Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Before- Basement Renovation

It's a little pre-mature to start taking about my basement renovation, but, I'm so excited about the recent progress that I can't wait to share!

Back in August, the East Coast was hit with a hurricane. Her name was IRENE!!
Our area was very lucky, as we had minimal flooding, winds were not as strong as suggested, and overall, mother nature was not as angry with us for this storm as she was for many areas North of Baltimore. Don't let me paint a picture in your mind that we just had a rain storm, we had a hurricane. A hurricane with strong winds, massive downpours, and our streets looked like streams! Tree limbs flew through the sky, trashcans rolled down the side streets, and electrical wires flashed with sparks as they fell on top of trees!

Portions of our neighborhood lost power for 5 days, many trees and power lines toppled over, and many of our neighbors, including us, were faced with sump pump failure due to power loss, or flooding of basements due to our french drains overflowing.

The above pictures were taken 2 days after the storm, as I stood on my fron porch, and looked to the left, then to the right. The electrical line in the second picture was a temporary line that BG & E installed after they hauled away an entire tree that was laying on top of the original line.

We were pretty lucky overall with damage to our property. None of the 3 60 year old trees in our front yard came down. They just lost a few dead branches and lots of leaves. And, our basketball hoop fell over in the driveway, and not on any of our vehicles.

The real problem was our basement!
Our basement was completely finished living space. It consisted of a family room, and a play room/spare bedroom.

Our home is a rancher, that was built in the 1950's. The homes that had a basement had a french drain. The drain is basically a trench that runs the perimiter of the foundation of the house that collects ground water and drains it into the sump pump to be sent back outside. You don't see the drain, as it's behind the walls. Well, our french drain filled, poured into the sump pump, which could not keep up with the massive amounts of water, causing it to not only overflow the sump pump, but to overflow the French drain, which let me remind you, runs the entire perimiter of our basement.


So, this caused the entire basement to flood. some spots were bad, some were really bad, and some were awful! At some points, we had approximately 6 inch deep water.(on top of carpet, and on furniture, and up the walls)

Our insurance company was not able to inspect our home for 1 week, and they allowed us to start the removal/clean up process ourselves. It took 4 adults, and one 7 year old 10 hours to remove all of the saturated carpet, padding, and wet furniture and stuff.

We each had a wet vac and did our best to absorb the water left on the floor once the carpet was removed.

We had to rent industrial fans, and remove the wainscoating from half of the walls, and spray for mold.

Here's some of the wet carpet in the bed of our truck.

We made countless trips to the landfill, and had a dumpster in the driveway for two months!

The progress of the renovation has been extremely slow. We are trying to do as much work as possible that we can do ourselves And, it's been a long process!

The list below is just a small glimpse of what we've been doing since August, in addition to working full time jobs, a part time job, running to and from birthday parties, basketball practice and games, volunteering at school, enjoying three holidays, overcoming food poisioning and the flu, being in a wedding, eating , and sometimes sleeping!!

Completed Projects
1)     Knock down the wall between family room and playroom.(Nice way to get out frustration!
2)     Install a storage closet in playroom New construction!
3)     Install a non-existent powder room in Playroom with above ground plumbing.(yikes) All new construction! (We hired a plumber to install a toilet and a sink with a macerator pump- the plumbing is exposed and above ground, as we did not have a rough in) ***BEST INVESTMENT ON THIS RENOVATION BY FAR!!!***
4)     Build an archway between two rooms. LOVE!
5)     Change lighting going down the steps.
6)     Install and finish drywall on 8 walls. My husband is a saint!
7)     Remove bi-fold door from furnace room. Easy peasy
8)     Replace door into storage room. I’m not happy with the look of this
9)     Install Antique Door on powder room Hung, just needs to be stripped and painted
10) Install Bamboo floors in new powder room. LOVE!
11) Install new electrical outlets, and replace old outlets. Thanks to my brother
12) Install new electrical switches. Thanks to my brother
13) Install bamboo flooring in the new bar area. LOVE!
14) Build custom “built- in wall” for storage, display, and television/media. (IN PROGRESS!!!)
15) Paint the playroom Done!
16) Buy furniture (IN PROGRESS!!)

1)     Build a bar
2)    Install carpet
3)     Paint the family room
4)     Install Brick wall
5)     Install new lighting
6)     Replace old ceiling tiles
7)     Install surround sound system 
8)     Decorate
9)     Enjoy!



  1. Hey, I'm your newest follower. Would love you to visit over at my place.
    Sherry's Bees Nest

  2. What a great post. I’m emailing this to my friends.

  3. The moisture can cause it to expand and become deformed. To get the look without the worry opt for laminate or engineered flooring. There are a lot of great options that look just as good as hardwood.