McClurg's Home Remodeling Blog

Project of the Month: Lower Level Living Space Remodel in Fayetteville

Posted by Paul Jones on Tue, Feb 3, 2015

Basements in many homes are underutilized. The owners of this Fayetteville home remodeled a 1500 square foot basement into a multi-purpose lower level living space featuring a new exercise room, new flooring, new lighting, new ceiling, wall paint, upgrades for storage and a bathroom renovation.


This lower level home gym includes a treadmill, universal, weight bench and an exercise bicycle. The specialized flooring provides cushioning for the exercise equipment. The ceiling has acoustical tile to provide access to mechanicals and quiet the sound during work-outs.

Homeowners’ Objectives

A partially finished basement flooded due to a failure with an injection system pump. The walkout basement has several large windows that bring natural light into the room and a door that leads to the backyard. Prior to the remodel, the basement had been used as a makeshift exercise area with a television.

The homeowners had the following objectives when planning their lower level living space project:

  1. Repair and upgrade mechanicals. An injection pump over-pressurized and caused a flood in the basement. Plumbing, lighting, electrical outlets and HVAC needed to be upgraded to accommodate equipment and fixtures they planned to use in the space for their enjoyment and entertainment.
  1. Reconfigure the space with walls for an exercise room and keep noise from the exercise equipment confined. In adding walls, the homeowners wanted an acoustical barrier to muffle noise created when using exercise equipment.
  1. Add new carpet, a new ceiling and paint the walls. Considerable damage had occurred due to the flood. Restoration involved replacement and repair.   
  1. Update areas for storage. Storage was needed for the kitchenette, in the entryway for coats and gear, and for books, collectibles and games.
  1. Update the bathroom. The homeowners wanted to work within the footprint of the room and update trims, fixtures and lighting.
  1. Add aesthetic elements to make the lower level living space an extension of the upstairs living area. The homeowners decided to add new flooring, light fixtures and trims that would augment the interior décor of the home.


BEFORE: The basement was partially finished but primarily a storage area with some workout equipment.

McClurg’s Solutions

1.  Install new mechanicals.

The partially finished basement was “renovation ready.” New wiring was installed for light fixtures and electrical outlets. Plumbing was upgraded to accommodate both the remodeled full bath and the kitchenette that would include a dual bowl drop-in sink. Ventilation was also installed for the bathroom.


The kitchenette provides a space for preparing snacks and informal meals. Natural finish oak cabinets from Jim Bishop Cabinets were used. A Cambria countertop and backsplash are easy to clean. An undercabinet light illuminates the sink.

2.  Creating an exercise room.

New framing was required for the exercise room.  An acoustical liner was used in the walls and acoustical tile used on the ceiling to muffle the sound of music and noise from the equipment during workouts.

3.  New flooring, carpet, ceiling repair and paint.

Woodgrain luxury plank vinyl flooring was used with an acoustical underlay to limit noise from shoes in the entry and eating area. The remainder of the space is carpeted. The transition between the vinyl flooring and carpeted areas is seamless. The ceiling was either replaced or repaired in spots to address the flood damage and completely painted. All walls and trims were repainted.


Walls in the theatre area were painted red and new carpet was installed. A flat screen television is mounted on the wall of an alcove for optimal viewing and reduction of glare. A floor-to-ceiling stone wall and cast iron stove provide a focal point in the space.

4.  Design and upgrade storage to address the homeowners’ needs.

The basement has an exit door and the homeowners needed a closet for coats and footwear. Two double door closets were built in the entry area. A kitchenette was equipped with both base and wall cabinets including cabinets over the sink and refrigerator for storing infrequently used items such as serving trays and bowls. Built-in shelving was used in the game area for easy access to small items and books.


Two double door reach-in closets were built in the entryway of the lower level living space. Shelving was built into an alcove.

5.  Renovate the full bath.

Outdated trims were replaced on the existing shower. Oil rubbed bronze fixtures, hardware and accessories were selected to match the Cambria vanity countertop. Jim Bishop cabinets were used for the vanity. A fan/light was added for ventilation and a new toilet and vessel sink were installed.


Star pendant lights add a whimsical accent to this lower level bath.  A rectangular vessel sink matches the finish and lines of the mirror and cabinets.

6.  Extend the interior décor of the home’s main living area to the new lower level living space.

Trims were matched to the existing trim of the home’s upstairs area. Flooring and paint colors correspond with the existing interior design of the home.


Entry to the upper level of the home. Trims, doors, flooring and paint colors complement the décor of the main level of the home.

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Topics: Basement Conversions, Insurance Claims, Projects of the Month