We Made Another Mess in the Basement!

Story #12

We are sharing these stories from our first house to show what’s involved with popular home improvement projects, including the messy parts. As general contractors and first-time homeowners, we’re stretching our budget by doing some of the work ourselves. We hope these glimpses behind-the-scenes help other owners to understand the costs of these renovations, whether they’re spending their money and/or energy to complete them.

In our last story, we shared a video of the new plumbing for our basement bathroom and laundry room. Sections of the basement floor need to be removed so licensed plumber Jake Jacoby of Progressive Mechanical could get rid of some of the existing plumbing and add new pipes under the floor. We decided to do this concrete work ourselves to save money on our whole-house renovation.

Keep the volume on for this video clip of Josh cutting the 3 ½ inch thick basement floor to sample how noisy that concrete saw was. Mim filmed while she sprayed water to reduce dust and sparks from the metal reinforcements in the concrete. We had all 6 basement windows open and 3 fans going to circulate the air from the gas-powered concrete saw, but we still had to take frequent breaks for fresh air.



    We spent 2, exhausting days cutting the basement floor, breaking it up with a jackhammer, carrying bucketsful of concrete upstairs, and loading the pickup truck bed. After emptying it at Colorado Aggregate Recycling’s landfill, we were thrilled to discover that it’s FREE to dump clean concrete. We also decided that we’re never doing this work again. Whatever we saved by doing it ourselves, we paid for in super-sore muscles the next week. This was hard work, even for a master carpenter like Josh who’s worked in home construction since the mid-1990s. If we add or rearrange a basement bathroom on future projects, we’ll hire out this tough concrete work to Jake or someone else.


    Revealing Hidden Costs of Remodeling

    We accounted for the big-ticket items, like countertops and subcontractors, but it also felt like we were always adding things to our rehab budget. Little changes can add up quickly!

    Reuse As Much As Possible When Remodeling

    To protect the environment & our budget, we reused many of the original materials in our first house even though we completely remodeled it.

    Homebuyers, Look for These Clues to Potential Costly Repairs

    Homebuyers, you don’t need any construction knowledge to spot these clues to potential, costly repairs.

    What the Heck are Floating Floors?

    Our flooring services are only for snap-together products that can be installed as a floating floor. We explain what that means and why we chose it for our first home.

    What the Heck are Floating Walls?

    Building codes in Colorado require floating basement walls, but you don’t need magic to make that happen.

    Some Things Didn’t Go Smoothly

    Even though we regularly work with other contractors on clients’ projects, we still had issues with some of the new-to-us contractors & vendors we used to remodel our first home.

    The Best-Laid Plans…

    If you expect your plans to change, you may be able to roll with the design changes without freaking out.

    When a Wall Has Got to Go

    You don’t have to live with a wall you hate! See what a HUGE improvement we made by removing walls in our main living area.

    Moving the Stairs Maximized Our Space

    We knew the first time we saw the house that we wanted to move the stairs, but it took longer to come up with the best new spot for them.

    Digging into Egress Windows & Legal Basement Bedrooms

    With “Basements” in our company name and window installation as an expertise, we are asked to add egress windows a lot. Let’s dig into what an egress window is and why it matters.

    Beams to Basements Contractors logo with top of home & saw blade