The Basement: Before

Warning: If you’re looking for pretty home improvement/design photos this is not the post. Please come back in 2 months and I’ll try and help you out with that.

The basement renovations are set to begin any day now and that means: Before photos! Yay! So get ready for a bunch of poorly lit (basement’s fault), and poorly photographed (my fault) pictures of a sad 1920s basement updated at some point in the 1960s.

Here’s the layout plans to help you get a better idea of the tour:

before and after basement plans

First stop on our basement tour is the current basement bedroom. When you come down the stairs the bedroom is immediately on your right. When we moved in a couple years ago, we removed disgusting carpet only to reveal disgusting concrete and linoleum. Our quick fix was to paint the floor with some porch paint and put an area rug down. We also painted the super shiny super dark wood paneling white.

basement bedroom before1

This room will see lots-o-changes. All the paneling will be removed. As will the ceiling which appears to be press board that is slowly decomposing. I will be glad to see it go.

The small window will be enlarged to an egress window, which will let more light in and be great for safety.

On the other side of the room: the closet will be removed and that area will become a large hallway leading to the new bathroom.

basement bedroom before2So now let’s step through the door. (It’s a tight squeeze as the door is blocked from opening by the large asbestos duct). Here we are in the current furnace room. Since the bedroom closet will be gone and this will be a hallway the window will now be exposed and not hidden and in dark closet.

basement furnace room beforeThe old cast iron stack will be at the edge of the new bedroom. The arm of the stack is really low and leaks so that will all be replaced.

On the other side of the furnace room…The current heating set up takes up a ton of space. The layout is made for a gravity furnace with large ducts covered in asbestos wrap and even larger cold air returns.

ducts beforeAn asbestos remediation company will remove the duct work and then the system will be updated with modern smaller ducts and returns. The furnace will be moved, allowing it to be tucked away with the water heater in its own closet. This will help us to gain a lot of space allowing for a bigger bathroom and the aforementioned bedroom hallway area.

Now let’s go back through the bedroom to the hallway.

basementhallbefore1There are currently no lights in the hallway area so it’s a little dark. The 1960s vinyl tiles are missing in a large spot and the old cold air return is taking up a lot of space. We are planning on carpeting the entire basement over the existing tile. So it will be interesting to see what we do to fill in some of these low spots where the tile is missing.

If you turn around to face the stairs, there is a space under the stairs that we plan to add a door and use as a small closet.


Now turn back around and let’s go into the current family room.

basementfamilyroom before1Removing the old ducts and cold air returns will make a big difference in here. Along with carpet, new walls and windows that actually open! I can hardly wait.

On the other side of the room.

basementfamroombefore2The “fireplace” structure will be removed. I say “fireplace” because it is a fireplace shaped thing made of stucco(?) with a capped gas pipe sticking out at the bottom. It will soon be gone replaced with a new smooth wall.

The wall between the current room and hall will be removed making a larger more open room.

basementfamroombefore3Now if we walk through the family room we arrive at the basement bathroom. The previous owner remodeled the bathroom and it looks really nice.

basementbathbeforeIt’s not functional for us and as long as were remodeling we might as well create a nice large bathroom, that will have access from the front bedroom and the family room.

Now let’s go back towards the stairs and end this thing on a somewhat pretty note.

The laundry room.

laundry room ashandorange.wordpress.comThis room will see the smallest amount of work. The huge cold air return will be removed. New drywall ceiling will go up. Dryer will be properly vented. Trim will be installed. Wha bam finished basement!

So that’s the current basement. Hope you enjoyed the tour. I’ll be blogging the renovation in real time so everyone can see our progress.


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