Decorative Concrete in the Basement: A Solid Foundation For Your Business
Benefits of Decorative Concrete for Basements
The type of flooring used in a basement is dictated by the environment and intended use of the space. Moisture, cleanliness, and sustainability are the three main reasons decorative concrete makes a good option for the basement floor. Compared to other common materials – wood, tile, carpet – concrete is often the superior choice.
Moisture – Basements can be damp. Even well finished basements have been known to have humidity, seepage, or flooding issues. Even insignificant levels of moisture can ruin “traditional” flooring materials. Water damage, mold and mildew, and irritants are all problematic with wood, laminate, and carpet. Concrete, on the other hand, resists moisture, mold, and allergens.
Cleanliness – A properly sealed and protected concrete surface (make sure to use a premium indoor sealer such at Poly-Astic with a sacrificial coating like Premium Acrylic Floor Finish) is easy to maintain and keep clean. This is valuable when the basement is being used as a family room, utility space, or laundry room.
Sustainability – Decorative concrete is the “green” choice because you’re using the existing material. There’s no carpet to weave, lumber to mill, or ceramics to fire. This saves material and energy. Furthermore, concrete lasts longer than most flooring materials, saving on the environmental impact of replacing it in a decade. As homeowners become more environmentally concerned, this is a huge advantage.
Why It Is Attractive Work For You
Whether you specialize or just add basements to your existing offerings, they can make a healthy addition to your business. Perhaps the single biggest positive is weather. Because you’re working inside, interior projects are not nearly as dependent on good weather. Winter no longer means you stop work and lay off your crew. Rain doesn’t mean you have to delay. And you won’t sweat to death during the dog days of summer. By eliminating the weather factor, you can keep busy even when the environment prevents you from working on the outdoor jobs.
There is a great deal of opportunity in basements, especially when compared to other interior decorative concrete. In many parts of the country – the Midwest, Northeast, and colder climates – nearly every home has a basement. For the most part, these basements are left unfinished, especially in older homes. By offering a decorative concrete floor, you’ll help the homeowner finish off their basement, increasing their living space significantly. This is an especially great selling point in dense urban areas or with growing families as full additions to the house are cost and space prohibitive.
How to Sell It
There’s a million ways to sell decorative concrete for basements. It’s all about finding what works for you and your region.
First, you want to select the service(s) you plan on offering. Will you limit it to acid stains only? Will you offer overlays and microtoppings? Or you might choose to be the jack of all trades. In any case, you want to make sure you are confident and competent in what you are offering. Be aware of the benefits and limitations of everything you offer so you can find the best solution for your client.
Identify low hanging fruit to get started. This means the people you’ve already worked with! Say you did a patio for a family last year and you know they’re working on renovating their home. Give them a call or write a personal letter to let them know about this new service you are offering. They may take you up on the offer or recommend you to a friend or relative for that work. Take advantage of your existing positive relationships.
Use public records to your advantage. Your local county office likely has floorplans and housing information available to the public. Use these to find homes with basements. Better yet, find developments and neighborhoods where most of the homes have basements to maximize your effort. If you can focus on one distinct neighborhood at a time, you’ll make better use of your resources.
Be mindful of timing and climate. Focus your advertising and sales efforts for basement work on the times of the year that will gain you the most efficient results. For example, late Winter and early Spring may not be the best time to sell homeowners on an acid stained basement floor because they are thinking about outdoor projects. But, once the Autumn and Winter approach, they’ll be ready to focus on indoor projects.
Don’t forget golden opportunities. For example, imagine your area was recently hit with heavy rains and many people experienced basement flooding. This is a prime chance to sell. People with finished basements will have had their existing floors ruined and will be looking for something less prone to water damage.