Life after the last step: The Austin Family

June 23, 2023

Lindsay and Trevor Austin are truly building their lives from the ground up. As entrepreneurs owning and operating their own businesses, they started from scratch with a vision of what they want for themselves and their two young daughters. Over the years, the couple’s been working hard to make their home reflect who they are too. The results? Family living that’s as unique as the Austins.

Southeast Calgary Austin family on their couch in their finished basement

Built in the 1970s, the basement of the southeast Calgary home was developed long before the Austin family moved in. But for them, it lacked function and flair. Lindsay and Trevor always had big basement plans, but life happens and plans change. Focusing on entrepreneurship and parenthood meant putting a renovation on hold.

But with little notice in 2019, the basement project began — ready or not. The family’s home was hit by an unexpected flood, forcing the couple to fully demolish the basement and start over from the studs. “We needed to fix it anyway,” says Lindsay, “But this ultimately moved our hand for us.”

Although the work needed to begin right away, Lindsay had just given birth to her second daughter and was feeling wary of bringing in an outsider to complete the project.

“You don't really know what you're getting into with the contractor,” she says. And Lindsay’s not alone. A recent Ipsos survey found that 71% of Albertans have a difficult time finding a contractor they trust. But that changed for Lindsay after a single conversation. Speaking with Jared Buote at Better Basement Finishing put her mind at ease, says Lindsay. “It just felt so safe and easy.”

In their personal and professional lives, Lindsay and Trevor value collaboration. After dreaming of their basement’s potential for years, the couple was excited to share their ideas. From day one, they knew they’d found a contractor that cares. “Jared was always asking for our point of view and being extremely accommodating,” says Lindsay. “Ultimately, we chose him because he’s so easy to work with.”

Trevor and Lindsay Austin standing in front of custom steel wall mounted wine rack in their finished southeast Calgary basement

Although their plans were well-considered, Lindsay appreciated when Jared spoke up to share his thoughts on making it the best space possible. “Jared is extremely proficient — technically proficient,” says Lindsay. “When he thinks it can be a better way, he's not afraid to just say so.”

Jared’s technical expertise made adding custom elements to the space effortless, like the industrial greenhouse, built-in speakers and steel restructuring that Trevor handcrafted himself. From sourcing the necessary materials to contracting engineers to approve the custom steel structures, Jared took care of every step along the way. “He did it all – from start to finish,” Lindsay says.

Now that the majority of the basement work is complete, Lindsay and her family can enjoy the entirety of their home at last — and feel proud of a space that doesn’t fit the typical mold. “Instead of putting a square peg in a round hole, it was nice to create something shaped for us. To make it our own,” says Lindsay.

Lindsay and Trevor will have Jared back to finish up their basement bathroom in the near future, and they have a custom-built bar in mind too. But in the meantime, Lindsay is keeping Jared and his team busy by spreading the word. “I’ve sent at least five clients to him and they're all happy,” she says. “I’d never hesitate to refer other people.”

By opening their door to Jared and his team, the Austin family has more room for together-time and making memories. After a lot of hard work and a few surprises along the way, Lindsay and Trevor are seeing their distinct vision for family living become a reality.

“I think it just feels more complete. It feels like home.”
Lindsay and Trevor Austin with their daughters and dogs playing pool in the finished basement of their southeast Calgary home


• Better Basement

Next level details:

• Telepost removal

• Steel restructuring and beam

• Industrial greenhouse installation

• Built-in speakers

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