Our Basement Development Process
Every successful renovation is defined by the contractor’s ability to develop the parameters for a well planned, cohesive and educated group effort toward the common goal of delivering a professional and satisfactory end product. This group effort is the culmination of a multifaceted, multi-dimensional, multi-disciplinary approach to the task at hand. Reborn has developed a highly adept team of professionals in all facets of construction, design, sales and operations management, technical and problem solving specialists, and most importantly ethnical individuals with integrity. We all put our heads together and developed what for us and our clients have proven to be the best basement renovation process.
After receiving your inquiry, a sales rep will contact you to go over the details of your preliminary design ideas. Notes are taken and a file is opened up to begin the quoting process. A meeting is set and at that first meeting we start with an overview of all your ideas. After we get a comprehensive picture of all the ideas on the table, we then offer our feedback, discuss options, and report back any pertinent items that may impact the renovation. Often times we see things that an untrained eye does not notice, such as underlying issues, potential obstacles and contingencies, as well as new design options you may not have considered. We like to work together with our clients to develop a comprehensive baseline estimate, which is reported in a detailed scope of work send via email.
Also discussed at the initial estimate are who we are, what we do, and an overview of what the entire process from start to finish will look like.
Project Design and Planning
Reborn assigns a project manager for your job, who works closely with you, the designer, and the workers and suppliers to plan every detail of your basement renovation from start to finish. Design services are available and are often the best starting point to nailing down all your product selections. Once the selections are finalized, they are posted online to our construction management system, along with your schedule, any change orders, and other vital job information.
You are given an account to log in and review the renovation plans, which will be updated along the way to keep the development on track. This facilitates a smooth and fluid flow of information to you, the suppliers, workers, managers, and everyone that has a hand in delivering your dream basement. Visit our website for an online tutorial on the features and benefits of this system.
While all the selections, scheduling and job planning is going on, the production team is hard at work securing any necessary permits. Basement developments require a basement development permit, and plumbing and electrical permits. Reborn can secure all of these permits, or in some cases home owners may opt for a home owner’s basement development permit.
After the thoughtful planning phase is complete, the production team begins production. Every basement is slightly different, but the following is an overview of how Reborn plans our basement renovations and developments:
Site Preparation – It is extremely important to take the time on every job to assess the live in situation of every home as if we were living in the home, taking into consideration the way we would expect the job site to be set up. This involves proper floor protection, dust control by means of poly walls and zipper doors, poly draped over belongings, dust filters in vents, and other means of protecting the home and your belongings. Tape, poly, cardboard, carpet protector, etc. are all left on site and maintained during routine site inspections.
Demo – When applicable, the demo crew is first on the scene to professionally dismantle and dispose of any previously finished areas that are either in the way of the new plan or not being reused. Our demo crews are highly skilled in responsible dismantling and removing, as opposed to smashing and bashing from an inexperienced laborer. The demo crew works closely with the mechanical workers, coordinating capping of lines, safely moving and securing wiring, moving duct work, etc.
Vacuflo – Not every basement has this, and in newer homes rarely is it properly roughed in. You may see a white pipe with a wire and a sticker on it that says “do not bury me”. It is always recommended to carry the rough in to the mechanical room for future connection even if you do not plan to use the vacuflo system. The cost of digging it out and adding later will vastly exceed the cost of roughing it in properly while everything is exposed.
HVAC – So many times we see basements with duct work, vents, and cold air returns ran as if there was no foresight for a basement development. On every basement we have our HVAC rep inspect the duct work for everything from proper air flow, code requirements, vent and return air placement, furnace and hot water tank conditions, and much more. On almost every basement there is at least one heat run that we can easily tidy up to avoid those awful zig zag and over-sized bulkheads. Venting for the bath fan is always connected and inspected for proper exhausting of moisture. After all the HVAC rework is complete, we are ready for the framers.
Framing – With a clean slate to rework the skeleton of the work space, the framing crew meticulously checks all the plans over, levels and snaps lines, and confirms the plans and the function of the actual wall construction are perfect. Sometimes the framers recommend some minor tweaks to the design and layout, which are discussed with the home owner and adjusted if required. All walls are constructed and the back framing is completed. It is important to note that our framers do not just fill their trucks with every piece of lumber on the lift. We look for the straight pieces that are in good condition, and spend at least 1-2 hours at the lumber yard culling over the boards to ensure your walls are perfect.
Plumbing – Most basement developments and renovations have some plumbing involved whether it is a gas line for fireplace, rough in for bathroom, moving drains in an already roughed in bathroom, modifying the supply lines, adding a wet bar, etc. A journeyman plumber will conduct all the rough in work after framing, and confirm the layouts for things like shower fixtures, drains, faucets, etc.
Electrical – Our journeyman electrician schedules an appointment to go over the lighting and wiring layout with you to ensure the right package is scoped. Everyone has different lighting ideas and it is important to make sure we are providing the best lighting and wiring package for you. Things like locations and number of potlight/flush mount/wall lights, switch locations, dimmers, extra plugs and data and more are all items to be discussed in addition to minimum code requirements. Lighting and wiring components are fun elements of the project to play with and our electrician is fantastic at incorporating all your needs with some of the latest electrical technology.
Inspections – Framing, plumbing and electrical inspections are all required at this time. This is the rough inspection stage required before we can close up the walls with drywall. The City inspectors perform these inspections. In addition to the formal inspections, the project manager routinely and randomly drops by to inspect the work and job site conditions, making any necessary steps to rectify any issues brought to their attention. The entire team knows each other, works closely together, and watches each other’s back to greatly reduce instances where issues arise.
Insulation – Sound proofing is a common upgrade many clients opt to include. Reborn always recommends sound insulation for the joist and bulkhead cavities, mechanical room walls, and often times bedrooms and bathroom walls where extra privacy is favored. There is much more than sound proofing when it comes to insulation. All exterior walls are re packed with insulation removed from rough in trades, vapor barrier reinstalled and tuck taped with acoustical sealant to create a proper seal.
Drywall – It is a big milestone to see the walls enclosed after the boarding is complete. Corner bead, tape and mud area applied to all seams, and in dry days coats are applied to completion of sand out, and ceiling texture where applicable. Standard ½” is used on all drywall except bathrooms which have water resistant aquaboard. Tile backer receives diamond backer (denseshield is another name for this), as well as additional waterproofing as outlined below in tiling. Reborn always prefers flat painted ceilings in bathrooms to avoid future moisture issues with textured ceilings in moisture prone areas. The painting process is detailed below, but Reborn has the painter prime the walls and ceilings after drywall is sanded so the drywallers can see their touch ups and complete before they move out of the work space.
Millwork Package – The most basic millwork package consists of trim and doors to match upper level. Often times clients will also include window boxes for the recessed windows, shelving and storage options, custom pillars, mantles, vanities, bar cabinetry, railings, ledge capping, stair capping, and any woodwork design you may be interested in. Our journeyman finish carpenters will blow you away with what they build.
Painting – Is best completed after the millwork package. All millwork is prepped, primed, and sprayed on site for the best possible finish. Then walls are sanded, repaired as required, and one coat of paint is applied. Rather than paint out the entire work space and spend hours touching up trade damages, Reborn prefers to protect the floors at final and complete one fresh final coat of paint on all walls after flooring and most other work is complete. A second coat of paint is applied on all areas that may be tricky to work around later such as cabinet and toilet walls. After all work is complete a service call is arranged for final paint touch ups.
Tile – Floor and wall tile is installed at this time, and then covered for the duration of the reno to protect the freshly installed grout. This would include walk out area, bar area, bathroom floor and shower walls, back splashes, fireplace tile.
Flooring - If other floors other than tile and carpet are part of the scope of work, they are installed at this time. A very common and cutting edge product used on almost all of our basements now is Luxury Vinyl Tile and Planks (LVT/LVP). Reborn uses only the best of this new type of flooring. It can be used on the entire floor including stairs. Other options for flooring are cork, laminate, engineered hardwood – although hardwood is not recommended for basements without building up the floor system off the concrete. Other options include rubber mat gym flooring, linoleum, and carpet.
Finishing Package – At this time your basement renovation is ready for the completions phase, which includes baseboards, cabinet install, counter tops, sinks, faucets, appliances, lights, switches and plugs, shelving, hanging fixtures, mirrors, vent covers, reinstalling doors with hardware, glass doors, paint final, and other finishings.
Completion – Toward the end of the renovation the project manager will have a small list of outstanding items left on their work order to complete. Things such as products back ordered from the start of the job, deficiency items, items we may notice are shipped with damages, areas not up to our high standard that require adjustment, and the odd unforeseen or recent change order item that came up along the road out of sequence. The project manager combines their list with your list and together we create a completion walk through check list with action plans for each item. Time is added to the tail end of every schedule for completion of these items. The last couple days of work on work on site consist of removal of protection from day one, full job site cleanup, paint finals, final electrical, plumbing and building inspections, and removal of the bin.
Other Options – The above construction process covered most of the common basement scopes of work; however, there are still so many more options available. There are few items our clients can think of that we do not offer. Here are some common and not so common services we have provided in the past: window size upgrades; fireplaces; home theatres; complete custom wet bars and other cabinetry; climbing walls; hidden rooms and doorways; in floor heating line repairs; furnace and hot water tank replacements; AC units; steam showers; saunas; speaker wiring; rock work; wine cellar; cold storage rooms.
Post Construction Phase
Reborn’s commitment to our clients extends past the completion of the project. Most of our past clients become friends and we like to keep in touch and monitor the workmanship we have provided, and occasionally showcase what we have created together for our portfolio and to some potential clients. It is extremely important to us that the workmanship delivered stands the test of time. This is why Reborn offers all of our clients a free job site inspection at 6 months and one year, so we can ensure the products installed are performing as they should. Many times miniscule issues can be caught at these early stages before they actually become an issue, and our trained eyes can point these items out and rectify them in a quick and easy service call. If nothing else is it a great opportunity to stop by for a visit and catch up.