Basement Remodeling the Smart Way

Remodeling your basement is a (9)  Right?  It’ll give you the much needed space your family requires.  Also, it’ll increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to buyers when you sell.

Or not.  Contrary to what many people believe a finished basement isn’t always a good return on investment.  Depending on how you do the remodeling you may only break even or actually decrease the value of your home.

The smart way to avoid making a big expensive mistake is to “think” first and “do” second.  Here are some areas to consider.


How long do you plan on being in the house?  Turning your basement into a Brown’s multi-media, wet bar, Dog Pound complex is fine if you’re going to be in the house for many years. But, if you’re planning on selling in 5 years or less you probably should rethink it. 

Most buyers look for the basics: is it dry, is the wiring up to code and can it handle today’s electronic needs, are the ceilings high enough, is there any natural light and is it a functional space which can be adapted to their needs?  (Putting a toilet next to the washer and dryer doesn’t make it a bathroom.)  They want good quality, neutral walls, ceilings and floors. 

Determine the requirements of the project

Intelligent remodelers do their homework to determine the practicability and ultimate outcomes of their project ideas.  For example, in case of fire, most cities require a bedroom to have a proper exit, which must lead directly outside.  It can’t be a door that leads to another room.   Where are you going to put a window in an underground basement? 

Here are just a few things to think about and determine.  What are the daily requirements of living with the project?  What utilities are going to be turned off and for how long?  How are the workers going to be going in and out?  Are they going to be alone in the house?  How do you find a good contractor?  What’s your budget and how are you financing it?

Be realistic about money

Dreams of craft rooms, kids’ play areas and man caves are exciting – why else would you be thinking of remodeling your basement?  But, they should be mixed with reality.  Look at your basement with a critical eye.  How are you going to work around 4 support poles, a sump pump, an electrical box and 2 drains in the floor?  And how much is it going to cost?

Adding a bathroom?  What about ventilation?  Truly evaluate current and future water/moisture concerns, as well as the expense of fixing them.  It’s almost impossible to live in Northeast Ohio and not know someone who’s ignored their basement water/moisture problems, resulting in expensive repairs to their basement. 

A basement remodel is a big investment in time, money and energy.  It’s worth the effort to do it smart.  You know someone who didn’t think a home remodel or project through before they acted, we all do.  Don’t be that person.

Nicole Abbott is a professional writer who’s had over 200 articles published.  She’s a business consultant and former psycho-therapist with over 20 years of experience in mental health, business and addiction.  She’s a coach, lecturer, trainer and facilitator.  She has conducted over 200 workshops, trainings, presentations, seminars and college classes. 

Protecting Your Home From Water In Your Basement


Dry walls and air in your basement are two things many homeowners take for granted.  Dry air means healthy air, and a  dry basement free of mold is a place that your family can enjoy.  Letting cracks in the foundation of your home go, means water seeping into the basement and making that part of your home unlivable, and by not addressing the issue, the cost can escalate rapidly.  Make sure you have a livable and healthy place you call home. If you have problems with the basement or the foundation of your home, contact us for a free consultation.

To read more about this topic, follow the links below.

Protect your home and health with a dry house

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) A dry home is a healthy home. If you have water in your basement or crawl space, Everdry should be your first call.

Everdry offers full service waterproofing including basements, crawl spaces, walls, floor, and foundation. They also address the air quality in the home. Everdry is unique because they do more than just get the water out. They tell you why you need to get the water out and how to protect your home and belongings and health.

If you notice a musty odor, see signs of moisture, cracks, mold, or dry rot, call Everdry at 1-800-275-7910 to get a free inspection.

Visit them at the Grand Rapids Remodeling and New Homes Show January 8 through 10 at DeVos Place to be entered into a raffle for a $300 gift card to Menards.

Mention the Remodeling and New Homes Show or eightWest to get $1,000 off Everdry’s Multi-Step Waterproofing system. Anyone who schedules a free inspection also gets an Everdry t-shirt.

Everdry is participating in the Polar Plunge at Reed’s Lake in East Grand Rapids on February 13. The event benefit the Special Olympics. To participate or help raise money, find information on Everdry Facebook page.

Water Woes: Owners can take steps to protect their homes from flooding

Owners can take steps to protect their homes from flooding.

Bryon Coleman knew his basement had a slight water problem.

During truly monumental rains, the “man cave” down there might get a little damp, but a drain in one corner would quickly funnel the water out of the house.

Then came 4 inches of rain on Christmas Day.

“We got up that morning and we were having Christmas with the boys when, all of a sudden, I told my wife, ‘I need to go down to the basement,'” he recalls. “I didn’t go down there early enough.”

The basement in his 1938 home in the Belvoir neighborhood has a concrete floor, but he’s covered it in carpet tile that locks together like a puzzle, no glue involved. Opening the basement door on Christmas, he gazed into the room “and there was 2 inches of water in one end of the basement.”

“I turned and closed the door,” he says.

Coleman is comparatively lucky. The drain eventually took care of the water and then he had to pull up the carpet tiles, clean them and put them some place to thoroughly dry — as well as sop up whatever dampness remained on the basement floor.

Small cracks can mean big problems

Most homes have doors that stick or small cracks in the walls. Even though it’s common, cracks are not something to be ignored.

Homes and the soil underneath them move with the temperature and moisture of our Louisiana weather. Given the type of soil that makes up the Red River Valley and our Louisiana weather patterns offering river flooding and drought at the same time, we have dynamic soil. This can cause serious structural damage to our homes over time.

Soil and concrete slabs are subject to temperature change, which means a house will move and “settle” throughout the year. Foundation settlement issues are standard for our area, experts and homeowners agree, but when should a homeowner be concerned that a crack is more than just a crack?

“All structures and buildings move to some extent,” said Matt Wallace, a professional engineer, registered structural engineer and president at local firm Aillet, Fenner, Jolly, and McClelland, Inc.

Homeowners should be aware of warning signs for a possible cracked foundation, such as doors failing to latch, cracks in walls – over doorways, ceilings – cracks in the flooring, or windows failing to operate properly.

If a cracked slab is suspected, the first step is to contact a structural engineer.

Their job is to inspect the home and determine if a repair is needed by a foundation repair company.

The Different Methods for Waterproofing Your Basement

stock-photo-22083798-water-damaged-basementNortheast Ohio will be preparing itself for the snow that will surely come before we are ready.  With the coming of snow and the melting that follows, many basements across Northeast Ohio will unfortunately see some water seepage before this winter is over.  Basement waterproofing is not only done during the summer months, and if your basement has leaks, it is better to do it right away instead of waiting for the warm weather to arrive.  Hiring the right company to do this job, without the hassle and costly options many companies will give you, is extremely important.  Trying to figure out where the water is coming from is not something you should do yourself.  Hire a company that knows where to look and how to identify the problem. Call us with any basement waterproofing questions you have, and we will be happy to offer a solution to your problem. We are a reputable company with many, many years of experience.

The Differences Between Damp-Proofing Vs. Waterproofing Your Basement

When you hear the terms “damp-proofing” and “waterproofing” regarding your home’s basement and foundation, is there a difference? What do these terms mean?

There are differences – and the differences are significant if you want to keep water out of your basement.

Foundation damp-proofing is generally done during the construction phase to meet minimal building code standards. Damp-proofing makes use of a moisture-resistant material consisting of hot liquid asphalt and rubber coating with an insulating panel. The problem is that although damp-proofing is moisture resistant, it is not complete protection from water. Damp-proofing is only applied internally and water can still pass through the foundation externally.

Foundation waterproofing, on the other hand, will stop water seepage caused by hydrostatic pressure – which is the rising and falling of ground water under the concrete, making water penetrate the basement slab. Foundation waterproofing systems are applied externally so that water is prevented from penetrating through the foundation.

Negative Side Waterproofing

Water and moisture considerably reduce the value of a basement as living space or storage area. When moisture enters a basement, the conditions for the formation of mold become favorable. And once mold has formed, it continually produces spores and releases them into the surrounding air, allowing them to spread through the rest of the building, which not only causes a musty smell but also reduces the living quality and even cause health disorders.

The cause of water or moisture in basements is usually ground water or ground moisture which penetrates into the basement through the floor slab or the basement walls. Such defects are frequently encountered in older buildings, but new buildings can also be affected.
Construction is usually carried out during the dry summer months, so designers, owners and craftsmen sometimes neglect the seasonal changes which will expose a basement to water in the fall and winter. As a result the waterproofing of new structures is often neglected and does not provide permanent protection.

A recent survey of leaking basements showed water comes from a variety of sources, but walls are the usual culprit:

Occurrence of moisture
Only on walls: 82.8 %
Only on the floor: 4.1 %
On walls and floor: 13.1 %

Waterproofing Basement Walls: Costs and Options

If you’re trying to figure out how to cure a wet or musty basement, you’re probably curious about advertisements for products that claim to waterproof basement walls. So you wonder: Is it really possible to dry out a basement simply by sealing the walls?

Yes, it is possible — but to make sure you’re choosing the right option, you need to figure out if the moisture is coming from the outside, or if it’s actually high humidity that’s condensing on the cool walls of your basement.

How to Find Out What’s Causing the Moisture 

Tape a 1-foot-square piece of aluminum foil to the inside of your basement walls, and leave it in place for 24 hours.

If there’s condensation on the outside of the foil, you have high humidity in your basement. Fix it with a portable room dehumidifier or a whole-house humidifier system instead of waterproofing products.

If the foil has condensation on the inside surface (next to the wall), it may be the soil around your house is naturally damp from a high water table or poor soil drainage. In that case, waterproofing your basement walls can be useful.

Foundation Repair and Stabilization

stock-photo-3164773-executive-home-bar-and-entertainment-roomThe structure of your home starts with the foundation, and that’s why it’s very important to be vigilant of any problems that may arise if you own an older home. Water that is not draining away from the foundation may eventually jeopardize the stability and integrity of your foundation.  If you think you may have a problem with the foundation of your home, you may need to have an inspector visit your home and asses any damage it may have.  The structure of your home begins with the foundation; do not wait till the costs associated with repairing it become too astronomical.

For more information about foundation repair and stabilization follow the links below.

Are You Putting Your Foundation At Serious Risk?

You might not know it, but the integrity of your roof and gutter system can pose serious risks to the rest of your home. That’s right, something as simple as clogged gutters can lead to major foundation damage that will endanger your home, personal belongings and most importantly, your family’s health. Anything and everything from that new pool table in your basement to those perfect spring flowers or your ability to breathe clean, mold-free air is put into jeopardy.

Clogged gutters can be the source for many different problems that are both annoying and costly. Gutters that don’t get regular cleaning or maintenance can quickly cause damage and turn a home into a reconstruction project. Before looking at solutions to prevent gutter backup, it’s important to examine and understand the serious destruction that’s possible.

When water accumulates around your home, the foundation is put at risk. The possibility of erosion damage becomes real when clogged gutters mishandle the flow of rain water. Erosion weakens your home by slowly removing layer by layer of foundation until it cracks and begins to leak. And if you think erosion doesn’t have the muscle to do major damage, consider how the Grand Canyon was created. It’s obviously an extreme example, but erosion is that powerful.

Foundation Repair & Stabilization

Do You Have?

  • Basement Wall Cracks Visibly Open?
  • Basement Wall Bowing In?
  • Foundation Shifting/ Movement?

Foundation Stabilization / foundation reinforcement is the process of stopping movement in your foundation before it gets to the point of needing major, costly repairs or replacement. Basement Wall Repair can be accomplished a few different ways depending on your situation. We offer a solution specific to your problem.

Foundation stabilization/ foundation reinforcement can be accomplished these three ways:

  • Stabil – loc piers
  • Traditional steel “I” beam
  • Carbon fiber/kevlar mesh straps (Fortress Stabilization)

Inspection an Important Part of the Foundation Repair Process

Construction Company on how Foundation Inspection Can Save on Costly Repairs.

September 10, 2014 –(– Julian Construction, Inc., ( a general construction and foundation construction company in Southern California, recently released an article on how regular foundation inspection is an important part of keeping up the maintenance on a home. Regular inspections of a home foundation will detect foundation problems before they become more extensive, says the company. Julian Construction has over 10 years of experience in the field of foundation construction and foundation repair.
Shawn Kyles, chief safety inspector at Julian Construction, stressed that while foundation repairs are often needed, the extent of foundation damage can be drastically reduced by foundation inspections of a home. He stated: “A home foundation inspection by a qualified expert is not only an important part of foundation maintenance, it can prevent the need for expensive repairs or foundation replacement. You’ll also get peace of mind knowing that your foundation is in good shape. When you request an inspection, both the outside and inside of your home will be checked for evidence of foundation problems.”

Getting Ready To Sell Your Home?

stock-photo-3164773-executive-home-bar-and-entertainment-roomIf the prospect of putting  your home for sale an additional stress in your life, there are a lot of things that you can do  to simplify the chores and achieve the goal of having it on the market this spring.  Cleaning and organizing the garage is probably nothing compared to cleaning and organizing your basement. Potential buyers do look at the basement as an additional room that they can have, not only for storing, but for extra living space. Organizing your basement and garage can give you the extra edge you need to sell your home promptly.  Making sure your basement has no leaks can be the difference between having your home on the market for 2 weeks or a year.  For more about getting your home ready for spring follow the links below.

Make spring cleaning easier with expert tips, helping hands

March in the Valley brings Major League Baseball, blooming plants and trees, and an urgency to enjoy the weather before it gets blistering hot.

Inside, it’s also the perfect time — with the holidays in the rear-view mirror and New Year’s resolutions waning — to give your house a springtime freshening.

Spring cleaning can seem like just another thing to do on your already crammed calendar, but for those like Erika Gentner, it’s an opportunity to get the whole family on board for a better home.

“I like to think of it as a family tradition,” says Gent ner, who typically schedules spring-cleaning weekend well in advance and then counts down the days to build up excitement for her 7- and 9-year-old sons. “We make it as fun as possible. … We order pizza or subs and break up the day a little bit.”

Gentner, a Phoenix professional organizer and co-owner of Dependable Divas, says her sons also get a reward for helping and get to do easy tasks such as wiping down baseboards and removing smudges from walls with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. She and her husband tackle the harder stuff, including washing windows, decluttering the garage and cleaning out the refrigerator.

10 tips for spring cleaning success

Susquehanna Valley experts weigh-in on organizing and de-cluttering spaces.

After a tough winter in the Susquehanna Valley, spring is a good time to open up the windows, get organized and clear out clutter.

Here’s some tips and tricks from local experts to use as a springboard for spring cleaning projects:

1. Visualize your goals

Todd Sweet, co-owner of Clutter Stoppers, a professional organizing business that serves Central Pa., says making a home more functional and efficient starts with a simple plan.

“First, you should visualize what you want your home to look like,” said Sweet. “You want to prioritize how each space should function for your needs.”

2. Get into cleanup mode

The task of tackling messy spaces may sound daunting for some, but Maura Clements, owner of MoreSPACE Professional Organizing in Lancaster, Pa., says a lot of people have cleanup fears.

Time to spring forward with that house cleaning

The calendar says it’s time for spring cleaning, so get down and get dirty. Whether you wield the duster yourself or hire someone else to do it, a clean house is worth the time and/or money you put into it, especially after a winter like this one.

The tradition of “spring cleaning” dates back to before the days of HVAC with add-on filtration systems that keep your home’s interior air on an even keel year-round. But while you may not be beating rugs and emptying ashes out of the coal grate, there is still plenty for you to do as your energy level rises with the temperature.

Rachel Sammons, owner of Prime Shine Services Inc. in Saginaw, outlines a basic cleaning routine that her crews follow with their regular customers, one that applies equally to non-professionals.

Dust first. “Go from the top down, because the dust you miss will fall to the floor and you can get it when you’re vacuuming,” Sammons said. “This is the time of year when you’ll see lots of cobwebs along the window tracks. It doesn’t matter how new your house is; cobwebs don’t discriminate! They come back quickly, too, so be sure to check behind your doors and around the hinges and jams.”

Foundation Repair & Stabilization

The foundation of your home is the lowest and supporting layer of the structure of your home. Foundations are generally divided into two categories: shallow foundations and deep foundations. The foundation therefore can tell the homeowner stock-photo-749897-cracked-concretewhether the structure of the home is defective by looking for some clear signs in the basement of their home.
Does your basement have wall cracks that are visibly open? Are the basement walls bowing in? Is there a foundation shifting or movement? Do you need foundation stabilization for your home? Do you know what it is or how it can be accomplished?

Foundation Stabilization / foundation reinforcement is the process of stopping movement in your foundation before it gets to the point of needing major, costly repairs or replacement. Basement Wall Repair can be accomplished a few different ways depending on your situation. There is a specific solution to your problem.

Foundation stabilization/ foundation reinforcement can be accomplished these three ways:

  • Stabil – loc piers
  • Traditional steel “I” beam
  • Carbon fiber/kevlar mesh straps (Fortress Stabilization)
  • Internal wall pins
  • Steel “I” beam systems are installed against the wall in the problem areas and are attached to the structure above as well as cemented in under the floor.  This method offers a limited warranty.
  • Our Fortress stabilization systems are bonded into the wall in the problem areas and offer a lifetime warranty.

Carbon Fiber Mesh
Today’s latest foundation repair solution for bowing basement walls is carbon fiber mesh “straps” which are embedded into the face of your foundation walls. Fortress Stabilization has developed a system made of both carbon fiber and Kevlar meshed together giving them the ultimate in tensile and shear strength. These straps are smooth to the wall and paintable making them barely noticeable.

This is the only foundation repair method available with a lifetime guarantee and no maintenance!

We at Pioneer Basement Solutions are Experts in Foundation Repair, offering solutions specific for your problem.

Call today for a free no obligation inspection of your specific foundation repair needs and learn more about what solution best fits your specific situation. Click here for our contact info or schedule a FREE consultation.


Small Basement Foundation Cracks Can Lead To Basement Water Damage

stock-photo-17128627-unfinished-basementThe small cracks in the foundation of your home may seem like just a minor nuisance, but even small amounts of water seepage can cause serious damage to your basement. That corner of the basement that always gets damp when it rains? There could be a lot more going on there than you’re aware of.
Repeated exposure to moisture that enters the home through small cracks in the foundation can cause a buildup of mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can spread throughout the home through channels such as duct work before you even know it is there. Exposure to these spores can cause health issues from minor itching of the skin to severe respiratory issues.

Those small foundation cracks can also cause structural damage. Peeling paint is a small issue, but it can be an indication that something else is going on. Porous materials, such as paneling or drywall, can absorb and hold moisture which can cause warping and rotting. So those small cracks that didn’t seem to be a big deal are now causing damage to your basement that is not only lowering the monetary value of your home, but adversely affecting the health of your family and pets as well.

Your home is a major investment – possibly the largest investment you’ll ever make. You want to protect your investment and keep your family healthy. So what do you do if you suspect that water is entering the basement through small cracks in the foundation? The most important thing you should do is consult with a qualified professional. Small cracks in the foundation are a common problem and a professional waterproof company, can evaluate the structure and repair any small cracks before they can wreak havoc on the value of your home.

Waterproofing Tips And Information

stock-photo-3164773-executive-home-bar-and-entertainment-roomThere are many articles out there explaining and even demonstrating to you how to do or finish your basement yourself. Although the idea may seem tempting in the beginning, it can become into a nightmare pretty fast. If you have a wet or leaky basement you first need to call a contractor to fix the problem before getting any further. Patching or painting a leaky basement will not fix the problem at all.  In the long run, this leaky basement could be harmful to you and your family’s health.

If you have a leaky basement, call us. We will give you a no hassle, free consultation to fix your basement.

How To Avoid Basement Waterproofing

Basement waterproofing is a process, that once is initiated, can lead to a costly finish, it can be stressful not only for the home owner, but, believe it or not the contractor, depending on the size of the damage, and the intricacy of the repairs to be done.
Many of us never want to reach the twenty thousand plus amount of dollars that basement waterproofing can take from our pockets, so the safest bet would be to avoid the process all together, as they say, prevention is better than the cure.

How does one make sure that there are no cracks or crevices, due to water leakage in their basement’s future? Now, no one can be one hundred per cent safe, but there are a few areas to consider, that if handled well, can avoid a wet situation in your basement.

Basic Steps for a Waterproof Basement

Basements and water damage are as synonymous as pancakes and maple syrup, but they don’t need to be. A waterproof basement can be achieved by embracing a multi-pronged attack on the water entering your basement. With a combination of basement sealing, drainage solutions, and water damage restoration, your basement can be valuable living space instead of a dark, damp, and neglected area of your home.

Three Steps to Waterproof a Basement

Options in Basement Waterproofing for a Dry Basement

Waterproofing a wet, leaky basement requires more than just patching a few trouble spots. It’s crucial to locate the source of the leaks, fix the problems and prevent moisture from returning through preventive measures. This time-consuming job is best left up to the professionals who have experience checking for problems in the foundation. If you notice signs of moisture in your basement, your home may require basement waterproofing. Frederick foundation repair professionals can assist you in basement waterproofing in Frederick with several different methods.

Homeowner Foundation Worries

When should a homeowner worry about the foundation of their home?

There are varying degrees of worry about the foundation of a home.  Even minor basement water leaks means that there are foundation issues.

However, bowed basement walls are a more serious issue.

Initially homeowners foundation repair may seem like it is going to be very expensive, but homeowners often do not realize that sometimes foundation reinforcement is all that is needed.

This kind of service stabelized the foundation and basement walls, preventing further bowing of the basement walls and protecting the foundation of the home.

Pioneer Basement Solutions is an expert in foundation reinforcement and  waterproofing Akron homes as well as reinforcement and waterproofing Canton home.  We have been helping homeowners in the Canton and Akron area for many years and have dealt with the basic leak in basement,  wet basement mold, bowed basement walls and more.  We are a full basement solutions provider and our free basement inspection and quote will help you make an informed decision on protecting your families biggest investment.


Home Foundation Repair

Ohio homes are often older and have basements.  When you have an older home in Ohio, in areas like Akron, Canton, Kent, Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, Barberton and Wadsworth, you want to have a local Ohio basement waterproofing company like Pioneer take a look at your home and assess the state of your basement.

Homeowners Foundation Repair is often easier than you think.  Sometimes the basement foundation can simply be reinforced and this protects the value of your Ohio home and the safety of your family.  While many basement waterproofing companies may not have the experience or expertise to give you advice on your basement foundation, Pioneer Basement Solutions has been providing these added services for years to help homeowners get all the services they need in one place from a company that they can trust.

So if you need a full service basement solutions company in Ohio, specifically in the Akron or Canton area, give Pioneer Basement Solutions a call.