Monday, April 9, 2012

We have walls! (And dust!)

Hello there!! Hope you had a lovely weekend! I’m so excited to share the progress on our basement with you – the process has gone much faster than we thought, but some parts have taken way longer than we expected.

The drywall happened sooner than we thought it would, only because the guys doing the work gave us a stellar deal on the installation if we went ahead a couple weeks early.

They did this with the framing too, and it’s been worth for us to keep them busy! :)

Thing is, the rest of this finishing process has gone nice and slow, and going ahead with the drywall even a couple weeks early meant we had to do quite a few things first – it was the only time (so far) I’ve been a little stressed about the project.

I had a long list of things that had to be completed before we could cover everything – installing another cable jack, running the gas line for the dryer, installing the insulation just to name a few. We did not insulate the entire basement – just the ceilings (for soundproofing reasons), and the walls in hubby’s office (for more soundproofing reasons – he writes music in that room).  All in all, it took about a week to to get all of that done and get the whole space drywalled.

Then the finishers (who taped, mudded and sanded the drywall) were only supposed to take three days – and that ended up taking seven.

This part of the process has taken the longest by far, but we expected that. We just didn’t expect quite so long. :)

It feels like a REAL, finished space now! Probably because it is a REAL finished space. I’m just not used to it -- we have WALLS people!

We still need to cut the hole for the crawl space:

We are using it for storage (for all the doors I take down around the house). :) They will install a door for access.

Because of pipes, they had to pull one wall out a bit more than the others in a corner. They were putting a small access door in there anyway, because our water shut off is inside. And when I looked back there, I saw S.T.O.R.A.G.E.

So I had them cut a spot for another door:

It’s a smaller door because there is electrical stuff running underneath it – if I had thought of this sooner they would have run it accordingly and made it an actual closet. The guys love me. ;)

It’s only about a foot deep, but it’s a good four feet back – tons of storage space! (I can reach almost all the way back.) WHOO!

You know how I am about that storage. Swoon.

Speaking of, here’s the space under the stairs:

The tall door is in the hallway, the small door (still big enough for me to get through) is in hubby’s office. I LOVE THEM. :)

Someday…long from now, when I don’t have LOADS of Christmas decor, we figure we’ll turn it into a wine closet. Oh la la!

Now the basement is so unbelievably bright and cheery, even with unfinished walls!:

(The Bub has been without most of his toys for two weeks – he is a rock star. He wasted no time getting some out tonight!)

The light bulbs hanging are temporary – tomorrow I hope to install the “can” part of the recessed lights and get the real bulbs in there. So excited about the little things!

The contractors doing our work have been incredible, especially because they’ve had to work around all of our STUFF down there. We decided not to move it all out and today after the finishers left, I regretted that for about ten minutes. The layer of dust was a bit overwhelming. :)

But it took no time at all to get things cleaned up, I was quite surprised:

It still needs a good deep cleaning, but I’ll wait till the flooring is done to tackle that.

It felt so good to get down to the basement again -- we didn’t realize how very much we use this space until we were without it for two weeks. I was quite happy to spend the evening down there, cleaning and rearranging and puttering around.

I love basements. :)

So far we’re more than on track with the timeline -- initially we thought it would take about six months, and then we thought maybe five. Obviously we’re taking our time – we’re paying as we go.

Now we think we’ll be done with the biggies in four months total. We started in February and I think we’ll be done in May – but that doesn’t include the toilet, sink, light fixtures or tile floors. Those will come over the summer.

The next steps are priming (the guys will prime the entire basement this week), then painting (I’m going to paint the family room, but will wait on the other spaces) – and that’s going to take me awhile. Then the flooring! I’ll need your thoughts on that soon – we know what type of flooring we’re going with, now I just need to figure out the color. ;)

After that goes in, the guys will come back to do the trim/doors, but I’ll probably do the baseboards myself.

So there you go – some progress you can really see! Here’s how the family room looked at Christmas:

And now (we went back to the original layout we’ve always had):

I tell you what. I do not miss those cement walls!!


Can’t wait to show it to you all painted! Now I just need to figure out what color I’m using…I still don’t have a CLUE. Light and airy? Sexy and dark? I’m leaning toward light…even though it is like the surface of the sun with all the lights on. ;)


  1. Aren't the little things the most awesome things in life?! We had windows installed today and I was thrilled with the little fresh air we got. It's looking good so far! High five to the rock star, he's a trooper.

  2. Love it! Hope it keeps coming together smoothly for ya!

  3. It's starting to look really awesome! You and your storage. ;) You may be part squirrel!

  4. Definitely light and airy colours get my vote! Looking fantastic!!

  5. Honestly, I think I'm as excited to see each new stage of your basement project as you are! I love when you have something new to show. It's such a huge project and so satisfying (to me!) as each new thing gets checked off. Drywall... check. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through your redo!

  6. Yippy to walls! Boo to the dust! Smart to have insulated the ceiling. Looking great!

  7. I have the perfect idea! My husband is a plumber, and he is coming with me to Haven. He will have nothing to do while I am at the conference so I will send him up to your house and he can take care of all the plumbing! His most favorite thing is when I volunteer him to work for free......;-)
    Seriously though- love seeing the progress and love the way you are doing the 'pay as you go' plan. You are a great example to us all girl!

  8. Only 7 days to mud the entire basement? That isn't bad.. I've been doing my own walls for.. oh... 4 weeks now and only have half a garage completed. :) But I bet the professionals don't have 2 kids under 6 with them! I am excited to see how it all looks painted. It is getting so close!

  9. Light and Airy...Light and Airy!! Loving the progress...and SO jealous of all that wonderful storage.

    ~ Jillian

  10. What a gorgeous added space this will be! Can't wait to see it all finished and decorated! I would advise against painting with dark colours though, our previous house had a burgundy basement when we moved in and we promptly changed it to a lighter colour because the dark was really overwhelming for a basement, it sucked up all the light.

  11. My vote: Light and Airy. It looks FABULOUS so far!!! I just painted my dining room Benjamin Moore "Meditation" (gray/beige) and the ceiling "Tranquility" (an AMAZING light gray/blue). Their Aura Paint line (with primer in the paint) is really good and the colors are incredible. The beige covered Georgian Brick Red in only two coats! Can't wait to see your choices!

  12. Love it! It's so exciting - we're going through the same thing ourselves. Hubby has done all the work (electrical, drywall, etc.) over the last few years (we tend to work on it in the winter and then spring hits and bam - we're outside) and it's finally really starting to come together. We've already painted and finished the floors - now it's pretty much on to finish work and we're doing board and batten down there (and I used your office as inspiration!). Can't wait to see it all come together!

  13. What a huge difference! I love the approach you all took with taking your time, making the right financial decisions and look what a blessing it has been to move quickly! You're an inspiration on my 5-year basement journey... we have half our drywall up!

  14. wait until you have the lights in it will make some change in the paint colors but i would go not too dark and not too light.ang

  15. Congrats on your basement. I envy all the storage you have. I would make one recommendation on your floor covering. If you decide to go with wood,tile or laminate in the living spaces make sure you get gradiant heating. We owned a slab home with wood laminate and it was brutal in the winter! Enjoy :D

  16. I was where you are about two weeks ago! I can't wait till its done and all the toys can be found again! We are stuck upstairs and my living room is now the toy room.

  17. Congrats on the walls. I love the seeing the transformation. Thanks for sharing this.


  18. I would go with light walls for sure. I like basements to look light and not like a cave. If it were a walkout basement with lots of windows and light coming in then the walls could be darker. At least paint if fairly inexpensive so if you don't like what you choose you can always change it.

  19. Love it! I have basement envy! That's because I have a creepy dungeon/cellar. How wonderful it is going to be finished into usable space!

  20. We purchased our home with an unfinished basement 4 years ago and thought we would finish it... but that would give us over 5,000 sq. finished feet in our home and for two people that just doesn't make sense.... I DO LOVE a finished basement though and envy yours... even if it has meant a bit of dust. :-)

  21. It's looking awesome, Sarah! So excited for you. :)

  22. Yay!!! What I wouldn't do for a basement! Love all the neat extra storage space you have. :)

  23. I know how you feel about getting can lights installed. We are FINALLY having ours installed tomorrow - YEAH..... After 10 years of living in our house we built, I convinced my husband to have an electrician come and install 8 of them. My husband always said - I can do that... But never did. Yeah to getting a new item!

    Liz VanKirk

  24. So exciting - I can imagine you're so happy to be resuming normal basement life! I'd lean toward the light too - like a sunflower!

  25. Yay! The progress already looks great! Can't wait to see more!

  26. Looks great! So excited for you! Just an FYI, my hubby is an electrician and he doesn't ever put any final fixtures (outlets, switches, or can lights) in until AFTER the paint is dry. It might be a pain to wait, but not having to remove or tape everything off when they do paint, is worth the wait

  27. Yay! So exciting. We've been using our partially finished basement for a quite a while now as a playroom/craft/exercise/poker room. Slowly but surely we've been updating things here and there. It's amazing how fast it can come together! We also plan to put a wine closet under the stairs. And it's currently full of tubs as well. :)

  28. Oh, I am so jealous! We are doing a lot of the basement on our own (framing, etc.) so it is very slow going. I can't wait until we get to the point where we get some drywall! It all looks great in your basement!

  29. Sarah, it's looking wonderful! I vote on the lighter side so the light does't get absorbed and you can still have "bright" on a dreary day! My current favorite cozy color is Stone Hearth by Benjamin Moore which seems to pop pretty much any bright accent color. Don't know if it woud be light enough, but worth a check.



  30. That will be a beautiful space if it's like the rest of your house. I just joined your blog and hope you will join me to read all about my farm girl life and much more.

  31. That's so exciting! You are making me want to finish my basement STAT! All I know is that you are giving me WONDERFUL ideas for when we finally do!

  32. It looks like we have very similar basement layouts. Ours is completely framed, wired, and plumbed, but no drywall. Would you mind talking about the cost of drywalling? Thanks so very much.

    Love the progress so far!

  33. Always wished we could re-do our basement---but due to high radon levels (we've had it mitigated ($$) and it is supposedly safe...but I don't fell comfortable 'living' down there)it will only be used for storage. Sad because it's a large, dry basement.


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