Dope Basement Renovation

All photos by Greg Powers (Greg Powers Photography) courtesy of KUBE

Thanks to a reader for sending this awesome update:

“You hooked me up a few years back when I was considering doing a basement renovation.

The project has since completed and I’ve been happily living in it for over a year.

The design was done by the excellent team of Rich Loosle and Andrew Baldwin of Kube Architecture.

After at least 6 months of permitting delays, we finally broke ground on the dig. The first contractor had a lot of issues, so I replaced them after the dig out was completed. Start to finish it took nearly 2.5 years, but I’m very happy with the final outcome.

It was because of PoPville that I found the right team!”





37 Comment

  • goodness!
    wish my English basement looked like that haha
    that is some serious accent lighting you installed too

    i am wondering if the rest of the house is just as modern?

  • It looks great! But man 2.5 years…I think I’d cry!!

  • Incredible renovation. Kudos!

  • Nice. Reminds me of a W Hotel lobby.

  • Wow – very space age! But seriously – 6 months of permitting delays? And 2 years to complete? More details would be really helpful!

  • Do plan on turning this into a rental?

  • SusanRH

    6 months to get permits??? This is giving me heart palpitations

  • Those ceilings look really high for a basement. Is that a lighting trick or is that real?

    • If I understand it correctly – the owners most likely dug out the basement floor to give higher ceilings.

  • Are the ceiling joists painted or drywalled? I assume that the joists are what we’re seeing in the recessed ceiling area.

  • Thanks for the positive comments everyone, I’m the owner and happy to answer questions.

    @That MAn A – the recessed lighting is all multicolor LED. Normally I have them turned to white, but the architect wanted them colored for the shoot. The rest of the house was restored to original (~1902) design throughout the ’70s and ’80s. There was nothing to preserve in the basement so I went modern instead 🙂

    @Victoria – what kinds of details would you like? One example of a serious delay was that after digging down they couldn’t pour the cement floor during winter, so we were on hold until spring when the earth was warm enough…

    @CHGAL – the original ceiling wasn’t to code so we underpinned and dug down to 9′

    @Chelsea – happily living there for now

    @KenyonDweller – we couldn’t leave the original joists exposed because code required a fire barrier between spaces. We wrapped them with drywall and painted

  • This is the perfect man-cave/bachelor pad. Beautifully done!

  • Kind of tacky for my tastes but I can see man-boys liking it.

    • +1. I was wondering why everyone thought it was so nice. Seems kinda tacky, but obviously expensive.. so not tacky in a cheap way.

    • Maybe it’s just the colored lights throwing me off, and that super modern furnishings remind me of Ikea

  • Very sleek – thanks so much for sharing the update. Who did you use for the dig out effort? Would you mind sharing how long it took and the cost? I am considering that for my basement, which will be about 600 sf.

    • We are starting a dig and underpin in our basement now and our basement is about the same size. Quotes ranged from 40k-80k.

      • is that just to dig and underpin?? or is that total renovation of a basement, including digging and underpinning?

        • that is just the dig and underpin. It includes some drain work (sump, drain tile, etc) and structural (replacing a couple of support posts) that would need to be done in any of these jobs.

    • Anonomnom

      I say digging under is worth it. I recently purchased a basement unit that is around 840 square feet with 9’2″ ceilings. We looked all over for above ground units and below ground, but the second we walked in and felt how spacious and home-like the ceilings made, we were sold.

      The one downside is my kitchen only looks normal sized when my 6’7 marine friend is over, and then we all look like children… But still a big fan!

    • I wouldn’t recommend who I used. I ended up firing him and changing to another contractor because I didn’t trust him to pour the slab.

      • Would you mind sharing what the cost of the dugout was and how long it took? I really love the ceiling design too – so much cooler than just doing the usual drywall!

  • Your basement looks super nice. I went through the same agony of waiting 6 months for the permit, and finally got the dig out done.

    Mind if I ask you (owner) more questions? My contractor has been a pain in the neck, and I am in dire need of some recommendations.


  • Very interesting, thanks for sharing. Approximate cost of this, with some breakouts for the major pieces of work, would be very helpful. Also is there a separate front entrance? Can’t tell from the pics.

  • andy

    Nobody better find out about my dope basement renovation…

  • Who or what number is it for the company or architect that did this and could it be modified if you didn’t want to go all the way but still have a basement that was this sharp?
    Also, is there a DIY or how to book out from the same company on achieving this or something similar? Thanks.

    • If you’re doing a dig out then you pretty much have a blank slate to do whatever you want with it. If you intend to rent it though and want to plan it yourself (or have the builder plan it) make sure you’re aware of codes so it’s legal to rent afterwards.

  • Yikes 2.5 years! I thought we had it bad when our “one month” renovation turned into five months! Looks great though- very cool use of the space!

  • accendo

    Well done! That’s a really great space!

  • Except for the colored lights, very cool. But what is that above the sink — a monitor to simulate a window?

  • Wow – awesome! Looks like there’s probably lots of hidden cabinets and closets behind those funky walls and panels. Nice work! I agree that turning the accent lights to white is probably optimal for most occasions, but it must be great to have options for when the mood strikes…

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