This residential project was different from any we had taken on before, simply because our client would need to continue running her daycare while we were there working. Despite their unique situation, their needs were easy to decipher with a walk-through and consultation.
The family wanted the space to do different things – right now, she needed a space for her daycare kids, but in the future, her son’s bedroom would be relocated to the basement and the open play area would eventually turn into a theatre-style room.
Demolition began and we created space for a new bedroom, bathroom, a small office, and more storage space as well as an open area for play.
When we removed the vapor barrier, we discovered steel studs that were not properly installed, a couple of leaning walls, and more devastating, two massive cracks in the foundation. Whenever we take on a home renovation project, we always try to anticipate any possible problems, but sometimes foundation problems are not apparent right away.
We went to the client with our discoveries, and naturally, they were unhappy that they would basically have to start from scratch. We found out later that the foundation problems were not disclosed to them when they bought the home, which is illegal.
At first, they did not see any value in replacing the steel studs with wooded ones. While steel studs are cheaper on the labor side, they are not installed in a way that makes them structurally unsound and cannot handle impact or heavy weight. Also, you end up paying more in the long run because steel studs require upgraded electrical equipment. Consequently, steel studs can pose a problem is your basement floods and the water becomes charged with electricity.
The second challenge was working during the daycare hours. We managed our schedules so that the tradesmen would take lunch while the children were napping. We shut off the furnace and sealed off the stairwell to keep dust at bay.
We fixed the foundation, replaced the steel studs with wooden ones, and thoroughly inspected the foundation and framing before we moved forward.
In order to make the basement daycare friendly, we created a spacious play area with rounded corners and installed tamper resistant outlets. We sound proofed the mechanical room for a more comfortable atmosphere, as well as added a surround sound system for the future. We also upgraded the carpet and added a special pad to help eliminate mildew and odors.
The project was completed in less than 6 weeks. Now the homeowners know everything there is to know about their basement. They know where things are and exactly what we did to fix things. We encourage homeowners to be present as much as possible, especially during the home inspection. To us, transparency is key. We also tie up any loose ends before we leave.
At the end of every residential project we always include:
- Hot water tank inspection
- Furnace cleaning
- Before, during and after photos
- Professional cleaning
All in all, we solved their problems before they even knew what was wrong. Our communication back and forth was always on point and we involved the family as much as possible. We truly aim to go over and above for every customer – no corners cut.