August 2012

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live at home From Start to Finish Transforming your downstairs dungeon into usable space When the quarters of your home are feeling cramped, taking the plunge to finish all (or part) of your basement not only offers the opportunity to add square footage, it's an investment that often increases value of your home. To help make your underground space somewhere you'll want to kick up your feet, Adriane and Bill Tucker of Tucker Family Construction offer tips to get you started. Out of the Woods "Ahhh." It's the sound of relaxation—of sitting back in a weekend retreat with no to-do lists on the brain, or kicking back at home with a clear schedule ahead. And it's the feeling that Sue Torgeson wants you to have the moment you step into Roughing it in Style, the cabin-inspired furniture store she owns with her husband, Gerry, and business partner, Bo Palenske. "When [our customers] walk in, they take a deep breath and just let it out," she says. "You can see it in them; the stress kind of leaves." It may be the result of a store packed with One-of-a-kind home goods find a place at Roughing it in Style By Tuesday Wustrack pieces created at their own manufacturing facility, there's no shortage of options for every home or cottage owner. But to Torgeson, it's not just about the items they sell—it's about the experience. After curling up on one of their cozy, leather couches you'll feel like there's nothing left to do but queue the crickets. In short: Ultra-comfortable, simple pieces made with heart that are perfect for creat- ing the cozy country scene of your dreams up north or in the city. pieces that promise to ease you into a re- laxed state of mind. And while their focus began with clothes and jewelry, the store has since shifted to home furnishings and décor that capture the "roughin' it" side of life without losing a sense of style. To explain, Torgeson shows off the popular refurbished barnwood tables, bed frames and shelves, whose outdoorsy vibes are offset by sophisticated light fix- tures and velvety rugs. In a store carrying more than 500 vendors along with custom 20 BRAVA Magazine August 2012 Torgeson's favorites: The store's signature barnwood pieces, especially the entertain- ment centers and designer kitchens. Why you'll love it: Whether adding rus- tic accents or going all out for backwoods style, you'll find one-of-a-kind pieces made from local materials that bring the outdoors in. Where to go: 5262 Verona Rd., Fitchburg; (608) 274-5559 or Consider the contractor: Since remodeling a basement can sometimes cost more than $15,000, consulting an expert is key. The Tuckers recom- mend looking for contractors who are licensed, insured and come with per- sonal recommendations or references. From there, don't be shy about asking questions and taking bids from several contractors. In the end, the process will help you develop a trusting and com- fortable relationship with the contractor you choose. Make the space your own: Go into the initial meeting with your contractor with a concrete idea of what you want and what your budget is. Be ready to use your contractor for expert advice and inspiration while also staying firm with your goals (and price point) to prevent you from taking on more than you bargained for. Set the stage: Check for any repairs that may need to be done before you get started—especially in basements with moisture issues. Then find out if you need a permit from your city or town for the remodel project. Even if your contractor says you can save money by "pulling" your own permit, the Tuckers advise that you do your homework and always go through the proper legal channels. Don't stress the mess: We may dream of a finished basement being completed overnight but it can take four to six weeks (or more!). Dust will cover your countertops, contractors will cycle in and out of your house, and you may need to hold off on hosting events. But in the end, you'll get a space you can use. Photo by Tyler Robbins

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