Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Our Basement is Finished!!!

This was a major undertaking that has been high on our list of priorities, but we weren't able to afford to do it until now. You will see from the before pictures why it was such a priority. This basement was, to put it simply, unlivable. We used it for some storage and nothing else. It was gross and had SO many spiders.
This big hole was in the bedroom closet:
All sealed up and looking great!
 The entire basement was covered with wood paneling and was then coated with mud to texture it and make it look like drywall. The only problem with that is that when wood gets wet, it warps. All of the seams looked like this, allowing for even more spiders to come in.
SOOO much nicer!
 The window well had a big hole and there was just a piece of wood covering the dirt on the bottom.
We couldn't afford to replace the window, but it doesn't leak at all, so we'll deal with it. At least it's all sealed up now.
 The demolition of the bedroom revealed a few surprises. I was very happy to find a huge ledge that ran along the south wall. More space!
I love the big ledge!
The crawl space, which I knew was behind our furnace room, extends all the way to the bedroom, which I didn't know. If I had tons of money, I might have had it made into some kind of nook for the kids, but for now it will be covered up again.
It was interesting to find things that had been left in the crawl space from the 1960s. There were some architectural drawings:
A creepy doll's head. This really freaked out Leah, and my husband was less than thrilled to find out that I had left it back there. Now he imagines it behind the new wall and it creeps him out, too. Haha!
Some old users manuals and a drawing of a crest for Cypress High (which is in Magna--not where we live).
A lovely rotting Barbie and some old hardware. I was fascinated by these things and have spent more time than I care to admit wondering who used to own these things and how they ended up behind a wall.
The living room was as much of a disaster as the bedroom. There were holes in the walls, and wires everywhere. I love the soot mark on the ceiling in this picture.
 The surprises weren't limited to the bedroom, either. That wall on the right was just a wall, but again, there is a huge ledge that was blocked off. The duct had been extended using coffee cans (which I thought I got a picture of, but I can't find it), and the electrical work was a fire waiting to happen. Our contractor fixed it all and had to add 4 junction boxes to get it up to code. 
Guess what we did with this ledge? Bookshelves, of course! Matt has a room full of books on shelves, and all of my books are in boxes. Not anymore! I LOVE how this turned out. We had our contractor move the beam so that it wouldn't be in the way of the furniture we will eventually put down there.
  I found an old address book under the stairs. My grandma used to write phone numbers like that!
The finished living room:
                     I still have some work to do on the stairwell and haven't gotten good pictures of the storage room yet, so I thought I would post those separately since this post is already long enough. It's going to be very nice to have more livable space in our cute house!