It’s pretty incredible what the average person can accomplish when they have a goal in mind. A Dad who wanted to create a place to relax and escape turned his vision into reality, spending two years working on an incredible basement renovation. He shared his progress photos online and the finished result is nothing short of extraordinary.
See the steps he took to complete the project, plus basement renovation tips you should know before creating your own piece of heaven.
Dad Wanted a Place to Relax and Escape
We all need to escape every once in a while. Parents especially know how important it is to have a space to put your feet up and relax in peace. With young kids running around the house playing with toys, the living room couch isn’t always the most appealing option.
Basement renovation tip: Be sure to check for any permits or inspections that may be required in your area before starting a big basement renovation.
The Basement Wasn’t Being Used
Dad knew that he wanted to make something special for the family to enjoy but he wasn’t sure where to start. Once he remembered how much unused space they had in the basement, his mind started working.
Basement renovation tip: In some states, basement renovations are considered a ‘wet area’, meaning that working with plumbing could be involved. In this case, you need to make sure the pipes that you use are up to code.
He Created a Blueprint of the Basement
Here’s the blueprint of the basement that the Dad shared on Imgur– he was serious about this project! After taking measurements of the space he could begin to lay out his plans for renovating the basement. Meanwhile, his family had no idea that he had something up his sleeve. He kept the project a secret from everyone.
Basement renovation tip: Decide whether you need a contractor for all or part of the job.
Demo Included Removing Ceiling Tiles and a Large Closet
If you remember the large closet from the second photo, this is what it looked like after Dad did a little demolition. He started by removing the ceiling tiles, then disassembled the three side-by-side closets. The basement was already beginning to look bigger.
Basement renovation tip: How “finished” do you want your finished basement to be? Decide ahead of time and be sure to include the costs of hardware and other finishes in your renovation budget.
Taking Apart Another Closet
After removing the three large closets against the opposing wall, Dad took apart the small closet by the basement stairs. But rather than taking out the wall behind it, he began carefully outfitting the closet space with new electrical wiring. This would shape up to become an electric closet for the basement, tucking everything away, which is a good idea especially for a home with kids and pets.
Basement renovation tip: For wet bars, make sure your basement has proper drainage in place. You’ll need to make a plan to dispose of liquid and solid waste if you want a fully functioning sink, which may require connecting it to the main house drain.
Building Out The Ceiling For Special Lighting
Now that the ceiling was exposed, Dad started framing out the ceiling running above the side walls. This would be used to house new lighting. He designed it this way to create indirect, moody lighting that the basement didn’t have before. Carefully planning out each step of the project was very important for this renovation.
Basement renovation tip: Make a plan for lighting before you start anything. Recessed lighting will be a different process than plugging in lamps.
Installing a Projector
Enjoying his time spent renovating the basement, the excited Dad continued sharing photos of his project. This photo he took of a projector installed on the ceiling by the electrical closet gave us a hint as to where this project is headed.
Basement renovation tip: It’s best to hire a professional for electrical work. There’s a lot of room for error and a small mishap could quickly turn into a big problem.
The Kids Snuck Down To See What Was Going On
With all of the noise going on down in the basement, his family became increasingly curious as to what he was up to. His kids snuck down to take a peek at Dad’s renovation. You can see the new lighting installed along the sides. Still, the kids didn’t know what he was up to.
Basement renovation tip: Do you want your basement to double as a safe room? If so, you’ll want to do your research and make sure it’s done correctly to serve this purpose.
He Was Going For A Finished Look
Some basement renovations are minimal, adding basic flooring and insulating the walls. But this Dad was aiming for a fully finished look. He added sheetrock to the ceiling paneling and began priming the walls. Here you can see the electric wiring in the place where the three closets used to be.
Basement renovation tip: Do your research and plan ahead when it comes to installing windows in your basement if any. You’ll want to make sure people can safely exit in the event of an emergency, in which case you might need egress windows.
Painting the Basement a Moody Grey
After priming the walls and ceiling, Dad painted the basement a dark grey that compliments the moody recessed lighting. At this point, the basement is barely recognizable from what it looked like when he started the renovation. He shared on Imgur that the entire project took two years for him to complete.
Basement renovation tip: Basements make great storage areas. Leave some room to fit a couple of large shelves to store canned food and other nonperishable items– you’ll be glad you did!
Insulating the Wall to Keep the Sound In
The purpose of Dad’s basement renovation was to create a space to relax and escape. He wanted to be able to crank up the volume in the new hideaway, without worrying about bothering anyone else. To keep the sound in the basement and improve acoustics, he installed insulation against the wall.
Basement renovation tip: Do you need a door to the outside? Some homeowners prefer for their basement to have its own entrance leading to the outside, another element to consider while planning your renovation.
Building a Stage in Front of the Screen
In front of the insulated wall, this handy Dad built a small and nicely arched stage. You can see the projector has been turned on for testing– this would become the screen and stage to his incredible home theater.
Basement renovation tip: What do you prefer for flooring? Painting the concrete flooring that you already have could save you money. But if you’re looking for a more finished look, laminate or carpeting will increase the cost.
A Completed Stage With Speakers
Dad finished the stage without any problems and moved on to setting up the audio system. Take a look at the size of those speakers! He wasn’t messing around. It’s a good thing that he installed all of that insulation behind it. The audio of this home theater was a huge factor in making it extraordinary.
Basement renovation tip: Don’t forget about energy efficiency! Properly insulating your basement and selecting the right lighting will help reduce your electric bill.
Screen Installed and Framed
Once the audio system was set up, Dad got to work installing the screen and framing it out. Look how clean that movie screen looks! Clearly, Dad did his research when it came to installing the screen– it’s not something you do every day.
Basement renovation tip: Make sure that your basement is 100% dry before starting any work. It’s critical to identify and resolve any foundation or waterproofing issues before renovating.
Painting It Black Keeps the Focus on the Film
Dad took it a step further to make sure the home theatre looked professional. After painting the frame black he extended it further, to fill the entire wall. This way the audience’s attention would solely be fixed on the film projected on the screen and not the area around it.
Basement renovation tip: Drainage mats are a thrifty way to make sure your basement flooring stays dry. Lay drainage mats across the floors before installing floor paneling.
A Coffered Ceiling
Dad wasn’t skipping on any details when it came to this home theatre. He took his time renovating the basement from floor to ceiling. And just any ordinary ceiling wouldn’t do. The perimeter of the ceiling features recessed lighting. Down the center, Dad built out this coffered ceiling.
Basement renovation tip: Make sure you locate vents before starting any work. You won’t want to cover any of them. This ceiling design was well planned.
Not only did he design the home theatre with plenty of power behind the screen, but this talented father installed speakers on the side walls. The paneling improves acoustics while the lighting centered between gives the room an authentic theater look.
Basement renovation tip: Take your time when installing drywall. Although you might be tempted to rush through it and complete this milestone, drywall is expensive and difficult to remove. Make sure you do it right the first time!
Installing Trim Was Worth The Effort
Not skipping over any details, Dad made sure to take the extra time to install trim around the paneling and electrical outlets. He needed to measure out each area and cut the trim to the proper size. But small details like this make all the difference.
Basement renovation tip: Make sure you have the number of electrical outlets required for your project, located in the proper places you’ll need them. If not, you’ll need to install more.
Every Feature Counts
When you see the bigger picture, the trim and proper lighting make all of the difference. The coffered ceiling really gives the space an authentic theater look. Adding the dimension to the room completely transformed the boring basement into a luxurious theater.
Basement renovation tip: Don’t cut corners. It’s best to do the job right while you have all of the equipment out. You’ll kick yourself later for skipping patching that last hole or fixing that light.
The basement could look incredible but none of it matters unless the picture and sound quality is up to par. Dad shared a close-up image of the paneling he installed throughout the basement to improve the acoustics when watching movies.
Basement renovation tip: Don’t skip on the sound system. You might think you don’t need the added volume and quality for such a small space, but you’ll be glad that you did. With today’s technology, even high-quality sound speakers are small and won’t take up much space.
Project Completed: A Stunning Home Theater
After two years, his project was finally completed. This Dad proudly shared a photo of his completed home theater project on Imgur. It looks even better with the new carpeting installed, which also covers the stage area he built in front of the screen.
The leather theater chairs and cupholders and armrests complete the project. Imagine having this gorgeous home theater waiting for you in your basement whenever you wanted to watch a movie and escape. Well done, Dad!