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Due for a basement update

We've been holding off on an update until something "big" happens in the basement like finishing framing or finishing... anything.  We can't finish plumbing until we have our bathroom fixtures picked out, can't finish the electrical until the plumbing is done, and we can't finish the last bit of framing until electrical is done.  Soooo, we're juggling each of those projects and working on what we can without actually finishing anything!

Even though we haven't crossed a big milestone, we have made lots of progress!  It's been several months since our last update, so we figure we're due. Here's how the basement looks right now.

Laundry Room

Laundry Room Laundry Room



Storage Room


Bathroom on the left, storage straight ahead, bedroom in the background


Storage room viewed from the media room through the TV wall

Media Room/Game area

Game areaMedia room




Media room on the left, storage room, bathroom, laundry through wall on right


Framing is so close to being done!  There are just two soffits on the ceiling in the laundry room to finish.  Unfortunately there's an electrical junction box right in the way.  The junction box is for our current lights that will all be going away once the new lights are up so we'll be able to remove the box and finish the soffit once the new electrical is done.  We can really start to visualize the space now that all the walls and doors openings are framed!


You might have noticed the green and black checkerboard tiles are missing from the bedroom and living room.  Here's what the floor (and whole basement) looked like right after demo.

We were originally going to leave them alone and put our new flooring over them but they started cracking and coming up on their own.  The last thing we wanted under our new floor was the sound of breaking tile underneath so we decided to take up the old floor.  The glue must have really worn off because the tiles came up relatively easy.  It was nothing compared to our kitchen linoleum but if you ask Katrina, it was still a lot of work to take these up!


It's maybe not the most interesting thing to show on a blog, but we have 4 circuits done so far!  They've all been for receptacles but we have 2 more circuits for lighting left and another circuit for the bathroom receptacles.  We also hung almost all the recessed lights so they just need to be wired.  I can't wait to have them all lit up!  We're going from 6 lights in the basement to 22; it should be a little brighter!

It might sound like we're almost done but we also want to re-wire all the receptacles on the first floor since they're ungrounded and run with old, nasty, wire.  Once we put the ceiling up in the basement we won't be able to access the wiring for the main level so we want to get everything done while we still can.


Drywall is the big boarder we need to cross.  Right now everything is rough -plumbing, electrical, and framing - but once drywall is up it's all finishing work.  Post-drywall there's no more access to the ceiling or wall cavities so we need to get everything in the walls and ceiling done now.  After drywall it's all flooring, trim, paint, and cabinets.  Unfortunately a lot of the tasks we have left before drywall are tedious and don't make a big visual difference.  It's like crossing the dessert.  But we'll push on and get there!

We still have to run 2 more circuits for lights, re-wire 3 circuits on the main level, run hot and cold water for the bathroom, insulate, and finish a hand full of other little projects before the great drywall divide.  Hopefully it will just be a few months until drywall is up, but that's coming from the guy who thought the whole project would take 7 months, yikes!


p.s. We added a new section to the "Basement Renovation" page!  Now we have progress photos room by room.  It helps us remember that we actually ARE making progress!

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  1. Way cool post! I love seeing all the progress. Especially since I haven’t been a reader for very long, so this is all new to me. Man, I would be totally giddy with excitement at the blank slate of a basement you started from (or worked your way to).

    So the floors… when you uncovered them, were they pretty level? Level enough that you didn’t want/need to do any leveling before starting? The floors in my basement are crazy unlevel, almost to the point that we’d have to think about pouring an entire new floor if we found ourselves with an empty basement like this…

    Have you thought about hiring the drywall out?

    • Thanks! It’s fun to look back at the old pictures and remind myself that we’ve actually made progress.

      The floors are not level at all, it’s about 3″ from the lowest point to highest. In an ideal world we could have taken out the slab, installed in floor heating and poured level concrete. Maybe excavated 6-12″ of dirt too. But that would have doubled the cost of the reno so we had to draw the line somewhere. We left the slab and built the walls to follow the contour. Wood and laminate floor can’t follow the curves so we’re going to use Allure (vinyl flooring that looks like laminate from HD) that can go with the flow.

      While I have hung drywall before, I’m not really interested in doing 3,000 sqft of it, plus my mudding and taping would like like someone’s first attempt, so we’re hiring it out through a contractor we’re friends with. That’s why I’m even more excited to get done with all the rough work. We’re hiring out pray foam and drywall so it will take like 2 weeks to get a ton of work done.

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