Below Deck – A Basement Renovation

To refresh your memory from long ago, we had completed the upstairs renovations in our home to a large degree but the basement was another story.

Anย unfinished, dirty and dark story…๐Ÿคช

We decided on creating three โ€˜roomsโ€™ in the area left over after having situated the laundry room under our stairs.

Mike moved the water heater from one end of the basement to the other, in order to keep all the utilities together and that opened up a lot more options for the rest of the basements layout.

A guest room with a small bathroom and an open, second seating area that could be used for a desk or couch or whatever the need would be and then the storage/utility room.

We got our basement flooring off of kijiji and itโ€™s a nearly perfect match to our upstairs flooring (though for some reason it always shows footprints, so Iโ€™m glad our upstairs flooring was a different brand ๐Ÿ˜ฌ).
It goes throughout the sitting and laundry area.

Glue down tiles from kijiji were installed in the storage room and then leftover flooring from our other houses makeover, was used in the guest room.

A window Mike found at the restore in Regina was installed, as the basement had no windows at all, so that of course let in much extra light๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป

As it goes and as you all know by now, the steps of finishing were taken.
Framing, insulating, drywall, finishing drywall, painting, floors, trim, doors etc etc. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lastly, the bro came over and helped wire the the new lighting/switches/outlets for the basement, so that Mike could install the floating ceiling to finish off the space!
Leaving it so much brighter & cleaner, in such a short amount of time ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป

(‘Short amount of time’ referring to the ceiling install, not the reno… that took two years and counting )

The very last thing he accomplished in our basement space was the stairs!
We were tossed between paying for carpet and install or going through the work of sanding and painting them, in hopes theyโ€™d hold up.

We went for a cross between option one and three ๐Ÿคช
Carpet, but it was installed by Mike on a day he had off work instead of by a company and the carpet itself was end roll pieces, resulting in a $130.00 (ish) stair treatment ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

I’ll share the before and after pictures side by side here, so the full impact can be… impactful ๐Ÿ˜‰

There isn’t any other picture of the storage area because, well… storage. It holds not only our supply of stroopwafels, winter/summer apparel, shoes etc. but also our water softener, heater and some obtrusive plumbing.

I title the above shot, ‘Stairs’…

The washing machine and dryer were moved to live under the stairs and you can see that room hereย Airing Out Our Dirty Laundry .

The below photo of this nook ‘before and after’ is so satisfying to me…

And finally, the overall view!

There are still some little finishing bittles that need doing but that is to be expected… I hope ๐Ÿ˜‰

The guest room is nearly done but missing just a feeeew touches so I figured I’d save that for another time, though it will be done pre June, as we have official visitors booked in for then #motivation ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Mac Makeover Reveal!!!

Another short story in the book of our lives, is coming to a close… by short I mean 4 months worth ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Mac House project, has officially been completed!!! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿš๐Ÿ› 

Now, if you havenโ€™t seen the first post about us getting possession of The Mac House, stop now and go read this ->ย Mac’s Possession Appearance

Now, since Iโ€™m trusting you did as I instructed and read that post, I hope your eyes are slightly scorched and the images seen wonโ€™t be quickly forgotten after seeing what the Mac House NOW looks like! ๐Ÿ™ˆ

So, December 1st is the day we gained official possession and after many loads of item removal, the process of remodelling the house began.

You know how usually youโ€™ll see something shocking and slowly get over it? Like, โ€˜oh ya that thing was crazy but like, itโ€™s not so crazy now that Iโ€™ve had time to comprehend itโ€™.
Yeah, we never felt that way… EVERY time we would leave the house with more trash and whatever else, weโ€™d pause, look at each other and just kind of mutely shake our heads at one another in a state of continual disbelief at the amount of disgusting stuff we removed ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

After emptying the place out as much as we could, we did a light sweeping off of walls and floors.
Removed a multitude of tacks, staples and nails from the walls and then gave a kind of mopping to the whole upstairs in efforts to remove smell more than actual filth.

Then we knocked down a wall ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

We wanted to open up the kitchen and living room layout so we decided early on that the wall would have to go.

From there on out it was planning and re-planning and then re-planning the plans ๐Ÿคช


The kitchen layout took awhile to decide on, as every new layout brought out a new problem or pro and things are continually being noticed that are needed or missing but we eventually nailed it down and ordered up the kitchen from Ikea.

We hired a fellow from church to come do the electrical work and Mikes brother lent a hand for a day as well.

The bathroom was gutted and we began the โ€˜bigโ€™ purchasing during a trip to the city.

A toilet, a bathtub, a bathroom vanity, a kitchen island, the appliances etc. were all purchased in pretty rapid succession and we settled in to working on the continued demo/prep of it all whenever Mike had the time.

I scraped off the popcorn ceiling in the bedrooms and bathroom and could hardly move my arms the next two days ๐Ÿคช
Mike then took over and finished off the living room/kitchen/hallway ๐Ÿ˜ฌ


The wiring was completed, outlets readied, drywall cut out and patched, water heater installed, flooring scraped and cleaned, trim removed, wall repaired where weโ€™d removed a wall and Iโ€™m sure much more that Iโ€™m forgetting since I wasnโ€™t always there ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ™ˆ

My brother-in-law, whoโ€™s the owner and operator of โ€˜High Caliber Constructionโ€™ moved here from Arizona at JUST the right time ๐Ÿ˜‰
The time that we needed the house patched, skim coated and painted ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป



So, while Mike was busy working away from home, the Mac House was still progressing.
Once Mike returned home, the guys got the house painted up, trimmed, patched and prepared for the seemingly final stages of the reno! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

I love how the wall color turned out and how it keeps it nice and clean looking by having the trim and walls the same color.

Iโ€™ve also been super happy with the appearance of the chosen flooring ever since we first spotted it, so seeing it getting laid down and installed was extra exciting ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

Though the coloring is everything I could want in a floor, after working with it, Mike did find it wasnโ€™t as nice of an installation quality as others he has installed, so that was a bit of a bummer.ย The company was super pleasant to deal with and their customer service was top notch though, which does count for a lot in the overall experience!


He had one day off work specifically to work on completing the bathroom and it was one of those โ€˜everything that could go wrong didโ€™ kind of days ๐Ÿ˜ฌย The tub surround had two of the same corners, so a trip to town to replace that was in order.
The adhesive wasnโ€™t working for some reason at first but then eventually they (he and our neighbour friend) got that completed.

A piece weโ€™d pre ordered for installing the toilet was the wrong kind and the piece the store said theyโ€™d place outside for our bro-in-law to pick up, wasnโ€™t found.

The hole in our vanity for the faucet piping etc, was smaller than the pieces on the faucet weโ€™d ordered. So special cutting tools and some stressed anticipation occurred as a the porcelain was cut a bit larger.
Thankfully that went smoothly.

Another piece weโ€™d ordered for the tub, didnโ€™t fit either and was the only mat black one weโ€™d been able to find so that needed returning and renewed searching as well ๐Ÿคช

Thereโ€™s more but you get the idea Iโ€™m sure ๐Ÿ˜‰



All in all, the bathroom did finally get installed and it looks so fresh and clean and I do really love the black fixtures we decided on ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿปโœจ

Then began the Ikea fiasco.

Our kitchen order was placed and later on we received a call telling us that the order would be delayed and we would get an email with the details. We never received an email so I called to find out when we could be expecting out order. I was told there had been some mistake and our order wasย actually already at the shipment location and we had one week to pick it up.

So Mike took off a day of work, we planned a trip to the city and went to get our kitchen so it could be installed later that weekend, only to get to the shipment location where we were told our order was indeed NOT there…

Thus began a week long boutย of much calling and trying to get in touch with Ikea about where our order was and when we could expect it etc. etc. They were very disappointing to deal with during this circumstance but finally it was located and we again went to pick it up.

They almost didn’t release it to us though because Ikea hadn’t sent them the proper paper work ๐Ÿ˜œ

Building an Ikea kitchen was probably the largest task I actually handled during this whole reno ‘she admitted with some slight self mortification’ but I got most of it assembled so it was ready for installation when Mike and a hired friend had time to do so.

Once the kitchen was up, countertops on, appliances in place, you could really start to see the progress… funny how it gets to that point where putting pieces in makes a place actually feel BIGGER.


Mike was just itching to tile so he scratched that itch by tiling the kitchen backsplash and accent corner with long subway tile, using black grout to tie in the hardware.

I think it turned out really nicely ๐Ÿ˜

From there on out it was a smattering of major, minor things ๐Ÿ˜œ

Installing the doors and their handles. Putting handles onto the cupboard fronts. Adjusting a tap. Touching up paint. Patching trim. Removing garbage from the yard that the melting snow had uncovered.

Etc. Etc…

The construction of some updated, front and back steps and railings… which due to manufacturers faults, resulted in being a MUCH longer project then anticipated, also had to occur before the house could be listed and truly approved as ‘finished’.

ย I think almost every reno project tends to ‘take longer then anticipated’ though so was it really THAT surprising? ๐Ÿ˜œ

We tossed around the idea of staging, or not staging, for a some time.

Actually we fought about it if honesty is required ๐Ÿ˜œ

I liked the idea of staging but not the idea of the potential cost/time/effort it would involve to do it well. As I didn’t want to do it half way and end up having the space look oddly empty rather than minimalistic. Mike wanted it fully staged. ๐Ÿ˜œ

The conclusion – to stage the main area fully but by using an assortment of already owned items from myself, my sister and my motherย ๐Ÿ˜‰

My time had come, I got to choose the colours, design details, hardware and whatnot up till the end but staging was something I could conquer fully by myself, in order to allow Mike somewhat of a break / surprise factorย ๐Ÿ˜‰

If this has been too much reading and way too many words and whatnot, I apologize but not super whole heartedly because how else can one put perspective on this size of a reno?? ๐Ÿ˜œ

All that to say, hold onto your seats because it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… well, I don’t know, maybe you haven’t been waiting but we sure have been ๐Ÿ˜‰


The totally redone and unrecognizable photo’s of how the Mac is looking these days ๐Ÿ˜‰




Snapseed 2











Snapseed 3

Snapseed 4





New windows still have to be installed and two shelves will go above the toilet but I couldn’t wait to post, any longer ๐Ÿ˜‰


The basment was finished and painted but left empty for the buyers to do with as they please.



Lastly, some simple little side by side ‘before and after’s’ to once again bring to mind the space we faced four months ago, to wrap this home reno reveal up!


Hope the lengthy read was worth itย ๐Ÿ˜‰

Freeloaders Afoot

Tuesday Dec 12th –

Mom came over that morning to enjoy my company ๐Ÿ˜Š

No, she actually just wanted the wifi ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜œ

She had things to accomplish online and as stupid as it is, the two minutes that she lives away from us, means she canโ€™t get much cell/internet service at their place ๐Ÿ™„

Not that I minded her coming over ๐Ÿ˜‰

We hung out for the morning, each working on our own things until I served us tomato soup in storage containers, as I found out we have no soup bowls ๐Ÿ˜œ
Post our refined lunch (๐Ÿ˜‰), we went out for a walk as it was a lovely day outside ๐Ÿ˜โ›…๏ธ

Before heading off though, we detoured a few steps over to the post office, so I could put up a sign advertising the pies Iโ€™ve been baking โ˜บ๏ธ Continue reading “Freeloaders Afoot”

Beginning Afresh, For The Fourth Time

Sunday Dec 10th –

First Sunday preparations from in our own home and Iโ€™m pleased to say a little talk at the parents the night before, inspired Mike to re-step up to the plate of Sunday morning breakfast making ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿณ


Something he had done for a month or two at the beginning of our marriage until he just…didnโ€™t ๐Ÿ˜œ

But his breakfast was good, the sunrise pretty from our kitchen window and the taxi service prompt ๐Ÿ˜‰


Mother and father were giving us a ride ๐Ÿ˜œ
Are we with them too much post move?? I think not, โ€˜โ€˜tis only kind to break them of us easily๐Ÿ˜‰ Continue reading “Beginning Afresh, For The Fourth Time”

Family And Faux

Friday Sept 1st –



Due to happening of the previous night, which may or may not have included running a red light, getting the flash of the camera and knowing a large fine would be arriving in the mail, I wanted to earn some money ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜

The task assigned to me?
Gardening… ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

3.5 hours of that later and it was as done as it can be for it only being the beginning of fall but it was more than enough for one morning ๐Ÿ˜‰

Shakespeare (my mint) couldn’t handle summers end and came to his demise… he was a good mint, sometimes ๐Ÿ˜”



Anyone know how to grow basil and mint, all winter long??! ๐Ÿค”

It was actually ridiculously hot out considering falls deceptive look of it being a chilly day

My recovery snack post gardening… another super delicious bran muffin with cheese ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป


I truly do like bran muffins, with cheese, so it was a good thing ๐Ÿ˜‰

The father returned home for a visit! Continue reading “Family And Faux”

Concierges Of The House And Grounds

Tuesday June 27th –

The time of sitting around and not doing anything because the ma and pa were away, had come to an end ๐Ÿ˜Ž

I decided to make bread.


It was the second time I’ve made bread alone and it wasn’t as daunting as I always seem to think it is (though I almost don’t dare say it, so that Mom doesn’t make me do it more often๐Ÿ˜‰).


It did take a good chunk of the morning though, so after everything, including the taste test, was finished up with, I headed outside.


The rock paths needed weeding, some plants watering.


I decided since I was out and messy anyways I’d also clean up the garage a little bit.
Moving some of Mike and my items to the front, so we could haul it to the house next time we went and in doing so, give Mom a little bit of her garage back ๐Ÿ˜‰

I got potatoes sliced, soaked and seasoned so that I could try deep-frying them as per Mikes recent requests.

They turned out really well!

(But don’t most deep-fried things? ๐Ÿ˜œ) Continue reading “Concierges Of The House And Grounds”

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