Basement renovation!

Back in the summer Kyle and I searched high and low for a new house. While our current space works, there were a lot of things that we still wanted in a home that this one wasn’t giving us. We did find a house, but as luck would have it we lost out in the end and we were left in a “Well, now what?” situation.

So, we figured that we’d stick around here for a bit longer and make this house a bit more usable, mainly in the basement.

While our basement was a decent size, we barely spend any time down there. The exercise equipment was occupying our front den and the rec room was unused for the most part other than sending Isla down to watch a movie. There was also a storage room that we kept our extra dry goods in and some other junk, but really, it was a waste of space.

So, we decided that we’d take out that storage room, rip out the carpet, and create something a bit more welcoming and more enticing to use! A friend I play slo-pitch with just so happens to be a carpenter by trade and he was more than happy to help us out with the project for beer money his son’s college fund ;)


So there you can see what it looked like before and during the tear-out process! Isla had a grand ol’ time helping Kyle rip down the walls for the storage room.


And there’s what it looked like after the studs came out and part of the flooring was laid. We had an electrician come in and  fix the wiring for the lights and the outlet that was on the outside wall, and a drywaller came in to remud the walls and texture the ceiling.

Kyle’s dad and his girlfriend were kind enough to come into town last weekend to help us repaint the walls, and on Monday while Norah napped and Isla watched an excessive amount of television, I repainted the trim. And now?



Ta da! (Norah and Daphne clearly approve!)

The exercise equipment that was in the front den now lives happily in the space that housed all of Isla and Norah’s toys, their toys have been relocated to where the storage room was, and the couch and fireplace have been reconfigured and have a much more cozy feel!

Our front den also got new flooring to match the rec room:


I’m thinking about making it into a guest space, but it’s too small to house a bed permanently. A futon and a little desk will work well, but we’re also toying with the idea of turfing the old suede couch and getting a full pullout sofa. I’m open to ideas!

Whatever I decide on for that little room, Kyle and I are so glad that we were able to get this project done! It took less than a month (working on it only on weekends) and it was way more affordable that we thought it was going to be!

This project has also shown me that renovations aren’t so bad afterall, and that maybe – just maybe – buying a bit of a fixer-upper in the future isn’t such a scary idea after all.

Tearing up my heart … and carpet

Okay, mostly just carpet, but I wanted to throw a little N’SYNC reference in there and I sure hope you got it.

Kyle and I have been in this house for about 2 ½ years now, and since Day 1, we’ve been wanting to replace the carpet. It wasn’t in the greatest of shapes when we had moved in: a little dingy, snagged in a couple spots, and there were three different kinds of carpet throughout the house. Yep, three. The bedrooms were all the same colour & pile (horrible loop carpet that snagged easily), the stairs were a pile carpet, and the basement is a grey/brown loop carpet. Here’s the proof:

1. Basement carpet. 2. Stairway carpet. 3. Bedroom carpet.

Yep, it was a mess. We have a feeling that the basement and stairway carpet were original to the house and that the stuff in the bedrooms was changed out at some point by the previous owners. Anyway, after we moved in, things only got worse since we have two big dogs. Daphne and Campbell puked on the carpet a few times, leaving gross stains behind no matter how hard I scrubbed the carpet, and their nails got caught in the loops on the bedroom carpet, leaving behind little snags that just got out of control:

The worst case though? When Campbell was fairly new to the household we would crate him while we were out running errands or while I was at work. On day, he must’ve eaten something that didn’t agree with him, because when I returned home I walked into his “room” to find that he had somehow managed to push the bottom tray out of his crate, chewed a HOLE in the carpet while still trapped in his crate, and then pooped all over the place. The hole was mighty impressive, other than obviously frustrating:

That’s my foot for size comparison.

That was two years ago. Kyle and I strategically placed a nightstand over the hole and called it a win for the time being.

Finally, about a month ago, we decided to put our grown-up pants on and bite the bullet in buying new carpet. There isn’t anything wrong with the basement carpet, but we thought for better continuity we should replace both the stairs and the bedroom carpet. After shopping around, we finally decided on a pile and shade we liked, and went ahead and ordered the carpet. That’s where the frustration kind of began.

Kyle was going to tear up the old stuff himself because having the contractor do it was going to cost somewhere around $500. He did it on the weekend I was in Vancouver and Isla was having a sleepover at my mom’s, and while we had to live with bare floors and stairs of doom (see photo over there –>) for a week, it wasn’t so bad. We had to explain to Isla that the stairs were dangerous and that Mommy or Daddy had to carry her down the stairs. (She has become independent in that she insists on going down the stairs with no help.) We also told her to be careful in her room so she didn’t step on a tack strip. We managed to survive the week without having to rush to the hospital for a tetanus shot.

This past weekend, the installers (who are contractors) were supposed to come and install the new stuff. We were told by the company we bought the carpet from that the contractors would be there around 9:30-1o a.m. on Friday to start installing. They showed up around 9:45 a.m., but instead of starting on our carpet, they dropped off some of the materials and said that they had to first go finish a job just outside of town, and that it shouldn’t take to long. Okaaaaay …. So Kyle and I sat around almost all of Friday morning wondering when they’d show back up, and finally by 2 p.m. when they had yet to show up, I gave the guy a call. He said they’d be there by 4 p.m. WTH??? So 4:30 p.m. comes along and they finally show up. They managed to get one bedroom done (Isla’s new room) and said they’d be back Saturday morning around 9. They didn’t get here until 9:40 a.m. and they didn’t leave until around 8:30 p.m., and took a sweet 1 ½ hour lunch break. AND THEY STILL HADN’T FINISHED THE CARPET. Our stairs had nothing but underlay on them, so they said they’d be back Sunday afternoon around 2 p.m. to finish the stairs. FML. (Why so late? Well the guy also runs sound at his church and apparently that’s more important.)

Sunday they got here around 3 p.m. (I’m more than certain he dicked around at his parent’s house before deciding to show up for work on time.) It was about 6 o’clock by the time they were all done. FINALLY. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see someone leave my house and never have to return.

Don’t get me wrong – the carpet looks great. Other than a couple of dings they put in my walls (which will be brought up with the company who hired the contractors, as well as their tardiness), Kyle and I are super happy with the actual installation. And our house is back to normal!! The new carpet has brightened up the bedrooms SO much, and it feels so wonderful on my feet. Kyle even added some end tables that we never use to our bedroom as nightstands, so now we don’t have to use old cardboard boxes anymore ;)

The master bedroom before we brought the furniture back in.

The master bedroom all put back together.

Like I said before, we also moved Isla over to what was the spare room and is now her “big girl” room. We were eventually going to move her there whenever we decide to have baby #2, but since the furniture was already out of there, we moved it over now. I plan to paint it a bit more “girly” in the future, but she seems to be liking her new space so far! It’s a little big bigger than her old room and the layout is a little better too, so she has more room to actually play in there!

I’m working on refinishing a bigger bookshelf for her as well, which will replace the one that’s in there and will match her new furniture whenever I decide to get that. (Probably not until we have another munchkin.)

So there you have it. We are SO glad the weekend is over with and the carpet is installed. I love the look of my floors now and couldn’t be happier! While the price of the carpet wasn’t the lowest, it was definitely worth every penny, IMHO ;) No more mis-matched carpets, no more snags, no more holes in the floor! (And if either one of the dogs ruins that for us in less than a month, they’ll be in deeeeeeep trouble.) We did decide to leave the basement carpet as-is since it was in decent shape, and I’m glad we did considering how long it took to install just the bedrooms and the stairs …

What’s the most hellish house reno you’ve endured? Was it worth it in the end?



Project 365: July 13-19

July 13: Another pool day! ♦ July 14: Selfies and giggles. ♦ July 15: Hot dogs. ♦ July 16: Sushi lunch with Grandpa. ♦ July 17: My lunch really spoke to me today. ♦ July 18: Bare stairs of doom. (More house reno’s have begun!)  July 19: Bachelorette party selfie. I may be slightly skeptical of my shoe choice for the night.

View the whole series here