Megan and Greg were about to build a Kettler Forlines Home last year. Then, life happened. Megan’s mom passed away and her father suffered a stroke. Instead of starting from the ground up, they found a home that just came on the market in their desired Poolesville, MD, location. It needed renovations, but since the house was below their price point, the couple had the budget for remodeling. Megan and Greg returned to Kettler Forlines Homes to undertake a basement remodeling project with creativity and craftsmanship.
They loved the design, details, and construction of the Kettler Forlines Homes they looked at. Megan said the work passed Greg’s discerning eye. “Greg is that person who looks for cracks and flaws. He couldn’t find anything wrong with the Kettler Forlines homes we saw.”
Megan was crystal clear on what she wanted. Her biggest priority was incorporating a remodeling project that didn’t look like one. She wanted the change to work seamlessly with the current home’s design and flow.
The home they purchased was built nine years earlier, by another company. The size was comparable to the home they had, but the basement makeover would add 1,200 square feet of living space. The home also came with a swimming pool, so enhancing the walk-out basement ensured a more appealing access point.
Going in, Megan knew what she wanted. “Dan Fraker (Kettler Forlines Homes’ estimator) listened. I told him, ‘Here’s what I don’t like and what I want to do.’ We were down there with a measuring tape and painter’s tape marking the floor. I already had a fit and finish in mind.”
The basement wish list
Here are some of things on their basement makeover wish list and how it turned out:
- Open up the basement so it doesn’t feel like “we’re sending people down to a dungeon.” The renovation incorporated more recessed light to brighten up the space “They almost died when I told them how many LED lights I wanted.”
- Open up the line of sight on the main level. The entry to the basement blocked the line of sight. We opened the wall, took out the door to the basement, and created a landing at the top of the stairs. Now, when you walk in the front door, you can see all the way to the kitchen in the back of the main level of the home. It looks as though it was always there.
- Create a “teenage kingdom”. Their son is almost 13, so Megan and Greg wanted to give him a space where he could hang out and entertain his friends. For starters, they installed a 110-inch projection screen with a 4K projector. Then they added a 13-foot skeeball game acquired from Hershey Park and a Strike Master shuffle bowling machine.
- Include stylish storage and serving space. In the family room, they added an 11-foot wet bar with a granite countertop. The cabinets provide plenty of storage for supplies for entertaining, plus towels, sunscreen, and other pool needs.
- Ensure a welcoming space for guests. Knowing their son would eventually leave, Greg and Megan wanted to be able to “recapture” space, and make it welcoming for guests. They added a spacious full bath. “Now we have an enormous shower with a bench seat, and cobalt blue wall with white subway tiles surrounding it.” The black granite countertops have blue flecks that accent the walls.
- Build a craft studio for Megan. She’s a hobbyist who didn’t have a workshop where she could keep all her equipment and supplies organized and accessible. Now, she has a room in the renovated basement that is accented with a sliding pocket door. Within the room, there’s a bookcase that is actually a secret door to a storage space—something every crafter can appreciate (and envy). Megan says she’s currently adding a Murphy bed in the room, too.
- Plan ahead with the HVAC. They kept the HVAC room large, allowing for storage as well as making it easier if they had to change out the system later. While the installation was underway, the Kettler Forlines Homes’ remodeling crew also ran PVC venting pipes to accommodate a high efficiency HVAC that the owners anticipated to add later. By doing the task at this point, they wouldn’t have to rip out walls later.
- Expand electrical possibilities. They also thought ahead for future electrical needs. Megan had Kettler Forlines Homes’ remodeling team add a second 200-amp electrical panel, making it easier to support more electrical needs. Coaxial and ethernet cabling were incorporated to allow for future outdoor TV viewing. Megan was also planning a gazebo in the near future and wanted lighting for it. With the interior walls open during the basement remodel, the electrician ran wiring to different areas of the outside to trench power where the gazebo would eventually be located. Again, thinking ahead allowed them to make future renovations much simpler.
- Replace the floor with vinyl plank. Since people would be coming through the basement from the pool area, they needed a floor that would resist the water-soaked traffic. Luxury vinyl plank has the appearance of a wood floor with the easy care and durability of vinyl.
“This was what I was looking for and what made it worth it to me,” explains a very contented Megan, who decorated with a palette of coastal cool colors to pull it all together. “I definitely learned things as I went, like electrical panels and HVAC. But we had full confidence in our project manager, Craig Smith. He was texting and keeping in touch, and was always right there when needed.”
From start to finish, the entire basement renovation took four months, with only minor delays from the pandemic. Knowing what she wanted and working with a skilled, attentive team kept the project on track and without any of the unwelcome surprises that some homeowners experience.
“When I make up my mind, I just go for it,” says Megan.
Have you made up your mind yet? Kettler Forlines Homes welcomes the chance to discuss your remodeling ideas. Leverage our 42+ years of homebuilding experience to reimagine and recreate your home. Get started by reaching out to us and let’s give your home the same exceptional results that Greg and Megan are now enjoying.