Well, this post is more of before, and couple of after steps... When we purchased the house back in summer 2010, pretty much everything was in rough shape, but basement was unusable. Previous owners appeared to have used it as they had it functionally furnished.
This room is directly below our small family room with doors to outside (basically it is walk-out basement room). On the left, ugly bricks are on the back of the fireplace (room to the left has the "working" wood fireplace). At the very end of the room was closet with sliding door which were basically done against exposed concrete blocks - i.e. no insulation. Ceiling and right side of the room had these plaster like boards which we actually ended up sending to a lab to ensure that they did not contain asbestos. Electrical was a complete mess. Floor had carpet that smelled terribly I guess due to the previous owner's dog using it as a toilet so it was ripped out before we moved in. Underneath the carpet we found laminate tiles that were extremely glued to the floor - it took some muscle to ripped them out.
For good 2 years we lived with this basement room like this (plus room next to it - but that is another post):
This is how things looked as you came down and if you wanted to get out to the deck.
What you see right at the exit (under the stairs) is just plywood which we left unexposed after removing the carpet. It became clear that this is where a lot of smell was coming from as all the dampness was raising up, it was also fairly unprotected and animals could have (not sure if they did) found shelter there. As our house from the 50s was extended to add staircase in 70s - this was done to building code - but the code itself does not really protect you. One of the first things we have done as part of renovations was to fill this up with cement.
In Fall 2010, my husband's dad visited us for couple of months and during this time worked on this and room next to it to rip everything out, put proper insulation, framing and drywall up and my dad and brother added flooring. It was a true family effort...
Work that was done:
1. Rip everything out
2. Found little bit of mold - work on treating it
3. Brought electrician to fix up the electrical and HVAC specialist to fix up heating...
4. Framing, insulation, drywall, taping
5. Paint - everything BM - Cloud White, CC-40 including fireplace brick
6. Decided not to keep the closet the back of the room to extend the size of the room
7. Due to its place (open to above family room) and height, decided to use it as a playroom.
8. Purchased flush light fixture (did not use pot lights - this was done on the cheap) from Rona to maximize the ceiling height
9. Installed laminate flooring with drycore subfloor to ensure we don't get dampness
10. Purchased really thick area rug from Elte to ensure floor was warm for kids to play on...
I like the colour of this rug as it makes the whole space that much more cheerful. I am not sure at which point in time we decided to turn this into a playroom. Probably in one of those moments where we were contemplating taking all of the toys to the nearest dumpster in a fit of pain of stepping on yet another toy in our already crowded space in the small family room. I guess one does not really realize just how many toys get accumulated until you start sorting them or cleaning them out. We rarely buy toys for our kids (only board games) and we even do not let them keep all the toys they get as gifts, but somehow they manage to collect a lot. I also purge them as often as possible, with a big number of them getting sold during our garage sale this summer - and yet it seems there are toys everywhere...
In any case, we decided to turn this space into a toy storage a.k.a playroom room.
Good thing was finding these nice little colourful shelves with storage from Indigo. Here is another blurry look forgetting to remove tools and garbage from the floor.
Finally, an interim before & after pic to show how far we've come on a very strict budget - I will post a better before & after when I have a chance to finalize some of the decor.