In Renovations

Basement – The whole process

We started the basement renovation in March, 2009. When we bought the house, the intention was to renovate the basement to be a studio space for me (Lindsay) and office, as I work from home.

basement 3
This is what our basement started off looking like.

And this.

In the meantime, I set up my office in our 2nd Bedroom. It was cramped.


We broke up the concrete ourselves, saving us TONS of money.


It was an obstancle course!


Since the floor was up, we had the old clay pipes replaced with new. We also had the correct plumping for a new 3 pc. bathroom installed, and we moved around the plumbing for where the Washing Machine used to be, to be in a new location at the front of the house. (Vs. at the back)


A new concrete floor was professionally poured.


Aubrey + his brother built a new set of stairs for between the main floor + basement. We looked into getting pre made stairs, but it was SUPER expensive. This process wasn’t easy, calculating risers & runners, but Perry, Aubrey’s brother who had experience with stair building for theater sets, was VERY helpful with calculating.


Aubrey built new walls, and added a vapour barrier.


Dad came over and helped install the insulation!



Drywall was professionall installed + taped – we’re so glad we hired out for this.


Laminate flooring was our choice for the basement flooring. The flooring we picked was Traffic Master flooring from Home Depot, and the colour is a Walnut. Aubrey installed it himself.
to see more posts on the flooring, click here.


Our washer + dryer have been moved to the front of the house by where the Gas meter was. We couldn’t afford to have the gas meter moved outside, so we came up with this plan to hide the meter…


Ta-Da! Click here to see the post on hiding the gas meter.


The project took us a little under 6 months, with Aubrey doing it on his days off, and getting trades in. The basement is still being decorated and finalized, so there isn’t a true “after shot” just yet, but the above gives you some idea into how it’s coming along!

The bathroom still needs completing, we’re awaiting our pocket door still for that room, and we may start tiling sooner vs. later.

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  • Reply
    Lindsay Harris
    September 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Looks fantastic. The flooring is beautiful!!! I so have office envy.

  • Reply
    cousin Deb
    September 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    This is incredible! Great job!

  • Reply
    September 17, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    What a lovely place to work! It makes me want to renovate our basement right now!

  • Reply
    September 17, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Thank you! Looking back at the pictures, I wonder how on earth we thought we could do it on our own, but we did. Ok, well, Aubrey did. I was the one dusting everything upstairs for 6 months! 😉 I looooove my studio space. :_

  • Reply
    December 9, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I love your desk chair. Where did you find it?

  • Reply
    December 9, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    I actually have 2 chairs – the one I always sit on (hiding behind that wall) and it's a Herman Miller Aeron Chair, But the one that I think you like (which is more stylish in my mind) is that white bamboo chair….! 🙂 Sadly – it was a find on Ebay so I can't direct you to a store. 🙁 They were previously black, but I painted them white. Try ebay searches like Chinese Chippendale Chairs, Bamboo chairs and Hollywood Regency chairs. 🙂 I hope this helps!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    This is great. Tell me, did you increase the ceiling height when you broke up the concrete? What is you ceiling height now?

  • Reply
    January 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Could you share the specifics on the color and make of your flooring? Looks good!

  • Reply
    January 17, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Hi Laura! The ceiling got slightly taller, but we didn't "lower" the basement per say.

    At the lowest point of some areas of the original floor, was where we went to. So it's like we had a bumpy cake, and took a knife to the lowest bump and sliced off the higher bumps. We made sure we didn't go below the footings, so we didn't have to underpin. 🙂

    Jason – Sorry, I should have put that in the description! We went with Traffic Master flooring which is from Home Depot, and the colour is a Walnut. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 3, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Awesome awesome awesome! I'm anticipating my own basement reno sometime within the next year, and it looks hauntingly similar to your "before"! I too was thinking I would do a wood-look laminate. Does the floor get cold? A couple questions: why did you break up and re-pour the concrete? And did you dig the floor deeper to add more height when you did so? How high are your ceilings down there?

  • Reply
    February 3, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Ditto on my sister (hiphousegirl)'s questions. Looks good and yea, sheetrock and concrete are 2 things I don't plan on doing myself again.

  • Reply
    Kristi W @ Life at the Chateau Whitman
    February 11, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Hi! Just found your blog. The basement looks great! This is especially inspiring to us because we're in the middle of a basement reno. It sure is a lot of work…

  • Reply
    April 2, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Absolutely fantastic. We are JUST getting ready to renovate our whole basement and this was good to read. Not only will the project eventually get completed (a fear of mine) but I can also cross my fingers that it will look like yours. Thanks for sharing. Love the blog!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Just found your blog and loving your renovations. Dying to know where the silhouette portrait came from.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2010 at 2:40 am

    Katelyn, Thank you!! The silouhette portrait was a DIY project that was blogged about here:

    xo Linds

  • Reply
    June 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Very nice reno. I'm wondering why you dug up the basement floor if not to lower it? Also are you able to tell us who did your drywall work?

  • Reply
    June 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    We dug up the floor for the following 2 reasons
    (1) To level the floor (It was VERY uneven) and (2) To replace the drains underneath the house.
    The benefit was, that in the end, the floor could be lowered slightly, but it wasn't the reason for the expense/work of breaking up concrete.

    We wanted to replace the drains for the following reasons (1) Tree Roots and (2) Change the location of plumbing for the washer (and dryer) and for the washroom.

    The list of our trades (including drywaller) is on the right hand side of the page under Company Reviews. 🙂

    I hope this helps!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    LOVE the finished basement! Really makes me want a house of our own! Also LOVE the silhouette! thanks for the link

  • Reply
    July 12, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    It looks fantastic! Great job!

  • Reply
    Crystal Dahl-Wildeman
    September 2, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    This is so great as your before pictures look like our current "dungeon" And we also plan to move the washer/dryer as well as install a bathroom. May I ask how long the process of chipping out the floor took?

  • Reply
    September 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Hi there. Just wanted to mention that Enbridge is currently moving everyone's gas meter outside. They did ours earlier this year and it's free!

  • Reply
    Chic Coastal Living
    October 29, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    This is the most beautiful renovation of a basement that I've ever seen! I'm going to have to forward this to my cousin in New York!

  • Reply
    Cara @ Angelshoes
    October 30, 2010 at 6:12 am

    HOLY smokes! who are you people?

  • Reply
    October 31, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Wowzer! This is a brilliant before and after! And not even after yet!!

  • Reply
    February 14, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    This is an absolutely remarkable renovation! Thank you for sharing & inspiring us that it can be done, well, yourself! 🙂

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