Welcome to Ohio Basements

Kingsmill Group Inc
2411 Medina Rd. Unit A
Medina, OH.  44256
330.620.9223

General Questions
Finished basement estimate process
How much do basement remodels typically cost?
How long do projects take?
What is your payment structure?
Basement wall kits - What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of basement panel systems?
Can I do part of the project myself?
What about access to my home during construction?
Do you work with employees or subcontractors?
Do I need to pull a permit?
What warranty do you offer?
Will you supply proof of insurance, contractors license, and bonding certificate?
Do you have references in my area?
Can I hire you as a design or project consultant?

Project Questions and Options
Drywall or drop ceiling?
What about the poles?
Can I add a bedroom in the basement?
What options do I have to add a sink (wet bar) to my project?
 

Finished Basement Estimate Process

Process Overview
At Ohio Basements, we approach all our projects, regardless of size or budget, the same way.  From site inspection, design, and construction, we have developed a process that answers questions and guides us through the project.  Based on customer suggestions and experience, we have refined our process that outlines our complete program, material options, and construction schedule.  Here are the basic outline of steps that deliver a one-of-a-kind finished basement.

Initial contact
After placing a call or e-mail to Ohio Basements, we schedule a convenient time to meet with you and review the details of your project. We answer your questions, and offer suggestions about how to best utilize your  space.  We often suggest design alternatives based on past experience, typical construction methods, or how the design might effect resale value of your home.

Home inspection
During  this visit, we also ask a lot of questions to make sure we include all options for your project.  We will discuss lighting, trim, doors,  bathroom, bar, and special built-in areas.  The first appointment  typically takes between 45-90 minutes depending on the complexity and  size of your basement.  Complete measurements are taken of all walls, and we are off to design your dream basement.

Drawings and  Estimate
Our next appointment will be to review plans and the estimate for your project. In addition to our website, we have made a  DVD of the construction process, and photos of past projects.  It is a  good opportunity to get to see us in action, and may demonstrate options we offer.  Next you will receive a floor plan, and 3D images of what your basement will look like.  Your plans show wall dimensions, outlets, lights, switches, bathrooms, and all other options.  We explain everything in detail, and make sure you are comfortable with what we  have designed, or make requested changes.  Finally, we present a complete estimate with every component itemized and a detailed description of the materials and labor to be included in your project.  The estimate document also includes our contact and payment schedule for your review. We promise there is ZERO pressure and no hard close  to commit to the project.  We realize this is a large investment for most customers, and we want you to read and understand all the information carefully.  We follow-up within one week to see if you have  any questions.

Approval Process
Once you approve the estimate,  your project begins.  We apply for all necessary permits and order materials for your project.  There are a lot of activities behind the scenes to get your project started.  With the exception of siding and roofing, it is just like building the first floor of your home.

Material Stock
Lumber, lights, insulation, wire, and other materials are loaded into your basement as needed.  Lumber enters first typically through a basement  window.  This minimizes traffic in and out of your home, and reduces temperature changes to your home.  After completion of each phase, the new materials are brought to the jobsite just in time for the next part of the project.

Construction
The most common question we receive is, "How long will my project take to complete?"  Unfortunately there is not an exact time as each project is different.  Square footage, optional add-ons, and inspection schedules all  contribute to how quickly projects are completed.  Design reviewOur goal is to  complete full finished basements 800-1000 square feet in 4-6 weeks.  Add a bathroom, custom built bar, or other features, and the project can be completed in 5-8 weeks.  Most homeowners provide full access to their homes, but occasionally, customers need to stop projects for vacation, work schedule changes, or other schedule conflicts, and that could add time to the project as well. 
What we can promise is full-time dedicated resources to your project from start to finish.  We do not  take breaks in the middle of your project to start the next one.finished basement with half wall 


Completion
Expect premium results with your basement project.  We take tremendous pride in our work, and deliver the very best in each phase of the project.  We don't rush through trim and finish phases, and are proud of being  accountable for the details of the project.  We offer a walk-through inspection at the end of a project for you to identify concerns or incomplete items.  Our goal is to not get a punch list or single item  you identify as incomplete!  We know exactly what is expected, and before we announce the project is completed, your basement meets our standards.
 

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How much do basement remodels typically cost?

Basement remodeling projects depend on a host of variables including:
 - Total square footage of the project
 - Built in cabinets, bars, or other custom millwork
 - Finish and trim details
 - Ceiling obstructions, number of inside walls, and number of interior doors.

As a general rule of thumb, full basement remodels can range between $21 - $27 per square foot, or 6% - 10% of the cost of your home.  Our goal is to add value to your home and expand your living space the most affordable way possible. 

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How long do projects take?

Again, it really depends on the scope of the work.  The majority of our projects are 800 - 1000 square foot basements and they average 4-5 weeks for completion.  This includes complete permitting process, stocking lumber, construction - completion including clean-up.  Adding a bathroom or home bar, and it could add an additional week to 10 days.  Our goal is to build out your basement with the same quality and care as the rest of your home.  Finishing your basement is just like building the first floor of your house (minus siding and roofing), but we have extra steps like ceiling obstructions, staircase modification, and several ceiling mounted can lights.

One thing we will promise is that once we begin your project, we work as quickly as we can to complete your basement.  We will not start multiple projects and leave yours partially finished, or take extended breaks to work outside in warm weather.  Check our references... we work as quickly as possible without taking shortcuts, or compromising quality.

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What is your payment structure?

Most projects (over $5000 total) will be broken into 4 EQUAL payments:
 - Phase 1 - Opening deposit due at the signing of the contract
 - Phase 2 - Due after framing and electric wire/lights are installed (will not be live)
 - Phase 3 - Due after drywall is installed and finished to paint grade
 - Phase 4 - Due upon project completion and your complete satisfaction

We have used this draw system for years and has worked well for both parties.  We gladly accept MC and Visa.

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Basement wall kits -
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of basement panel systems?

We do not offer basement wall kits.  There are many basement wall systems on the market that compete with traditional wall construction.  Each “basement kit company” seems to promote their products the same way - by promoting misleading information that traditional wall construction promotes mold growth, followed by a hard-close “buy today and save money”.  Most basement panel systems are franchise owners with limited construction experience that purchase territories across many counties.  The kits are designed to be the easiest and quickest way for franchise owners to make money, not add beauty and value to your home.  The wall panels can be installed by using minimum wage laborers, not professionally trained carpenters.  Listed below are some common sales gimmicks and ways to promote fear used by some basement wall panel and kit companies.

FALSE STATEMENT - “Traditional construction in the basement promotes mold growth”.
This is simply NOT true.  If you are experiencing moisture of any kind, it needs to be corrected BEFORE any basement finishing is completed.  Your basement (and entire home) should be moisture free before any construction occurs.  If moisture is present on block walls, or poured foundations, you will continue to have problems regardless of what type of wall finish is chosen.  Health problems associated with interior mold have been widely exaggerated according to many published reports:

    A new report says indoor mold has been blamed unfairly for a range of  health problems. The report from the Institute of Medicine finds no good evidence that molds are responsible for things such as fatigue and  memory loss. The study says molds are associated with less  serious symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing.  READ COMPLETE REPORT  

    Also, mold experts cover problems associated with mold assessment
    LACK OF MEDICAL  AUTHORITY
    LACK OF  GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS CREATES ABUSES
    EXPERTISE DIFFERS BETWEEN INSPECTORS
    CLIENT  BUDGET MAY JEOPARDIZE TESTING ACCURACY
    LACK OF  CONSENSUS ON THE INTERPRETATION OF LAB RESULTS
    READ COMPLETE REPORT

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Can I do part of the project myself?

Yes, many of our customers participate in their project.  The most common homeowner contribution is painting and finishing.  Other customers are more adventurous and take on the trim as well.  Sometimes our customers have a friend or relative that works in the trades (electrician or plumber) and ask that we use them on their project.  We will work with any recommended sub-contractors provided they are licensed, have proper insurance, and they complete their phase of the work timely.  Because we offer line item pricing (not one flat figure), it is easy to breakout costs and determine any savings that might be achieved by doing the work yourself, or by taking advantage of friends or family willing to help with the project.
 

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What about access to my home during construction?

We ask for access to your home during traditional business hours 8:30am to 5pm Monday through Friday.  In some cases we will work on Saturdays to keep a project on schedule, or to stock materials for the next phase of construction.  Most homeowners will either be home and available to less us in, provide a key, or a garage code.  At all times, only owners of Kingsmill Group will have access to the key or code.  We do not copy or share codes with anyone else who might be working on site.  If or when a subcontractor (HVAC, plumber, or electrician) is needed an owner of Kingsmill Group will escort them into your home and lock it after their work is completed.   

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Do you work with employees or subcontractors?

We use both.  Kingsmill is a licensed, bonded (as needed) and insured General Contractor.  The majority of your work in your basement will be completed by an owner of Kingsmill Group.  This would include rough framing, rough wiring, paint, trim and finish.  We use a professional drywall crew to hang and finish that phase of the project, and other subcontractors if a licensed electrician or plumber is needed.  We have developed this combination of owners plus subcontractors over the course of many years that has proven to be the fastest and most affordable solution to complete basement remodeling projects. 

Companies that use all subcontractors can have major delays if the next crew isn’t ready to immediately follow the first crew.  The same thing can happen with small companies trying to handle all phases of the project like hanging their own drywall or completing systems like specialty electric or plumbing.  Each requires unique tools and supplies and companies trying to do everything tend to move very slow preparing themselves for a new phase of the project.

Our system has been proven over the years to be the quickest way to finish a basement.  By beginning the framing phase ourselves, we have adequate time to schedule electricians and drywall delivery.  We have enjoyed good relationships with our sub contractors, and feel they are a true asset to our team.  They are paid well, and paid on time.  As a result, they provide prompt professional service and adhere to the same high standard of professional work and care of your home. 

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Do I need to pull a permit?

Yes, permits are required for basement remodeling projects.  Many other contractors may tell you it is not required, but it is.  This is a most difficult issue for some contractors looking to take shortcuts with your project - avoiding architectural drawings, fire blocking, hand rail requirements, new electrical codes, treated lumber, and many other cost savings steps.  We prefer permits and the peace of mind knowing your project has an unbiased 3rd party checking our work.

Ultimately, you the homeowner needs to make the final decision.  Pulling permits will add costs to the project, and add property tax after the project is completed.  We encourage our customers to understand the penalties and risks and make the best decision for your project   

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What warranty do you offer?

We offer a “no excuses” 2-year written warranty on our work that includes structural soundness, door operation, drywall fasteners and corner beads,  and any other upgrades that were completed to finish your project.  Any plumbing, cabinetry, and built-ins are also covered with our warranty.  Equipment manufacturers are responsible for their products and performance, but should anything need replaced, we can help with replacements, just give us a call.

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Will you supply proof of insurance, contractors license, and bonding certificate?

Yes.  We have even supplied a lien release so subcontracts we hire can not hold you (the homeowner) responsible for disputes or missing payments

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Do you have references in my area?

We have completed basement remodeling projects in Medina, Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark, Portage, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Wayne, Ashland, Huron and Erie Counties.  Our references date back to 1996, and we should be able to produce a reference in your county.  Many past customers are willing (and have) opened their homes for a tour of our finished work. 

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Can I hire you as a design or project consultant?

Absolutely!  We can provide design only services, professional advice, and blueprint plans that satisfy all local and state building code requirements to make sure your finished basement is done right.  We can provide cost saving suggestions, unique design ideas, and make sure to provide the guidance that adds beauty and value to your home.

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Drywall or drop ceiling?

We prefer and always recommend a drywall ceiling.  Drop ceilings are more expensive, lower finished ceiling height, and create possible can light location problems if floor joists land between drop ceiling support brackets.  Drop ceilings have historically been sold as an easy DIY installation, and convenient should you ever need access to shut off valves, water lines, and other utility items that are located in your basement ceiling.  The simple fact is, most of our customers have second floors in their homes, with bathrooms on the second floor.  This requires water lines installed in the ceiling of the first floor.  Basement water lines are no different.

    What about access to the shut-off values and other items?Double recessed audio box
    We always allow access to important items located in the basement ceiling area.  We typically use audio boxes like the one to the right.  It mounts flush with the ceiling, and has an open back for complete access to important shutoffs and air dampers.  Then, a blank white plastic cover is installed that will closely match the ceiling color.  This solution, and custom built access panels provide easy access for service and repairs.

    But what if a pipe breaks?
    If a water pipe fails, there will be equal damage to drywall or ceiling tiles that requires repair.  Most damage would be covered by your homeowners insurance and both are easy to correct.  However, extra drop ceiling tiles from the original installation would need to be stored without damage and hope there is color differences if replacement panels are required.  Manufacturers typically do not manufacture identical patterns over the years and original replacements may not be available.   Drywall repairs are affordable and easy to complete with professional drywall finishers.  The ceiling will need repainted after a major repair, but should match perfectly.
     

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What about the poles?

Support poles are typically found in every basement and are used to carry the structural weight load from above. As the basement is viewed in the unfinished stage, the poles seem to be the most noticeable “eye sore” in the basement, but there are several options on how to remove, hide, or decorate the basement poles.

    Option 1 - Hide the poleshidden pole
    Whenever possible, we try to hide support poles in new walls that will be added in your basement.  If the overall layout is designed properly, some of the poles can become part of the wall and later covered with drywall.  This is obviously the best option as it add zero cost to the project.  Our only caution is to not make a lot of square boxes in your basement that exactly follow beams, or wall off the largest most flexible area of your basement

    Option 2 - Decorate the poles
    This is the most common and our personal favorite.  The old rule of thumb is, “if you can’t hide it, then decorate it”.  If the basement poles are going to be visible in the new finished space, we try and make them look as attractive as possible.  Here are a few examples of our signature finished poles. Basement pole trim detail 2

DSCN0667DSCN0934

    Option 3 - Use the poles as part of the basement design
    The photos below show a bar that was built around a pole.  Wood framing was added to the left side to make the obstructions look more like a design element rather than trying to hide poles.

DSCN0211DSCN0213DSCN0210

DSCN0267

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Bedrooms are a great option to add to your basement project and can dramatically effect the value of your home.  Remember, once completed, the permitting process will effectively change your home deed to reflect the additional bedroom.  This will instantly impact home value, and will attract additional future buyers seeking extra bedrooms.  egress basement window 2There are a few things to keep in mind when considering adding a bedroom in your project.  First, and most importantly, code requires an EGRESS window. Egress basement window

 

 

 

 

 

This provides emergency exit in case of a fire.  It is critical that overnight occupants have an alternative way to get out of the basement should the stairs become unusable.  Installation of these units requires removing all soil against the foundation where the window will be installed, cut open the block or foundation with special masonry saws, reframe and install window unit.  Next, a window well and drain (typically tied into the footer drain) is installed.  Finally, a cover is installed that protects against anyone falling in the opening.  Installing an egress window can add up to $5000 to the project cost, but consider the alternatives... 

There is one additional item that needs installed for the space to be considered a “bedroom” - a closet.

 

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What options do I have to add a sink (wet bar) to my project?

Many customers consider adding a wet bar to their project but are concerned about water access or drain location, and believe their options for possible bar locations are limited.  Fortunately, with some creative solutions, Ohio Basements can add a wet bar to your project at nearly any location in your basement.  The water is never a problem, and while new supply lines are sometimes closer than others, we can always route new water lines to the bar area.
wet bar sink pump
Drains become a bit more tricky.  Our first choice is to install traditional drain lines that allow gravity to do the work and tie into an existing soil stack.  The pipe only needs to drop a 1/2” every 4 feet, so there is a lot of room to stretch the pipe and make it to the main line.  When a gravity feed drain to too far away, we can install a pump, and push water up the wall, across the ceiling and over to the main soil stack.  This avoids the time and expense of breaking concrete and trenching gravity feed lines underground.  The pumps are dependable and efficient, and provide the flexibility to install your bar in the best possible location regardless of the proximity of drains.

 

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