Now that we are under contract on the new place, the basement renovation kicks into high gear. Much like in December of 2008 when we decided to refinance our mortgage and creating a deadline to finish renovations, we are now in a similar position. We want our house occupied by a renter on 9/1. Yowza. With a basement under construction, a new house upcoming, a trip to Irelend, and finding out what the hell we need to do to rent the place the next month will be crazy. Time to kick things in gear...
In keeping with this, we are bringing in some help on the drywall. We got a bunch of quotes that were surprisingly reasonable. We ended up picking a mid-cost quote of a guy that I trusted. We then got him to throw in a bunch of extra work like hanging all the door jambs and doors and fixing a three switch that had gotten the best of me. An aside, when picking contractors, I usually go with my gut. This is never the high cost bidder, but usually someone at the mid to low end that will end up working with me a bit. This sometimes means quality is 90% instead of 100% but the lower costs have been things that I've been able to help fix.
Here is where we stand. Coming down the stairs, all the paneling, plaster and lathe, and most importantly the stairs were ripped out and recessed lights on a 3 way switch were put in. It looks great now.
During the renovation it didn't look as good. I was hoping to keep the stairs as is, but after looking at them in detail they needed to be replaced. They literally bounced when you walked on them and were held up by about 6 nails total. Scary. Luckily, my amazing father agreed flew in from Detroit to help frame the basement and (little did he know at the time) replace the stairs. This basement would not be done if not for him. As you can see, the stairs were scary.
Walking to the bottom of the stairs and looking out things look much different than before. Before, it was a pile of crap.
The view looks much better now. All the recessed lights are in, the plumbing lines and electrical to the second floor have all been rerouted to increase the headroom, and insulation is in place to help isolate the sound from the first floor living room.
A look back at the stairs and portion of the remaining basement that will remain shows the recessed lights back in that area. I put the lights on a motion sensing/IR switch so when you walk in the space with your arms full of laundry you don't need to find a switch. We were talking about making a bar or closet in the area to the left but now that we are going to rent the space, this isn't a priority.
To the right of the stairs is the framing around the HVAC. I added a small step at the bottom of the stairs to steer you toward the center of the room and away from the framing around the HVAC return. I was going to put a custom wine rack in this area, but again, this isn't a priority at this point. I added electricals circuit here in case I want to get fancy in the future with lighting the wine or potenially add a small bar over here.
Walking a few steps forward, you can see more of what the living space will look like. A small closet is on the left, and I made a bench underneath the window to fill this dead space. On the right, there is a storage area that is accessed through the utility room door. Originally I was going to just do a soffit in this area, but the HVAC and water heater exhaust would still have been too low to make this area usable so I just closed this space in. The soffit change resulted swapping the seating area to the left instead of the right, but it shouldn't be that big of an issue.
Looking back toward the stairs you can see this utility room. This room required moving the water heater to allow one door to be able to service the equipment while allowing space into the closet space to the left.
While overall I don't like using contractors, it is nice to know that by the end of this week the drywall will be in and mudded and all doors hung. As I type, guys are loading drywall into the house. Hopefuly it will be hung with a first coat of mud in place by the end of today. :-)