One of my least favorite things to do is to clean the basement…specifically, sweeping up the sawdust that accumulates because of our many projects. It’s the worst. The sawdust gets into every nook and cranny and the stuff just accumulates on top of it and makes cleaning it seem like a huge chore.

PLUS, I know that as soon as I clean it up, we’ll decide to embark on another project that will involve cutting wood and strewing the basement with sawdust.

Well, we’d been in a project lull since we finished the master bedroom, and I finally got sick of tracking sawdust all over the house after every trip downstairs. Since we weren’t adding to the mess, I should probably do something about it.

So I cleaned up the basement–extensively–about a month ago.

You can see where this is going.

About a week after I cleaned everything up (SO WELL, I might add), we decided to rip the carpet off our stairs and out of our upstairs hallway. This act did not affect the basement, but sit tight. That part is coming.


The carpet was SUPER gross after all the renovating we’ve done around it. The stairs underneath weren’t much better. But we expected that, and it wasn’t a surprise.

After we ripped up the carpet in the upstairs hallway (a very oddly-shaped space), I began laying down the same laminate we used in the main floor. We had enough underlayment (ALMOST–the closet got the shaft) and thought we’d only have to purchase 2 boxes–about $50–in flooring.


It took me two loooong evenings to do lay the flooring since there were so many weird angles and existing trim that slowed the process down. And because I was being super persnickety and perfectionist about the whole thing.


ALAS! When I finished the second night, I was ONE PIECE SHORT. So I guess it technically took me three nights. That one piece cost a full $25 for another box of flooring. Boooo.


Then we turned our attention to the stairs themselves. First we bought new oak treads and pine risers (both unfinished) for $31 and $7 apiece. Sheesh. I spent several enjoyable evenings on our deck priming, painting, and staining.


We used Minwax Dark Walnut stain until I ran out with 1 tread to go (par for the course on this project) and Kilz stain-blocking primer for the risers. Kenny later put on some cheap white paint we had around the house.


Then Kenny pried up all of the risers and treads ala #demoday and Chip Gaines. Our clean basement days were quickly becoming numbered.


Aaaand… This feels long, right? I’ll stop here. Check back soon for more!

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