Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House

02 August

Did you think we'd given up on our fixer-upper house? It's been a minute since I've shared any updates.


We definitely have not given up, it's just sometimes very slow going. Trying to fit in time to work on it is hard sometimes. I still have a full-time day job plus we were trying to get our two previous houses ready to rent which involved a huge living estate sale that spanned two weekends, and a multitude of small but time-consuming maintenance items on both houses.


There's also just trying to enjoy our everyday lives and time together and with family. I helped my daughter downsize her storage unit and have a garage sale with everything she no longer wanted or needed. We went to a couple of concerts to see Santana and Earth Wind and Fire, and Tesla. We celebrated our 3-year dativersary and we've been enjoying our new swimming pool... it's been in the triple digits here lately 🔥


All that to say, we are still working on the fixer-upper! Our efforts lately have been concentrated on the basement. We can't clear off all the stuff piled on the back patio until we get the stuffed garage cleaned out and we can't clean out the garage until we get the basement done! 😂


Today, I'm sharing the progress we've made on the basement.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House



I created a video too.



Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of good before pictures, but I'll share what I do have as we go along.


These before shots look pretty good but trust me, it wasn't that nice down here. This carpet was pretty bad, it had stains all over it.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House

The carpets in the little office room were even worse... it reeked in here because of the cat urine 😫


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House

They had rubber baseboard moldings like you'd see in office buildings... I'm not sure why you'd choose that option... cost maybe? Or maybe because it's a basement and they were afraid of flooding? I'm not sure, but we went with traditional wood molding.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


We started this renovation right after we took possession of the house by ripping out the carpet.




Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House

And then the asbestos tiles underneath.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


Then we decided to have the wall that divides the small room from the rest of the basement removed. It was a load-bearing wall so we hired a contractor for this job.

Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


Ideally, I would not have chosen to have posts in place of the wall but they would have had to either do major construction upstairs to install a support beam in the ceiling from the top down or have a beam that extended down about 9 inches... these ceilings are only 7 feet tall as is, so that wasn't an option.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


We also had a whole new electrical panel put in because the old one has been banned.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House

Once all this major stuff was done, we were finally ready to start on the things we wanted to do ourselves.


First, I painted the little room that will be our gym. I used the same Polar Bear white by Behr that we have used in the whole rest of the house.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


And I skim-coated the little wall that has the entry into the laundry room and small bathroom. Skim-coating means just putting a thin coat of drywall mud over the old, textured wall to create a smooth surface for wallpapering.


This was after one coat, I gave it two so it is nice and smooth now. Also, take note of that wall sconce. There are three of them in the basement and I've got a fun upcycle to share in a bit.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House

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Then we carpeted the gym area. We chose glue-down carpet tiles to save some money and we did this because this area is going to be a gym so we'll be getting down on the floor at times.


These are really easy to cut and install. You just score the back with a utility knife, bend it at that score mark, and then slice right through.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


It took one gallon of carpet adhesive and three boxes of carpet tiles which cost about $300.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


Then I painted the rest of the basement.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


Once that was done, we could begin cleaning and prepping to paint the floors.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House

We primed and then painted with Behr Concrete and Garage Floor Paint which was about $42.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House

Then we waited and let it cure for about a week before we walked on it.


Here is a before picture that still has the carpet and the old fireplace.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


That fireplace was old, the chimney is so full of creosote that it's almost completely plugged, and we just don't need a real fireplace down here so we sold the old one to our electrician for $100!


Here is the new vintage fireplace I got! It's a true 1960's vintage Heatilator that I found on Etsy from a shop called Unearthed Home. Then I purchased this electric log set to make it an electric fireplace!


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


We are going to build an entertainment center in this area where the closet is.

Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


So we did some demoing and took out the centerpiece and the molding. We already have the base cabinets that we'll be using to build the new entertainment center.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


And finally, remember that wall sconce? Here it is again.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


We didn't really want to buy new ones because lighting can get expensive plus, I'm all about using what you already have when possible!


I cleaned these up and gave them a coat of black spray paint.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


Then when I reinstalled them, I installed them pointing up instead of down and donated the old frosted glass tulip shades and replaced them with these black ombre glass shades from Lowe's!


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House

Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House

We have moved our couch and area rug in, as well as the gym equipment. Here is what it looks like now.


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House

Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


Here's what's left to do down here:

  • Install carpet threshold
  • Wallpaper the small wall
  • Build custom entertainment center
  • Install crown molding
  • Paint fireplace bricks
  • Install vintage fireplace
  • Build and install a new fireplace mantle
  • Install new window molding on two large windows
  • Install DIY carpet stair runner
  • Decorate!

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Progress on the Basement at the Fixer-Upper House


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  1. Wow Tania, I can't believe the difference the white paint alone made to this space! I'm impressed how you gave the dated light sconces an awesome modern vibe too. It's looking really good down there and I can't wait to see the built-in entertainment center!

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    1. Thank you Marie, it's coming along for sure :)

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