Life after the last step: The Kelly Family

June 21, 2023

In 2016, Veronica and Kade Kelly turned the key in the lock of their Auburn Bay house for the very first time. It was a quiet and celebratory moment, one of many to come for the young couple — well, not so much the quiet part. Because in the blink of an eye, their family of two became four.

Veronica and Kade Kelly smiling at their custom built-in bar in their Auburn Bay finished basement in southeast Calgary

When Veronica and Kade moved in, they didn’t mind the idea of an undeveloped basement. It wasn’t something they needed at first and they had options: choose to finish the basement later or move somewhere with more space. They had time to settle in, no need to worry.

That is until the couple started growing their family. Their two sons, now ages three and five years old, had them moving at a faster-than-lighting pace. As the boys grew, their model train sets also expanded. That’s when Veronica knew they needed a functional lower level. Their family doubled, and their living space could too. It was finally time to finish the basement.

“We found it was something we needed,” says Veronica, especially when the pandemic started and kept everyone inside their homes. “We wanted to have that added space for any of us to get away to.”

Although the idea of a developed basement came easily to Veronica, the reality was the opposite. “I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I just needed the person to do it,” she says. Veronica reached out to contractors for quotes and a better sense of the project’s scope. But after those conversations, she was still searching.

That all changed when friends started raving about their contractor, Jared Buote. Jared’s team had just finished a basement renovation in their family’s Lake Bonavista home. And Veronica liked what she heard, and later saw. “It was a little easier because you know them, and you've seen what the work's like. It's not just people talking someone up without truly believing it.”

Soon after, work began at the Kelly home and Veronica’s vision came to life. She says Jared made the process easy. “He knew exactly where to direct us if we wanted to look at something before hitting go on it. And he’d tell us what a better option might be or if there was something more economical.”

From the start, staying within budget was important to the Kelly family. Veronica’s grateful she didn’t have to compromise her vision for the budget. It all comes down to collaboration and trust. “Jared helped us get into our price ranges very easily, but still getting exactly what I had in mind,” she says. “It’s not all about making money.”

Now that their basement is complete, the Kellys are enjoying the extra multipurpose space — including a designated play area for the kids to “run around like crazy people.”

As for Veronica, she’s looking forward to a cool basement retreat during the summer months. Not to mention pouring a perfectly chilled glass of wine, fresh from their custom-built bar’s wine fridge. Veronica says she can’t thank Jared more for completing their family’s home.

Cheers to that.

“I’d say it’s five out of five stars.”
Luke and Tyler Kelly, 3 and 5 years old, playing at the bottom of the stairs in the basement of their family home


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