Sunday, June 15, 2014

Basement Remodel Project: Preamble

Our basement has always been a disaster.  Okay, maybe disaster is too strong a word.  Our basement has always been a compromise, at least since 2007 when we moved in.  The previous owners had begun finishing the basement when we bought the place, and we promptly tore most of it out before we moved in.  Over the years, I've not hesitated to tear things apart in the basement if it was necessary to accomplish a purpose upstairs, so the basement has been in a varying state of demolition for the past seven years.  Needless to say, my wife has been very patient for a long time.

When I say "basement" I'm really only talking about the east half of the basement.  A block wall (to support the upstairs floor joists) separates the east and west sections, and the west section is home to the well pressure tank, water softener, laundry area, furnace, water heater, freezer, and assorted storage.  That side requires a different kind of remodeling, that we won't be attempting until some undetermined future date.  The east side includes the landing for the stairs from the first floor, the main breaker panel, the wood burner, a waste water drain pipe, access to the west side, and access to a full bath and sewage ejector previously installed (documented here and here).  The main room is about 13 feet wide and 44 feet long, and the height is about 7 feet 4 inches from concrete floor to the bottom of the floor joists.

Although it's embarrassing to show, this image gives you some idea of the state of the blank canvas we had to work with in December when the final (?) phase of demolition began.  The room had multiple purposes: storage for various construction materials, temporary sleeping for guests that we weren't embarrassed to send to the basement, "lounging" in front of the wood burner, and treadmill exercise while watching videos on the TV.  Not a homey environment for most of those activities.

I've been reminded recently that not every homeowner enjoys spending most of their free time improving, repairing, or maintaining their property.  I count myself as one that does enjoy this kind of busyness, at least on this property.  I see it as a combination of taking dominion over chaos and disorder, while beautifying and organizing our environment.  As I share photos of the progress of this project in the future, I hope you will see improvement and order as we shape the room to our purposes.


  1. Ok so, we aren't as patient as Karen, where are the pictures of the next phase??? : )

  2. We are nearly finished with our basement project, so I'm interested in seeing what you all have done at your house. Based on some of your previous remodeling, I'm sure it's going to be quite spectacular.


  3. Whitakers: with as many children as you've raised, I'm sure you've got enough patience to wait for the next post!

    Victoria: I'd love to see pictures of your basement project! Can it be viewed anywhere online?