More Sweet Renovations – Basement Edition


Please send your renovation photos to [email protected] From the reader:

“Here’s the befores and afters of our basement bathroom renovation. It was a small step above an outhouse when we moved in, the toilet used for emergency situations only. We gutted it, built properly framed walls, stuck in some recessed lights, redid the wiring, moved the telephone lines to a new modern box that is outside the house, and built the shower stall. I decided to reuse the sink (tight budget) and I haven’t gotten a new medicine cabinet yet, but that’s on the list. The travertine tiles may seem a bit over the top for a basement bathroom with the pipes exposed, but they were actually cheaper than anything we found at the dreaded Home Depot. And we didn’t frame in the pipes because it’s such a small space I thought I could handle pipes for 8” of additional elbow room.


The entire budget for the basement and full bathroom stands at $6,100 – but we have a few more finishing details to take care of…probably will finish it off at $6,500. We hired a plumber, an electrician, and a handyman to do the major work.


Here is the first half of our basement reno (the other half of the room is the utility/laundry room, which we still have to trim and paint). We stole our neighbor’s idea of just gutting the whole place and painting everything. So, we didn’t frame in the walls – just painted the brick. Didn’t close up the ceiling – just painted the joists and pipes and wires white (which was a major nightmare that took us nearly two months, every weekend, of painting with kilz). Rewired the place and installed recessed lights up amongst the joists. We ripped up the vinyl floor tiles and just painted the cement floor (which won’t last, but it was only $35 for the gallon of paint!). The rabbit ears still pull in our 7 tv channels and for under $6,500 we have a useable family room, utility/laundry room, and full bathroom. And, yes, I realize that the rug is too big for the room, but it’s a basement, right?”

Check the before photos after the jump.




13 Comment

  • Would love to know where you got the tiles from, if you’re willing to share.

  • Looks good. That rug really ties the room together.

  • sweet rabbit ears

  • looks good but anyone my height would have a miserable and painful time living in a space like that. Anyone know how much it runs to excavate a basement?

  • wow, i thought that first picture was the “before” shot. oops!

  • Wow- that’s a great way to make 6500 bucks go a long way. It’s not luxury, but its finished living space now, and it didn’t seem like it was before. I like the custom hand rails (PVC pipes) in the bathroom– they’re functional!

  • Those “before” pics look a lot like our basement bathroom, though I do think ours is worse. Nice to hear you managed to do so much for so little.

  • Wow, that “before” was some kind of scary. Good job!

  • this is quite a liberal use of “sweet”

  • We got the tiles at The Tile Shop in Rockville, they were on clearance. Ceiling height is definitely over 6.5′, but it is kind of cozy in that respect.

  • I kinda dig the exposed pipe. That’s a lot of crazy waste plumbing, though. I hope that horizontal stretch is a vent, it looks a bit of a stretch for adequate drain elevation. And what’s that one in the corner that just ends in mid air? You got some pretty creative plumbing. Well, on the other hand… if it ain’t broke don’t fix it…

  • I had the same reaction as IMGoph. Thought the first picture was a “before” ( sorry!). Anyway, after scrolling down to the real before photos, I have to say you’ve definitely made an improvement.

  • i dig the exposed piping. kind of a “ny loft look”. i was thinking about doing that to my bathroom, which is very much like the this one. i bought 4 cans of stainless steel spray paint that i’m planning on spraying on the pipes. lame? maybe. better than pvc? uh huh.

    you can actually brush the paint down so it seems like brushed metal.

    do a search on stainless steel paint, and think about it….

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