Custom Home · home improvement · Interior decorating · interior design

Basement Transformation!

For the first year of us living in the house, our basement/garage was a nightmare. And I mean NIGHTMARE!

Our foundation is built out of ICF (insulated concrete form) which is basically glorified Styrofoam. It is a fabulous building product, but left uncovered is HIDEOUS. Really, concrete oozing out of Styrofoam walls might be one of the worst looks around.

We would have liked to finish everything out before we moved in, but needed to use the space for storage while we were in the process of moving out of the last house, so we never really had a good opportunity to do it. We also weren’t certain of how we wanted to finish the space out since it is in the floodplain.

As soon as it dawned on us to treat it as an exterior space, we decided to install the same exterior siding that we used on the outside of the house.

Though we finished out the entire garage/basement, the most notable transformation is the space that Trent always referred to as the “man cave”. You can imagine me MAJORLY rolling my eyes right now… What kind of man needs a “man cave”?! We live in a big house with lots of rooms and spaces, so why he felt entitled to his own cave is a little diva-ish if you ask me…

Rather than waste the 700 square feet of space on a secret hiding place for grown men to drink beer and tell tall tales, we decided to turn it into an “apartment” and rent it out on Air BNB! We had some sceptics seeing as to how we kind of live out in the sticks and were not allowing guests the use of the pool/spa, but to everyone’s surprise was a HUGE success! Within a month of creating our listing, we had over 20 nights booked and the rest is history!

The pictures below do not even begin to explain the nightmare that I spoke of earlier since we had to move all of our junk out for construction, but it’s still pretty ugly.


And here is the transformed space today!

033_Guest Apt034_Guest Apt Bedroom035_Guest Apt Bathroom

I love that the exterior siding serves a useful purpose, but also has the look of shiplap. We tossed around a lot of ideas for the floor, but ultimately decided to have the concreate polished as it would be unfazed by being under water unlike any floor covering, or even stained concrete.

Almost every piece of furniture was purchased second hand off of resale sites, to minimize our losses if it ever floods. As per usual, I had so much fun collecting high end pieces at discount store prices! Normal shopping isn’t that fun to me, but I sure love hunting!

To date, we have hosted over 40 groups (or guests, as we call them) and have had nothing but good experiences with it!

If you have noticed a lack of action on my blog, it’s because I’m being the Air BNB maid 😉



2 thoughts on “Basement Transformation!

  1. Hi Heather, random question – How did you attach the shiplap to the ICF? Was it adhesive plus screws, like you would do for sheetrock? Did you apply the shiplap directly to the ICF foam?

    Looks great… much better than boring sheetrock!


    1. Hi Jake! Thanks for the kind words! I don’t know the specifics, but I know there was no adhesive involved. Yes, the siding was screwed directly in to the ICF. Hope this helps!


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