While we didn’t plan to renovate the basement anytime soon, a burst water connection had other plans!

In June of this year, we returned home from a trip to find a water connection to the toilet in the master bedroom spraying at full force, and leaking down to the basement. It resulted in our tenants moving out for 2 months while Alex and I went to work remodeling 3/4 of the basement space, ending up with a full remodel to our walk-out basement.

This project was the hardest thing we’ve ever done!
Since we could only work nights and weekends, and almost everything had to be replaced, we were e x h a u s t e d by the end of the summer.

Check out the process below!




Water was EVERYWHERE. It was pouring down through the ceiling and felt like a rainforest with water pockets in the drywall in all the rooms and puddles a couple inches deep in places. The water had spread through the heating ducts which made the damage go to even more rooms than it would have without the ducts. I vacuumed 40+ gallons of water from the floor…it was a mess. 

Here are the updates we made to the basement…
we are REALLY happy with how it all turned out!

  • Completely new bathroom: tile, clawfoot tub and shower surround, vanity, lighting, fan, heater, and an additional window.
  • New laminate flooring throughout. It’s really durable and waterproof up to 30 hours so if this happens again, the flooring won’t be ruined. (Let’s really hope it doesn’t happen again!)
  • Recessed lighting and outlets throughout.
  • Radiant heating panels to make the whole house a ductless heating system, and to allow the basement to have it’s own heat control.
  • Extensive drywall replacement and repair.
  • Sound insulation in most of the ceilings for reduced sound transfer between the two floors.
  • Freshly painted kitchen cabinets and walls.
  • Exposed existing wood beams.
  • New doors in each room, salvaged from Ballard Reuse.



Here are all the nitty gritty details about what this project cost to give you an idea of what a similar remodel might cost you if you do it yourself! We only hired out one task throughout, so all of these numbers are based on installation ourselves (and LOTS of help from amazing friends!).


$275 Clawfoot tub
$650 Shower surround fixture
$100 Light fixture
$200 Envi heater
$400 Vanity
$40 Faucet
$300 Tile

Living Space

$3,300 Flooring
$3,300 Drywall finishing (labor)
$1,500 Drywall (material)
$700 Insulation
$400 Thermostats
$3,300 Heating Panels
$430 Windows
$170 Doorknobs
$600 Doors
$1,000 Trim Molding
$400 Paint



Plumbing & Electrical

$300 Wiring and Outlets
$280 Plumbing rough-in materials
$300 Recessed lights


A few of our favorite things…

That’s it! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Okay, not really, but we’re glad it’s done and happy with the outcome. We learned a few things, and didn’t do everything perfectly, but hopefully we will learn from those mistakes and continue to improve over time! Feel free to ask us any questions you have about the process, we would be happy to share.