations specialize in renovations and have completed some fantastic basement renovations adding value to their clients homes. While renovation is the best option for ROI, it may not be and immediate option due to finances. Here are some handy ideas to help improve your basement DIY style. 

    Create An Accent wall

    One of the best ways to keep your basement remodel within your budget is to find a simple way to update your space. Creating an accent wall is one way to hide design flaws as it can disguise an oddly shaped basement. Try painting one wall with a dark color for drama, such as navy blue, and paint all other walls in a neutral shade.

    Stick To A Color Scheme

    Sticking to a color scheme gives your basement a richer feel, even if you spent very little money on it. Try to coordinate paint colors with rugs, furniture, accessories, and the like. To create a calming space, try combining a watery blue with graphite, white, and light gray. For a warm and sophisticated feel, combine merlot red with white, cedar, and chocolate brown.

    Add A Gorgeous Rug

    Basement floors can be very cold, so remedy this problem by adding a big area rug to your décor. Not only will it make the room instantly cozy, but it will also hide unsightly stains and minuscule imperfections on your basement floor.  

    Create Storage Solutions

    If you’ve been using your basement to store seasonal clothing, mementos, and other knick-knacks, you may want to throw out those cardboard boxes and create efficient and beautiful storage solutions that will add to the beauty of your basement. You can have custom cabinets, or build simple shelves to hold matching baskets or containers to hold your items.

    Add Decorative Touches

    Enhance colour and light with lamps and pendant lights. Accents such as artwork, pillows, and throws can soften the look of your basement and make it an inviting place to stay in. You can also place a few indoor plants that don’t require much light such as snake plant, dracaena, maidenhair fern, creeping fig, and bromeliads to liven up your basement.

    These tips are fantastic to achieve a livable space on a DIY budget. For a larger renovation such as adding a suite, cinema room, storage space or other basement options contact reVISION Custom Home Renovations. They can help with the design and construction of your new basement, helping you to achieve your dream basement.

    Get a Free Estimate Request Today!

  5. 4 Steps to Building Your Dream Room – Wine Cellar Edition

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    “Where there is no wine there is no love” states president of reVISION, Todd Senft. Wine plays witness to our most intimate moments. Over wine we fall in love, celebrate, negotiate, and simply relax. It is the music that underscores our story. Building a wine cellar in your home is a special way to celebrate that most special of substances. With inspired design, wine cellars not only protect your liquid assets, they add flair, intrigue, and prestige to your home and create a unique space for wine tasting and entertaining. You expect the best from your wine and should demand nothing less of the designer and contractor building your dream room. Here are 4 steps to follow.

    1. Needs Assessment

    The designer should meet with you to assess your needs, budget, and space. Here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself:

    design plan for home renovation wine cellar*How will the room be used – simply for storage or also for entertaining? *What style do you want – a taste of Tuscany or a sleek, modern design?
    *What type of racking is required?
    *What are the technical considerations – humidity, ceiling height, ventilation requirements?

    Remember the construction of a wine cellar must satisfy the essential conditions for wine preservations.

    2. Design

    The designer will present multiple design approaches for your consideration and approval. Carefully review lighting options and finishes dark wood cabinetry wine cellarfor floors, walls and cabinetry – these elements will define the flavour of your room.

    I recently read an article, “This Man Put A Secret Window On His Kitchen Floor. The Reason? GENIUS“, I was inspired by the creativity of the designer. An absolutely stunning idea.

    3. Construction

    A qualified contractor will provide a comprehensive schedule, certified trades and warranty. Read 8 Successful Home Renovation Steps – Hiring A Professional Contractor to get an idea of what to look for when hiring a qualified contractor.

    4. Cheers!

    pouring red wine from wine cellarRemove the cork fill a glass and enjoy!

    Creating a wine cellar for your new or existing home should be like a fine wine … easy on the palette with a lovely, lasting finish.

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