Taking a grand tour of the basement as it once was

Though we’re almost finished now with the basement renovation, we’ll slowly pull back the curtain on the full project with a handful of posts chronicling pieces of the project along the way. But first, what did our basement look like when we got started?

In short? It was a sloppy, half-finished, low-ceilinged mess of a barely usable space. Here’s what the old floor plan was like.

Basement Existing


When you came down the rickety stairs from the kitchen, you were faced with a door into a random room — a room with the strangest proportions you’ve ever seen. That’s the “T” at the top of the plans here. The little box on the top is a small closet for the gas meter.

The floor in here was all linoleum tiles stuck to the concrete floor, and the ceiling was little square tiles, not even as nice as that crappy suspended ceiling in your office.

Oh yes, this T-room was a “bedroom” at some point. Oh the comforts.

Pre-closing: basement



Once you come out of that door straight ahead in the last picture, you’re in the…um…the other room? The entrance to the old garage is right there, which is bricked in and separated from the rest of the basement by that door. More on that in a second.

The laundry was in this area (washer and dryer dating back several decades), a broken utility sink, and a little space under the stairs where the upstairs bathroom’s old clawfoot tub had been sitting for who knows how long. We actually bought that from the owner, thinking we’d put it back in upstairs but decided against it for various reasons and donated it to Community Forklift when demolishing the basement.

Pre-closing: Basement inspection

Pre-closing: Inspector

2013-07-20 08.20.26

And then a tiny not-even-half bath (no sink) in the corner that had been hastily walled off with beadboard. It was somewhere in the range of dingy roadside service station bathroom. We had to replace the toilet seat before you’d even consider using it. Or looking at it.


Ah yes, here’s a video of all the main spaces save for the garage.

The garage was full of crap, which I remember having to get rid of myself at some point. But you might remember that the garage actually turned into a pretty nice workshop for me, though with the insecure old garage doors the only thing standing between it and the outside, I couldn’t keep any of the valuable tools out there. (They went under the stairs.)

Pre-closing: Basement

Speaking of the old garage doors, they were just as bad as they looked. The hinges were broken, so to open one of them, I had to pick up one of these heavy buggers and try to slide it open and then prop it against the opening to go in and out. And security? There’s a good reason we kept the inner door to the basement locked up tight.


There you have it. A complete tour of one terrible basement space, just awaiting some serious work.

Can you see the possibilities?

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