Before we started our renovations, we didn't plan to do much to the basement guest room: maybe a little paint, installing some blinds for the window. My wife, Jenn, thought we'd buy a bench to put at the end of the bed for linen storage.
Then Demo Day One happened. Within an hour, it was clear we would be a few weeks out from painting. In order to paint, you needed walls.
In order to replace the galvanized pipes throughout our 1941 fixer, our contractors had to access them, which meant tearing up the ceilings and walls. We didn't realize that the main water shut-off and the main electrical box was in the guest room and most of the pipes ran through the ceiling of our basement. And it wasn't just the walls and ceiling they needed to tear out — when you're pulling out walls; you're also pulling up your baseboards and any ceiling molding. Repairing all of that wasn't in our original cost estimate.
We felt helpless as we were instructed to tear out more and more to update our plumbing. (As we mentioned before we did all of the demo ourselves to save money) It was a necessary evil. We tried to keep our eye on the prize… at the end of all of this; we have updated plumbing which is great insurance against leaky pipes.
The silver lining to ripping open the ceiling — we had our electrician install a couple of can lights which was a nice upgrade from the flush ceiling fixture the previous owner had installed in the 70s. The descending placement of the three cans seems to give the room a better sense of depth. This was not in the original budget, but worth the couple hundred bucks.
We are almost four weeks into our renovation and I'm happy to report that we're a little closer to picking out paint colors.
We've got walls, people! It's the little things…
Check out the below video where I walk through the guest bedroom post demo…
Tyler Davis Jones is a Windermere Real Estate agent in Seattle who, with his wife Jenn, recently traded in their in-city condo for a 1940s fixer-upper. Tyler and Jenn, along with the help of some very generous friends and family members, are taking on all the renovations themselves. You can follow the transformation process on the Windermere Blog or on Tyler’s website and Instagram.
Next week on the blog: giving our fireplace a lift