Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to finish a basement?
According to Remodeling Magazine’s “2013 Cost vs. Value Report”, the average cost in the Atlanta area for a basement finish, was $62,640 . Basement projects can hit or exceed this figure, but most R&S customers want what we call a semi-custom finish. This typically includes a site built tiled shower in the bath, some type of bar or kitchen, a mixture of can and fixture lighting, a nice trim package including lots of crown molding, and high quality/low maintenance floors throughout. While these semi-custom projects are always priced per the specific design and scope of work, most end up costing between $45, 000 to $55,000, well below local industry averages. If this description sounds similar to what you are thinking for your basement but your budget doesn’t allow it, then it would be best to reconsider your specific requirements or revisit your budget.
How long does it take?
A typical full basement finish takes three months to complete. However, we always tell our customers we’ll work at “your pace”. We’ve completed projects in six weeks, and we’ve taken as long as six months. Even though your project will be well planned and accompanied by a full design before getting started, there will be some detailed decisions to make and potential issues to address along the way. Some people make these decisions very quickly, while others need more time. R&S is patient, and we have no problem giving you the time you need to make these decisions.
Can I do some of the work myself?
The honest answer to this question is “it depends”. R&S appreciates a homeowner’s desire to decrease cost by investing “sweat equity” in their project. R&S is flexible and has worked with some customers in this regard. Good examples are painting, hardware installation, shelving, etc. – items that can be completed outside of our contracted scope of work. Because we warrant everything we do, however, we can not use our customers as sub-contractors. Therefore the majority of the trades are best handled by our experienced sub-contractors.
Why do I need a budget?
A basement finish is a significant investment and it would be unwise to get started, or even start to obtain quotes, without having established some sense of a budget. The “purchase” of a home improvement project is like that of any other purchase you make. Typically, you want more than you are willing to pay for. Establishing a budget and sharing it with your remodeling contractor sets realistic expectations and creates the opportunity to modify design and scope of work to meet your budget.
Why is scope of work and design so important?
A well understood design and associated scope of work communicates the desired finish details to everyone involved in the project – the contractor, the subcontractors, and the customer. This “document” serves all stakeholders in the project, including sub-contractors and suppliers. Getting started without a good plan that outlines scope and design is a recipe for cost overruns, time overruns, and disappointed customers.
Why is it important that a contractor be licensed and insured?
The short answer to this question is “it’s required by Georgia state law”. This law went into effect to reduce the risks homeowners would encounter while hiring a non-licensed contractor. These risks include, but are not limited to, both financial and personal liability risks. Hiring a remodeling contractor that is both licensed and insured also means that the state certifies that the contractor has the correct experience and credentials to complete all aspects of the work necessary to complete the project.
How does payment work?
R&S is very honest and open about costs and payment. We are a “for profit” company and therefore manage the payment process tightly. We provide a detailed draw schedule with every project, expect and expect payment when it is due. However, we want payment to be fair to all parties, and won’t ask for it until it is earned. A typical project will have 15% due at contract, 5 – 7% due at completion, with the remaining amounts due at clear milestones (draw points) throughout the project.
What if I want to make a change after we get started?
R&S prides itself on being easy to work with. It’s typical for customer’s to change their mind regarding some detail or ask for additional work after getting started. R&S will work with you to define and price these changes, and do so as fairly and quickly as possible (to keep the project moving forward).
Do you offer financing?
No, we do not offer financing but we do have relationships with several banks and mortgage companies for customers looking to finance their projects with home equity or personal loans.
Who does the actual work?
The actual “hands on” work for every project is performed by R&S approved sub-contractors. R&S has long standing professional relationships with all of its subcontractors, and many of them have worked with us since the inception of our company. These relationships translate into highly predictable results for your project – predictability in terms of timeframe, quality, and cost.
How long has R&S been in business?
R&S Basements incorporated in August of 2003. R&S Basements is a registered trade name. The legal and state licensed name of our company is Relyea and Sons, Inc.
My basement is full of stuff. Do I need to get it all out of the basement before we start?
Unfortunately, the honest answer to this question is yes. Trying to finish a basement around items that are not removed can create a safety hazard and may also result it items being damaged. It’s better to take the time to remove these items before we get started.