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fun and unique basement finishes

10 Fun and Unique Basement Remodeling Ideas to Include in Your Space

By Basements

Whether you’ve got an unfinished basement or a space you’d like to remodel, a basement has tons of potential. Instead of letting it sit as an unused space, turn it into a place where you’ll love to spend your time.

The possibilities are endless when you refinish or remodel your basement with Aspire Construction, the leading basement finishing contractors in Utah. While there are plenty of practical things to add to an unfinished basement, such as bedrooms and bathrooms, let’s talk about some fun and unique basement remodeling ideas you can add to your new space.

Movie Theater

basement home movie theater

The basement is the perfect place to create the movie theater room of your dreams. Instead of going to the local theater to enjoy your favorite movies and new releases, you can enjoy them in the comfort of your home. Whether you want a simple space with a large TV and sound system or if you want to go all out with theater seats, a projection system, and soundproofing, our basement finishing contractors can help you accomplish it all.

Golf Simulator Room

in home golf simulator room in basement

For the ultimate escape and relaxation room, add a golf simulator to your basement space. In the cold winter months, when you’re dying to get outside and tee off, you’ll be able to experience the feeling right in your basement. Adding a golf simulator room is relatively simple and requires little space, making it an easy addition to any basement.

Game Room

game room in basement

Whether you want to add a pool table, arcade games, or the ultimate video gaming space, adding a game room is an idea that the whole family will love. It’s even possible to create a space incorporating all the gaming elements you’d like. When you make a game room in your basement, you come up with ideas, and we’ll create the design you’ll love. 

Exercise Room

modern basement finishing with a gym

If you’re a regular at the gym, you may have been thinking about adding a personal workout space to your home. The basement is an ideal place to incorporate an exercise room for many reasons. When designing a basement gym, adding unique elements is important. A source of natural light, TV screens, and high-quality equipment will transform your empty space into a place where you’ll want to spend your time.

Kids’ Play Area

kids playhouse in basement

Incorporating a kids’ play area into your basement space is wise for several reasons. Not only does it give the kids a designated place to play, but it also helps to hide the clutter of toys from visitors. When designing the space with your basement finishing contractor, the sky is the limit! Add a slide to the basement stairs, incorporate a rock wall, or install a kiddie swing. Don’t forget to add some storage areas for toys, books, or games. 

Bar or Wine Cellar

wine cellar in basement

Don’t forget to incorporate a unique adult area when planning your basement remodel. Adding a bar or wine cellar takes little space but can have a big payoff. Plan a simple bar on a wall with a sink and a few open shelves, or go all out and install an island with seating. 

Because of its cool, dark environment, a basement is also ideal for a wine cellar. If you have a wine enthusiast in the family, they will appreciate this small space built just for them. Installing a wine cellar is as simple as having an area with shelves, controlled temperature, and humidity. As always, your basement finishing contractors can help you easily plan for a bar or wine cellar in your space.

Hobby Studio

basement hobby studio. Art room

Have you always wanted a space dedicated to your hobby? Whether you love pottery, painting, or woodworking, a basement is the perfect spot to incorporate the hobby room of your dreams. Not only is it tucked away from the rest of the home, but it’s also a quiet spot where you can spend your time. 

Home Spa

sauna in basement

Add a home spa to your basement space for the ultimate relaxation. Design a relaxing space with a sauna, massage table, and hot tub. In the cold winter months, your home spa will be a relaxing escape from the frigid cold. 

Secret Room with Hidden Door

secret hidden door

Whether you want a hidden man cave or a movie room, you can turn any basement room into a secret hideaway. Not only can we help you create the concept, but we’ll also help you design the private entrance to your favorite room in the home. Secret rooms add a sense of mystery and whimsy to your basement space and quickly become a place where your family will enjoy spending plenty of time.

Library or Study Room

basement library with built ins

The basement is a quiet, tucked-away area perfect for reading, studying, and getting cozy. If you have a substantial book collection, planning for a library will give you a place to store all your books and spend time reading your favorite collections. Libraries can also double as study rooms for kids studying for the big test. Basement finishing contractors like Aspire Construction can help you plan and will install all the necessary library finishes, like shelves and cabinets.

Hire Aspire Construction to Plan Your Next Basement Remodel

Whether planning a full basement renovation or needing help with a few rooms, Aspire Construction is your source of basement ideas and inspiration. Throughout the years, we have mastered the art of basement remodeling. We’ll turn your basement into a fun and functional space where your family will love spending their time. To learn more about how we can help you with your basement, contact us today.


basement remodeling ideas

8 Ways to Transform Your Basement into a Space You’ll Love

By Basements

8 Basement Renovation Ideas to Transform Your Space

Basements can often have a bad reputation–these dark, cool places inside the home are often unfinished and commonly used as storage areas instead of places your family can gather and enjoy time together.

Whether you’re planning a massive basement renovation or a light finishing project, there are plenty of things you can add to your basement that will take it from boring to extraordinary. Here are a few things you can incorporate into your basement to use it to its full potential.

1. Utilize Natural Light

Because basements are so low to the ground (or below ground), they’re often dark and gloomy. If there’s room in the budget, plan to add as much natural light as you can during your basement renovation, like installing larger windows or light wells. Dark basements also benefit from using mirrors to increase room light whenever possible. Also, consider using light-colored flooring and walls to reflect the natural light.

2. Add Color

Another way to lighten up your basement is to incorporate bright colors. Your basement is the perfect opportunity to experiment with bold statement colors that you’ve always wanted to try. If used effectively, bright colors will make your basement feel brighter and create an optical illusion of more space and height. 

3. Make it Fun

Here’s your chance to think outside the box! Ask yourself, what fun elements can I add to my basement space? Many people choose to add a game or entertainment room where the family can relax. Need an area where the kids can play for hours on end? Install a playroom behind a secret door. If you’ve always wanted a theater room, the basement is an ideal location to install one. Put a cozy reading nook into your plans or even a music room where the family can have jam sessions. When it comes to making your basement a fun place, the sky is the limit.

4. Create Coziness

Transform your basement from a cold, dark area into a place where you’ll want to spend your time. After all, a basement can be a relaxing place, so why not make it cozy? Design a living room with comfortable furniture, plush pillows, and some throw blankets. A rug adds a warm feeling to the room and can protect feet from a cold basement floor. Lamps, potted plants, and candles are finishing touches that create a warm ambiance. 

5. Think of Functionality

Not only can a basement be a place of entertainment and relaxation, it can also be a place to add functionality that might be missing in other areas of your house. In fact, the most liveable basements often incorporate elements of many different types of spaces. For example, have you recently started working from home and need an office space? Or have you always wanted a gym space of your own? Brainstorm some functional elements you can add to your basement renovation that will improve the usability of the space.

6. Don’t Forget the Essentials

While you’re planning all the fun and functional components of your remodel, don’t forget to incorporate the essentials for a liveable basement. You’ll want to plan for at least one bathroom in the basement area. Adding a bathroom in the basement space not only adds convenience but also provides ease of access. Many homeowners also add kitchen elements, such as a wet bar, kitchenette, or even a full-size kitchen. Incorporating these kitchen elements makes your space more usable and convenient. It can also drastically increase the value of your property.

7. Add a Dose of Personality

When you incorporate elements of your personality into your basement, you’re likely to spend more time down there. How can you accomplish this? There are many different ways.

First, you can incorporate some of your favorite hobbies into the space. If you like wine tasting, add a wine cellar. If you’re an artist, plan an area where you can create. Adding personality can also be as small as hanging up some of your favorite movie posters, picking out funky wallpaper, or displaying treasured family items. 

8. Remember to Add Storage

Basements are an ideal place to store many different things. The key is to make sure the storage place is well-planned and organized. Cold storage rooms with well-built and organized shelving are great places to store food and other essentials. Instead of storing holiday or personal items in a garage, create a well-organized room where you can arrange totes. Don’t forget to add other storage elements, such as closets, cabinets, or other built-ins.

Create Your Dream Basement Space with Aspire Construction

If you plan to renovate your basement but aren’t sure where to begin, call the basement finishing experts at Aspire Construction. Our professionals will guide you through the entire process, ensuring we incorporate every element you’d like. With over 40 years of combined construction experience, we’re the team you can count on to create the basement of your dreams. Contact us today to begin your project.

finished basement with kitchen

Completed Basement Finishing Projects

By Basements

Creating a family-friendly place in an unfinished basement is a common goal for many homeowners who have put it off for years. If you’re interested in taking a step toward finishing the extra space in your basement, you may have some questions about what to expect. Here’s a little more about the process of completing a basement and what you can expect from Aspire Construction, the leading Utah basement finishing experts.

What is the process of finishing a basement in Utah?


Before any actual work can begin on the basement, you’ll have to complete some prep work. First, you’ll need to remove all items and clutter from the basement. Not only will this help the process of getting started, but you’ll be able to see your space again, giving you ideas on how to use it best. Next, a designer must draft plans for the area.

Once you’ve put together a detailed design for the basement, you’ll need to obtain permits from the city. Getting permits ensures that your work will be done up to code, saving you from possible headaches later. Aspire Construction can assist with drafting plans and applying for permits during this stage of the process.

We also suggest completing moisture, radon, mold, and mildew tests. If any of these are an issue, it’s easier and cheaper to address them before construction in the basement begins.

Framing and Insulation

After completing the prep work, it’s time for framing and insulation. Following your basement plans, the framers will put up walls — being mindful to frame around any current ducts, pipes, or valves.

Contractors will also install insulation at this stage. Depending on your climate, various insulation types, such as sprayed foam, foam board, and fiberglass, will most likely be used. Insulation in your basement protects heat transfer between the home’s exterior walls and helps with soundproofing.

Install Utilities

The next step is utility installation. Electricians will install all the electric wires, and plumbers will complete the beginning stages of all piping. HVAC contractors install air ductwork for heating and cooling systems, which will run inside the walls.

Choose a Basement Ceiling Type

There are several options for finishing a ceiling in the basement, such as a drop ceiling or drywall. Discuss your options with your contractor to determine the best ceiling type for your home improvement project.

Drop ceilings sit below the main structural ceiling and are an excellent option for covering pipes. They give the homeowner easy access to utilities within the ceiling in case there is a need for repairs. A dry-walled ceiling can give you a clean, painted surface and it’s easily repairable.

Install Drywall

Next, drywall installers will begin hanging drywall in your basement. They’ll hang large sheets of drywall on the studs in the basement, attaching them with screws. The mudding and taping start once all the surface areas are covered in drywall. Mudding and taping reinforce the joints of the drywall and cover up screws, allowing for a smooth surface ready for paint.

Paint and Add Finishing Touches

Once you’ve made it this far, it’s time for the finishing touches. This is where your basement will begin to come to life! Trim and doors will be installed, and everything will be painted. Cabinets in the basement will be installed, along with finishing plumbing fixtures such as toilets and sinks. Flooring, such as tiling, plank flooring, or carpet is installed. Electricians will arrive to complete the installation of light fixtures, recess lighting, and any other finishing touches are completed.

Next comes the best part: enjoying your new basement!

A Few Recently-Completed Basement Finishing Projects from Aspire Construction

What can you expect when you finish a basement in Utah with Aspire Construction? Here are just a few of the recent projects that we have completed for our clients.

Game room and kitchenette in basement remodel

This client wanted a game room area where they could shoot some pool, kick back to watch some TV, and enjoy time together. We completed the necessary elements for the basement, such as electrical work, insulation, drywall, paint, and carpet. A small kitchenette was installed per the client’s wishes, completing the basement space.

finished basement with kitchen

Additional living areas with a kitchenette, living room, and exercise rooms are some of our most popular requests as basement contractors. As you can see in this photo, we installed wooden flooring, a modern fireplace, and a functional kitchenette that the client will enjoy for many years to come.

comfortable basement entertainment area with kitchenette attached   basement finishing with built-ins

Many clients enjoy having media built-ins to help organize and display items in their basements. We added a fireplace, media built-ins, and a kitchenette area in this basement. See the tiny blue door in the corner? It’s a dedicated play area for children. This client maximized every square foot in their basement for maximum functionality.

Have a Basement Remodel on Your Mind? Contact Aspire Construction

If you’ve always wanted to turn your unfinished basement into an area you can enjoy, trust the basement finishing experts at Aspire Construction. We approach every project with honesty and integrity, ensuring you’re completely satisfied with your new basement.

Whether you need to finish the basement or are interested in basement remodeling, our basement contractors turn your unused space into something beautiful and functional. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact Aspire Construction today.

walkout basement finishing contractors

How to Add Value to Your Home by Finishing Your Basement

By Basements

Add value to your home with a finished basement. Basement finishing is a common way for homeowners to expand their living space and add new home features. These additions can pay off in the long run by increasing your home’s property value along with expanding your livable space. The finished basement added value comes in several forms and may vary depending on what you choose to include in your basement finishing project.

To get the most value from a finished basement per square foot, you need to plan ahead and make intelligent decisions when choosing how to use the available space. The following are some ideas for how to increase your home value by finishing a basement.

When you’re ready to start your basement finishing project in Utah, contact Aspire Construction. We offer basement finishing and remodeling construction services in cities throughout Utah.

Basement Finishing Ideas That Can Add Value to Your Home

Some basement additions may add more monetary value than others. However, whether you are adding a bathroom, expanding the laundry room, or adding an extra room the value can be realized immediately by improving your quality of life, giving you extra space and more utilities, adding a modern aesthetic to your home, and increasing your home’s equity value.

Expand Your Livable Space

Finishing your basement adds value to your home by increasing the square footage of livable space. Basement living space generally holds about 70 percent of the value of an above-ground area of the same size.

Your new basement living space will likely be smaller than the main level. This is due to the fact that basement rooms must accommodate all the utility lines, insulation, and foundation reinforcements. Nevertheless, every new square foot of living space will add value to your home.

Add a Bedroom

One main factor contributing to the home’s value is the number of bedrooms. Homes with more bedrooms tend to have higher valuations. Creating additional bedrooms in the basement can turn your three-bedroom home into a five-bedroom home. And, of course, bedrooms count as living space, so you’ll also be expanding your square footage.

Along with the monetary value, a bedroom in the basement gives you the opportunity to host guests, give a family member their own space, or even rent it out for a little extra cash.

Add a Bathroom

Adding a bathroom while finishing your basement will also add value to your home. In addition to making your home’s real estate listing more appealing, your basement bathroom will be convenient when you’re living, playing, and working in your newly finished basement.

Add a Kitchen

A second kitchen can help you when cooking meals for large gatherings or prepping for outdoor cooking. It can also be a convenient place to keep snacks and drinks. Go with a full-sized basement kitchen, or keep it simple with a small bar and sink. Any additional kitchen area in the basement will add convenience to your life, make your home more appealing when the selling time comes, and add to your home’s value. 

Create an Apartment to Rent Out

Get creative when thinking about how to add value to your home. Double up on the gain by creating an entire apartment in your finished basement. You’ll get the finished basement added value, plus you can rent out the apartment and net some monthly income. That’s the value upon value.

Add a Recreational Room

The basement is perfect for unique rooms like a game room, home gym, home theater, or man cave. These types of rooms expand living space and tend to be versatile. They are also what makes one home stand out from the next.

Don’t put off your hobbies and fun any longer. Give yourself the space you need to relax and unwind in your finished basement. You’ll feel better, have more fun, and improve the value of your home.

Add Utility Room or Workspace

Put the final touches on your finished basement with a designated laundry room, home office, or studio. Basements are also perfect for utility rooms, storage, and cold storage for all the unsightly cords, trinkets, and items we want to keep and preserve. Get the space to concentrate and get your work done in a new basement room that’s already paying for itself.

Get Help With Your Basement Finishing Project

Finishing your basement is a great way to improve your home’s value while also giving you and your family the space you need to get the most out of your lives. Any combinations of the above ideas are great ways to add value to your home as part of a basement finishing project. However, transforming those ideas into reality takes the help of skilled basement finishing contractors. That’s where we come in.

Aspire Construction has decades of experience in Utah basement finishing. Whether you need to build an unfinished basement or a current basement remodeling in Utah, Aspire Construction can do the job. Our basement remodeling contractors know how to build your basement to withstand Utah’s harsh weather so you can enjoy your space year after year while it retains its value.

Contact Aspire Construction today to get started on your Utah basement finishing project.

basement ready to start basement finishing project

10 Tips for Finishing Your Basement

By Basements

Are you ready to finish your basement? You may want to add more livable space to your home, or you may want to move and increase your home value before listing. Regardless of your reasons, thinking through your basement finishing project and making thorough plans is essential. Here are ten basement finishing tips and tricks to decrease stress and ensure your basement finishing gets off to the right start.

#10: Clean Out the Space Before Construction

The first thing you will need to do before finishing your basement is to clean out the space being renovated. You will need to move all items, including furniture, boxes, and exercise equipment, out of your basement. Depending on the amount of stuff you have, you can store it:

  • In your garage
  • In upstairs rooms
  • In upstairs closets 
  • In the utility room – make sure that there is space for you or a contractor to move and work around the electrical and HVAC system.
  • Off-site – a storage unit, storage pod, or the home of an excellent friend or family member

Remember that finishing a basement takes time when you pack things away or move stuff upstairs. Also, remember that construction is dusty, and items stored in the basement utility room will get covered in construction dust. 

Tip #9: Check for Safety

There are a lot of things to check and do before you can put up walls. The most important thing is ensuring your basement is safe for residents and visitors. Get your home’s ventilation system checked by a professional to ensure you won’t have carbon monoxide buildup below grade. Many Utah basement finishing contractors detect radon buildup in Utah basements. If you plan on having bedrooms in the basement, testing for radon and installing a radon pump if levels are high may be a good idea.

Your basement will also need egress windows installed, which are windows that allow individuals a safe escape in an emergency. 

Tip #8: Remember to Insulate

Insulation can provide you with a lot of energy cost savings in the long run, and it’s wise to insulate your basement well before putting up drywall. Insulate pipes, rim joists, and exterior walls to preserve heat and prevent potential condensation. 

Tip #7: Check for Moisture and Fix Leaking Problems

Before finishing your basement, you will need to check for moisture, even in Utah. Ensure all water pipes are in working order and no condensation builds up on the foundation walls. If needed, make changes to your home’s exterior to ensure water flows away from basement floors. Caulk small cracks and consider waterproofing exterior walls and floors.

Tip #6: Get the Proper Permits and Follow Codes

Following city building codes and pulling the proper permits is necessary when finishing your basement. Not only does it ensure that the work done on your basement is safe, but it also guarantees a higher list price when you sell your home. Basements not finished using proper safety codes can be hazardous and will be a red flag to future home inspectors. If you are completing your basement on your own, you can go through the proper permit process in your city. If you hire a general contractor, they will take care of the permits.

Tip #5: Inspect and Install Plumbing and Wiring

Make sure that you plan for plumbing and wiring before construction. Check on your existing wiring and plumbing options and upgrade when needed. Make sure that your electricity and wiring will support your lighting plans for the basement, including canned lights, theater lighting, and other special lighting needs. For safety, ensure a qualified electrician and plumber perform work and upgrades.

Tip #4: Design the Space to Meet Your Needs

Designing your basement is fun and exciting, and you can create exactly what you want with proper planning. Some of the most popular basement ideas are:

  • Home theater
  • Entertainment room
  • Home gym
  • Extra or guest bedrooms
  • Library
  • Game room
  • Basement apartment
  • Kitchenette or kitchen
  • Den

You can also plan for helpful storage solutions, outdoor entryways, and more as you design the space that best supports you and your lifestyle.

Tip #3: Finish Your Basement at the Right Time

The best time to get construction done on your Utah basement is during the summer months when the weather is less likely to slow or halt progress. However, summer is also one of the busiest times for construction, so make sure you start early and plan ahead – hire your general contract in late winter or early spring to begin floor plans and permit pulling, and order materials earlier if you are doing part or all of the construction yourself so you aren’t slowed down unnecessarily by delayed shipments and unavailable materials. 

Tip #2: Stick to Your Budget

Utah basement finishing costs can be high. Make sure that you budget for your basement finishing. If you complete it yourself, write up an itemized budget that breaks down the project into different areas, such as permitting, contractor work, materials, etc. If hiring a general contractor, have a budget in mind and clearly communicate what it is. Then work with your contractor to design your basement based on your budget.

Tip #1: Hire a General Contractor You Trust

Basement finishing can be expensive, overwhelming, and time-consuming when you take it all on yourself. Consider hiring part or all of your basement remodeling project to save time, money, and sanity. Aspire Construction has some of the best Utah basement finishing contractors to design and create the space you want. They complete your project on time and within budget and communicate clearly with you throughout the process. If you wish to finish your basement or remodel your space, Aspire Construction can help. Contact us today to get your project started.


finished walk out basement

All About Basement Walk-Outs

By Basements, Residential

Many Utah houses have basements, which not only add square footage to your home but can also bring incredible resale value to your property when finished (in other words, made suitable for everyday living).

While “basement” brings to mind a fully underground level of a home, that’s not the case 100% of the time. Walk-out basements are a type of basement that can be partially or fully underground but feature a door (and often an exterior stairwell) to the outside, ground level of the property. This means the basement can be accessed from both the interior and the exterior of the house. Whether your basement has an existing walk-out entrance or you’re considering adding one in, our creative construction solutions can help you renovate and finish your basement to be the most comfortable and inviting part of your home. 

Keep reading to learn more about walk-out basement finishing and get answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

What types of basements can have a walk-out?

Homes on sloping lots can more easily feature a walk-out basement; for example, the basement in the front of the house may be fully below ground because of the slope of the yard, yet the basement in the back of the home is fully or partially above ground. This type of lot makes it easy to add a walk-out entrance/exit to a basement. However, even if your lot is not sloped in this way, creative construction solutions can still introduce a walk-out to your basement. In these cases, there may need to be additional earthwork, foundation work/retaining walls, and drainage solutions involved.

What’s the difference between a walk-up and a walk-out basement?

“Walk-out” is often used to describe any basement with an exterior entrance — especially those that have an exterior door that opens directly onto the ground level. However, “walk-up basement” can actually be a more accurate term to describe a basement that has an outdoor stairwell leading down to the exterior door. (And this makes sense; you must walk up and out to leave a basement with this type of feature.) It’s not uncommon to see “walk-out” used in real estate to describe any type of basement with an exterior entrance, however. Here, we’ll continue to use the term “walk-out,” but know that many of the benefits and features of a walk-up basement are similar to that of a walk-out basement. 

What are the benefits of a walk-out basement?

There are plenty of benefits of this type of basement in Utah! Here are just a few:

  • Increased natural light and ventilation in your basement. (In fact, this is why walk-out basements are often called “daylight basements.”)
  • Improved resale value, as these basements are seen as more desirable by most homebuyers.
  • Quick and accessible entrance or exit in case of fire or other emergency.
  • More flexibility with the layout of the home — including the ability to create a separate rental unit in your home for short or long-term stays, with its own entrance.
  • Greater ability to move items, such as furniture, in and out of the basement level. 

Will it add value to my home?

Yes! Generally, a walk-out basement will add value to your home, for all of the reasons listed above. However, the specific value amount will vary depending on factors such as the location and age of your home, whether or not the basement is finished (and the quality of the finish), the current real estate market, and more. If you’re on the fence about adding a walk-out basement to your home, it’s never a bad idea to consult with a real estate professional for a more accurate assessment of how this renovation upgrade could impact the value of your home.

Why Aspire Construction is Utah’s Best Walk-out Basement Finishing Contractor

Whether you want to add a walk-out to your existing basement, or you have a walk-out basement that is unfinished or outdated, our team of construction professionals can help! Our extensive portfolio of homes includes home across the Salt Lake Valley, including Salt Lake City, Sandy, Draper, and Utah County. 

From adding home theater rooms, guest suites, and second kitchens to finally giving you that large family room you’ve been dreaming of, we can make your basement feel like the cozy, comfortable hangout your family will love. Our Utah general contractors know how to deliver the highest quality construction work to give your basement renovation or basement finishing project the premium look and feel your home deserves.

For more information about our walk-out basement finishing services, contact us today.


home construction - basement finishing - home insulation

What Kind of Insulation is Right for Your Basement Finishing Project?

By Basements, Residential

Tackling a basement finishing project isn’t a small task, and there are many decisions to make. One of the most important decisions is the kind of insulation you should choose. Insulation is critical to any basement; the more stable the temperature in your basement, the more stable the temperatures will be throughout your home in both the summer and the winter.

With so many options on the market, which kind is the best for your Utah basement finishing project? As the leading basement contractors in Utah, we at Aspire know a thing or two about the insulation of basement walls. Let’s discuss all the basement insulation options on the market so you can make a more informed choice.

basement insulation

5 Most Common Types of Insulation in Utah Homes

  • Batt

Commonly made from fiberglass or mineral wood, batt insulation was traditionally manufactured in rolls but is now cut into flat pieces. Batt insulation is available with or without facing, and local climates will determine what type is installed. Generally speaking, batt insulation isn’t the best option for exterior basement insulation because the fiberglass is not an effective vapor barrier.

  • Blown

Blown insulation is made from a cellular plant source, such as wood and recycled paper products. It’s an excellent option for enclosed areas because it easily conforms to ductwork and pipes and fits easily in the space where insulation is needed. Blown insulation is a great option for attic spaces.

  • Reflection

This type of insulation features a reflective facing made from aluminum foil or aluminized polyester. It is an incredibly efficient type of insulation and can reflect heat by up to 95%. In areas with extreme temperatures, it can keep out hot summer air and keep warm air inside during the cold winter. Reflection insulation is effective when installed near a heat source, such as near HVAC equipment, underneath a metal roof, or in an area behind a stove.

  • Spray Foam

Spray foam, made with a mixture of isocyanate and polyol resin, is an air barrier material that is an effective seal that can be applied to floors, walls, and ceiling cavities. It can be sprayed into any cavity, such as an attic, crawl space, rim joists, and more. If an open cavity can benefit from extra insulation, spray foam is a great option. Closed-cell spray foam is an excellent option for insulating basement walls because of its ability to resist moisture with minimal application.

  • Foam Board

Also known as rigid foam insulation, foam board insulation is commonly used for basement wall insulation because of its ability to resist moisture. It is sold in panels of various sizes and is made from polyurethane, polystyrene, or polyisocyanurate. It can be installed into any cavity of the home and can also be used as sheathing on the outside of the house.

basement finshing - choosing the right insulation for your basement

A Few Factors to Consider Before Selecting Insulation

  • Cost

The many different kinds of insulation mean that there are many variables to consider when selecting insulation for your space. Prices can vary from a national average price based on the size of your project, labor prices, equipment being used, and more. Fiberglass batts are generally the least expensive option, while spray foam insulation is the most expensive option.

  • Location & Use

As we’ve discussed above, some types of insulation are best for specific areas, while others can generally be used in any space. In many cases, a variety of insulation is used throughout the home to provide the best possible insulation result. A basement finishing contractor, like Aspire Construction, can help you choose the best insulation for the different places in your basement.

  • Eco-Friendly

If you’re interested in using an eco-friendly option for your Utah basement finishing project, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of choices on the market. Some green insulation options are cellulose fiber, rigid cork, fiberglass, mineral wool, and some varieties of spray foam.

  • R-Value 

R-value is a rating scale for thermal resistance. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation. Utah has specific insulation requirements for homes based on the home’s location. For example, attics in homes in northern Utah need at least R-49 to R-60 insulation. The R-value for attic insulation is based on the insulation depth, with 12 inches deep being equal to R-36 and 16 inches deep being equal to R-48.

basement finshing - window well

From Insulation to Finishes, Trust Aspire for Basement Remodels in Utah

Are you looking to begin your Utah basement finishing project? Trust the professionals at Aspire. Not only will we take care of your remodel, but we’ll take the guesswork out of finding the right insulation for the job. With over 40 years of combined experience, there’s no project our Utah basement contractors can’t handle. Our licensed professionals will take over every step of the job, communicating with you throughout the entire process for the best possible result. Contact us today for a bid on your next Utah basement finishing project and more.

home theater in basement

Design Tips and Ideas for Your Basement Home Theater

By Basements, Residential

Adding a home theater can be a great way to create a multi-use space that benefits the whole family. However, no two home theaters are exactly alike, and making the right theater for your space requires you to consider several factors.

Below, we’ll lay out some of the common trends we’re seeing in Utah home theater construction and leave you with some tips for designing the ultimate home theater in your basement.

For the best in Utah basement home theaters, the first tip is an important one: get help from a Utah basement home theater contractor like Aspire Construction. Aspire has experience handling all the roadblocks you may stumble upon in a Utah construction project and can help you navigate them efficiently. 

Three Trends in Utah Basement Home Theaters

While each home movie room is slightly different, we can still spot trends that tend to occur over time. We see the following features in many Utah home theaters.

Basement Still Offers the Best Setting

Most Utah home theaters continue to be built in the home’s basement. Basement rooms tend to cost less to maintain optimal temperature through Utah’s large temperature fluctuations. Basement movie rooms also block out more natural light than movie rooms at ground level or higher. The lower lighting often makes the movies easier to see, especially if your basement home theater room uses a projector.

Outstanding Technological Achievement

Modern technology has reduced the costs of home theater technology, from the high-quality components of a surround sound system to projectors and screens. That makes constructing a theater room more affordable for more homeowners.

Technology has also gotten better. Many modern projectors can create a full and bright image on a projection screen for very little compared to models of just five to 10 years earlier.

Modern interior design components also simplify installing your new tech. Many modern elements of a home theater system, from the television or projector, to the individual speakers of the surround sound system, can connect through a private, in-home wireless network.

While these components still require power, wirelessly connecting them to each other eliminates the need to run a special conduit or pull speaker wire through walls or under the carpet. Just turn on the speakers and the network and follow the wireless connection instructions. 

Double Feature

In the past, Utahns tended to create more multi-purpose home theaters. However, with the lower cost and fewer installation hurdles mentioned above, many Utah homeowners opt to create two basement theater spaces; one that’s a movie room/game room and another that’s more like a bar or a man cave. That way, the kids can still have an excellent place to play their video games, even if Dad is watching the game.

Five Design Ideas for Your Ultimate Home Movie Room

Follow these five tips to give yourself an edge when designing your home theater and building it into a feature piece of your finished basement.

Keep Use Cases in Mind

Every home theater is different. Some simply need to host family movie nights. Others must function as multimedia rooms and integrate other components, like gaming systems or computers. Others must change functions based on the day or even the time of day. It could be a living room by day and a basement theater room by night.

Keep the use(s) of the room in mind throughout the design. It should influence your design theme and all of its elements. The uses of your space will also dictate the technological components you’ll need to ensure it can perform all the functions required.

Be sure to consider how the lighting and atmospheric conditions will change throughout the day or the year and how those changes may affect the people in the room you’re designing. Incorporate any additional features needed to add comfort and convenience to the room such as additional heating units, fans, dimming switches, and more. 

Pick a Theme and Embrace It

Utah basement home theaters come in a wide variety of styles for fans of any genre. You can design a home theater based on your favorite TV or movie franchise. Some people like to celebrate movies in general with their theme. Others like their home theater to reflect their favorite sports team. Sometimes people want their home theater to resemble a sports bar, and sometimes they want it to keep the feel of a living room.

No matter what theme you choose, stick to it and use only colors and materials that support your theme in your interior design. Your theme will tell you what colors to use, what types of furniture to get, and what wall coverings to use and influence every decision, from construction concerns to lighting choices.

For example, if you want to recreate the full theater experience at home, you may want to build or install tiered stadium seating.

Consider All The Angles

The point of a home theater room is to provide a place where friends and family can watch something together. So, make sure everyone can see it. Consider the sight lines of every seat in the room and any areas you expect people to stand. Don’t block anyone’s potential line of sight with furniture or other design elements.

If you plan to use a projector, ensure you get the right size for the room and mount it where it can project to the screen without distorting the picture. Don’t block the projector’s throw with furniture or other design elements. Otherwise, you’ll get shadows on your projection screen.

Embrace Technology

Keep your home theater up-to-date for as long as possible by opting for the most modern technology possible. Not only will leaning into modern technology make installing and integrating your home theater component much simpler, but it will also save you from having to update your devices and set up in just a few years’ time.

Connect your home theater components wirelessly. It makes each piece simpler to relocate and upgrade. You can also integrate your home theater with the rest of your smart home technology. That way, you can see your doorbell camera without leaving the theater. You’ll know if it’s the pizza guy at the door or just your neighbor’s dog without missing a minute of the action on screen.

Keep It Cozy

Remember, you can always go out to a theater. The point of creating one at home is to offer a new experience, by personalizing your theater and bringing in the comforts of home.

You and your guest will likely spend a lot of time sitting while watching. Choose comfortable chairs and couches for your home theater.

Insulate your home theater room thoroughly as part of its construction. That will help you keep the temperature in the room regulated to an optimal level.

Use adjustable lighting for your home theater. That way, you can dial down the brightness level for any serious movie-watching experience.

Don’t forget about concessions and restroom facilities. Design a bar or kitchen into your basement theater room, or make sure you have one close. Always ensure the people in your home theater have quick access to a bathroom.

Design your home theater with help from Aspire, the #1 Utah basement home theater contractor.

From new build-outs to additions and remodels, Aspire architects and contractors have experience creating fantastic home theater spaces for homeowners across Utah. Aspire knows the local landscape that the current challenges contractors face.

Don’t get bogged down in design conundrums or supply chain delays. Let Aspire and our team of material suppliers negotiate the details. You just tell us about the experiences you want to have in your new basement home theater, and we’ll handle the rest.

Contact Aspire about your Utah basement home theater today!

basement entertainment area with walk out

How to Turn Your Old Basement into a Rentable Living Space

By Basements

We could all use a little extra cash. Maybe you’d like some help with your mortgage payment every month, want to save up for your next vacation, or are just looking to add to your savings. In Utah, where nearly every home has a basement, you have an excellent opportunity to earn a little extra cash right under your feet. Below, we cover a few basics you should know about gaining a profitable rental space through basement remodeling in Utah.

But first, how much money could you realistically earn on a basement rental in Utah?

rental unit in salt lake city basement

Why Salt Lake City Basement Finishing is a Smart Investment

A quick search on shows that basement apartments in Salt Lake City range from $1,200 to $2,200 a month, depending on the square footage, location, and the number of bedrooms or bathrooms.

Airbnb, a popular short-term rental website shows that many private basement apartments in Salt Lake City, for two or more guests, rent for $80 to $150 a night. While this varies depending on the date and season, it doesn’t include the additional cleaning fees which are also covered by the renter.

Whether your goal is to rent your extra space for short-term stays or to gain a long-term tenant, a basement apartment can be an excellent way to maximize your home’s potential — especially in a popular tourist destination and growing metro area like Salt Lake City.

How to Convert Your Basement Into a Rental

Don’t start selecting paint colors or shopping for furniture just yet. There are some critical aspects of basement finishing in Utah that you must consider before renovating your space. These will not only make the space more comfortable for tenants, but will also ensure you’re following local regulations, too. (More about that below.)

Learn About Local Laws That Govern Basement Remodeling in Utah

In Utah, you must comply with local laws that support safety and structural integrity when renovating your basement. Be sure to review local regulations and tax ordinances to avoid the fees and legal hurdles that come with any potential violations.

In Salt Lake City, the Existing Residential Code outlines many of the safety, environmental, and occupancy requirements for homes, including basement apartments. This code gives regulations for shower and bath sizes, fire safety points of egress, natural light, smoke detectors, and more.

To guarantee you’re meeting these requirements, you will likely need a building permit from your local municipality before making any renovations.

updated basement bathroom - bathroom renovation and installation

Add Or Enhance a Separate Entrance and Increase Natural Light

Especially for long-term stays, it’s important to install a separate point of access for renters that leads to the street or the yard. A separate entrance is about more than privacy; having an exterior door offers more safety in the event of a fire or other emergency.

Additionally, make sure your basement windows qualify as points of egress (or additional points of escape in an emergency). Ensuring windows are the proper size also offers more natural light which can make a basement feel more welcoming and open, improving the quality of your apartment. Be sure to double-check regulations in terms of windows; you may also need a certain number of points of egress to accommodate a certain number of renters.

Install a Bathroom and Kitchen or Kitchenette

Bathrooms and kitchens require certain plumbing hook-ups that your basement may not have. Utah basement contractors can help not only fit your space with the right plumbing infrastructure, but also build, install, and finish your bathroom and kitchen areas.

For short-term rental space, consider offering a small “kitchenette” area if a full-size kitchen isn’t in your budget. Providing a microwave, additional sink, and small fridge can improve the livability of your basement unit for those guests staying in your space for just a short amount of time.

basement waterproofing for concrete foundation

Check for Damage Before Insulating and Waterproofing

Because basements are prone to dampness, damaged wood and mold are not rare occurrences. Have a thorough inspection of your basement completed before you begin finishing the space. If you fail to fix structural issues or mold at the beginning of your renovation project, it will only mean additional costs and headaches down the road.

If you’re unsure of what to look for, hire a capable Utah basement contractor to complete this step for you. They’ll be able to detect wood rot as well as insect damage in common problem areas like floor joists, the sill plate, and wooden window frames, among other areas.

To discover how damp your basement is, invest in a hygrometer. They’re quite affordable and can be bought at most home improvement stores. This device gives you a relative humidity reading. (Note that homes are recommended to have a humidity level between 30-50 percent.) If your basement has a higher humidity level, it’s likely because there are leaks or cracks in the walls or foundation where outside humidity is entering. Repair any structural damage and then use a de-humidifer to restore a more comfortable humidity level in the space.

If your basement is damp, mold is more likely to be present, too. Mold is a serious health issue, so don’t try to tackle this problem on your own. Hire a mold remediation company to come test for and remove mold from your basement.

Finally, don’t forget about the overall air quality and purity in your basement. You want to make sure the air is healthy and supports comfortable living. If your HVAC system is in the basement, it’s a good idea to test the air quality to make sure the system is ventilating correctly. Also, if you haven’t tested for radon, now’s the time. This invisible, odorless gas can cause long-term health complications and is most commonly found in higher concentrations in basements. Order a radon test online for quick, accurate results to determine if you need radon remediation.

Basement and kitchen construction contractors

Trust Utah Basement Finishing to the Construction Experts at Aspire

Basement finishing, when done well, requires several steps but can be well worth the time and investment in the long run. Our Utah basement contractors have finished basements all along the Wasatch Front and are ready to make your space a comfortable, inviting place that people will be excited to rent. If you’re short on time and don’t have much remodeling experience, trust us. We’ll handle everything — including making sure your remodel is up to code and compliant with local regulations. Contact us to get a quote about your Northern Utah or Salt Lake City basement finishing project.

Finished Basement Project with Small Kitchen, Fireplace, and Lots of Seating

How to Finish a Basement

By Basements

You may be looking to install a home theater or add a guest room. You may simply want or need more living space. Whatever the vision, your unfinished basement holds potential. This article explores the steps you need to take to know how to finish a basement so that you can enjoy your extra space. Finishing a basement follows a process for the best and most efficient outcome. Here are the steps required to construct and complete your space.

How to Make a Comfortable, Livable Space in Your Unfinished Basement

Prep The Basement

If you are serious about a basement remodel, you first need to clean it out. Moving boxes from one unfinished room to the next will not cut it. The fastest way to finish a basement is to complete it all at once, not piecemeal, and this requires a clear, empty space. Organize and clean out your area. You can store items in your unfinished storage room, but leave space around the electrical box and water meter. If you have a large number of things, you can:

  • Store it in other rooms in the house or the garage
  • Rent a storage unit or portable POD
  • Consider donating unused or unwanted items to a local donation center

Next, check your basement space for any water damage. Make sure there is no moisture build-up on the floor. Call in a plumbing professional to address any water damage or leaks and insulate water pipes. If you suspect rot or insect damage, sagging floor joists, or improper ventilation, call in a contractor or handyman to correct those issues before beginning. If your home is at risk for radon, install a radon pump at this time.

Start with the Basics: Design

Once you have prepped your basement area, you can begin the design process. There are many different floor plans to consider. Plan the location and height of walls and ceilings. You have three options for a basement ceiling design: you can use a drop ceiling, drywall it, or leave it open for an industrial look. Whatever option you choose, make sure that it meets permit requirements for height.

Do I need a permit to finish my basement?

A permit is essential when finishing your basement. It will save you time, money, and hassle down the road. You will need your finished basement on record if you sell your home or if something happens and you need to document the work you completed. Visit your local government website, often under the “Building Department,” to obtain a permit. (But if you hire a general contractor, they will handle the permit process for you.)

Start with the Basics: Installation

Once you have completed your design plans, you can install insulation and begin framing. Insulation should be installed according to instructions and completely cover all exterior walls. Framing will require 2x4s on both the top and bottom, known as the top plates and bottom plates. Then, cut and install your studs.

After completing insulation and framing, the next step is to install utilities that will run inside the walls, including electrical wires, plumbing, and air ductwork. We recommend hiring a professional for this portion of your basement project. This work is strictly regulated for safety and should not be done without a certified professional.

After installing framing, insulation, and utilities, it is time to mount the drywall. Measure and cut the drywall to end on the studs, and remove sections where utilities need to be exposed, such as lights and outlets. Then hang the drywall using drywall screws. After the drywall is mounted, it is time to tape the seams and mud the seams and screw heads. If you want your finished basement walls to be textured, apply drywall mud for texturing. Texturing usually requires multiple steps, where you apply the mud, let dry, sand, and then repeat the process.

Customize the Space

Now that you have completed the basics, it is time to customize your space! Make sure to clean up the area, vacuum, and wipe down all of the dust from drywalling. The next step is priming and painting. Apply a layer of primer before painting. After you choose your colors for your trim, doors, walls, and the basement ceiling, go for it. It is easiest to paint the trim and doors before hanging them. You can use a brush or roller or rent or purchase an interior paint sprayer.

The basement flooring is next. Regardless of the flooring you choose to install, you most likely have concrete floors and will need to install a subfloor to make your basement floor more comfortable, even, water-resistant, and warm. Once your subfloor is set, you can install the flooring. Consider what the space will be used for when choosing a flooring type. Carpet and laminate are the most popular choices for basement floors.

Once the floors are in, you can hang the baseboards, hang the doors, and install your lights, outlet covers, and other miscellaneous items. You have a finished basement!

Choose Your Approach: Is it cheaper to finish a basement by yourself?

As explored above, there are many different steps to a finished basement. Some homeowners choose to complete it all on their own. Others choose a hybrid approach and hire out some work while completing other tasks independently. Many homeowners hire a general contractor or basement finishing company to finish their basement. 

Those who choose to complete it on their own save money in labor. While this is the cheaper option, it takes much longer to finish and will likely be a lower quality job than hiring professionals.

When you hire a company to finish your basement, you get a cost estimate upfront and won’t be surprised by the added costs throughout a DIY project. You are saved a lot of headache and hassle as the permit process, subcontractor hiring, labor, installation, and more are all included. When delays and problems crop up, you do not have to waste time, money, and stress because your contractor handles it for you.

Choose the Talented Pros of Aspire Construction for Basement Finishing in Utah

If you are considering hiring help to finish your basement, contact Aspire Construction to request a free quote for your project. We have been in the business of basement finishing for over 40 years and have the experience and honesty necessary to finish your project on time and within budget. From home theaters, gyms, and apartments to walk-out basements and family rooms, we have the knowledge necessary to bring your basement dreams to life. Contact us today!