5 Common Basement Finishing Mistakes by DIY Homeowners

Over the years Marvelous Basements has completed many basement projects where we are called in to fix the mistakes or finish a project started by a DIY homeowner. Now don’t get me wrong. I respect anyone who wants to tackle a home remodeling project themselves. It’s the type of mentality that I have as well. It’s just that all too many times we see the same mistakes over and over again.

If you are getting ready to remodel your basement yourself then look out for these top 5 DIY Mistakes.

1. Not planning for your electronics

Chances are if you’re remodeling your basement then you are going to have some sort of entertainment center downstairs. Not planning where your TV, speakers and other electronics will be located can leave you running enough yards of wire to cover a football field. No one wants to see those wires. If you want your wires covered up then make sure you plan for your electronics in advance.

2. Covering up key access point

In every basement there are certain access points that you need to be able to get to at a moment’s notice. These can be things like electrical panels, water shut off valves, and so on. Before you set your basement design in stone make sure you locate all the key access points in your basement. Doing so will save you a ton of time and heart ache later on whenever a problem arises.

3. Under budgeting

We see this all the time in DIY projects. The homeowner figures there are certain aspects of the job that he or she can do for cheaper than what it normally costs. This usually yields one of two results but either is disastrous. The first is that a certain aspect of the project is done for way less than it should have been creating a cheaply done job that causes the basement to suffer because of the poor job.

The other result is that when the homeowner realizes the mistake in under budgeting it screws up the whole project and the basement goes unfinished. In both cases a contractor usually has to come in to fix the issue and it costs the homeowner more in the long run.

4. Not subbing out the areas you can’t handle

It is very rare to see someone who can handle every single aspect of a basement remodel. It takes a team of people to finish a basement correctly. DIY homeowners commonly make the mistake of trying to tackle every part of the job themselves even if they don’t know how to do every job. This again can lead to disaster and can lead to poor work being done on the job, once again costing the homeowner more money.

5. Not creating an open floor plan

For a basement design to be successful it is imperative for it to breath. Open spaces work best in basement designs. In many cases we see DIY homeowners creating a cluttered and closed off space which hinders the basement design and almost renders it useless.

If you have experienced these problems when trying to remodel your own basement then contact Marvelous Basements today. Let the pros take over the project and get your basement done the right way.

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The Keys to St. Louis Basement Wetbar Design

One of the best ways to complete an efficient remodeled basement is to create a kitchen or wet bar area in the basement design.

For the majority of homeowners, the motivation to remodel their basement comes from the desire to create a space that they can use to spend time with family and friends. This time can easily suffer when a host is constantly running back and forth upstairs to cook food and snacks for their guests.

In many cases the host may miss the majority of the event all together while they tend to guest’s needs in the kitchen, completely defeating the purpose of remodeling the basement in the first place.

Putting a kitchen or wet bar area in the basement allows everyone to be together while food and snacks are being prepared and served. Nothing brings a family together like food so why not give your basement area the ability to be self-sufficient in regards to food preparation?

Most of the basements we finish for our customers have custom kitchens and wet bars designed for them. A basement design would simply not be complete without such addition. We personally tailor every single wet bar design to your space and specifications. We do not use cookie cutter designs. Your wet bar is unique to your basement and your basement alone.

There are many things you will want to keep in mind when designing your basement kitchen. Everything that is in your main kitchen could conceivably find a place in your basement kitchen. Everything from countertops to cabinets and appliances to fixtures will seemingly find a place in your kitchen creating the most efficient space in your basement.

Designing a Saint Louis basement wet bar can be a lot of work but with Marvelous basements it could not be easier. If you would like to see some of the wet bars we have designed for your clients then you can look at the wet bar section of our portfolio.

Contact Marvelous Basements today to get help in designing the perfect basement kitchen for your home.

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How to Winterize Your Basement

It’s getting close to that time of year again: Winter. As the fall temperatures begin to slowly creep lower and lower we are reminded that cold weather is just around the corner and with it comes all the challenges of keeping the cold out of your house and keeping the heat in.

A finished basement is a great way to create a stronger and more energy efficient seal around your house so that your utilities do not have to work overtime during the cold months.

The key to properly winterizing your basement is making sure you address the energy loss points, namely windows and doors. If you are considering finishing your basement you don’t want to skip out on upgrading these areas. Energy efficient windows and doors are must haves if you don’t want to break the bank on your utility bills.

Many homeowners like to insulate their basement ceiling to address the problem of heat loss within their home. This is the wrong approach to solving the problem. Once the cold air has gotten into your basement then the damage has already been done.

Most homes with a basement have their utilities in the basement. If they are surrounded by cold air then they will have to work overtime to make up for the energy loss and that will increase your utility bills even more.

A better idea would be to make sure that your walls are insulated within your finished basement. That way your basement not only remains a comfortable environment but your utilities are further protected from the cold air that will try to leak into your house.

A finished basement is key to properly winterizing your home and making it as energy efficient as possible. Call Marvelous Basements today to make sure all your basement problems are taken care of.

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What If My Basement Floor is Uneven?

Having a quality finished basement is a priority for most homeowners. A common problem that arises for DIY vets is how to handle leveling out their basement floor.

Having a level basement floor can be a key component to successfully remodeling your basement space since a level floor is needed to install any quality flooring, especially tile.

But what if your floor is all gnarled, bumpy, and uneven, what are you to do then? Have no fear. Marvelous Basements will walk you through the steps of what you will need to fix your basement floor before you install any new flooring.

As stated before, the goal here is to get your floor as even as possible. This will be achieved through a number of methods depending on the status of your floor.

Before you can get your floor level you will need to work on getting it as smooth as possible. If your floor has bumps in it due to old paint jobs, left over tile and other easily removable products then a thorough scraping of your floor with a hand scraper can go a long way.

If your floor has a lot of bumps that are hard, such as concrete bumps, then you may need to use a power grinder to smooth out the sections of your floor that are bumpy. Remember to always use the proper safety equipment when working with power tools.

Once you are done with this step your floor should be a smooth as you can get it. If you have any cracks in your floor you will then need to fill and seal those cracks.

For some, your work may be done at this point but for the majority the work is just beginning since most homeowners will need to do some leveling of some sort. This will mean pouring self-leveling concrete, commonly referred to as SLC, and can be found at your local hardware store.

Before you pour any concrete you should roll your floor with a bonding agent so that the SLC will better adhere to the surface. Now you are ready to pour your SLC. Just mix and pour in the areas of your floor that are uneven and the product will do the rest.

If you are pouring around a basement drain you may want to fit the drain with a collar to raise it up to the height of your new floor.

Once the SLC dries you will have yourself a proper and level basement floor, ready for your new flooring to be installed on top of it.

As always if you need any help with your basement design project don’t hesitate to give us a call. Marvelous basements works on basement projects of all sizes and can give you the finished basement you have always dreamed of.

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Basement Remodeling in St. Louis – Bathroom Design Options

When designing a bathroom for your St. Louis basement finishing project there is a myriad of options to choose from. A bathroom can be one of the highlighted features in your remodeled basement but it can also serve as a compliment to a basement guest bedroom.

Here are some examples of areas you should be thinking about when designing a bathroom for your basement design project.

Will you need a shower area?

Not all basements will have a guest bedrooms. Whether your basement has a guest bedroom will most likely dictate if you want to have a space to bathe in your bathroom.

Shower or Tub?

If you do choose to have a place to bathe in your basement bathroom then you’ll need to decide whether you want a tub installed or a shower stall. The size of your bathroom could also dictate this choice as bathtubs can take up more space than a shower stall.

Pedestal or Vanity Sink?

You can scour the marketplace forever to find the right sink for your bathroom so the first thing to do is decide whether you want a pedestal (one single piece) or vanity (a sink and cabinet) sink.

Again, size will definitely be a determining factor so make sure you measure your space accurately. Small bathrooms, especially ones without any kind of shower, will typically have a pedestal sink.


Much of a bathroom’s look and feel is determined by not only the type of tile it has but the amount of tile installed as well. A bathroom without a shower may just have tile on the floor, whereas a bathroom with a shower could have tile all over the walls as well.

Some showers may only have tile up to the shower head, a common feature with bathtubs. Whereas a shower stall could have tile completely surrounding the shower area.

You will need to select things such as tile size and material as well. Everything 1”x1” slate to 16”x16” ceramic tile is available. Make sure you research all of your options before purchasing tile.


Every basement bathroom will need to have some sort of permanent light source. Everything from canned heat lamps to wall mounted fixtures, in a variety of styles, are available to install.


As you will see there is an endless supply of plumbing fixtures for you to design your bathroom with. Toilets, faucets, shower handles, shower heads and any other fixtures should be researched thoroughly before making a choice.

Color Palette

Your color palette is something you need to pay attention to. Just because you like a certain component of a bathroom does not mean it will match all the other components. Make sure you collect paint swatches to compare with your tile and cabinet choices.

Designing a bathroom can be a lot of work but with Marvelous Basements it could not be easier. Contact us today to get started today on your basement design project!



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What If I Don’t Have a Lot of Money to Remodel My Basement?

Basement Finishing St. Louis, Basement Remodeling St. LouisClients often ask us about finances in regards to their basement project.

We know that nobody has a never-ending stream of money to work with…and that’s okay.

Because having a nice finished basement doesn’t require that you break the bank.

At Marvelous Basements we avoid bullying our clients into choosing a basement that is beyond their financial capabilities.

We do this for a couple of reasons:

  1. If you can’t afford it then you’re not going to buy it. If we try to steer you towards a higher-priced basement, chances are we’re not going to be the contractor you choose and that’s bad for both of us.
  2. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority at Marvelous Basements. If we push you to purchase a basement that is out of your budget then you are ultimately going to feel guilty about your purchase and not fully enjoy your basement. You won’t be satisfied and that means we won’t be satisfied.

The methods that pushy contractors use to try and force you into buying something you don’t want are never helpful. Those contractors’ methods are not our methods.

Instead, Marvelous Basements aims to craft the perfect basement design for your budget. We listen to what you have to say. After all, it’s your basement.

Whether you have a large budget or a small budget, our job is to give you the best possible basement that your money can buy.

We have amazed many of our clients by showing them what we can do with a smaller budget. A remodeled basement can be affordable.  In many cases we are able to come in under the budget that is originally established with our clients.

If you are not sure whether you can afford a new basement, then give us a call. We always welcome and enjoy the opportunity to talk to you about the vision for your home.

Contact owner John Turner today to find out what Marvelous Basements can do for your home today. Get the refinished basement that you can afford and that you deserve.

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Why You Should Get a Finished Basement

Many of our potential customers are trying to determine if and why they should get a finished basement. In fact most are weighing the pros and cons right now.

I can’t speak to the list of cons that each individual homeowner will come up with. Sometimes, for whatever personal reasons there are, it may just not be the right time for someone to refinish their basement.

However, for those potential customers who are in a situation that allows them to consider this decision, allow me to give you a list of 5 reasons as to why you should get a finished basement for your home.

1. Increased home equity

A finished basement is a great way to increase the equity in your home. In many cases a home’s appraised value is determined by the finished square footage area in the house. Having a finished basement increases that number dramatically and therefore increases the value of your home.

2. Increased living space in your house

In many cases a house’s basement is the same size if not larger than the first floor. This means that finishing your basement can increase the living space in your house 33% (for an average two story) to as much as 50% (for an average ranch). It can literally feel as if you doubled the size of your house just by adding a finished basement.

3. New opportunities for entertainment

No one finishes a basement just so they can have new carpet and drywall downstairs. Homeowners want to do something with that area. They could choose to install a new home theater system in their finished basement, or they may choose to install a gym. Some of our clients have done both. Either way a newly finished basement will have the ability to entertain in so many different ways depending on the customer’s wants and needs for the space.

4. Ability to cut costs on entertaining, eating out, travel expenses, and possibly gym memberships

All of the entertainment your finished basement will provide you with will also help you cut down on other expenditures. We typically see a decrease in our clients’ entertainment expenses as they are eating out less, going to the movies less, cutting down on travel expenses and, if they had a gym installed, eliminating the expenses of a gym membership.

5. Spend more time with family and friends

Last, but certainly not least, is a benefit that is worth more than all the others. Having a newly finished basement in your house provides you the opportunity to spend more time with family and friends. Our clients want to use their space. They want to have fun and entertain and what better way for them to do that than to invite their friends and family over.

There are certainly many more reasons to finish your basement then the five that are listed above but these five are typically the ones that are the staple results of all our clients’ basements. So give call Marvelous Basements today and let us show you what a newly finished basement can do for you and your family.

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More Than Just a St. Louis Basement Remodeling Contractor

Kitchen Remodeling St. Louis, Bathroom Remodeling St. Louis, St. Louis Kitchen Remodeling Contractor, St. Louis Bathroom Remodeling ContractorAt Marvelous Basements we are known for what our name says, creating marvelous basements. But in our 25 years of experience we have been able to provide our customers with more than just great basement design.

We also specialize in bathroom and kitchen remodels, room additions, and more!

We know what it takes to create the perfect space within your home.

Whether you need a remodeled basement or you need another part of your home fixed up, Marvelous Basements can help.

Most of the basements we remodel have bathrooms and wetbars included. So we know our way around the block when it comes to bathroom and kitchen design in the St. Louis area.

The same service, care, and quality we bring to our customers when remodeling basements is the same for room additions or remodels of another section of your home.

Marvelous Basements wants you to be satisfied with every aspect of your home, not just the basement area. We make sure our design team is ready to go, no matter what the project entails.

We always stay up to date on the latest bathroom and kitchen trends so we can give you the remodeled space of your dreams.

At Marvelous Basements we not only cover all aspects of home remodeling but we also make sure that customer satisfaction is our number one priority.

So if you are unsure who is going to fix up your master bathroom or who is going to remodel your kitchen, then give us a call today.

Let us show you why we are one of the premier kitchen and bath remodelers in the St. Louis area.

Contact Marvelous Basements today to get started planning your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project.


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St. Louis Basement Design: What Sets Marvelous Basements Apart?

best st. louis basement finishing, Basement Finishing Contractors St. Louis, Basement Remodeling Contractors St. Louis, Basement Finishing St. Louis, Finished Basements St. Louis, Basement Remodeling St. Louis, Basement Remodeling St. Louis County, Basement Finishing Contractors St. Charles, Basement Remodeling St. Charles, Finish my basement st. louis, finish my basement st. charlesBasement design is the key to creating the perfect remodeled space.

If a contractor tells you that all there is to it is just framing up four walls and adding some drywall he’s fooling you.

Basement design is everything when it comes to remodeling.

It doesn’t matter how good of a carpenter your contractor is if the design on the project is bad.

This means there needs to be careful consideration as to what the space will be used for, the spacing of furniture, the types of electronics that will be used, where will the plumbing run, and so on.

Establishing the project details up front, in the design phase, is the best way to guarantee that your finished basement is exactly the space you need.

Marvelous Basements prides itself on offering each client we work with a unique and professional basement design. No two basements are ever alike and neither are the designs we create.

Even though we are quick with our turnarounds for pricing and design it does not mean we rush through the process. We take our time and work closely with you to make sure no stone is left unturned when figuring out what their needs are in regards to their basement design.

Do you want a gym? How about some guest bedrooms? Are you going to need a bathroom with a shower in it? All these options are doable but we make sure to address these issues up front with you. We explain every detail of the basement design and address the challenges in the beginning so they won’t become a problem.

We have been designing basements in the St. Louis area for over 25 years now and we have the knowledge and the experience to get your job done right.

We make sure the basement design that you receive is the right design for your space and needs.

We also believe our clients should get the best design that money can buy, no cutting corners, no skimping on materials, and no leaving the job until you are delighted with the final, finished basement.

Contact Marvelous Basements today and let us get started crafting the perfect basement design for you.

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Home Gym Design in St. Louis Basements

A home gym is a great feature to include in a finished basement.

When designed properly a new home gym can function as an integral part of your family’s lifestyle. For some, a home gym may be the very reason they are deciding to remodel their basement.

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Marvelous Basements has provided many of our clients with the perfect home gym set-up.

Whether you want your gym to be the focal point of your basement design or you want to have a small room to workout in, we can help you design the perfect workout area.

Your basement does not have to be overrun with gym equipment for you to have the ability to workout at home.

We first look at how to maximize your basement space for the size of gym that you desire. Then, we focus on equipment selection and placement to make sure you can use your gym functionally. No one wants to be crammed when they are trying to workout.

From there we can add the little things to your home gym design that make the difference. Do you want a stereo system installed so you can listen to your favorite music while you work out? What about a T.V. in front of your stationary bike? Marvelous Basements works with you to make sure everything you want is included in your home gym.

We don’t select the treadmill you buy or what kind of weight rack you install. With Marvelous Basements you are in control of what equipment you want your gym to feature. We want to make sure you are getting the gym that you want, not the gym that someone else wants.

The investment in a home gym can save hundreds of dollars a month in gym membership expenses, especially if you have a large family that enjoys to workout.

Not to mention, you save considerable time from traveling back and forth to the local gym.  When your gym is located right in your basement, getting to the gym only takes as long as it takes you to walk down the stairs. Not too shabby.

If you are looking for saunas and mirrored walls, or weight racks and treadmills, Marvelous Basements can handle it all. No gym is too small or too large for us to design.

Make your vision a reality. Contact John Turner today and let Marvelous Basements get started on your home gym design.

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