Detroit News Saturday, January 18, 1997
Handyman by Glenn
Your basement isn't truly finished until it's as inviting as
If you need additional living space, sitting on
top of an unfinished basement is like living in a tent pitched on
top of a buried treasure. Getting your basement finished costs
only about $15 to $25 a square foot. Building up, or out, starts
at $100 a square foot.
Unfortunately, most finished basements are just that,
finished basements. They never become an accepted, fully
functioning part of the house. Since they do not become true
living space, they add only marginal resale value to the home.
To find a way around these problems, I talked to Mike McCoy of Coy
Construction Inc. Coy specializes in building decks and finishing
basements. McCoy expects the company to build 800 decks and finish
50 to 60 basements this year. I do not know of any other
contractor that does that kind of volume.
The secret to getting full use and resale value out of a
basement is to change the look and feel form a basement to that of
another living level, McCoy says.
"The standard way to finish a basement is to put
in furring strips and paneling, install a drop ceiling with ugly
ceiling tiles, and lay vinyl on the floor," McCoy says.
"You would never live in a house with a living room that
looked like that. How can you expect to use a basement that looks
To get maximum "living appeal' from a basement,
McCoy says you have to start at the top of the stairs and rethink
the entire situation.
"When a contractor builds a house he separates
the unfinished basement from finished living space with a door at
the top of very utilitarian stairs," he says. "The door
and the stairway combine to tell you 'Stop. You don't want to go
down there.' "
To change your base met into living space, get rid of
the psychological stop signs. Take out the door and door trim, and
open up the staircase by removing as much of the stairway wall as
possible. Replace it with a to-quality banister that looks exactly
like on you would choose for a stairway leading form the front
vestibule to the second floor.
By doing these things the staircase becomes a natural McCoy to a
lower living level. You can continue this feel by making the
finished portion of the basement look and feel as much like the
first floor as possible.
To do this, McCoy recommends drywalling both the
walls and the ceiling; not tiling, the floors; adding a full, not
half bath; installing recessed lighting and upgrading the
electrical by installing at least three additional electric
By drywalling, instead of installing a drop ceiling, you change
the look from industrial to living area; gain 3 to 4 inches in
height, giving the basement a much more livable feel; and replace
expensive ceiling tiles which are likely to go out of style and
become irreplaceable. You also gain the flexibility of being able
to build around duct work, and you'll save about 60 percent on
Creative Living--May 21, 1998
Ready to get DECKED?
By Annette Jaworski
"A deck should be an addition to the house. If it doesn't
look sharp, and it doesn't add to the value of a home, it doesn't
do its job,"
Mike McCoy, president of Coy Construction
A properly built and maintained deck should be as
asset to any home, according to Mike McCoy, president of Coy
Construction in Walled Lake. "A deck should be an addition to
the house. If it doesn't look sharp, and it doesn't add to the
value of the home, it doesn't do its job," he said.
McCoy's first piece of advice in building the deck of your dreams
is to look to the professionals to help with the design work.
"The biggest mistake homeowners make is trying to design the
deck themselves," he said. "You can actually spend
$5,000 on the back of your home, (with a deck) and detract from
the value of the home. You go to a doctor when you're sick, so
when it comes to designing and building your deck, go to an
expert," McCoy said. Decks have evolved during recent years
form wolmanized wood, which warped and twisted according to McCoy,
to the current favorite, cedar. He estimated that about 98 percent
of the decks he builds are western red cedar with a wolmanized
structure. McCoy's advice in building a deck include; 1. Match the
color of your deck such as railing, fascia, steps and bench edges
with the wood trim of the house, leaving the floor natural. It's
important because designing the deck this way actually requires
less maintenance, McCoy explained. 2. Don't' forget the
landscaping. No matter how well your job is completed, it won't
look sharp unless colored and landscaped properly. McCoy is in the
process of remodeling a bit himself, he will soon be adding a
showroom to his Martin Road office in Walled Lake. In addition to
the expansion, Coy is also celebration 20 years in business. McCoy
credits the company's success to keeping focused only on decks and
remodeling basements, and invaluable help.
He also credits vice president, Richard Saferian;
Ralph Geistler, assistant to the vice president; and his brother,
Dave McCoy, for the company's continued growth and excellence. If
you're thinking about building or have recently built a new deck,
even new decks need a light washing before they have a stain or
seal applied, said Mike Sinutko of Woobrite Professional Deck Care
I Ferndale. "The reason is that there are footprints and
markings from constructionů you have to get all of that off. You
don't want to seal it in there." Another misconception is
that you need to stain or seal a deck immediately. Not so, he
said. Wait for three to six months. In the meantime, he recommends
protecting it with a product called Seasonite, a water born, new
wood stabilizer. UV rays from the sun will damage the wood Sinutko