Our basement was like rotten squishy moldy lemons that may have even dried out.
In an effort to make our home more marketable, and to get a few toys out of the upstairs, Greg and I took on the task of finishing up a room in our basement. I told him it would only cost $150.
I went a little over (but not too terribly much--price breakdown at the end).
A little determination was all it took to get a fantastic new space (that, subsequently one day after finishing, my parents moved into).
Here's what we were dealing with in the "before" stage:
- painted concrete floors
- primed wood paneling covered in sticky tack (previous owner hung some of his hundreds of license plates on the walls)
- a hole in the paneling about the size of a dinner plate from when Greg checked a few years ago for a water leak
- mismatched crown molding and base trim
- seriously dirty stairs
- horrible lighting from two rickety, falling apart lights from 1982
- oh, and this room used to flood with heavy rains until we fixed the drainage issue two years ago
Dark, dirty, blah. And no daylight! We had our work cut out.
So, here's what we did:
- painted walls a fun robin's egg blue (cost: free--it was an unopened extra can of paint from a bedroom that I purchased four years ago; I just took it to Home Depot to have it shaken for free)
- put in four new can lights to make the room feel less like a dungeon basement (cost: $90--and labor was free; glad I married an engineer!)
- painted all the doors and trim, and the stairs, and added new door knobs to the two doors (cost: $61--$17 for trim paint and $14 for door hardware, $30 for porch and patio paint on the stairs)
- laid what is essentially a giant wall-to-wall area rug, with carpet off the big roll at Home Depot--no pad underneath, but soft enough for Reid to crawl around on (cost: $199. I won't go into the detail about how Greg and I laid that carpet down like a bunch of idiots who had never done home improvement before...but in our defense, the entire house is hardwood!)
- hung curtains to frame a mini "art gallery," which also conveniently covers that hole in the paneling (cost: $35 for curtains and hardware at Ikea)
- moved the upstairs play room down to the basement--all the cute furniture, easel, train table, art supplies, etc. (cost: free!)
- Total: $385
We have a few things left to do, namely hang the family guitars on the wall (Greg's idea) and move the cubby storage down there for the bins of toys (which are currently just under the train table).
As I said before, we finished this project last Sunday, and my mom and stepdad moved in with us temporarily but indefinitely the next day. The futon is down there, and there is still tons of space for them and their three dogs, and Will and Reid to go down and play. Money well spent.
My favorite part is the little art gallery--those curtains are so fun! It's such a cheery room now!