Basement Reno: Week 12

We’re in the home stretch of the renovation! Our contractor was here all week 12 and lots got done. Most notably the egress window! The window was cut out of the foundation, and a well dug the first week of the project. That means it has sat there for 11 weeks untouched. Most of the time covered by a too small piece of plywood. We are ecstatic to have a proper well in!

Day 64: No work, except for me painting trim until my hand is numb.

Day 65: Contractor installs steel egress well. Installs all door knobs. Installs cement board window jamb for shower window.

Installs sliding doors to utility room.

Plumber starts to install toilet and sink faucet.


Day 66: Plumber finishes installing the toilet, faucet and shower.



Contractor finishes egress window. Fills bottom of well with pea gravel. Back fills around well with dirt. Trims out window.


Egress window outside


and from the inside

Contractor tiles shower window.

Day 67: Contractor grouts shower window.

Day 68: No work.

Over the long weekend, I primed and painted all the baseboards and door trim. I’m trying to get anything that will come in contact with the carpet painted before carpet install this week.


Basement Reno: Week 11

Week 11 was the best one yet. The main contractor was here working. He works really fast and does good work. This is what I was expecting from the contractor when I hired him. I’m putting week 11 down as a win!

Day 57-58: No work

Day 59: Contractor finishes installing baseboard and door trim. Digs out egress well a foot more. Changes out egress slider window for a casement window. Trims out inside of egress window. Installs floating vanity.



Day 60: Windows jambs and window trim are installed. We chose simple craftsman trim to match the upstairs and the laundry room trim.


Day 61: Mirror and vanity light installed in bathroom. Heat register covers installed.


Plumber’s helper shows up to install bathroom fixtures. Doesn’t know that the water has to be shut off to cut pipes. Minor bathroom flood but does get shower valve and trim in. There is never a dull moment with these “plumbers”.

Day 62: We spackle nail holes in window trim. Caulk all window trim. Put second coat of paint on ceiling and touch up wall paint.

Day 63: More caulking, I’m pretty sure we will never be done caulking. Prime most of the window jambs. Paint door jambs and part of doors so hardware can be installed.


Basement Reno: Week 9

There was lots of progress last week. Bathroom tile was completed, doors were installed, and most of the new windows were installed.

Day 46: Contractor finishes laying floor tile. Grouts both shower and floor.



Day 47: No work.

I do some drywall patching in the bathroom. Then another coat of PVA primer, followed with two coats of eggshell finish paint in the same color as the rest of the basement (Martha Stewart Popcorn from HD).

Day 48: All the doors and windows are delivered! Doors are installed.

Day 49: The rest of the doors are installed. First window is installed.


Day 50: More windows installed. All the trim is delivered.

Things are really starting to take shape and there’s a rumor that we might get electrical installed and hooked up this week.

Basement Bathroom Ideas

Our basement renovation is set to begin in February. That gives me almost 4 months to obsess over all the details and the room I am currently obsessing over the most: the bathroom.

First we needed a layout. We knew we wanted access to the bathroom from the front bedroom but also liked the access from the family room so we decided on a Jack and Jill type bathroom with two entrances. This made the layout a little more tricky but we came up with something we think will work great.

basementbathroom layout blog

The shower will be on the exterior wall with the window in it. Directly across from the shower will be the vanity. I think the vanity mirror being directly across from the window will reflect light nicely. The toilet will be on the same wall as the shower. There will be a full length wall in between the two; giving the toilet its own private space.

For the design of the basement we are thinking simple and modern with rustic touches: white walls and pale floors with dark metals and warm wood. I want the bathroom to blend nicely with that design but also be pretty timeless.

Basement Bathroom

rejuvenation thurman wall sconce / west elm modern towel rack / ikea gray linen curtain / schoolhouse electric cast iron wall hook / ikea godmorgon vanity with odensvik sink / ikea dalskar faucet / serena and lily stool / white subway tile / ikea stabekk mirror / schoolhouse electric restroom sign / lowes leonia silver glazed porcelian floor tile

The tiles we chose set a nice neutral base for the bathroom. The shower wall tile will be classic 3×6 white subway tile. Simple white ceramic subway tile fits with the 1920s house and our budget. For the floor we are going with large 12×24 porcelain tiles in a striated gray pattern from Lowes. They are also a great price and the pale gray should give a little contrast to the white wall tiles while still being light (this is a basement after all). I plan to use pale gray grout for both the floor and the walls.

We already bought the vanity thanks to an Ikea sale. It provides a ton of storage and the high gloss white finish should reflect light and blend with the rest of the bathroom. The Odensvik sink is nice white ceramic and the 48″ vanity gives of the option of one sink or two. Right now we think we will stick with one sink but that is not set in stone.

I like the simple and clean base we set for the bathroom with the tile and vanity but I want to add some wood and dark metal elements to keep the bathroom from looking too sterile. These are also things that we can easily switch out if our style changes.

This wood mirror from Ikea is a good size and the round shape is a nice change with all the squares in the bathroom.

I think we might splurge a little on the lights and get some from Rejuvenation or Schoolhouse Electric. Whatever we choose it will be a dark bronze with a nice light filtering opal shade.

I like using hooks for towels and these cast iron hooks from Schoolhouse Electric would give some nice contrast all the white.

The teak stool could be used in the shower and gives some warmth and character. The wood and white towel rack from West Elm would be a great place to put clothes or extra towels.

I like the idea of using a linen curtain for the shower curtain. The Aina curtains from Ikea come in a nice pale gray linen and might be a great option.

As far as fixtures go: we plan to use this enameled cast iron shower pan from Kohler. We love our cast iron sink in the kitchen, and this shower base is simple and solid. No grout to clean!

For the toilet I am very fond of skirted toilets. So much easier to clean and they look nicer to me. I really like this American Standard model at Lowes.

Clean High Efficiency Elongated 1.28 gpf Toilet Shown In 020

That’s the basic plan for the bathroom. I am so excited to see all these ideas come to life. Only four more months…