Monday, January 07, 2008

Remodel woes

I'm sure my ones of readers missed me over the holidays. OK, so I was too busy, stressed, and otherwise unmotivated to post anything up for a while, but I'm back for better or worse (probably more the latter). I'm sure any of my close friends, who I'm pretty sure don't even know I have a blog, have heard me drone on and on about my basement remodel. Now I'll entertain you good people with the same tales of woe....

My source of frustration, stress, and late nights this holiday season was not the holiday itself, but a simple mandate from my loving wife?! We were to have a family Christmas at our house, but in order to do so, I needed finish our basement remodel or at least have it presentable enough that we could entertain down there. A little back story is that I've been slowly working my way through our basement turning it from a semi-finished 70's hangout and my high school/college bedroom into a place we'd actually willingly put people up in. I started the project over a year ago by ordering all of the construction material we'd need at once which was my first big mistake. Having all the lumber, drywall, electrical, and insulation material sitting in the midst of the area you need to remodel isn't the best plan of attack.

I started off with great enthusiasm and some good help from my lovely wife. We stripped out the old finishes and painted the bare block with some new waterproofing and sealer. After that, we had various friends come help with a couple projects in trade for my labor on some of their projects. I put in a new egress window, framed, drywalled, and ran electric in the new guestroom. This first phase seemingly only took a month or two. Then the project sat while we worked on a few other things. I think namely this was about the time our daughter was born and I had to turn my attention to prepping her room for arrival. Eventually I got back to the basement and another long weekend with help had us framing half the main room and having drywall put up. This phase then took on a death of it's own and sat pretty much untouched from last winter through most of the summer.

As summer wrapped up to an end, the idea was again floated of having family Christmas in the space and that I should probably start working again. I slowly managed to get most of the mudding and sanding finished up in the first half of the space. As I briefly mentioned before, it was a huge mistake having all the building materials for the entire project delivered at once. I'm not sure how many hours were spent working around or laterally moving various piles of material. Finally, late in October it was decided that I really better get my butt in gear on trying to finish this off if we were indeed going to have family over to celebrate. I put together my schedule of work to complete and managed to have a full week off before Christmas. Heh, anyone who knows me or has worked on remodels, knows the schedule never rings true. As such, I worked every night and weekend for at least 6 weeks to transform the main living space in the basement into something worthy of having friends and family gather in.

Here we are roughly the end of the summer:

Here's a shot with about 12 days left until Christmas:

I won't leave you with a cliffhanger, so suffice it to say, my hard work did pay off. Although we didn't set our tree up until Christmas eve and there still remains a few evenings worth of odds and ends work, everything that needed to be done, was done.

Here are a few pictures of the (semi)finished product:

No comments: