Julie Casey September 30, 2019

A basement remodel can be a big project – duct work, adding walls and securing them to a concrete floor. Building a kitchen and bar area, flooring and tile elements, maybe even a full bath. If you ask enough friends, one is surely to tell you “he can help and save you a lot of money.” But if you keep asking, most of your real friends will advise you – many of them strongly – to work with a reputable contractor. 

Why? The pitfalls of doing a basement yourself can be severe, and the lasting effect could be shoddy workmanship and a disappointed spouse at best, and code violations at worse. Let’s dig in to see how to avoid basement remodeling mistakes.

Tip #1 – Pull Permits

A lot of homeowners mistakenly believe that if they are working in their basement, they don’t need permits. That is a frequent mistake of homeowners. There are a lot of regulations and codes that need to be met, and homeowners are just not aware of all the paperwork that is required to legally remodel a basement. 

Experienced contractors not only know what permits need to be pulled, but can do it much quicker and more economically than a homeowner. Codes can vary by municipality, but one example is ensuring any lumber that touches the floor is properly treated to prevent decomposition. An additional code that is often not understood is fireblocking.  Most homeowners don’t even know that you have to fireblock. This is an important step in construction and if not completed could leave the structure vulnerable in the case of a fire.

Tip #2 – Save Time and Grief By Hiring a Professional

If you have ever done a DIY project, you know it takes twice (or three times as long) and costs twice (or three times) as much. It is not uncommon to visit a friends house over the course of two years, only to see their dream DIY basement remodel still not finished. 

A quality contractor can finish a basement remodel in six to eight weeks, a bit more for custom work and adding elaborate wine cellars, full baths and bars.  And they will be able to stay on budget, clean up after themselves, and stand by the quality of their work. 

Tip #3 – Work With a Designer in Addition to the Builder

You might think a basement remodel doesn’t need a designer. Think again. A basement construction project is a major undertaking. It can be 800-1500 square feet or more of remodeled space. That is a big area that can either provide a wow factor with the right design elements, or fall flat if not planned appropriately. 

You will need flooring, wall backsplashes or tile, cabinets, paint coloring, and furniture selected. If you are doing a kitchen and bar area, it needs to be jaw-dropping. A designer can make that happen. If you have a half or full bath, avoid the low-end look and have a designer create a special place that doesn’t break your budget. 

For a modest investment of 5-15 hours of a professional designer, you can take your basement from here…to there!

Basement remodels can be fun and exciting. For those who try to go it alone, if can be frustrating and even dangerous. Leave it to a professional, and you will thank yourself for a lifetime. 


Are you looking to remodel your basement or other areas of your home? Bryan Casey Construction is an award-winning home remodeling and interior design company based in Kansas City, Missouri. Co-Founder Bryan Casey is a licensed builder and contractor and has built premium-quality kitchens, basements and bathrooms for over 20 years. Co-Founder Julie Casey received her degree in Residential Interior Design and has created beautiful custom design projects for over 20 years. With over 40 years of combined experience, Bryan and Julie provide free assessments and quotes for your home remodeling needs.To Contact Bryan Casey Construction, call 816-716-8258. To Contact Julie Casey JC Design, call 816-616-3758.