Where Do I Begin?

Have you ever experienced that moment? You know, that moment where you stand looking at your cold, dark, unfinished basement and come to the conclusion that it’s finally time to do something about it. For many that moment can be a very exciting realization but it can also be immediately followed by a rush of fear.

It’s at that point that most home owners ask themselves, “Where do I begin?”

If you are asking yourself that question right now, let me first say congratulations. You are about to embark on an incredibly rewarding process and investment that truly pays dividends. Second, let me say that you are definitely going to make it through the process.

Just like every other major project, there are a series of steps and processes, that when followed properly, will result in a home living space that will be utilized and enjoyed by your family for years to come.

Over the next several months we are going to take a look at what the basement remodeling process looks like, from start to finish. We are also going to have a video series that illustrates these points as well.

The success of any basement finishing project rests on the planning that is done in preparation for the basement’s transformation. That’s what Marvelous Basements is here for. We will help you effectively plan out every step of the process.

Whether you just need a little advice or you need someone to come in and take over the whole project, Marvelous Basements can provide you with expertise and guidance needed to turn your unfinished finished basement into a true home oasis.

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Custom St. Louis Basement Wet Bars

Marvelous Basements specializes in providing the highest in both service and quality when it comes to custom wet bars.

Check out a recent wet bar we created for a customer below:

If you would like to see more custom St. Louis basement wet bars then check out our wet bar gallery.

If you are looking to improve your basement space with a custom wet bar then give Marvelous Basements a call today and let the pros show you how St. Louis basement remodeling is done.


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Is your St. Louis Basement too dark?

When designed properly a St. Louis Basement can be a premier area that is a key feature of a home. If ignored and left unfinished it can turn into a dank and dark dungeon that houses numerous species of insects and interesting fungus growths.

That may be overstating it a bit, but it is common to see homeowners who do not have a welcoming environment in their basement, avoid that area of their home all together.

One major reason that a home owner avoids the basement area is poor lighting.

No one wants to go into a basement, finished or unfinished, if they can’t see more than a few feet in front of them. Poorly lit rooms have been proven to emit an unwelcoming vibe. A well-lit unfinished basement will actually attract more people than a poorly lit finished basement.

Sticking with a couple of pull chain light fixtures is not going to be enough to achieve the amount of light needed to effectively brighten a basement.

There are several different types of lighting that can be incorporated into a basement design to light the area in a way that puts its guests at ease.

Here’s a list of just some of the different types of lighting to install in your basement:

  1. Hanging lights – good for wet bars and table areas
  2. Pot lights – canned lights that are recessed into your ceiling
  3. Under cabinet lights – these can be wired or wireless and are great at exposing more light to countertops
  4. Lamps – great for the living room/main room in your basement.
  5. Central lighting – this could be anything from chandeliers to flush mounted fans with a light fixture. These types of fixtures are generally considered your main lighting feature.

A trip to your local hardware store will quickly show you how many different types of lighting are available today. Couple that with the different types of light bulbs accessible and you should be armed with quite an arsenal of options to incorporate into your basement lighting design.

If you have a basement that you feel is too dark then call Marvelous Basements today. We can create the perfect lighting plan for your basement so that you no longer dread making the trek into the downstairs area of your home.

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What type of insulation should I install in my basement finishing project?

The amount of choices that a homeowner has when it comes to materials for their St. Louis basement finishing project is endless. Insulation is an area where the type of material you choose not only affects your pocketbook but may also affect the quality of your basement.

Having a firm understanding between the differences in insulation materials will help you make the best possible selection for your home.

The majority of insulation products on the market will fall under these 3 categories:


Fiberglass is generally going to be the cheapest insulation as far as quality is concerned. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a poor product. New home builders and remodelers will commonly use fiberglass insulation batts for their projects.

Fiberglass is the most cost effective choice for your basement. It’s also extremely easy to install and is a good product for the DIY homeowner to work with.


Cellulose insulation is the second type of material available for your basement remodeling project. Cellulose generally comes as a loose fill product and is blown into your wall system. It’s not terribly hard to install but because of the equipment needed, an installer should be hired for installation.

Cellulose has a higher R-value than most Fiberglass products, meaning it is more efficient of an insulation material. However, it’s more expensive as well.

Spray Foam

If you are looking for the highest quality insulation then look no further than spray foam insulation. Because of its efficiency, spray foam is a great insulation for basement exterior walls. You can spray foam into the tiniest cracks and crevices in your basement, creating an extremely efficient weather seal around your basement.

Spray Foam has the highest R-value out of the three types of insulation but it also carries the heftiest cost. Savings can be realized with spray foam through reduced utility bills though.

If you are in the middle of a basement finishing project in St. Louis and need help selecting the right type of insulation, call Marvelous Basements today. Let the pros show you what quality basement finishing is all about.

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Why Your Furniture Selection Matters for Your St. Louis Finished Basement

So much goes into remodeling a St. Louis finished basement. There are so many aspects to managing a remodeling project that homeowners regularly let a few items slip. They don’t think certain items are that important, only to find out later on that they were extremely important. Furniture selection/placement is one of those areas.

It’s easy to think that you can just go out and buy a couch and a few recliners after your remodeling project is done and be happy with the set-up. More times than not, a homeowner will be disappointed in their basement if they lackadaisically choose their furniture.

There are many reasons why this is a bad approach. The first is that you should be researching your furniture up front so that your selections stylistically match your basement’s design and color palate. Nothing is worse than realizing your leopard skinned couch clashes slightly with your oak cabinets. As obvious of a revelation as this should be, the situation is more common than one would think.

Another reason why you need to be planning for your furniture during the initial planning stages is space. Buy too big of a couch and you will be left squeezing between armrests, walls, other guests and who knows what else. Buy too little of a couch and you will be left wondering why your basement seems like an empty conference room.

A common situation that many homeowners don’t realize is that although their basement may be huge, the area they have allotted for their couch to go is a bit small. Yet they buy an over-sized couch anyways. Sure, the couch can just be returned for another one but if you truly wanted a big couch what are you to do?

Planning for that big couch during the design phase of the project is the way to go if you don’t want to be stuck with an unfavorable furniture set up.

You can sleep on your furniture. Just don’t sleep on the importance of you furniture selection.

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DIY Basement Remodeling Projects – How to Tell When A Project Can Quickly Get Out of Hand, Part 3

Although shows on networks like HGTV can make DIY activities seem like a fun project to tackle for the weekend, the truth of the matter is that unless you know what you are doing, your project can get out of hand pretty quickly.

During the last two posts we looked at two types of projects that can be easily tackled by the DIY weekend warrior and how they can get out of hand if you don’t know what you’re getting into. In this post we are going to take a look at one more types of these projects.


At some point during the life of every homeowner they will have to replace a portion of the flooring in their house. If you are looking to save a buck or two and want to find an affordable way to install flooring as a DIY project then you are in luck. You have quite a few options.

Today there are several types of flooring materials available for homeowners to choose from.

Laminate tiles can easily be installed and typically only require a utility knife and a square to install. There are also several types of engineered flooring that look great and can be easily locked together and installed with minimal effort.

These types of materials are great for DIY homeowners and truly can be installed over the course of a weekend. However, if you start to wander in the areas of tile and hardwood flooring, you may be getting more than you bargained for when it comes to your project workload.

Both tile and hardwood are excellent flooring materials that carry supreme look and quality. The tradeoff is that installing either of these materials can require not only a fair amount of tools but also a great deal of knowledge and effort as well.

If you are getting ready to install a new floor in your basement and you don’t know where to begin then call Marvelous Basements and let us show you how basement remodeling is supposed to be done.

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DIY Basement Remodeling Projects – How to Tell When A Project Can Quickly Get Out of Hand, Part 2

DIY basement remodeling projects are somewhat of a craze right now. The amount of information on DIY projects is at an all time high thanks to sites like Pinterest and channels like HGTV. However, the quality of this information leaves something to be desired.

Sure you can see pretty before and after pictures and become inspired about how you might be able to transform your basement living space, but are you really getting the full scoop as to how involved the project may be?

In the last post we took a look at a common DIY electrical project. Now we are going to tackle plumbing.

There are a good deal of plumbing projects that can easily be handled by a DIY homeowner, given a little bit of research and a few common tools. Let’s take a look at one of these projects and how it can get quickly get out of hand.

Installing a new plumbing fixture vs installing a new plumbing line

Every homeowner has that one bathroom that could use a little refreshing. One of the ways you can give your bathroom a face lift is by installing a new plumbing fixture.

The installation process for most plumbing fixtures will be pretty straightforward and your local hardware store should have a wide variety of fixtures to choose from. Even if you are an inexperienced DIY homeowner, you should still be able to handle this type of project if you watch a couple of YouTube tutorials and read the instructions that come with your fixture.

However, if you’re project starts to require more than what is needed to simply swap fixtures then it might be best to look to a professional.

If in replacing your faucet you find that you have an issue with your plumbing line or you need to install a whole new plumbing line then you should move on from trying to tackle such a project yourself. You’ll need a professional plumber to handle your job at that point, unless you want to risk giving your entire basement a bath.

Check back for part 3 as we take a look at what some different types of flooring projects that can be a challenge for DIY homeowners.

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DIY Basement Remodeling Projects – How to Tell When A Project Can Quickly Get Out of Hand, Part 1

DIY projects are receiving more and more attention these days. Between all the info on the internet and cable T.V. channels like HGTV, there is a wealth of material available for the average homeowner to absorb when it comes to home improvement.

The issue is that many times the information provided can make certain DIY projects appear to be way less involved than they truly are. This can be a real problem for homeowners who have very little experience in tackling DIY home improvement projects.

The inexperienced DIY homeowner has no way to tell the difference between a simple project and a complicated project.

In the next several posts we are going to look at three types of projects that are easily tackled by a homeowner and how they can quickly get out of hand.

Replacing your light fixtures vs. installing a new electric line for a light fixture

Replacing an old light fixture or fan with a new fixture can require a little bit of time and effort, but for the most part swapping out fixtures is a task that an average homeowner can tackle. The process is generally the same regardless of what brand or style of fixture you are replacing.

Installing a new fixture can be easily handled with a few common tools and a little patience with the instruction manual.

This type of project can get out of hand though if you need to install a new electric line for a fixture. If the project reaches that level you will need more than just a screwdriver to do the work. You will need to know a fair amount about electric panels and home electric systems.

This is not the type of work you will learn to do by watching a 30 minute DIY show on T.V. If your project is going to require that level service then it’s time to call a professional to handle the work.

Check back in part two as we take a look at plumbing issues that may not be as DIY as you think.

As always if you feel that you are in over head on a DIY project, give Marvelous Basements a call and we’ll handle your project in a safe and professional manner.

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St. Louis Basement Home Theater Design – Select Your T.V. First, Not Last

Although it seems like when planning a St. Louis basement remodeling project that your T.V. can be selected last, it can’t. If you’re planning to include a home theater in your basement then the T.V. should be one of the first things you select and not just the T.V. itself,  but how it will be mounted as well.

There are several reasons for selecting your T.V. and its mount early on in the process. For starters, most basement home theaters these days have elaborate set-ups. There are lots of external components to include in the set-up and with those components come lots and lots of wires. If you don’t want yards of wire strewn about your basement then you should select your T.V. in advance so you know how your wiring is going to be run in your theater.

If your T.V. is large and has inputs on the side of the back panel then the difference in running the wire correctly could be several feet depending on which side of the T.V the inputs are on. You would need to have your T.V. selected in advance to run your wiring accordingly.

Knowing how your T.V. will be mounted will be equally as important. Big screen T.V.s are quite heavy these days and if you plan on mounting the T.V. on a wall bracket, instead of stand, then the proper support bracing will need to be installed during the frame-up phase of the remodeling process. If proper bracing was not installed during frame-up, before the drywall goes up, then you will most likely have to open up your wall to install proper support.

Opening up the wall is not impossible by any stretch of the imagination, we do it all the time in fact, but it can be quite a mess to do. Also, wouldn’t you want to avoid the problem to begin with and just have your T.V. and mount selected in the beginning so that you can avoid having to open up your wall?

If you are planning to remodel your basement with a new home theater then call Marvelous Basements today and let the pros show you how St. Louis basement remodeling should be done.

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The Importance of Selecting Quality Windows For Your Finished Basement Project

We work with a variety of budget sizes when remodeling basements. Because of this we have to be prepared to show clients a variety of areas where they can look to cut costs and increase savings without decreasing the overall quality of the project. When you are finishing your basement it is not imperative for every single piece of your basement to be cut from the most expensive material on the market. However there are certainly going to be certain materials in which you don’t want to cut corners on and your windows and exterior doors are certainly one of those areas.

Now, there are certainly a wide assortment of prices you can pay when it comes to selecting your windows and exterior doors. You don’t have to pick out the most expensive options here either but this is certainly an area you want to pay attention to and not look to skimp on a cheap selection.

There are a number of reasons why your windows and exterior doors are a critical choice for your St. Louis basement finishing project. The first reason is your home’s insulation. The more openings you have to the outside, the more chances you have for heat to leak in or escape out of your house. This not only makes your basement less efficient but it also can increase your utility payments as a result. The money you think you save by selecting cheap windows actually ends up costing you more in the long run.

Another reason for selecting quality windows and exterior doors for your basement is that they’ll help prevent water and other natural elements from getting into your basement. Moisture especially, can be a particularly damaging element if your basement is not guarded against it. One of the jobs of your windows and doors is to keep these elements out and keep your basement protected.

The third reason that you want to select quality windows and doors is protection and security for your home and family. Cheap doors and windows will be easier to break into. Quality doors and windows are constructed with stronger materials and generally have more robust installation processes that make them tougher to break through.

If you are considering remodeling your basement, do not sleep on selecting your exterior doors and windows. These items might be some of the most important materials you select for your basement.

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