#TBT: Our $5K Basement Renovation in Michigan

I keep seeing these photos pop up in my Facebook memories, so it seemed appropriate to share this basement transformation on this Throwback Thursday.

When we bought our first house in Allen Park, Michigan (home of the Detroit Lions!) this is what our basement looked like. A classic mid-modern with cinder block walls painted vintage teal and a very ugly vinyl tile floor.

The house itself was a 1,250 square foot brick bungalow so we knew finishing the basement would give us a lot more space and increase the value.

The main problem? We were a newly married couple with a toddler- aka we had no money. I had actually been offered a job in Pittsburgh at that time, but turned it down when my employer matched that  offer and threw in a $5,000 bonus. Guess what we did with that?

Yep. It became our budget for the basement. We had big plans for that $5K. We wanted a bar and a fireplace in addition to new flooring and drywall.

My dad and Josh got to work! They framed out the walls, framed out the bar and then started to spray the ceiling. (Don’t they look like Walt & Jesse in Breaking Bad? 😂)

Originally I had planned to paint the ceiling white thinking it would make the room feel bigger, but my dad had just done a dark ceiling and convinced me it would look cleaner and hide all the wiring since we were leaving the ceiling open.

He was right. It gave it a clean, industrial feeling.

The ceiling was painted, the can lighting installed and they got to work creating the bar. It was huge! I thought it would be the focal point until…

…They started creating the fireplace. The fireplace was by far the most expensive part of the project. About $2k of our $5,000 budget went to it. With every dime counting, I searched around for the fireplace insert and the best deal I found for the box and ventless gas logs was at Home Depot.

The stone was my splurge. I got it from Menards along with the laminate flooring. (This flooring is called “Tiger Wood” and it’s the same flooring I had in my coffee shop so I knew it would hold up to traffic.)

We ended up installing the stone on the bar for a high-end finish and for continuity.

Having some extra space under our stairs, I came up with a last minute design idea to add some storage, seating, and just a fun spot in the room:

And now for the fireplace reveal:

I wish I could tell you we shared so many memories in this space, but we ended up only being here about 10 months after it was finished.

I did celebrate my birthday, Annabelle’s 2nd birthday and we had our first “Friendsgiving” here… but if anything it helped us get more money out of our home in such a short time of being there.

We owned the house for about a year and a half and made a profit of $20,000 in a not-so-hot market so I definitely call that a win.

Any questions on this renovation, comment below!

2 thoughts on “#TBT: Our $5K Basement Renovation in Michigan

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