Before and After Basement Renovation

Foreclosure Basement Renovation

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Check out our foreclosure basement renovation after it flooded including the reclaimed 8 ft basement bar top and faux stone backsplash.

Happy Throwback Thursday!

Colonial Foreclosure Basement Renovation


If you missed the Colonial Foreclosure Before Tour check out part 1 here and part 2 here.

After our first walk through this house, I was convinced it would be a good investment, but when the broker called us and said the basement was 6 ft deep in water after a pipe burst we knew it was the right one.  

Being a foreclosure the electricity was turned off, therefore the sump pump was off, and with a Superior Wall system in place, the water rose so high that there were only a couple of stairs still dry.

For more basement inspiration be sure to check out:

buying foreclosure
If this isn’t a ringing endorsement for the waterproof nature of Superior Wall foundations I don’t know what is. Granted the idea is to keep water from getting in not out but regardless. Needless to say, we are designing our French Country Home with Superior Walls.

The house sat on the market for over a year; this is what the basement looked like pre-flood.

510 Chickadee Dr, Lititz, PA 17543

And then the ship sank . . .

buying foreclosure
foreclosure house renovation before tour

As it was a bank-owned property the damage was the responsibility of the seller.

They gutted the already poorly finished basement, sanitized all hard surfaces, replaced the gas water heater and gas furnace, and installed a brand new electric panel without raising the price.


We now had 1000 sq ft of blank canvas to paint on and brand new major mechanicals to resell in a couple of years.

510 Chickadee Dr, Lititz, PA 17543

So . . . where to begin??


Colonial Foreclosure Basement Renovation


The first thing I did was change the design. 

You can see in the pic below that metal studs were framing out the space beneath the stairs, and then there was a room in the back, where the electric panel is, that was also framed out.

foreclosure house renovation before tour

I wanted to erase this layout and start over. 

I designed a nook underneath the stairs to maximize this space that would have a bar sink and beverage cooler. 

The mechanicals were framed out separately, and then I designed a hallway into the picture above that led to a full bathroom on the right and that room became my craft room.

Colonial Foreclosure Basement Renovation

Egress Window

In addition to redesigning the layout, we added an egress window to comply with the code and count this renovation as finished square footage.  I also love how adding this window allowed for a lot of natural light.

foreclosure basement renovation

Colonial Foreclosure Basement Renovation


In the pictures below you can see that we eliminated all of the metal studs that were left from the basement demolition. 

We started with framing out the new layout. 

Make sure you use pressure-treated lumber for basement framing to account for the moisture! 

It is difficult to see but the circular plate on the floor at the corner of the wall beside the furnace is the lid for the grinder pit that is buried in the cement foundation.  If you want to add plumbing to your basement this is essential as it will grind your waste and then spit it out through your sewage pipe.  Once the concrete is cut and filled back in (done by our plumber), then we begin our framing!

foreclosure basement renovation
Before and After Colonial Foreclosure Basement Renovation

Chris is currently kneeling where the shower and toilet will be.


This view is standing in my future craft room looking out into the main room.  Go boys go!  These three guys have all traded home renovation favors. 


No fancy setup here.  When you live in your construction zone you work with what you have!  In this case, a small area of open floor for the miter saw!


Can you see the huge stack of reclaimed oak plank flooring behind Evan in the above picture? 

I pulled this flooring up from the hallway upstairs and then my neighbor pulled it up and redid his floor once he saw mine.    I am so glad he did because it gave me enough to do our bar island and countertop. 

The worst part – pulling out the nails.  Ugh.

Colonial Foreclosure Basement Renovation


Look at all that drywall!

foreclosure basement renovation

Framing is done and now the drywall goes up.  Zach’s family joined us for the day to help get us started!  #familyworkday


Look at little man!!  I have mentioned before the importance of teaching your kids to respect work zones. 

It takes time and consistency, but home renovations CAN be done with kids.  As they get older let them get involved in age-appropriate ways.


There is the bathroom to the right and the hallway is framed out.


The drywall is up and the spackling has begun.  Sanding drywall is the WORST.


It’s coming along.

Colonial Foreclosure Basement Renovation


foreclosure bathroom renovation

Here you can see the bathroom is framed out and the shower stall has been installed. 

I decided to try my hand at shiplap in here.  I tend to like a little more color and texture than what is typical of Joanna Gaines’ fixer-upper style, but the airy openness of a well-done white shiplap room is just what this basement bathroom without any windows was calling for.

SO . . . I went for it!  And yes I am 8 months pregnant.  Hanging shiplap.  Sanding drywall.  And baby Lily still came 2 days late.  #pregnantforever

foreclosure basement renovation

Here I am using my Ryobi multi-tool (An absolute MUST-HAVE tool.  $69 on Amazon here!) to cut out the space for the plumbing lines. 

Listen, friends, tools can be intimidating but you just have to learn how to use them.  I have two Masters degrees and let me tell you they have NOTHING to do with home renovations or construction. 

You learn by trying and failing.  And then trying again.  You can do it.

Before and After Colonial Foreclosure Basement Renovation

I used our Ryobi Brad Nailer and nailed each pine board to the wooden studs.  I finished out the edge of the shower on the right with two pine baseboards that I cut to fit, approximated the edges at a 90-degree angle, and then caulked and paint!

For all the details of the bathroom renovation click here.

Colonial Foreclosure Basement Renovation

Bar Island and CounterTop

Remember all those oak plank boards? 

Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.

foreclosure basement renovation

When we first bought the house the entryway and the hallway flooring was a skinny oak plank.

foreclosure basement renovation

I removed all this oak plank and replaced it with a laminate wood plank.  My neighbor liked the look of one floor running through the right half of the house, and he did the same thing to his and gave me his oak plank!

SO . . . I made a reclaimed bar island and countertop out of it. 

I was not blogging for any of these renovations, so unfortunately I don’t have any more picture of the process than this, but here you can get an idea of what I did.

foreclosure basement renovation

I used a 3/4″ unfinished plywood as the base, and then I glued and nailed the oak plank to the board.  This is the countertop for the sink underneath the stairs with the cutout for the sink.


Here is a pic of the bar top before I trimmed it out with more plank. 

FYI: Sand the reclaimed boards down AFTER you have them installed on your plywood.  It is so much easier than sanding the poly and stain off of individual boards.

I can’t wait to show you the final product!  We are almost there!

Colonial Foreclosure Basement Renovation

Craft Room

foreclosure basement renovation

The cabinets have arrived!  We used the Hampton Base cabinets in white for the bar island and sink and then I used them in the craft room in the back (craft room reveal to come in another post!).


This countertop was originally in the kitchen.  I saved the countertop and the sink and bought cabinetry for underneath.  I redid these countertops with the Rustoleum Countertop Transformations Kit in Onyx. 

Colonial Foreclosure Basement Renovation


The floor I bought from Lumber Liquidators at $0.39sq/ft. 

Not kidding.  It was LVT peel and stick, and although it was a huge pain to lay down it was WORTH IT.  I saw an ad come up on my computer for this flooring and the tones on the picture looked perfect. 

I called our local store who told me that there was just barely enough for my floor in the entire Lumber Liquidators inventory, and I would have to order ASAP to secure it.  So I took a deep breath, paid the money, and ordered the flooring over the phone.  It was PERFECT.

The kids loved playing in the sheets that were torn off of the back.  I did all 1,000 sqft in a couple of days.

foreclosure basement renovation

Oh and look who had just arrived 4 weeks before join in the fun!  Our sweet Lily girl!

foreclosure basement renovation

My three sweet babies and a booklet of color samples.  What more could a woman want?

I ended up painting the walls in Silver Strand by Sherwin Williams.  It was a beautiful blend of gray, blue, and green and varied greatly with the light.

Without further ado.

Let’s go check out the basement!

foreclosure basement renovation


Colonial Foreclosure Basement Renovation


Before and After Basement Renovation

Here is the egress window that we added.  Lots of natural light and now on resale this 1,000 sqft is considered below-ground finished square footage. 

Took our house from 2,000 sqft 4 bed 2.5 bath to 3,000 sqft 4 bed 3.5 bath.  The extra square footage and bathroom can drastically change a buying market.


This old ladder belonged to my grandparents and has seen many many years of home renovations!

Before and After Basement Renovation

That white table I bought off from Amazon and cut down the legs to make it a kid’s play table.  Then I stapled this soft burlap valance around the bottom to hide the plastic toy bins underneath.

foreclosure basement renovation

This stepping rug and the large one in the entertainment area are so soft, and I love the worn look of the design.

foreclosure basement renovation

That antique pedestal belonged to my great-grandmother and I refinished it.  If you missed this tutorial read How to Transform Furniture to Shabby Chic in 3 Easy Steps here!

The bar.

Before and After Basement Renovation
Before and After Basement Renovation
Before and After Basement Renovation

This little top popper is the perfect farmhouse vintage touch to our bar area.  If you missed my post on 10+ Christmas Ideas for Him read it here.


The Danby beverage cooler fits perfectly and the blue LED light adds a cool element when the lights are dimmed.  It was one of the most cost-efficient I could find. 

The faux stone paneling from Home Depot looks great as a backsplash!


Zach bought this whiskey glass set for himself as a birthday present, and I love the glass on a mirrored tray.


This drop-in bar sink is the perfect size and comes with the faucet. 

Before and After Basement Renovation

The cabinet pulls and knobs are here.


I love Pottery Barn lights, and these look just like them, but they are knock-off lights.  Find them here!

If you missed my post on 10+ Mistakes to Avoid When Renovating Your Kitchen where I talk about the importance of lighting read it here

colonial foreclosure basement renovation

I also love these Vintage Edison light bulbs.  They are the perfect ambient lighting when we turn all the can lights off but still provide plenty of light. 

colonial foreclosure basement renovation

I love the light on the wall of the stairs.  Super cute and simple!

I can’t find this exact one at the moment, but here is a similar vintage wall sconce!

foreclosure basement renovation

I am a sucker for big, antique-looking clocks


These bar stools are a blend of rustic and industrial, and I liked how they contrasted with the white island and lighter-toned flooring. 

The bathroom.

Before and After Basement Renovation

The vanity was actually from our first house that I refinished. 

Check out the Victorian Bathroom Renovation here! 

I love the tilting mirror! Here is the 3-bulb vanity light.

Colonial Foreclosure Basement Renovation

Before and After

For more basement inspiration be sure to check out:

AF Signature

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Check out our foreclosure basement renovation after it flooded including the reclaimed 8 ft basement bar top and faux stone backsplash.
Check out our foreclosure basement renovation after it flooded including the reclaimed 8 ft basement bar top and faux stone backsplash.
Check out our foreclosure basement renovation after it flooded including the reclaimed 8 ft basement bar top and faux stone backsplash.

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