January 20, 2015

Basement Reno: Part One

Welcome to the dungeon. It’s dark, smells, and I’m fairly sure there are creatures living in this room of our house. The photo below are from 2012 when we first moved into the house. The space has a few things going for it, if you can get past the ugly look of it.

  1. It’s a very large rectangular space!
  2. There are cedar built in closets on one end of the room that currently house my out of season clothing and holiday decorations.
  3. It’s an EXTRA finished room that we can utilize. Our house is a 3 bedroom ranch, G takes up the smaller room of the three as an office so really lets say a 2 bed ranch.

We knew when we bought the house that the basement would be a great space to re-finish. It could be an additional space for guest, an extra lounge area, or a play room for future kids.

This 70’s look will just not do though so we rolled up our sleeves 3 weeks ago and started to demo the room.

basement Collage

Here are a few clearer photos of what we have to work with here.

  • Brick Décor walls
  • Dingy Ceiling Tiles from 1970 – the previous owner cut some holes in them
  • Scuffed Cement Floors
  • Green Windows
  • Florescent lights that you have to flick on and off about 5 times before they actually kick on.

Basement makeover Collage

Here’s our plan:

  1. Tear down tiled ceiling and replace with drywall and paint white
  2. Replace lighting fixtures
  3. Replace two prong outlets with three prong
  4. Paint 3 out of 4 walls (Leave the better of the 4 walls with the brick to incorporate some uniqueness to to space)
  5. Paint Closet Doors and Drawers White and replace hardware
  6. Paint and replace Ceiling Trim
  7. Paint green window white
  8. Lay down wall to wall wood flooring
  9. Put up a half divider wall to separate the space
  10. Paint oak furniture currently in space to up date them 

So far we have completed numbers 1,2, & 3. No small task!

Basement 2 Collage

Do you guys like the couch that is in the top let corned of the photo above. We spent 2 hours getting that piece of crap out of the basement. The previous owners left it, how kind of them to do so. We later realized they left it because it LITERALLY didn’t fit through the door. We had to smash it, stomp on it, and cut it with a saws-all. So glad its gone!

Now here are the photos of the current state of our basement ceiling.

Basement 3 Collage

Here are some thoughts so far into the project.

We have never put up drywall, it’s not the easiest to work with, and it’s super heavy. There is NO WAY we could’ve done this project without a drywall lift.

Going into this project my husband and I agreed that this was NOT a project that we would kill ourselves trying to complete in a few weeks. We agreed to take it slow and get what we could get done each weekend without the added stress.

Putting up drywall is not the hardest part… spackling the seams is. It has taken 4 coats of spackle to get the ceiling to where it needs to be. You can not rush the process and if you do you will be unhappy because you will be able to see all the seams through the paint.

I’m not a professional. It’s NOT going to look perfect and that’s okay because we saved a heck of a lot of money not hiring a professional.

This weekend we are moving onto PAINTING! I know some of you hate painting and you would be right there along side my husband in that hatred but I love it. I get quick gratification of turning something ugly into something beautiful in the matter of hours. Paint can do that. It can completely transform a space or old dresser with just a little time and patience.

Have you taken on a project this large or would you rather pay someone to do it?


  1. So excited to see this project progress! We haven't tried to take on a project anywhere near this size, but I'm honestly looking forward to the day we own a house and can do things like this. Keep up the good work!

  2. Phew! That space will be awesome when all is said and done. We repainted the exterior of our house this summer with family help - not a small task, especially because some pieces of siding had to be replaced.

  3. I'm just glad that George and I enjoy working on these projects. They never seem like "work". You and Dave have made such a welcoming home, I love all of your family photos/wedding photos and kalb signs around your home. That is where we are lacking!

  4. I've been meaning to ask, Did you paint it because it was chipping or because you thought another color would help it sell? I would love to paint our house, its a khaki color so nothing awful and the paint isn't chipping but I would love to paint it in a Sage Green. It would be so much prettier.

  5. It was peeling in some places, so we repainted it with the intent to sell. It really was a lot of work, so yeah... Lots of work :)


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