Sunday, September 8, 2013

Basement remodel: man-cave compromise!

We completed our basement remodel about a year ago, right after Logan was born, but I'm just getting around to taking photos and feeling ready to document the project. I've actually been keeping busy with some other house projects that I'll be blogging about soon, in addition to our baby of course, who is becoming more like a toddler every day.

Anyway, we knew we really needed to remodel the basement in our house because it would nearly double the amount of livable space available, especially as we added another person to our family. The space could also be used so much more effectively - it's a pretty small space and the fireplace was just monstrous. Everything was severely outdated and kind of dingy/dirty from the sooty, wood fireplace. Finally, the space was all chopped up with a little wall that divided one part of the room but didn't need to be there.

Like many men Troy wanted the space to be his "man cave," meaning he had full jurisdiction over how it looked and what it could be used for. Unfortunately, our house just isn't big enough to have that much space not be usable by everyone, so we tried to compromise. I agreed to keep the decorations somewhat masculine (and I ended up loving the orange!), and typically there are some of Troy's deer head/horn thingys on the fireplace but we've had to put them away recently so they don't get broken by the crawling babe.

Troy did all demolition of the existing fireplace, 70-s delight wood paneling, sheetrock, and even ceiling, as the wood fireplace had left a lot of soot on it. We hired out the fireplace conversion to gas and the tiling to ensure it was done correctly, and Troy hung the new sheetrock but hired out the taping, mudding, and sanding this time around to keep the project moving as the clock also ticked down to our due date. (I didn't take nearly as many pictures of the whole process as I should have, given all the other baby prep that was taking place.)

In the end, we needed some rework done on the fireplace so that and the carpet installation and furniture delivery all took place the first week we had Logan home from the hospital. Yes, it was crazy but so worth it to get the project done and get to start using a space we hadn't spent 5 minutes in for the first year we'd been in the house.

Quick note on the built-in shelving: this was tricky because the space on the left side of the TV is a bit wider than on the right, and because the edge of the fireplace on each side is jagged rock. Troy thought about it for about a month and ended up using some material that is made for doing wood stairs. I think it looks great - exactly the look I was going for. I found most of the gold d├ęcor and other things at Target, much of it for 70% off.

We love it! There's nothing better than curling up with the fireplace on and watching some TV. It was a significant investment compared to the other house projects I've blogged about here, but we contained costs as much as possible by doing as much of the labor as we felt we could, and we unlocked double the living space - a great trade off!

1 comment: