Basement Remodeling Weblog

December 21, 2009

Cabinet choices for Basement Wet Bars

The cabinetry and styles utilized for constructing basement bars often have more personality than cabinetry utilized in other rooms of the home. The homeowner feels free to create a more dramatic space in which their personal style can be expressed without the resale fears present when designing a kitchen or other predominant space in the home. The cabinetry style typically falls into one of the following three categories: traditional, contemporary, or transitional family friendly.     

Traditional cabinet styles and finishes are often used to create a pub style bar. Typically a designer would suggest a door style with lots of detail and applied moldings in a darker wood species and stain for this style. One way a homeowner can add their personal touch to this style is by…… Read More


December 10, 2009

Waterproofing Basement Walls

Waterproofing a basement is important to keep your home dry and mold free especially if you plan on remodeling your basement. There are many different basement waterproofing systems and methods. The requirements on every home vary depending on if you have a wet or dry basement. The moisture issues most commonly found in older homes are on the inside of the foundation walls or floor. Most new construction uses some type of exterior foundation waterproofing that usually keeps the basements fairly dry. If your building a new home I would definitely recommend some type of foundation wall moisture barrier.

 Before you begin with you interior fix make sure you check that your gutters & downspouts are clear all the way out to the curb. If you downspouts stop at the foundation you’ll need to get an extension to divert the water away from the foundation. Make sure the grade around the foundation slopes away from the house. Check for more tips at National Association of waterproofing

 When fixing interior walls one cheap and easy solution is a paint product called DRYLOCK made by UGL. You can just use a brush and heavy nap roller to apply the product to the masonry walls. They have many different products available depending on your situation.

 You can see if this product is right for you by taping a 12inx12in piece of aluminum foil to the suspected wall. leave it for a few days. When you come back if there is moisture on the room side you have a condensation problem. If its wet on the inside that was facing the wall you have a seepage problem. Remember both problems can occur at the same time. If you have a condensation problem a dehumidifier should help.

 If your basement is fairly dry and you just have a few damp spots or walls you might get by with the latex Drylock masonry waterproofer. You can buy it by the or the This formula is for waterproofing all interior, exterior, above or below grade masonry walls, cinder and concrete blocks, stucco, brick, retaining walls, basements, concrete swimming pools and foundations. No pre-mixing or pre-wetting necessary. You can even tint it to colors if you’d like.

 If your basement walls are moist or leaky you might want to consider the Drylock Extreme Masonry PaintThis contains synthetic rubber and Portland cement which helps give the walls a much tougher barrier. It is a little more expensive and the fumes are much more intense. You’ll want to wear a respirator when using this stuff.

 Both products can be applied to damp surfaces. First you want to make sure the walls are clean from rust, dirt, grease, or oil. Then make sure there are no Efflorescence, a (white, powdery, crystal-like deposit on the masonry surface). This must be removed with a wire brush and sometimes an acid wash. You will also need to patch any cracks or holes in the wall joints or floor. For this you can use <strong>DRYLOK® FAST PLUG </strong>a fast setting hydraulic cement. Make sure you dampen the area before applying the fast plug for a stronger patch. After thats all done your ready to paint. The coverage of the Drylock is about 50-75 sq ft per gallon. Ex. An eight foot tall wall that is 10 ft long is 80sq ft and would likely use more than one gallon.

For more information on Basement Remodeling visit:


by: David Michael

December 2, 2009

Basements and the hidden danger of Radon

Filed under: Basement — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David @ 3:23 pm



Basements and the hidden danger of Radon   

More and more people are turning towards finished basements especially now with the slow housing market. It’s a very cost effective way to take advantage of the extra space in your home. However there are some precautions you need to take when finishing a basement. Number one is Check for RADON. You cannot see, smell or taste it, but it could be lurking in your home.Most people don’t think at all about the danger of radon in their home. Radon is a radioactive cancer-causing gas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Surgeon General’s office have estimated that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused each year by radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If your home has high radon levels, you’re at risk for developing lung cancer. There are scientific studies of radon exposure that indicate that children may be more sensitive to radon. Do you really want to expose your family or your children to this toxic hazard? You shouldn’t, it’s not worth the risk.    

Testing is the only real way to know if your home has a radon problem. There are many different test kits that can be purchased online. If your homes radon levels are high there are many ways that you can fix it yourself fairly inexpensively. Here are some of the recommended test kits:    

First Alert RD1 Radon Gas Test Kit
 by First Alert 

Professional Radon Gas Dual Canister Test Kit
by Accustar Lab

You can also purchase a radon gas detector
Safety Siren Pro Series 3 Radon Gas Detector # HS71512
by Pro Series

 Cracks in concrete floors
Crawl spaces cracks in walls
 Sumpump opening  gaps around service pipes
 Cavities inside walls
Even the water supply

Radon is a national and global problem. The EPA estimates it in millions of home nationwide. Elevated radon level have been discovered in every state in the US. Check your state and see the results.

For more information visit the EPA or the following links 


EPA Radon Publications for Homeowners: 

Consumers guide to radon

A citizens guide to radon 

Health Risks  

Is radon where you live  





Blog at