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Are you thinking of converting your basement? If so, this can be a tricky and expensive project to undertake, if you aren’t careful. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of tips and guidelines to follow to ensure that this renovation is a success. Here is what you should know and do:

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Create a Budget

The first thing that you need to determine is how much you are going to spend on this renovation. Doing calculations at the beginning of the project can also help you to determine what kind of changes and how many of them you can make.

One of the easiest ways to determine how much you should spend is to look at your home’s ceiling value. This is the maximum amount of money that you can sell your house for. Based on this, determine which budget will ensure that you recoup the greatest amount of your costs for this remodel.

Choose the Right Contractor for the Job

Your basement isn’t like any other room in your home. This is because it is more likely to suffer from water damage, flooding, moisture issues, etc. Not to mention, this part of your home can be particularly colder as well. Due to this, you can’t simply begin decorating the space – you first have to tackle structural issues.

It is because of this that you should always hire professionals such as Markham Penguin Basements to handle this type of job. With their years of experience, they will be able to guarantee that the room is up to code before they focus on the aesthetic elements of the space.

Avoid Making Too Many Layout Changes 

You may have a lot of ideas for what you want to do with this space. It is best to avoid putting up walls or making too many structural changes. This is especially true if you are planning on living in this house for many more years to come. As the years go by, you may find yourself needing to use this room for various purposes.

An increasing number of homeowners are turning this space into in-law suites to accommodate aging parents, for instance. Thus, don’t make any major changes to the space. Try to keep it as an all purpose space so that it can be used for a number of things.

Mimic the Theme from the Main House

One of the mistakes that people make is to treat the basement like an entirely different space. Now, if you aren’t using it as a living space, then this will work for you. However, if you are planning on entertaining here, it is important for it to be an extension of the main house.

This means using the same color palette as above. You should also follow the same design theme. This creates a sense of cohesiveness and makes the space feel cozier too.

These are the main guidelines that you should follow if you are looking to convert this part of your home. Stick to these and you should have a beautiful space in a timely manner, while adhering to your budget!


When it comes to contractors, there are specialist contractors and general contractors. Specialist contractors work on one or more aspects of the work. Therefore, on a home renovation or construction project, they might work on the electrical and plumbing side of things only. This compares to a general contractor who is responsible for the complete project. They oversee it and act as project manager leading the contractors to ensure everything gets completed on time.

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Here are a few of the benefits of hiring general contractors and how they work for you.

Leading from the Front

A general contractor takes control of the project. Instead of the home developer or homeowner having to deal with each individual contractor one by one and juggle different responsibilities, that’s the general contractor’s job. What they say goes and other contractors report directly to the general contractor who in turn reports to the owner of the project. The buck stops with them. They’re also legally responsible and may also bear the responsibility and risk connected to what contractors below them have done or not done on the project.

Head in the Details, Not in the Clouds

The larger the building or renovation project, the more difficult it is to manage all the aspects simultaneously. Rather than the owner of the land or the property needing to get up to speed on what every contractor does, the general contracts already knows.

They look at what supplies are needed and source the right quality for a good price to keep on budget. They’ll usually have some good contacts with preferential deals on supplies compared to what the homeowner can access alone.

Good Communicators

As a general contractor, they’re required to speak the customer’s language and not only that of the contractors. They’re the point person to the developer or homeowner. While it’s difficult to talk with many contractors, the general contractor is the public face that pulls all the relevant information together to speak informatively and accurately about how the project is going and what difficulties are being experienced.

Responsible for Recruiting Other Contractors

Hiring specialist contractors is difficult because you have the experience to know what you’re looking for exactly. This makes it hard to find the right people. A general contractor understands the different specializations and how certain contractors can help complete projects better or sooner than expected. They also know the pitfalls of making a bad hiring call. They plan and make the hires and take care of the firings too.

Less Stress

When you have a general contractor on your building project, it’s far less stressful. Taking on the project and making it their responsibility is a huge burden off your shoulders. This allows you to relax about how things are progressing and place your focus elsewhere. You’ll still receive regular updates on progress, setbacks and delivery timelines, but your mind will be clearer.

Hiring a general contractor means that you no longer must micromanage each specialist contractor that you hire. They’re the team player with construction and home renovation knowledge, plus project management skills to keep everything on-track. Once you have one, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.