Renovation Plan: Basement

I am pretty sure I’m not alone when I say basements can be kinda creepy. Granted, I don’t have a lot of experience with them – I grew up in a house without a basement and our current house is a slab, but the apartment I lived in after college had a basement. The apartment was in a beautiful old brick building in south St. Louis City. It had a number of amenities:  it was huge, had wooden floors, big closets & low rent, and was only one block from Tower Grove Park. But, the basement was straight up Silence of the Lambs material: exposed stone walls, low ceilings, dark corners & the occasional critter, including a bat who made an appearance during one of our house parties (I’m sensing a trend here …).

The Woodside basement took it to a whole new level though. Not only did it have all the aforementioned creepy criteria, it had also been abandoned for 15+ years.

Plus, after we took the kitchen off the house, the groundhog decided to take up residency in some of the basement’s crevices and stare down anyone working down there. Needless to say, I decided to (further) limit my visits to the basement starting then.

Here is the basement plan that existed when we purchased the house:


(Note: you can see a larger picture & zoom in using this link: existing-basement-plan)

To recap the basement work done thus far, we lifted the house, pulled out the original stone foundation and poured a new concrete foundation.

Here is the new basement plan:


(Note: you can see a larger picture & zoom in using this link: proposed-basement-plan)

Overall, the general layout of the basement will stay the same. We did change the direction of the exterior basement stairs in order to accommodate the location of the garage addition (attached on the north side of the kitchen). We also had to add a steel beam that runs north & south in order to stabilize the foundation and support the first floor.

Obviously there is still a LOT of work to be done. We still need to have masons fill in the beam pockets (the cutouts in the above pictures) and for our waterproofers to finish their work. Eventually we will pour a concrete floor, and then wayyyy down the line (probably around the same time I get that pool as part of my 10-year plan), we plan to finish the basement. But for now, I’ll just have to look at Pinterest and dream. If you were designing a basement for your home, what feature(s) would you be sure to include?

5 thoughts on “Renovation Plan: Basement

  1. Hi Libby & Brendon. I enjoy your blog and look forward to it. You asked what I would do……Put a restroom down there. I do not have one and it never fails, I need to run up stairs for that necessary job. Haha. Love you both.


    1. Thank you! We are definitely putting a full bathroom down there, and Brendon wants it to have a urinal like the basement bathroom in his old house …


  2. Hi there!
    We live in Richmond Heights and are likely going to do the same work on our house that EHM did for you. Any chance we get together to learn more about everything?


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