Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY.

Bob's Bloggers

A community of bloggers who live and die to DIY

Due for a basement update

By At Home Alterations on Mar 27, 2012

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 RoomLaundry 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!

Visit At Home Alterations »

blog comments powered by Disqus