Bargain Basement Investment!

Few home improvement projects offer the versatility and return on investment of finishing a basement. This often overlooked space holds immense potential, transforming from a dark, unused area into a vibrant, functional part of your home. Here are compelling reasons why finishing your basement is a wise investment. We’ve finished many basements for all of the following reasons.

Increased Property Value

Increasing property value is one of the most significant benefits of finishing a basement. Real estate experts agree that a finished basement can significantly boost a home’s market appeal. Potential buyers often see a finished basement as a bonus, adding valuable square footage to the property. This added space can be used for various purposes, such as a guest suite, home office, or entertainment area, making your home more attractive in a competitive market.

These clients finished the entire basement, creating a very large living space, a bathroom, and a guest room. The “walk-out” doors significantly increased their heated square footage.

Enhanced Living Space

A finished basement can provide much-needed extra living space without the high costs of building an addition. Whether your family grows or needs more room to spread out, converting your basement can offer an affordable solution. From cozy family rooms to spacious game rooms, the possibilities are endless. This expanded living area can improve your family’s quality of life by providing additional space for relaxation and recreation.

Most people use their unfinished basements for unorganized storage space. If you have the fortune to have egress windows and doors in your basement, your ability to add more living space rises exponentially. These clients added a guest room by taking advantage of the window. Check out those stunning floors! Wowzer!

Energy Efficiency and Savings

Finishing your basement can also increase energy efficiency. Proper insulation and finishing can help regulate the temperature, making your home more comfortable and reducing energy costs. A finished basement often stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, lessening the strain on your heating and cooling systems. Over time, these energy savings can offset the initial costs of the renovation.

Potential Rental Income

A finished basement can be an excellent opportunity for homeowners looking to generate additional income. With a well-designed layout, a basement can be converted into a rental apartment, providing a steady income stream. This setup is particularly appealing in areas with high rental demand. Before embarking on this project, it is essential to check local zoning laws and regulations to ensure compliance.

A compact line of all the necessary appliances is the key to making a desirable rental property out of your basement. Add a bathroom, a living area, and at least one bedroom. Ask us how we can configure your space for maximum usage.

Improved Functionality and Organization

Unfinished basements often become catch-all storage areas cluttered with items that have no other place in the home. By finishing the space, you can create organized storage solutions and designated areas for different activities. Built-in shelving, closets, and other storage options can help keep your home tidy and make better use of the available space.

Health and Safety Benefits

An unfinished basement can be a source of various health and safety concerns, including mold, mildew, and radon gas. By finishing your basement, you can address these issues through proper sealing, insulation, and ventilation. This makes the space more comfortable and ensures a healthier environment for your family. Investing in these improvements can prevent potential health problems and costly repairs.

Personal Enjoyment and Satisfaction

Finally, a finished basement can bring a sense of personal satisfaction and enjoyment. Whether you dream of a home theater, a personal gym, or a dedicated hobby room, the basement offers a blank canvas to create a space tailored to your interests and lifestyle. This customization can enhance your daily living experience and provide a retreat within your own home.


Finishing a basement is a wise investment that offers numerous benefits, from increased property value and additional living space to energy savings and potential rental income. By transforming this underutilized area, you can enhance your home’s functionality, safety, and overall appeal. Whether for practical purposes or personal enjoyment, a finished basement is worth considering for any homeowner looking to maximize their home’s potential. If you want to finish your basement for whatever reason, call us! We have years of basements in our portfolio.

Water Logged!

A cornerstone of our business is being a reliable port in a storm for clients. As a homeowner, you never know when a crisis will occur. And when it does, we are just a phone call away from starting the rebuilding process. Having critical rooms in your home turned upside down is never fun.

These clients had an unfortunate water leak in this bathroom, so after they mopped up the mess, they decided to make lemonade out of lemons and called us. We gutted the space and kept the same layout but used all modern materials that put a shine on this 20-year-old bathroom. Two children usually share this room, so the double under-mount sinks and double medicine cabinets will aid in the time-share part of this space. The tile and quartz surfaces will be easy to clean, making the family matriarch happy…and everyone knows that if momma’s not happy, nobody is happy!

If you find yourself in a similar water “crisis,” give us a call and let us help you take “Oh, no!” to “Oh, Yes”!

A Primary Bath Makeover!

In recent blogs, we’ve been covering some of our larger, more complicated projects, but we never want to forget those clients who want a bit of simple luxury whenever they enter their primary bathrooms. Did you know the average person spends at least an hour in the bathroom daily? Think about it; we bet that some folks spend more time in there than they even realize. And we’ve found that the prettier and brighter the space, the more apt you are to spend time relaxing and taking valuable time for yourself in your bathroom.

These clients have lived in their home since it was built in the early 2000s. Their primary bath was designed and decorated with the trends of the time, but they recently realized it was blah and dated. So we gutted the room with all the old tile, cabinets, fixtures, and paint. We left the footprint the same, and we left the plumbing intact. We replaced all the tile and built a new shower with frameless glass and multiple niches. Check out those gorgeous new cabinets with miles of storage and gleaming quartz countertops. And the drop-in tub with a tiled deck provides ample space for bath oils, a book, and a glass of wine! Those plantation shutters are specially designed so that the upper and lower louvers open and close independently, enabling the perfect amount of light and privacy. These clients are set for years of luxury and hours of “me time” in this primary space!

Dormer Life!

In a past blog, we explained what dormers were ( and how they are used in attic conversion projects. You own the space above your head, so why not make it work for you and your family!? Right? In addition to adding joy and versatility to your home, attic conversions will expand your finished, heated square footage, thus increasing the financial value of your home. This past summer, we completed an attic for clients in Lexington, North Carolina, which added life-changing space to their home. In this blog, we will be exploring their project.

This was one of the most significant attic conversion projects that we’ve done. We increased their total home square footage by a whopping 800 square feet! The new attic space was to be used as a “mother-in-law” suite. Sometimes, as our parents age, making space in our homes becomes a necessary and joyous transition for the whole family! What also made this an unusual project for us was that the attic was large enough to warrant not one but THREE double-window dormers. These dormers added height and floor space to the living areas and aided in a ton of light flooding the rooms. There are no dark attics in this home!

Below, you’ll find the BEFORE pictures of the attic. Look closely, and you see all that goes into reworking rafters and supporting cross beams to make the resulting rooms open and accommodating. Study the old rooflines and compare them to the later photos of the completed dormers. You must have the utmost confidence in a contractor to allow them to cut three large holes in your roof! We put in HVAC access, electrical/internet connections, and numerous can lights. In the AFTER photos, notice the openness of the two-level living room and the privacy of the hallway back to the only bedroom. The bathroom has an extra large step-in shower that will be very handy for an aging adult. We also plumbed for a future kitchen. The floors are hardwood-like luxury vinyl plank for lasting durability and easy maintenance. If you are considering converting your attic space into real, usable space, look for a contractor with experience in this type of project.

Two-level Living space
One of the Dormers
Another Dormer
Master Bedroom
Hallway back to the bedroom
The bathroom in the third dormer

Ya, Don’t Say!

We are very proud of the work we produce for our clients. Deciding to add, upgrade, tear down, cut into, etc, is a considerable time and dollar commitment to our clients, and we understand our responsibility toward their trust. We take our reputation for quality and excellence in residential and commercial construction very seriously, so we are always humbled when we hear what our clients say about our work and how it impacts their lives. Here are just two of the examples from this year.

It’s time to start another season of enjoying our screened-in porch, so I wanted to thank you again for the great job you did for us ! It’s such a pleasure to be able to enjoy our outdoor space without the bother of rain or bugs. If you ever need a reference for a prospective client feel free to give them my name and number.
I’m always willing to let other people know what a positive experience we had working with Chris and Melissa. If all contractors were as easy to work with as they are, home improvements and renovations would be much less stressful for the homeowner.
L Davis April ‘23
Beadboard maintenance-free ceiling for the Davis Porch

New Screen Porch Addition for Jan and Gary
Thank you Chris and Melissa for an amazing job on our beautiful screened porch. We have already enjoyed it so much.
If you have future clients who want to see a  wonderful example of your work, they are welcome to look at our porch! 
Wishing you both all the best. 
Jan and Gary May ‘23

And In Addition …

So you say you need more space. Your family has grown, the kids take up more space the bigger they grow, and the two new family dogs are a whole other story. However, you love your neighborhood, your location within your city, and your kids’ schools. Help!

We relish these opportunities to design a way to add to your current home to keep you loving all those amenities without pushing the kids to a tent in the backyard (wink)! These clients were just like you. They simply outgrew their home and wanted some breathing space for themselves, so we designed a two-story addition to house a primary suite and laundry room on the second floor with an enormous 24 x 16 screened porch on the lower level.

From the outside, you would never know that the new space was not original to the home. Inside there is a seamless connection in the upper hallway from the old to the new. These clients now have their own nearly 400 square foot “wing” complete with large closets, custom built-in drawers, and a luxurious private bath. We included a laundry room for easy access to all the upper bedrooms.

The lower screened-in porch walks out from the family room and connects out the back to an open grill deck off the kitchen. We used our standard high-end finishes with the porch, such as maintenance-free siding, composite flooring, and ScreenEase screening.

Don’t fret when considering your current home and all you LOVE and HATE about it. Call us, and let us show you how you can LOVE and LOVE it more!

Team Work Makes the Dream Work!

Team Work Makes the Dream Work!

When clients come to us and want to upfit an attic space to maximize the square footage of their home, we automatically know that in 90% of the cases, this will entail some type of dormer. Let’s take a minute to explain what a dormer is.

Dormer: noun (dor·​mer) A dormer is a roofed structure, often containing a window, that projects vertically beyond the plane of a pitched roof. A dormer window is a form of roof window. Dormers are commonly used to increase the usable space in a loft and to create window openings in a roof plane.

By pushing a dormer out of an attic space, we can increase the headroom and the usable floor space in the area. And the only way to build a dormer is to cut a hole in the roof where there was none. That’s where our 30+ years of residential construction design/build experience comes into play.

It takes real TEAMWORK to make a DREAM work when cutting a massive hole in a client’s roof! Our incredible team of framers was able to do the demo and the build all in one day on this 36-foot shed dormer to create an enormous amount of living space in this existing attic. We started at 9 am and were dried-in in 9 hours, just minutes before a torrential downpour. We are fortunate to have clients to trust us with a project like this! Stay tuned for more photos as this project is in progress. Call us when you need an established team of professionals to handle your next home project.

How to Choose a General Contractor

If you’re planning a home renovation or construction project, finding a reliable and trustworthy general contractor is vital to ensure the job is completed to your satisfaction. But with so many options, how do you choose the right one? Let’s discuss the essential things to consider when hiring a general contractor for your project.

  1. Experience and Expertise: When searching for a general contractor, choosing one with experience and expertise in your specific project is imperative. CKJ Building & Design has been providing high-quality construction and renovation services for over 25 years, with a team of experienced professionals skilled in all aspects of the industry. Whether you’re planning a kitchen remodel or new home construction, we have the experience and knowledge to handle the job.
  2. Reputation and Reviews: In the age of online reviews, it’s easy to check a general contractor’s reputation before hiring them. We have a stellar reputation in the industry, with numerous positive reviews from satisfied customers. It’s important to read reviews and check references to ensure you choose a contractor with a proven track record of delivering quality work on time and within budget.
  3. Licenses and Insurance: Before hiring a general contractor, ensure they have the proper licenses and insurance to operate in your area. We are fully licensed and insured, giving you peace of mind knowing that you’re working with a reputable and legitimate contractor.
  4. Communication and Transparency: Communication is one of the most important aspects of any construction project. CKJ Building & Design strongly emphasizes communication and transparency, ensuring that you’re kept informed every step of the way. We work closely with you from initial design concepts to final construction to ensure your vision is realized.
  5. Budget and Timeline: Finally, discussing your budget and timeline with your general contractor before beginning any work is crucial. We understand the importance of staying within budget and meeting deadlines and will work with you to create a realistic plan that meets your needs.

Hiring a general contractor is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. By choosing CKJ Building & Design, you can rest assured that you’re working with a reputable, experienced contractor who will deliver a project that meets and exceeds all your dreams! “Your Inspiration is our Specialty.”

We Call Home!

At CKJ Building and Design, we call Davie County, North Carolina home. We have lived here and done business in this county for over 20 years. Here’s a bit of insight into why we love it here! Davie County, located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, offers a small-town feel with easy access to larger metropolitan areas. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to retire, a safe place to raise a family, or a great location to start a business, Davie County has much to offer.

  1. Affordable Cost of Living

Davie County has a lower cost of living than many other areas in North Carolina. Housing is especially affordable, with a median home price that is lower than the state average. Additionally, the overall cost of living in Davie County is lower than the national average.

  1. Strong Economy

Davie County has a diverse and robust economy, with a mix of small businesses and large industries. The county’s top employers include Wake Forest Baptist Health, Ashley Furniture, and Avgol.

  1. Excellent Education System

Davie County has an outstanding public education system, with highly-rated schools at all levels. The county’s graduation rate is higher than the state average, and many students go on to attend top universities in North Carolina and beyond. Davie County is also home to Davie-Davidson County Community College, which offers a wide range of degree programs and continuing education courses.

  1. Access to Outdoor Recreation

Davie County is home to several parks, lakes, and nature preserves, making it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts. The county has a network of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, and the Yadkin River provides opportunities for fishing and kayaking. Additionally, Davie County is within easy driving distance of the Blue Ridge Mountains and North Carolina’s beautiful beaches.

  1. Rich History and Culture

Davie County has a rich history and culture that is reflected in its The Brock Arts Center, libraries, historic sites, and festivals. The county is home to the Daniel Boone Heritage Trail, which follows the route taken by Daniel Boone through the area. The town of Mocksville, the county seat, has a charming downtown area with historic buildings and unique shops.

With its small-town feel and proximity to larger metropolitan areas, Davie County is a great place to call home.

Let’s Go Down Under!

We’ve long thought that if you own the land above the ground level of your home, why not use the ground below? So if possible, when we build a new custom home, we will encourage homeowners to put a basement in the design. Even if it’s just used for storage … who couldn’t use more storage? We just finished this basement for a client who felt the same way about the valuable square footage found below ground level. So let’s go down under and look at how finishing a basement not only adds space to your home but adds to the overall value in terms of finances, aesthetics, and versatility.

These clients had a basement that was chopped up by existing walls. Not only did they want an open and light-filled space, but they also wanted to divide the space to suit their needs better. So we removed the wall in the living area where the header exists today and also built a finished bedroom and an office. They chose luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring throughout, which is long-lasting, durable, and easy to maintain. We dressed the necessary support columns with cabinet-like millwork. We added electric outlets to some of those columns, which allows for multiple uses in the room and aids in furniture placement in the wide-open space. We replaced double windows with the double doors that walk out to a patio area. The large bedroom has an enormous closet, and the sliding barn doors cleverly hide the electric panel. The client chose Feather Down by Benjamin Moore paint for the living area and bedroom. Do you have a space needing rework to serve your family better?

We removed a set of double windows and replaced them with double doors that walk out to a patio. Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) was used throughout the entire basement. The clients chose Feather Down paint color from Benjamin Moore.
Daylight basement bedroom
Sliding Barn doors hiding electric panel
Large well-lit walk-in bedroom closet
These columns have electric outlets/switches, which aid in multiple uses for the room and help in furniture placement in the wide-open space
Behind the three doors are the HVAC room, the new office, and the bedroom
We dressed the necessary support columns in cabinet-grade millwork