Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Full basement renovation is complete! (Enough...) Cost breakdown!

Many months ago I shared about our basement renovation plans (here). A 1,100 SF basically unfinished, yucky, cobwebby basement that we, for the first time ever, hired out most of the work to finish to modern standards and add a bathroom to. We finished parts of it (bathroom, guest bedroom), but then began our separation and divorce and plans changed, including our use of the basement for a while. 

Now, the basement is basically done, except for some finishing things like paint touch-ups and cleaning up the windows. It's partially in use as a playroom, plus storage, laundry room, furnace room, and lots of storage for my former brother-in-law's stuff. It's not fully presentation-ready but I've had some questions from followers and even neighbors about the cost and extent of the project and wanted to have everything documented!

Historic house full basement remodel cost and updates

You can see the full before pics and budget here, though that doesn't include everything. You can see my updates in this Instagram story highlight too!

The first thing we did was the earthquake retrofitting (bolting the frame of the house to the concrete foundation), a step necessary on the west coast for older homes not built to current seismic codes. 

Then came framing the new walls, bathroom work (that post links the progress posts for the bathroom), and drywall. We painted it ourselves which was an awful experience due to the personal stress I had going on at the time... and there is still touch-up to do! But it's done.

The wall paint color is SW 6227 Meditative by Sherwin-Williams and the trim is a couple shades darker, SW 6228 Refuge. The ceiling is SW 7008 Alabaster (like the white walls, ceilings, and trim in the rest of the house).

The laundry room didn't move but got some paneling and a shelf with beadboard that I still need to style. These are real life photos here... cute rug, nice paint color, but still a box spring leaning against the wall and ugly laundry soap containers on top of the units. Check out the "before." :)

Here's some context. Behind the stairs by the laundry room there's a canning room, and on the other side (open doorway) is our Christmas decor, etc. storage.

To the left of the stairs is partially my style, partially playroom. I'd like it to be a little cuter but it's kind of a low priority. :P I've thought about rotating the sofa 180 degrees so you see it when you enter the space, and put that wood storage cabinet on the wall to the left... what do you think?

Not the exact same angle in the "before" but you can see what an improvement this is!!

We painted the floors with a concrete floor paint, tinted to Farrow & Ball Light Gray at 50% strength. (Ours was the light tint base which is no longer sold at HD or Lowe's, but I found that one on Amazon if you want to read the specifications. I did a ton of research and called a bunch of paint stores and determined that nothing would be entirely waterproof since the concrete is porous and on the ground, but this was pretty darn good. Epoxy is a lot, lot more work.)

The other side of the playroom is a little funky cause of the columns and cause the furnace takes up a lot of room, but it's so nice to have walls around it!

In the middle of that space under that window and to the right was meant to be a pool table area pre-separation and divorce, but is now just storing stuff for my former brother-in-law. Don't know how long that will be the case but someday could put something there. More playroom stuff I guess!

To the right of that is the guest bedroom. It no longer looks like this since I moved the guest room upstairs, but it sure was cute for a while!

That's the same window in the "before." The new bathroom is now to the right of that wall.

The bathroom is (still) very cute. And we built it from nothing! Hired contractors, got permits, everything. I tiled it myself, and painted and wallpapered. That blue is also SW Refuge.

On the other side of the sink wall we are back to the laundry room again.

Basement renovation cost

I kept detailed records in a Google Drive spreadsheet of all of the expected costs from different bids, and actual costs. Here they are:

Actual - not bathroom
Actual - bathroom
Radon mitigationx
Demo labor$747$187
included in demo
Seismic bolts$1,748$437
Sound reductionx
Door labor and trim/laborDIY
Paint doors & trimDIY
Concrete cut and patch
included in framing but none
Paint laborDIYDIY
Light fixtures
included in Electrical
Bathroom labor
Bathroom vent$318
Bathroom floor install
Egress windowx
Window cleanup$225
Wall insulation/fireblocking
Additional labor/materials$154$154
Install wall paneling$150
Install doors$310$155
Other materials
Toilet tank lever$32
Sink w faucet$50
Vanity light(s)$52
Block print fabric for lampshades and sink skirt
Ceiling/wall register$18
Dimmer switches$15
Door trim$85$28
Towel bars$49
Bathroom fan$80
Tub faucet$150
Shower curtain rod
Shower curtain rings and liner
Beadboard - bathroom
Door knob - privacy$20$20
Door hinges$24$24
Painting supplies$29$7
Wallpaper (sponsored)
Art prints (sponsored)
Building permit$183
Plumbing permit$78
Electrical permit$73
Outside Bathroom
Floor paint$108
Concrete crack sealant$14
Concrete floor cleaner/etcher$20
Beadboard - laundry$175
Chair rail/baseboard kit$30
Laundry pegs$13
Laundry room light$33
Can lights$86
Bedroom light$28
Bedroom door$75
Louvered door$25
Door frame kit$44
Door knob - passage$19
Ceiling paint/primer$72
Paint spray shield$20

That's right, $31k. We didn't do certain things like add an egress window (another $5k) or add a kitchen ($$$), but obviously this was a pretty tight budget, but still big impact, project.

This project added a full bathroom to the house which makes it a 2.5 bath, since we just have a half bath upstairs. We already have ~5 bedrooms so didn't really need the (tiny) guest bedroom down here to be a "bedroom" (it doesn't have a closet or an egress window, things I understand are required to call it a bedroom). Big value adds for future resale still!

Funny after story... I got a visit from two people from the County Assessor's office a year or so after the bathroom was done. They were checking in on all the houses that had had bathroom permits, to see if the taxable value of the house should be increased. I briefly described the change and they left, and later I got a statement saying my house's assessed value had increased by $80k and my property taxes increased quite a bit! 

I should start saying "I" since it's my house now, but it's a little awkward. Let's say "we" is me and the contractors. :)

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