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Everything You Need to Know About Remodeling Your Basement: An Interview with David Ryden of Ryden Construction

By David Ryden

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Ryden Construction is a family-run home improvement company specializing in custom carpentry, decks and outdoor living spaces, kitchens, bathrooms and basements remodeling, to name a few.

What are some of the most popular features or changes for remodeled basements in Pennsylvania?

Basement projects typically incorporate extended living space such as home theatres/family rooms, game rooms (billiards, ping pong, etc.), entertaining spaces with bars, tables & kitchenettes, work/study areas, additional closets & shelves for storage...and the list goes on. The need for a new bedroom is a common improvement to the home, but requires an egress window or exterior access point when located in a basement.

Can you walk us through the general basement remodeling process and the average time it takes from start to finish?

The basement remodeling process starts with the design and layout of the finished space, taking into account all existing utility service replacement, windows & doors, beams, and steel columns. After an approved layout is reached with the homeowner, plans are submitted to the local municipality for approval. Approval can take anywhere from 1 to 4+ weeks. Next, the construction phase starts with wall framing, and making sure there is a moisture barrier between the foundation and new wall surface. The framing, plumbing (if any), electrical & insulation phases may take 1 to 2 weeks for an average size basement. Then would be drywall, paint, ceiling and floor for the next 1 to 2 weeks of project time. The construction process will last 2 to 4 weeks typically.

How should a homeowner prepare for this process?

Homeowners can simplify the design process by sketching their desired floor plan for the new space, and laying out some of the desired walls and partitions. With that information, the contractor can get a feel of how to best allocate the space. More options to think about include, paint scheme selection, molding or column style, etc. Clients can also visit their municipality's building department and receive a blank permit application for the contractor to complete. When obtaining the application, they can inquire about the timeline for the approval process, any recent code changes, the rough cost of the permit fee, and any other additional questions.

What is one of the biggest challenges that a homeowner and/or contractor faces during a basement remodel?

The access to the basement can often make material deliveries and ingress/egress difficult. Cutting materials in the basement is preferred because of labor and time, but it creates more dust and noise inside. Homeowners without an exterior basement door can be prepared for a constant parade up and down the stairs as work progresses!

How do you help solve that challenge for your clients?

Thorough planning and detailed execution create happy homeowners. The contractor should communicate with the client throughout the entire construction process. We pride ourselves on quality and attention to detail, being available, and following through in order to ensure satisfaction.

What is the best way for people to reach you and your company?

Ryden Construction can be reached via phone or email. We are available at 215-822-9239 or www.rydenconstruction.com.

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