What’s Going on in the Basement These Days?

We’ve been in a bit of a lull period with the basement after we demo’d it back in January. In February, I worked on putting together a rough draft of the design plan  and we spent the rest of the month and the beginning of March planning the necessities like plumbing, egress windows, floor planning etc. I recently shared an update on my Instagram stories that is now saved in my highlights, but in case you missed that or don’t have an Instagram account, I’ve compiled everything here!

As with all of our projects, everything takes a little longer than we’d like due to the fact that we both work full-time jobs- we don’t do this for a living (maybe someday, but not any time soon!). We also have a vacation planned in the month of March and have other events that take place on weekends in the spring and summer (hello, wedding season!) so everything takes a little longer than we’d like. Realistically, we’re looking into the end of summer to finish this project, if not even later into the fall. However- we’re going to try and get it done as fast as we can, because we’d prefer not to spend the entire summer working on it!

Read on to see what we have planned and what will be happening in the next few months in the basement.

In the Works

  1. Bathtub drain and vent. Plumbers are coming out next week (!!!) to install the bathtub drain and vent. We had to decide on the layout for the bathroom this week in order to get floor plans over to them (which are still a work in progress, see below). This is something that Josh would have done himself if it were a second floor bathroom, but because it involves jackhammering out the cement and running the drain into the main drain underground, it’s a lot more intensive so we decided it was best to hire out.
  2. Egress windows. We will be having two egress windows installed at the end of March. Each egress will be installed where there’s an existing window and will be going in what will be a bedroom. I can’t wait to see the basement with the added natural light!
  3. Drain tile. The same company that is installing the egress windows will also be installing drain tile at the same time. This will help to keep the basement dry and hopefully water-free for the rest of its life!
  4.  Floor planning. This is a work in progress. We’re taking measurements of every wall, nook and cranny, doorway, window etc. and will be creating an existing floor plan and a future floor plan. We don’t have AutoCAD nor do we know how to use it, so Josh will be sketching it out by hand. I’m hoping to be able to work with someone to get it drafted in AutoCAD though!
  5. Permits. We have to obtain permits for all of the work we’re doing ourselves (read: Josh is doing, not me), including water lines, replacing the support pillars, running electrical, dryer vent location change, and gas fireplace and vent installation. We will obtain these one at a time with each step- the first of which is the building permit involving the support pillars.

In the next couple of months

After everything is taken care of in the steps above, we will start with the next steps of electrical, plumbing, framing, and insulating.

  1. Framing. Once the layout is decided for the basement and the drain tile has been installed, we can start with the process of framing. We will be framing in the laundry room, bedrooms, bedroom closets, stairs, living room, bathroom, and storage closets.
  2. Replacing support pillars. Our current support posts are wood and they all have some level of rot at the bottom of them due to water exposure over the years, so they need to be replaced. This will likely happen before the framing process, and maybe even in the next month. We just have to obtain a building permit and then can purchase the support posts and get to work. It sounds super complicated and expensive, but according to the building inspector, we can just install a steel support post where each of the wood posts were. Believe it or not, they’re sold on Amazon  for under $100 each!
  3. Installing water lines. After the plans are finalized and permits are obtained, Josh will install the water lines for the bathroom (tub/shower, sink, and toilet) and laundry room.
  4. Electrical work. Again, after plans are finalized and permits are obtained, Josh will run all of the electrical for every room in the basement. We need to decide the exact location of fixtures before this can all be done!
  5. Gas line and vent for fireplace. It’s our goal to install a builtin gas fireplace in the living room area. After the permit is obtained, Josh will install the vent and gas line for the fireplace.
  6. Insulation. After everything’s been framed in and electrical, plumbing, and gas lines have been installed, we can finally insulate the walls and ceiling!

As you can see, we have our work cut out for us (and by that, I obviously mean Josh- ha!)!! I’ll update you all once we have the floorplans done, and I’ll be sure to provide an update on Instagram once the plumbers are done next week! Be sure to sign up for emails (link in sidebar) so you don’t miss any updates. Thanks for following along!

Author: Laura Sima

Hey there, I'm Laura- creator of Sima Spaces. I'm a home renovator, designer, and blogger based in St. Paul, MN. When I'm not designing or renovating homes, you can find me working as a pediatric ICU RN, snuggling my dog or cat, skiing in CO, or enjoying a glass of wine on our patio.

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  • Hi Laura!
    Recently found your Instagram (which led me here!) and have been following along with your basement renovation plans. Ironically enough, my husband and I are about to start planning our own basement reno for our 50’s/60’s ranch, so finding you was perfect timing! Question for you: how on earth do you organize your plans, designs, and ideas? I’ve got Pinterest boards with thousands of links tucked away and sketches of our ideal floorplan, but do you have a system you follow to get you from planning to action? Figured it couldn’t hurt to ask you!

    • Hi Jaimie! Thanks for following along, glad you found me! As far as organizing, I don’t really have a system TBH- I keep some inspo pics in private folders on Pinterest or archived on IG for specific projects, I have a 3-ring binder where I keep some sketches, plans, and lists of sources etc. The rest is just in my head, and is constantly evolving. Best of luck on your basement remodel!!