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Basement Contractors Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Education and innovation the keys to success for building a market

“Constantly strive to obtain more knowledge,” may be the mantra for Mike Hancock of Basement Contractors, but “willingness to take a chance” are certainly the words most would use to describe the firm that has successfully built a basement market from scratch in Oklahoma.

With beginnings as a branch of Hancock Building and Design Inc., a residential construction company established to build homes with basements, Mike Hancock brings 30-plus years of foundation and excavation experience to Basement Contractors. When he moved his family to Oklahoma, he was amazed to find no basement market in the area. The perception was that basements were not feasible due to the rough terrain. Out to prove otherwise, Hancock began building homes with basements and Basement Contractors was born 20 custom homes later. Basement Contractors primarily services the Oklahoma City area and the company has officially installed basements for the past three years. They currently have a staff of about 15 employees and serve a wide area of the state — including Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman, Yukon, Mustang, as well as Tulsa and Muskogee – and average approximately two basements per week. Although predominantly a residential company, Basement Contractors has experience with commercial work, such as a full service car wash as well as lube and tire centers. Typical home projects range in size from 1,500 to 3,000-square-feet, but they recently completed a project that used 700 yards of concrete with an 11-foot radius wall and a two-foot thick footing.

The unique challenge of building acceptance for a basement market truly sets Basement Contractors apart. Basements are atypical in Oklahoma due to the local fear of groundwater, clay and a stereotypical myth that all basements leak. However, despite these factors Basement Contractors saw basements as an opportunity and began to build the market with their own unique approach.

“Many do not realize the diverse terrain in Oklahoma,” said Hancock, “which presents interesting challenges to building a slab home. However, we recognized the opportunity to build homes by installing walkout basements.”

This determination has met many challenges, however. For example, the lot on a recent project had a slope of approximately 25 to 30 feet. To combat the terrain, Basement Contractors built a basement under a basement — essentially turning the home into a three-story house. They also have been innovative in their construction of basements under garage floors with the use of the ICF product “Lite Deck” to support the garage floor above.

The gumption and innovation of Basement Contractors has been successful – so successful that other area builders soon began to show interest in learning the necessary steps to build homes with basements. While many would have run from the thought of educating the competition, Basement Contractors once again embraced the learning process and took the initiative to lead seminars teaching other builders about basement construction.

“By educating others, our business gained a consulting edge, which increased our credibility with both builders and homeowners,” said Hancock. “Our efforts have helped build a strong market and acceptance of basements in the area as more and more builders are constructing homes with basements.”

Hancock added that developers also have gained a tremendous economic advantage to the new basement market as they are now able to build on a wide variety of terrains, which would otherwise be sold as less expensive lots – allowing formerly inexpensive lots to now serve as prime building sites.

Joining the CFA seemed like the next logical step for the Basement Contractors. “We decided to join the CFA because of the broad-based foundation knowledge in the membership,” Hancock said. “Further, we believe that CFA membership will set us apart from other companies by adding another level of credibility to our efforts.”

As a licensed engineer, Hancock appreciates the importance of education in business and as one of CFA’s newest members, he looks forward to the wealth of experience of the other members. For more information about the Basement Contractors, contact Mike Hancock at 405-359-0269.

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