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 10

Week 10 was a mix of emotions. I’m excited and happy that things are really starting to come together but pretty frustrated. Our project was supposed to take 8-10 weeks. 10 being the absolute most. It looks like there will be at least 2-3 more weeks and I am just ready for it to be over. But on the bright side… a lot happened in week 10!

Day 51: Another window installed. Contractor’s partner starts installing door trim.

Day 52: More door trim and starts on baseboard trim.

Day 53: Baseboard trim. Electrician starts installing outlets and light fixtures.

Day 54: Contractor finishes almost all the baseboard trim and starts putting in window jambs.

Day 55: No work, but contractor’s partner does take all his tools with him and cleans up a bit.

Day 56: Electrician unexpectedly shows up on Saturday morning to finish connecting the new electrical to the box and about 4 hours later we have electricity! Not only has the basement not had any electricity, but since part of the upstairs was connected to old basement wiring we didn’t have electric in some of the upstairs for the past 8 weeks. We were pretty happy!

Not much to show in pictures for week 10, but it’s really starting to look finished down there. Also having electricity and functioning windows is amazing and wonderful! Just in case anyone didn’t know that…




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 Reno: Week 8

Tile and paint went in last week and things are really starting to come together, which is good because we’re at the two month mark!

Day 40: No work. We decide on a paint color: Popcorn by Martha Stewart. Same color we used in the laundry room. It’s basically white with a touch of gray and brown to soften it. Go to Home Depot and get 6 gallons color matched to the chip I still have since Martha’s paints are no longer available at the depot. Get all 6 gallons home and realize that the color is not even close, more like a pale khaki color.

Day 41: Contractor replaces super crappy cement board job. Takes him all day but now we have nice plumb and square walls for the shower!

cementboardwk8We go to Home Depot to try and return the paint. They agree it’s not a good color match and will refund our money. Super awesome paint guy mixes us new paint using the proper formula.

Day 42: Contractor starts putting up 3×6 subway tile on the shower surround. Pours a layer of self leveler on floor.

Day 43: Contractor finishes shower surround tile. Pours another layer of self leveler. Installs decoupling membrane for heated floor.


*Shower tile is stock Daltile subway tile from Home Depot.

membranewk8Day 44: Contractor installs heated floor (this Ditra heat system by Schluter Ditra). Starts installing floor tile.


*Floor tile is these Style Selections Leonia Silver 6×24 planks from Lowes.

Day 45: After painting every night, we finish the first coat of paint. Build Ikea Godmorgon vanity (happy to report we’re still married).

Tile should be finished and grouted this week and the vanity installed. Hopefully the contractor has enough time to squeeze door and window install in there as well!