Project Spotlight: Arlington Colonial

Ever since buying their Arlington colonial 10 years ago, the owners dreamed of converting the basement into something special.

The original unfinished basement.

“One thing we’d always wanted to do was to transform the basement into a daily living space and put in an indoor gym while our kids, who are now 8 and 11, were young enough to enjoy it,” they say.

Custom helped the homeowners bring their vision to life, transforming a space with limited functionality into something the family uses every day.

Unfulfilled Promise

The original basement had lots of room but didn’t get much use. There was a small finished section where the kids played, but the rest of the space was unfinished and primarily used for storage. The partially finished space, especially in the cold of winter, discouraged anyone from hanging out for too long.

Last year, the homeowners contacted several residential remodelers, including Custom, to discuss the project. “We really liked [Custom president] Bill Farnsworth and how thoughtful he was in his advice,” they say. “One thing he recommended that no one else did was to get a formal architectural plan done and use that to solicit bids from the various remodelers.”

Given the scope of the project, the homeowners appreciated the high level of detail included in Bill’s quote and chose Custom for the project. Leading up to construction, Bill and his team helped them finalize their plans, from determining the plumbing needed to accommodate the kitchenette and bathroom to recommending a mini-split system as a cost-effective option for heating and cooling the gym.

Home Gym basketball

Hoops and Climbing

The centerpiece of the project is the gym, which measures 20′ x 20′ and has a 13′ ceiling. A hardwood floor was installed over the original concrete floor along with a basketball hoop and climbing wall. “We’re thrilled with how it turned out as well as with the quality of the Custom team’s craftsmanship. They made it look exactly the way we envisioned” say the homeowners.

For a unique touch, the homeowners decided to have the gym hidden from the rest of the basement, which includes a mudroom, family room and office in addition to the kitchenette and bathroom.

“That took a lot of design and engineering, and some back and forth with Sean Farnsworth, the lead carpenter, to make it look seamless,” say the homeowners. “With the door closed, you can’t tell there’s a gym, which is exactly what we wanted.”

The homeowners enjoyed working with Sean, who played a big role in solving the many challenges of the project gym entrance. “He was really great,” they say. “One of our favorite parts about working with him was being able to think through design elements of the projects together — the gym entrance, the rock climbing wall and storage area in the gym. We spoke with Sean almost every day. He was very easy to communicate with and always welcomed our input, addressing the adjustments that came up during the course of the project.”

Now that their basement is finished, the homeowners are looking forward to working with Custom again.

“We’re already having them come back for a couple other projects,” they say. “We’d absolutely recommend Custom to others.”