Articles and Ideas 2016-12-27T10:00:42+00:00

Basement Finishing – Design Articles and Ideas

If you are considering finishing the lower level of your home, adding egress windows and doors for additional entry points and natural light, or seeking home maintenance tips, be sure to search our archive of articles for design ideas and how-to’s. You’ll find suggestions for whole-house appliance maintenance as well as basement layout and design concepts which can be incorporated into your basement remodeling project plan.


Stylish, Stain-Resistant, or Both: Which Type of Kitchen Sink Is Right for You?

16 Nov 2018, 6:00 pm | Basement Floors

If replacing a kitchen sink, you’ll think about style, size, and—perhaps most importantly—material. Some materials ar...

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10 Once-Trendy Paint Colors That Still Look Good Today

16 Nov 2018, 7:33 pm | Basement Floors

Seeking a bold accent color or a sophisticated neutral? Look to the past for inspiration—and insurance. When you pick the best color scheme for your home, you can't go wrong with one of these 10 shades that are time-tested, guaranteed classics.

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20 Things You Never Knew About the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

17 Nov 2018, 1:16 pm | Basement Floors

Before the bird goes into the oven, some 50 million people will feast their eyes on the 92nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this turkey day. But relatively few viewers of the three-hour shindig know the real story about the historic holiday parade. Here are some festive facts—and well-kept secrets—about one of the biggest entertainment events of the year that you won’t uncover by tuning in on TV or attending in person.

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Enter Bob Vila’s $3,000 Cabinet Makeover Giveaway Today!

15 Nov 2018, 11:28 am | Basement Floors

Get ready for holiday cooking with a new, fresh-faced kitchen! While a basic kitchen update can cost a minimum of $6,...

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Buyer's Guide: Drywall Anchors

15 Nov 2018, 6:00 pm | Basement Floors

Drywall—comprised of compressed gypsum (a soft sulfite mineral)—creates wonderfully smooth walls. Yet insert a nail o...

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What It Was Like Inside the Homes of the Pilgrims

16 Nov 2018, 3:14 pm | Basement Floors

There’s a lot of folklore surrounding the first Thanksgiving, and plenty of lively debate. When did it actually occur? Was this meeting with the Wampanoags truly amicable? Did they really eat turkey? Despite, or perhaps because of, this murky history, we continue to be fascinated with the Pilgrims and life in 17th-century America. While we all learned about the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and that first Thanksgiving way back in elementary school, what do we really know about the day-to-day lives of these English settlers? Here are a few things that may surprise you about home life in early America.

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How To: Clean a Porcelain Sink

14 Nov 2018, 6:00 pm | Basement Floors

Maintaining a spotless porcelain sink will add charm and luster to your bathroom or kitchen—not to mention value to y...

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7 Signs You Need a Water Softener

15 Nov 2018, 4:31 am | Basement Floors

Most Americans think of water as basically “wet” and don’t consider its other attributes. But many residential water users have had to confront one of water's less-appealing characteristics: hardness. Water hardness is a measurement of the concentration of minerals—primarily calcium and magnesium, along with traces of other metals—that are naturally dissolved in drinking water. Using hard water can negatively impact a number of everyday activities, including showering, doing laundry, and washing dishes. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there is quite a bit of variation in the mineral content of drinking water supplies across the United States. The agency found the softest waters in parts of New England, the South Atlantic-Gulf States, the Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii, while the hardest were measured in "streams in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona, and southern California.” But no matter what part of the country you live in, hard water can become an issue. Its effects can, however, be mitigated by installing a water softener, which removes the dissolved minerals, typically by exchanging the calcium and magnesium ions with sodium or potassium ions. Is your water too hard? Here are just a few of the tell-tale signs that you may need a water softener.

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Solved! How to Freshen Up a Smelly Fridge

13 Nov 2018, 6:00 pm | Basement Floors

Q: Every time I open the fridge, I get a whiff of sourness that I can’t identify. I’ve already cleaned out all the ol...

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10 Things You Didn't Know Your Home Insurance Covers

12 Nov 2018, 10:46 pm | Basement Floors

You expect your homeowners insurance to pay for damage caused by storms and fire, but unless you’ve read your entire policy (usually 30 pages or more), you might not know you’re covered for damages caused by other, much less common, events. Many policies cover a range of incidents you've probably never considered. In the unfortunate event that any of the following occurrences should befall you, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised to discover that your homeowners insurance policy will cover your expenses.

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The Right Height for Wainscoting

30 Oct 2018, 5:00 pm | Basement Finishing Ideas

There’s an art to getting this architectural feature in perfect proportion with the rest of the room. Follow this advice and your wainscoting will stand out for all the right reasons.

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French Drains 101

9 Sep 2018, 9:27 pm | Basement Waterproofing

A French drain is a ditch in the ground, inset with a perforated pipe under a layer of gravel. That pipe funnels storm water away from where you don’t want it—along the foundation, for example—and deposits that water in a more desirable place.

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10 Things Not to Keep in Your Basement

22 Oct 2018, 10:56 pm | Basement Finishing Ideas

Basements are prone to dampness, mold, and temperature swings, which can adversely affect many of the items commonly kept down there.

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Dos and Don’ts of Finishing Basement Walls

18 Oct 2018, 8:00 pm | Basement Finishing Ideas

Find out what it takes to successfully “finish” a basement’s concrete walls to create a comfortable living space down below.

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6 Things to Know Before Installing Recessed Lighting

20 Sep 2018, 11:30 am | Basement Finishing Ideas

Understand the advantages that properly and thoughtfully installed recessed lighting has over lamps and hardwired fixtures.

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The Dos and Don’ts of Waterproofing Basement Walls

6 Sep 2018, 9:45 am | Basement Waterproofing

Depending on the reason for the moisture problem, the fix could be a simple remedy, or it could require a foundation contractor. If you’re looking at waterproofing basement walls, these tips will get you started.

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8 Things to Know Before Leveling a Floor

24 Aug 2018, 6:00 pm | Basement Floors

When inflexible flooring is installed over a substrate that dips or heaves, various things can go wrong. To avoid unsatisfactory results with rigid flooring, read on to get clear about if, where, and why your substrate might be uneven—and how to deal with the issues.

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All You Need to Know About Basement Drains

23 Jul 2018, 11:00 am | Basement Waterproofing

Whether you’re building a new home and getting to know your waterproofing options or dealing with a water problem at your current place, get the 411 on the drainage methods that could help prevent—even remedy—a damp basement.

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8 Appliances that Cost You a Fortune in Energy Bills

12 Jul 2018, 11:39 pm | Basement Plumbing, HVAC

Choose appliances carefully and monitor their use — particularly heating and AC units, which use the most energy. Also, take steps to cut down on using these 8 other appliances that you may not have realized cost a small fortune to run.

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How To Remove Concrete Stains

3 Jul 2018, 11:00 am | Basement Floors

Conquer unsightly splotches on your driveway, patio, and garage floor to restore the handsome looks of those hardworking surfaces.

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Selling Your Home? These 7 Renovations Offer the Best Bang for Your Buck

11 Jun 2018, 3:15 pm | Basement Finishing Ideas

While upgrades can boost your home price and help your home sell faster, not all renovations have an equal impact on what your home is worth. Read on to find out some upgrades that give you the most bang for your buck.

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Dehumidifiers for Basements

24 Apr 2018, 10:00 am | Basement Waterproofing

To control the humidity of the air down there—and thwart the growth of mold and mildew—get the right device.

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3 Key Steps to a Concrete Floor Refresh

11 Apr 2018, 1:45 pm | Basement Floors

If you have concrete floors in your basement, garage, or screened-in patio, you don’t have to live with lackluster. You can refresh the entire space by painting your concrete floors.

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7 Health Hazards Lurking in Your Basement

10 Apr 2018, 1:35 am | Basement Waterproofing

Even if you have no intention of using your basement as living space, it pays to be aware of the risks that dwell in your basement and that could potentially affect your family’s health.

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Basement Flooding Damage Control

12 Mar 2018, 6:00 am | Basement Waterproofing

These basement flooding cleanup tips may help as you begin to assess and address the damage done. Time is of the essence.

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