A Basement Development Journey

Bringing Copper & Turquoise to Life

26. General Finishing

Pretty much the first thing we get started on when finishing a basement, are the window boxes. When enclosing a window opening, we always use Medex, which is a moisture resistant, paint grade MDF. Using a moisture resistant product around windows is critical for the longevity of the finish, as this area can often see moisture from condensation. Being that we use very high-quality windows, condensation is unlikely, but it’s good practice to use a moisture and mould resilient product in these areas. 

For trim, we installed 4” flat stock baseboard and 2 ½” flat stock door and window casing. All the doors were outfitted with matte black hardware and the door stops from Amazon compliment them nicely. 

The bathroom accessories such as towel bars, plumbing fixtures, and mirror are also finished in matte black. The flat stock trim and black hardware/accessories is very popular in recent years and helps to establish a modern finish. We installed a floating, two drawer cabinet in grey from IKEA, which ended up being our inspiration for all the trim paint. Cabinets above the laundry appliances keep this room neat and tidy, and the turquoise colour is perfect for this basement. 

The laundry room ceiling tile is a product from Home Depot called Embassy Ceilings which takes a little longer than traditional grid ceiling systems to install, but looks great! We also built the door for the electrical panel, and a custom angled door for the crawl space access.

New laundry room cabinets

Access to crawl space

27. Special Finishing Features

Adding all the special finishing features in this Edmonton basement renovation was where we really got to have some fun and exercise our creativity! First, we made a custom handrail out of black iron gas pipe. Yes, we’ve all seen this before, but what we did different was had it all powder coated. It looks fantastic. We kept within building code guidelines regarding distance from the wall and height off the stairs to ensure safety. We also had all the railing pieces cut and threaded, so we were able to line our fastening points to wall studs.

The inspiration for the powder coating was that of a piece of art made of pennies and epoxy, by yours truly.

Inspiration piece for copper accents

We also built a desk for this client in her new home office and accented it with the same pipe and powder coating theme.

With the coolness of the grey and turquoise paint and tile, we wanted to add some warmth with natural wood accents, so we decorated a lot of this basement with acacia countertop slabs. We incorporated this element above the laundry appliances, the desktop, cap on the pony wall at the bottom of the stairs, and window aprons.

For the window stools (ledges), we had some beautiful dark grey quartz cut. We kept with the 45-degree corners and chamfers for this feature. It really pulls the grey from the trim and vanity all together resulting in a gorgeous, finished window unit.

Finished window details with quartz & acacia

Desk build in progress

Powder coated handrail components

Following the contour of the 45-degree angled wall in the bedroom, we built a custom shelving system with chamfered edges. This type of built-in shelving system is a little more complicated to achieve an extremely tight fit. Sometimes the cuts were at 89.7 degrees and sometimes they were 90.2 degrees. To have a perfect fit, every shelf end needs to be measured individually, resulting in a gap-free shelving unit.

Bedroom closet built-in in progress

Laundry countertop & backsplash

We also decided to order some more of the bathroom accent mosaic tile and installed a matching backsplash in the laundry area. If we had been working with a professional interior designer on this project, this detail would have likely been pre-planned and we wouldn’t have had to get our tile setter back for this!
28. Paint

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when we were selecting paint colours. Whites, greys, and beiges are very safe, neutral, and easy for resale, but two-tone turquoise was fun and personal!

Dark grey trim? C’mon! YES!

The doors, as well as the stair stringers were a deep, luxurious turquoise. The trim, as mentioned above, was dark grey which was pulled from the vanity, and the main basement colour was a sea foam (very light turquoise). When our painter was in here, it was jaw dropping to walk in and see these doors for the first time. So fun and unique!

Paint completed

29. Handrail & Desk

The client had one request for this handrail – no wood. We’re no stranger to getting creative with special requests, so coming up with an interesting handrail solution was a lot of fun. I provided a few options including threaded pipe, which she loved. In hindsight, we should have had this decision figured out earlier in the design process and could have installed backing during the framing process (again, this is where a good interior designer is very helpful). Not having backing in the wall and only studs to rely on, complicated things. We had to get all the sections of pipe carefully measured, cut and threaded to have our wall flanges line up with the studs once assembled. This was a measure thrice, cut once situation. Once everything was cut and threaded, a dry assembly was conducted, and it all lined up.

The desk involved a similar process, but only for the legs which were a much simpler measuring process. Everything was delivered to the powder coating shop and the finished result is gorgeous. Keeping with the acacia theme, we built a mitred desktop with chamfered edges, and of course cut the corners off at 45-degrees.

Completed home office desk

Completed & installed powder coated handrail

30. Plumbing & Electrical Final

Now that paint was finished, it was time to get the plumbers and electricians back in to finish. This step was simply fixtures such as shower trim, toilet, faucets, cover plates for switches and receptacles, and LED lights in the ceilings. As mentioned before, we went with matte black fixtures which match the tile trim, powder coated fittings, door hardware and door stops. The lighting was 3000K and there were multiple dimmers throughout. Then an electrical final inspection and another green sticker.

Completed shower

Bathroom vanity

Finished family room & home office (on right)

31. Paint Touch-ups
Let’s be real, mistakes happen. After paint, there is still a lot of work to do and with multiple trades coming in and out, walls get bumped. Sometimes the painter even runs out of time initially and small details must be dealt with at the touch-up stage.

Before touch-ups, we always go through the entire project with a roll of tape and mark out deficiencies that we want addressed. These could be anything from a spot that got missed to the odd chunk of dried paint that got mixed into the paint. This basement was a straightforward touch-up process and I think our painter was in and out within a few hours.

32. Final Building Inspection
To close the building permit in the City of Edmonton for a home renovation, a building inspection must be conducted by a city inspector. Renovation inspections are important because they can help identify any potential problems with the renovation work before it is too late. They can also help ensure that the work is completed in accordance with all applicable building codes and regulations. We had no issues here and got our final green sticker!

33. Final Clean
I have been doing this for a long time and have retained the services of many cleaning companies, but being fussy, I was always disappointed with the cleaning crew that came in until I found my current cleaning company. This team is fussier than I am! Every corner gets attention. Every baseboard, every nook and cranny inside cabinets, every speck on a mirror or glass, spotless. We brought them in to do a final clean and it was immaculate. We are not plumbers, so we bring in professionals. Nor are we electricians, flooring contractors or painters! We can get by doing all these things, but when you want expert results, you bring in experts. The same applies to cleaning.

After 4 months of a major basement renovation with a variety of unforeseen issues, design changes, and attention to detail, this basement remodel was a success! 

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Are you ready to renovate your basement? Contact Josh.
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