This blog post is going to be different than many of my others. Less words and more pictures. In fact, below there are 24 photos of our basement remodel after getting flooded in May of 2019. The process to update our basement included waterproofing, mold removal, and cosmetic updates to flooring, ceilings, and walls. Hopefully you enjoy the progression of photos below!
Pre Basement Remodel in 2015
When we moved into our home in 2008, everything needed to be updated including the basement. You could say that we halfway updated the basement a few years after moving in. We painted the wood paneling and laid down cheap flooring. The updates helped but in the back of my mind I always wanted to update the basement for real. After getting flooded in 2019 our hand was forced to update.
As you can tell from the photo below, we were hosting a fantasy football draft at our house which isn’t nerdy at all.
In total, our basement has four separate rooms (we also have two storage rooms and a workshop that remain unfinished).
- The Main Room (Pictured Below)
- The Kids’ Playroom
- The Laundry Room
- The Half Bathroom
When Our Basement Flooded in May 2019
A few months after spending nearly $25,000 to update our kitchen, we woke up in May 2019 to find about an inch of water throughout much of our basement. Water was coming in through the floors and corners of the wall, likely as a result of hydrostatic pressure. Thankfully, we didn’t fully expend our emergency fund and had some runway to address the issue.
Demolition of Flooring and Drywall
We came to the conclusion that most of the flooring was ruined as was much of the drywall. Additionally, we knew there was mold in the basement as a result of the flooding and a prior sewer backup so we needed to get in between the walls. We pulled up not only the Pergo flooring that we put down a few years prior, but also the original tile flooring that was installed in the 1970s.
Waterproofing and Mold Removal
The most expensive part of our basement remodel was the waterproofing and mold removal. If we were going to update our basement the right way we needed to address the water issue to prevent a future flood. We hired a contractor and they came in and dug an 18″ trench all the way around our basement. They then filled the trench with rocks and covered it back up with concrete. We also had a sump pump installed. A different contractor then came in a few weeks later to remove mold in between the walls and on the floor. In total, this cost nearly $15,000, which was about the same as the remainder of our remodel.
Painting the Ceiling and Brick Wall
With the waterproofing complete, it was now time to actually start working on the basement remodel. I’m not particularly handy, but I decided to take on all of the paint related tasks. That included the ceiling and all surrounding walls. The first step was painting the ceiling and the single brick wall with the built-in fireplace.
My original plan was to rent a sprayer from Home Depot. However, knowing all the prep work that went into this effort such as laying plastic sheets on the floor, I decided to purchase a sprayer since I knew it would be a multi-day effort. The cost of buying a mid-grade paint sprayer was about the same cost as renting for two days.
This seemed like a great idea on the surface, but the sprayer I bought didn’t hold up very well and ended up breaking about three fourths of the way through the job. I then ended up having to rent a sprayer anyway. Either way, it was still much less expensive that hiring someone to do the work. And for being my first time spray painting a ceiling, I think I did a pretty good job. I’d estimate the total cost of all equipment and materials (paint) cost us about $1,200.
Drywall and Flooring
We decided to hire out the drywall and flooring work. Both contractors did an outstanding job. The drywall contractor was in and out in a few days. For the flooring, we ended up going with luxury vinyl plank flooring. The timing of the flooring installation could not have worked out better.
The contractor installed the flooring the week before the pandemic lockdowns started in mid-March 2020. Given that the basement has been my home office for the past seven plus months, I’m not sure what we would have done if we had delayed installing the flooring. Ironically, the driver for completing the project was my daughter’s second birthday where we had a big party planned, but had to cancel last minute as it was on the weekend the lockdowns started happening.
The total cost of the drywall installation was $1,300 and flooring (including baseboards) was $7,400.
Updating Doors and Other Loose Ends
If you missed my recent post on updating our basement doors, be sure to check out our in-depth post. Going in, I wasn’t exactly sure what to do about the four existing doors in the basement. My initial reaction was to go out and buy new doors, though I knew new doors don’t always fit the best in older frames. I then came across photos of doors that were painted with the addition of this trim set from Home Depot. I must say that the doors turned out even better than expected. For less than $100 per door they look as good as new.
In addition to updating the doors, I also replaced all outlets and light switches, painted the door frames, and installed fixtures (toilet, mirror, vanity) in the bathroom. The total cost of everything in this section cost about $2,000.
Before and After Photos of Each Room of the Basement Remodel
Main Room: Home Office, Workout Room, and Movie Room
The Kids’ Playroom
The Laundry Room
The Half Bathroom
Thanks for following along on the journey of our basement remodel. The total cost of our remodel was about $30,000, half of which consisted of waterproofing and mold removal. Since the basement had previously been refinished and was already framed out with electric, the largest cost otherwise was purchasing and installing flooring and baseboards. The timing could not have worked out better as we had our flooring installed the week before the pandemic hit full force in mid-March. Tying up the loose ends such as painting, replacing outlets, and updating doors kept me busy when we weren’t leaving the house much. Now the question is, what project will we tackle next?