We started renovating our basement suite at the beginning of 2016 and finished halfway through June. What an undertaking! The long and short of it…we learned a lot! My husband does this for a living, but never before on his own house, with his wife as the client(!!). Regardless of the stresses and craziness of the project (plus scope and budget
creep lunge), we are thrilled with how it all turned out! We now have wonderful tenants and full confidence that our basement will look and function well for a long time to come. It feels good to know my entire house is clean and safe, whereas before it felt a little like we had a dungeon :D
I decided to share this thing room by room so that it’s not completely overwhelming. We’ll begin with the bathroom, because the kitchen is a harder post to put together ha!
The bathroom, it turns out, had been renovated a few times—we found a tiled shower floor under the bathtub and leftover carpet padding under the Lino. Yup, it was at one point a carpeted bathroom! But even though it is hard to imagine, those were its better days…now we had rotting corners, peeling paint, yellow tub…all of it.
EW, am I right?
We completely stripped the whole room, including the strange drop ceilings and pointless valance, and angled a wall to give it a tiny bit more space. Then we put in allll new stuff, thankfully scoring some fabulous deals in the process! The only thing we bought at full price was the vanity, as a last-minute purchase when we realized the craigslist vanity we had picked up was just too big for the space (oops). The light I found at the ReStore, the beautiful floor tiles at a discount tile place, the mirror at our local outlet Sears, the tub enclosure was a tiny bit damaged which made it 90% off…and ok fine, I also paid full price for the bathroom accessories :D.
We hired out plumbing, electrical, and mudding/taping, but did the rest ourselves. If you’ve never renovated extensively, that might sound like we hired out most of the work…but TRUST ME, we did a LOT. My dad did the tiling in the bathroom, Dwayne did all the drywalling (and in this small but still creatively shaped room that was a lot of work), and my mom and I did the painting & trim. I had never realized how much of our time would be spent cleaning up either – multiple days and evenings were simply spent carting out junk (wood, lino, nails, drywall, wrappers, tenant trash, etc…) and dumping it in the bin. Oh, did I mention that the day we agreed to expedite this whole renovation so that our friends could move in a month and a half later was the day before I found out I was pregnant? So the bulk of this work on my part was done out of breath and slightly nauseous! But my husband is my hero, he did SO MUCH WORK, and we had priceless help from our parents getting this thing finished up.
Here is the bathroom AFTER, almost complete except that one vent cover in the ceiling :D. (Since our tenants moved in before we were 100% done the whole suite, some of my “after” pictures are not actually completely done).