We have lived in our house now for two years. The time has flown by and we have completed many projects around the house. We still have many more projects to complete but one large project we aim to tackle this year is our basement renovation. With two growing boys, we wanted extra space for them to spread out when they have friends over to hang out. Our basement was one of the reasons we bought our house, it was a blank canvas and a happy medium of a house we could live in whilst putting a stamp on it in a major way. The majority of the work we are doing ourselves, we may get help along the way from specific professionals were permits/code are concerned. Here is a picture of our basement pre-movein:
Where to start with basement renovations?
As you can see it was very tidy! There was this strange cedar room in the corner, which I suppose was for extra clothes and storage. The first step was to get rid of this weird room which wasted so much space. This will eventually become our built in bar area for when the game is on! Once the cedar room was taken apart it made the entire space feel more open. The next step is to measure everything. Its really a good idea to have a scale drawing of your rooms so that you know where things will go and what it will look like once completed. I must admit that because we are going to essentially make a lot of our fittings, we didn’t need to go crazy with measuring.
Plan, Plan and then Plan some more.
We did however, create a plan of where everything is and where we will start in terms of layout. When we are ready for power cables, lighting circuits and plumbing this drawing will come in very handy! You could always get an architect to do this if you really are not very confident. Pinterest has really helped me to plan. The major first task is to insulate, we got all of our purple foam board from Home Depot.
What about all the beams, uprights and pipes?
The majority of the upright supports will be built into the design. There is one in the bar area that we will block in as part of the bar and one in the multi use kids den room. This will become part of a storage cupboard. One beam that will stand out like a sore thumb but that’s just part of having a basement. The rest will become the walls around the stair case. Watching lots of videos on how others converted their own basement gave us inspiration and ideas to consider. The tricks that they used to hide pipes and clever ways to disguise access to water shut off and meters etc. After measuring and creating a plan we decided to start with the foam board all around the walls. This creates a nice layer of insulation before you add in water barriers, framing etc.
Learn to Compromise
So far all our progress has been positive, we haven’t hit any major issues, but many a heated discussion! I can picture how I want it to look, I’m not very good at working out how that will happen. I am beginning to understand how these things need to be constructed. Although it is a basement, I want it to feel like any other floor of a house. I want to avoid too many cut out areas for all the uprights and pipes. Doing so takes time and a lot of consideration. I’m amazed at how much the husband has made this feel like a professional job. He has never done anything like this before and has mostly taught himself.
Another really quick fix we made was moving some duct work from our air conditioning system. We did this in order to gain more wall space. You will see in the next picture that this will be boxed in, creating feature of this and add some spotlights into these areas.
This is the most current stage it is in, progress is being made every day. It’s far from its tidy state that we moved into 2 years ago, now it is filled with seasonal decorations. We all know how much I love Christmas. Having that to contend with means there is little room to maneuver down here while the husband works. We have the start of walls, and cupboards and door frames! Its exciting to see it all take shape! I cant even bring myself to show you the view if I turned around and took a picture! Rest assured my project for a little while will involve thinning out the amount of stuff down here. As well as working on a more permanent solution to basement storage!