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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 KSL.com 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!

Financing A Basement Remodel | Aspire Construction

How to Pay for a Basement Remodel

By Basements

If you’re a homeowner with an unfinished basement, you might be asking yourself, should I finish my basement? Whether you’re looking for more usable space in your house or increasing the value of your property, remodeling or refinishing your basement could be a great decision. Not only does it increase your usable square footage, but it can give you a high return on investment. In fact, finishing a basement can give you a return of up to 70 to 75% on your investment — or even more in Utah’s highly competitive housing market.

One common concern among homeowners looking to refinish their basement is the project’s cost. The cost to refinish a basement varies depending on several factors, including the basement’s square footage and the materials and finishes you choose. However, on average, homeowners across the country can expect to pay an average of about $18,395. Many homeowners who plan on finishing a basement will need to explore financing options before starting the project. With a wide range of financial tools and information, you’ll find the right financing option for you so you can get started on your basement remodel project.

 

6 Ways To Finance a Basement Remodel

When it comes to remodeling your basement, is it better to use a home equity loan, construction loan, or personal loan? Here are some standard financing options for those to choose to remodel their basement.

 

Home Equity Loan

One common way to finance a basement remodel is to use a home equity loan. This option might suit your purposes if you’ve got a substantial amount of equity built up in your property. A home equity loan (also known as a home equity line of credit, or HELOC) typically has lower interest rates than other types of loans, and the interest may be tax-deductible. One downside to using a home equity loan is that it isn’t an option for those who haven’t built up enough equity.

 

Line of credit

Another financing option for you might be a line of credit from the construction company. In some cases, the company or contractor helping with the basement project might offer financing for available homeowners. This line of credit usually has a variable interest rate, but some have an interest-free period. For these lines of credit, it’s wise to compare against the cost and terms of a home equity financing situation or personal loan. 

 

Cash-out refinance

A cash-out refinance gives you the option of refinancing an existing home loan to free up cash for basement refinishing or other home improvement projects. While this is an option for homeowners, it might not be the best option for several reasons. One reason why you might want to consider other options is that you might find yourself refinancing at a higher rate. You may pay closing costs on the entire amount, rather than what is needed just for renovation. 

 

Construction loan

A construction loan allows homeowners to borrow based on their home’s after renovation value. While this is an option for homeowners, it might not be the best choice. Construction loans are intended to be used to pay for ground-up construction but were once an option for basement refinishing because they let homeowners borrow based on the home’s future value. However, that is no longer the case. If you use a construction loan, you’ll need to refinance your existing mortgage, which may give you a higher interest rate. In addition, you may also end up paying closing costs on the loan and face a complex inspection before funds are released to you or the contractor. 

 

FHA 203k or Fannie Mae homestyle loan

FHA 203k or Fannie Mae homestyle loans are government-backed renovation mortgages designed to help homeowners finance the purchase of a property and any required renovation costs into a single loan. Both loan options allow you to borrow against the home’s renovation value but can come with complexities resulting in delays or other potential stresses. FHA 203k or Fannie Mae loans are good options for those with less than perfect credit scores which means that approval can be easier to achieve than other types of loans.

 

Personal loan or home improvement loan

Personal loans are another option for those interested in refinishing their basements. Many homeowners turn to personal loans when they do not have sufficient equity available to use a home equity loan, or other types of loans are not available. Some homeowners may turn to loans advertised as home improvement loans. Unfortunately, these loans can be high-interest unsecured personal loans marketed to homeowners undertaking specific projects. Personal loans are certainly an option for finishing your basement, but they can come with certain drawbacks, including lower borrowing power, higher interest rates, and shorter repayment periods. These types of loans are often well-suited for smaller, lower-cost projects. 

 

Trust Aspire Construction for All Your Basement Refinishing Projects

If you’re looking to remodel or refinish a basement, make the most of your dollars by partnering with proven remodeling professionals. Our experienced, dedicated team is committed to developing quality projects that fulfill each client’s dreams while respecting your budget. With over 40 years of experience in Utah, there’s no project that we can’t handle. Get a quote for your basement remodel by contacting us today. 

Paying To Finish Your Basement | Aspire Construction

Finished Basement with Pool Table and Sink - Utah Home

Five Ways to Customize Your Home’s Basement

By Basements

Your home is your sanctuary, where you can relax and enjoy time with your loved ones. However, you could be missing out on more of that precious space than you realize. Basement finishing is the best way to ensure that you maximize your home’s potential.

Finished basements are the ideal space for family and friends to meet. Working with the right professional, you can make your downstairs as functional and beautiful as the rest of your home!

Along with being the perfect entertainment spot, basement renovation and remodeling can quadruple the living square feet of your home. Think about it— when you work with a basement finishing contractor, you add more bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces to the floor plan. These additions will increase the livability of your home while simultaneously raising the total value of your property.

It’s easy to understand why basement finishing in Utah is so popular. A few of the most rewarding benefits of a finished basement include:

  • Higher property value
  • Additional living space
  • Updated design
  • Option to rent it out
  • Separate space for visitors
  • Room for entertainment
  • Flexibility
  • Save on energy costs

Here are five ways to make your project a success.

Basement Finishing Inspiration

 

Add a Kid’s Playroom

Now that you doubled your living space, your kids can have a separate area all for themselves. Basement playrooms are perfect for little ones and help keep clutter at bay. Plus, you can easily convert the space into a bonus room for your pre-teens and teenagers as they grow.

Working with our basement remodeling contractors, you can design a cozy, relaxing space. Together, we will find unique ways to bring this space to life.

Customize Your Basement with a Theater Room

Finished Business Basement
Nothing hits the spot quite like a home theater. Whether your family enjoys weekly movie nights or another hang-out spot,  a theater room could be just the ticket.

With comfortable seats, surround sound systems, and a giant TV, you can turn your basement remodel into the movie theater of your dreams. Some people choose to use a projector instead of a television, or you can opt for a more traditional route by sticking to a massive flat-screen TV.

You can have our contractors create a projection set-up or build a full-scale theater setup with multi-level seating. Whichever you choose, our team always recommends including a snack area in your design because nothing is better than eating treats while watching your favorite film in your home theater.

Turn Your Basement into an In-Law Apartment

Perhaps your unfinished basement would be better suited as an in-law apartment. These renovations are the perfect option for homeowners with older parents, children, or who are interested in earning a second income.

Not only does it offer tremendous flexibility by providing extra living space for visitors, but it can also be a new stream of revenue.

Consider all the items you would need if you were to live in your basement. Some of these might include:

  • Bathroom
  • Bedroom
  • Living room
  • Kitchen
  • Closet space
  • Washer and dryer

To design a basement apartment that meets your needs, contact Aspire Construction. Utah homeowners depend on our contractors for everything their renovation might require. Together, we can create a space that you will love now and in the future.

Add a Kitchen for Guests to Use

Kitchen Remodel with White & Dark Mix Cabinets - Aspire Utah Kitchen Remodeling Services
If you want to turn your basement into the luxurious haven of your dreams, don’t forget to add a kitchen. We suggest opting for an open floor plan with a full-size kitchen that flows into an ample living space.

This design will allow you to entertain guests without ever leaving your basement. It can even open into your backyard, which is the perfect option for large gatherings!

You can create a beautiful kitchen basement with the help of our experienced team. Our most recent projects include kitchens with large islands, beautiful appliances, wide-plank flooring, ceiling beams, and wood walls.

Whatever you imagine for your basement kitchen—trust our team to make it a reality. We offer endless design options to ensure your project has everything you need and more. Contact us to learn more about our basement remodeling services.

Make Your Basement Yours with Aspire Construction

In the end, there are many ways to customize your space, but when it comes time to find a contractor, consider Aspire Construction.

We offer a wide variety of design options to make your custom-finished basement as unique as you envisioned.

Combine our contracting services with our skills and experience, and it is no wonder why we are Utah’s choice for basement renovation.

Contact us to get started today.