The Basement is FINISHED!
After months of finishing touches the basement renovation is finally finished. There are some décor items that still need to be found but that isn’t much of a priority. Several months back I did a post showing the mid-way point of the renovation. Now we are very excited to have a finished area with nice tiles so we don’t need to wear shoes to do our laundry!
We are now in the midst of a renovation break. We have some worked planned to redo the front of the house and possibly our powder room next year depending on finances. Then after that we have to save up to do hardwood on the top floor of our house (and either stain or replace the hardwood on our main floor).
The Original Budget
Being involved in the personal finance community means we should practice what we preach. When we first sat down to figure out our renovation budget we had some facts and figures to work from. We had just been through it on the other part of the basement. We didn’t just pull a number from the sky. We settled on a budget of $5,000 to cover the following:
- Mudding/Taping (Contracted Out)
- One New Door
- New Pot Lights/Outlets
- A New Laundry Basin and Cupboard
Initial, Framing & Drywall
Our original raw material order (door, lumber and drywall) ran us $830 including delivery. We let the sale at our big box home reno store influence our start date to make sure we got the best bang for our buck. Over the next couple of months we spent another $250 or so on consumables (nails, screws, etc). When it came time to do the drywall we recruited some family members to come help out (Sarah was already a few months pregnant at this point and was not able to do as much physical work as on the last reno). Beer and pizza for the crew was about $90.
Once the majority of the drywall was up the next few months moved pretty slowly. I was working long hours, the weather wasn’t the best and focus had to be split between the basement and getting our combination office/nursery ready for Ava’s arrival. Almost every day working on the basement came with a trip to the hardware store to pickup another $20-$30 worth of supplies totaling up another $200 or so in January.
Mudding & Taping
The next big expense was the cost for our professional drywall mudder/taper. You can watch the DIY home reno shows and they make mudding look really easy but there is an art to it. If it isn’t done properly your wall will look like it was done by an amateur – NOT the goal of any DIY project. We decided to hire someone to take care of it just as we had for the first part of the basement. We originally had budgeted $1,000 for this service based on what it cost us previously. The quote ended up being $1,200 – BUT that included priming the walls with a tinted primer to make it ready for paint and all the mudding and taping supplies. Priming was something the contractor insisted on as once the walls get a bit of colour any imperfections will show up and he’d be able to fix them right away. For the extra couple of hundred dollars this made great sense to us so we gave the greenlight. It also saved us from priming which we could have done ourselves but still off the list. In the spirit of transparency this was actually a very good price as we went through a close friend.
The cost of paint is one area that we really double down. We’ve painted rooms in our house using the generic low cost brands and ended up using twice as much paint. Twice the paint also means twice the amount of time. After we made the transition to Benjamin Moore we would never go back. For the ceiling, door and wall paint as well as painting supplies we spent just over $400 which amounted to 8% of our budget. That is a lot to spend on an area less than 250 square feet but we really like the look.
The information above is from our experience only – we have not received any compensation from Benjamin Moore nor do we represent this brand/product in any way. We share because we care!
Another budget item that we have spent lots of money on in the past is flooring. We hunt like wolves for a bargain but we don’t like cheap looking flooring. We had a nice porcelain tile that we used in the basement powder room, and we wanted to be close to the same quality and colour in the laundry room area. We couldn’t use the same one because it was too expensive for the area we were covering. After combing the big and small box stores we finally found a deal to our liking. We ended up getting 240 square feet of 12×24 porcelain tile for just over $700 (just under $3/sq ft).
Cabinets & Laundry Basin
Our house came with a cheap plastic laundry basin which we knew we wanted to replace. We had some gifts cards for the home reno store that we had put aside for a new sink/basin so our costs were offset. We also wanted a nice cabinet for some extra storage to go between the washer and dryer. The cabinet would eventually end up with a nice quartz top which we got for free from a friend in the business. When cleaning out our bedrooms of extra furniture to prep for the baby we ended up with several hundred dollars’ worth of bookshelves which we gave them so we’ll call it even. We ended up paying just under $600 for the basin (which came with a sink and faucet) and the extra cabinet. $200 of that cost was paid by gift card.
After the basement was pretty much finished I wanted to get a storage solution for my tools. Previously I had used an old kitchen pantry with the doors removed but that was really difficult to keep organized. I spent a couple hundred dollars on a nice tool storage solution which was pricey but worth it. We also added some white wire shelves for our laundry and paper products.
The surprise costs usually come from all the small purchases that add up. For things like outlets, wiring, screws and other miscellaneous costs I ended up with 40 trips to the store with costs under $100 per trip. Those total up to over $1,300 all said and done.
All In, How Did We Do On Our Budget?
We are pretty proud of ourselves with how on target we were. We did end up going a bit over the original plan but after tallying up all the receipts we ended up with a total cost of $5,450 including taxes. From start to finish was almost 6 months. I can’t imagine we’d get much value in terms of resale but we didn’t do this to sell – we did this because we wanted to finish the basement.
Before, Midway and After Photos
What are your thoughts on the work we did? Let us know if you have any questions on what we did or how to inspire your basement renovation.