Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Year Long Basement....Chapter 4: The Finish Line

So it took me all of 4 separate days totaling maybe 6 hours to write 4 posts on a project that took darn near 365  Here we are, the finish line and boy are we thankful, relieved, elated.....all emotions that describe just happy to be done.  

Needless to say my construction knowledge is a bit more plentiful albeit when you start at pure ignorance there's only one way to go....

We just want to thank everyone who helped us both great and small, family, friends, strangers, 2nd shift Lowes employees who listened sincerely while a guy who has no words to explain what material(s) he needs use words to describe that thingy or the "ya know that part that goes here or there"  Thank you to Jeff, Dad Dill, Matt, Brent, and Dad Zeller for your patience, time, and most importantly your love in helping us get this to completion. 

I also want to give thanks and credit to one of my best friends Joel Cox from JC Photographic for taking the pictures of the finished product for me.  He is a great photographer and even better friend  of 15 years. Thank you so much Joel.

As you've waited for, here is the final project from fully finished stairwell to the hidden rough yet functional areas of the utility room and storage.

Remember that chandelier we found well there it is.  Kim sprayed it with some gunmental metallic  type spray paint and then distressed to her liking.  This had to be probably my favorite or second favorite part of the whole reno.  I just loved the character of this light.

Once You get to the bottom of the stairs you can really tell the layout has changed.  I did my best getting before and after pics but some of them aren't angle for angle the same.  

The before (Notice the change in the angled wall to the storage room):

The after:

Notice how the red beam is black and those supports are well hidden. :) 

Here is the shot from the french doors before and after:

Full disclosure here I took pics before Kim had time to "accent" the wall above the sofa. There are greens hanging there now so sorry babe for not having them on here. 

For the curious minds about where we bought this from:

Windmill Clock - Floral Designs

Rug - Floral Designs (Magnolia Market Collection)

Lamps - ones we had when we first got married.  Kim just painted and aged them

Vintage Chairs - Floral Designs

If it's hanging on the wall - Floral Designs

Coffee Table/ Trunk - This was an heirloom from my Grandma Zeller that was made out of cedar.  Kim aged that as well.  Her and I differed on this as I would have rather seen the natural wood but hey in the end it looks great. 

Couch - We got a steal.  We went to Ashley furniture one night to look at couches and found one we liked.  Price $599.  Kim just happened to go down to UFS albeit with her Walther PPK in tow and check out their furniture.  She found the EXACT SAME couch for $399.  Ummmm yes please. I've already assessed that it's a great napping couch and parentally peaceful down there. :) 

Now for our custom pieces.  Remember that desk I wanted that I told you about, well the end result is the custom piece Brent made for us.  55" X 36" X 30"  I wanted something deep with plenty of workspace unlike our old desk.  This fit the bill. These original corncrib 2 X 12s were sanded to perfection.  I left the finish raw without any sealing done so the wood could age naturally.  This may change over time but I loved the craftsmanship that Brent turned out here as it was exactly what I was hoping for.  

As you can see the bill filer is quite full, probably from all the basement ones that came due. :) 

*Chair & Pendants from Floral Designs

So this was mom Dills idea to have the sliding door in front of our washer dryer.  This would allow us to increase the footprint of the basement and not sacrifice space by keeping the door linear.  I love how it turned out even though it sounds like thunder upstairs when someone is opening it. 

Dad dill whipped this custom door out for us from some old barn ship lap and some custom iron work that he fabricated.

So this is a shot of our utility door and how we finished both with frosting the glass and using lettering from a company called "Simply Said".  Kim found a great steal for knobs through Etsy which made the whole door come together. We loved how these turned out but again the work to get there was the hardest out of anything in the project. 

I'm really glad we went with a more detailed trim on the door.  It really softened the linear lines of the basement with adding just a touch of character to the doors. I feel like our basement feels bigger because of all the entry's we have now.  The Utility room, the sliding door for the laundry, the Storage room, and the Theatre room.

This is a peak into the utility room.  One way we minimized the clutter around the desk area was to have our dedicated files and printer back in here since it's  wireless.  Really helped with the clutter.  

Lastly the storage room.  I think this was most exciting to get this room organized and better finished than what it was before.  It's that room where you can go in and just kind of exhale when you feel so cramped by all of the kids stuff that is around.  The pictures don't do justice to how we configured this for more storage but I thought I'd include them anyways since this was part of the big reno. 

Use the pole as your refernce.  Again here's what we did. 

Removed the drop ceiling and recovered with plaster board
Removed the table in the center
Removed the storage rack on the right
Repurposed the fluorescents from the main basement area
Added uber shelving for storage.
Squared off slanted wall.



So there you have it.  A years worth of work, sweat, blood, tears, stress, and the adjectives could go on and on but we are thankful.  There are a lot of things going on in this world and I believe Kim would agree with me when I say that this basement taught us a lot.  

It taught Kim that things just don't get done as quickly when you're married to a talentless salesman. It taught us that many problems are first world and need be put in their place.  In the time of preparation to finish this it reminds me that HE has gone to prepare a place for us. For Kim, for me, for Rowen and Hudson, and for you. 

Thank you to each of you for always asking me how the project was going, even in the end when it turned more to jeers (totally understandable).  We appreciate each of you and love you all. Until the next project...

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Year Long basement....Chapter 3: Taking Shape

Brief Warning....this will be the longest blog post of the 4.  I apologize in advance for the Type A personality and detail listed. 

If this were a marathon this would be about miles 16-20.  Albeit I've never run a marathon in my life but if I did I'm guessing this would be an accurate description.  Runners, any input?  Ok so we are at the finishing stage.....sorta.....again with the construction knowledge.  I never realized how quickly you get to the finishing stage and then the questions and details come in (insert wide eyed yellow faced emoji here).

We left off with Matt and me rocking out the ship lap downstairs.  Here we go with the finished product for that great room. The ship lap is primed and not painted which is giving it that white washed look.  We actually thought at one point it looked cool enough to leave as-is but then later changed our mind and painted it white anyways.  Apparently changing your mind in the finishing stages is common place.....pretty sure we took a couple years off Uncle Jeff's life. 

This saw was a modified saw for outdoor siding use that Dad dill lent me.  This thing was perfect especially for some of the length of pieces we had.  For those wondering when we ordered the ship lap it came in 3 lengths.  12' 14' and 16' which was a real treat brining downstairs.  There was a lot of jockeying getting those boys down here.....buuuuut we did. 

Remember that laser.....It's like OCD staring right back at me with a red eye.

From there we did decided to move the ship lap all the way up our stair well and finish off the ceiling with it as well.  That was a little tricky but Uncle Jeff getting it started at the base and making the transition from the block wall to the drywall made it much easier to finish off.  The plan was to move the light to the center of the ceiling rather than right over the door like it is now. 

Thankfully Dad Dill had a few free days to help me finish it off up the sides and the ceiling.  He fashioned a very "wide" scaffold of which Kim absolutely loved standing on those as well as those step stools to do the ceiling. 

Again not sure if it needs said but....there's that laser again. 

We looked at what seemed like forever at so many different options for what we wanted in this stairwell.  I knew from the get go that I wanted a chandelier.  I had in my head what I wanted but couldn't quite find it.  We looked on Wayfair, through catalogs at the flower shop, at the gift show when Kim went and on and on.  We finally settled on one that she found at the gift show which went for around $200.  Quite honestly I wasn't 100% in love with but it was more of a we need something now so let's just get it.......those are always terrible decisions it seems like.   

When she got home the company said they were no longer producing/selling that light fixture so we were back at square one.  On to wayfair we went and again found a light that I was half in love with but it fit the bill of two things chandelier and produced light so just about when we were ready to drop $280 on the plastic she thought she would do a little varagesaling (sp?).  I have never been more in love with an app such as this.  Side plug here it has saved us tons of money on clothes, furniture etc. Just don't bid against us on it. :)

We found this gem below for $40...yeah $40 not even kidding.  It was perfect.  I wanted something a bit ornate but metal to give it some masculinity to it.  It was very similar to our church chandeliers I liked which unfortunately our stately ranch is a tad small to fit those big chandeliers in a stairwell. :)

We went and picked this up and over to Menards where I bought some new wiring and chain and rewired this bad boy.  We were all in for around $75 on this guy and it's probably my favorite or second favorite part of the reno.  

The next three pictures are just some snaps of inspiration on what we wanted the look and feel of basement to be.  It's not going to have natural light but we wanted it cozy. You'll see the ship lap in pic one, the door trimming in pic two and then a similar layout to our closets in pic 3.

Also at this point in the process this is where I brought in my brother in law Brent.  Remember that pet project I mentioned??? Well that was a desk.  I finally found one I wanted but unless I wanted to fork over about $3,000 on for a 1800s french one I wasn't gonna have it.  Enter Brent.  He had spent the past year tearing down some excellent beams and ship lap as well as 2 x 12s......legit 2 x 12s out of the families' old Corncrib on the farm.  

Many of you may have seen him post some of his projects he's done like finishing his own basement, children's tables, side tables, etc.  I thought hey, what can it hurt to ask him if he would like a shot at doing this.  Below is the picture of the desk I wanted.  Nothing complicated but I wanted a nice deep desk for work for Kim, or even when I'm working on a home project/Sunday School lessons.  

Here is the wood after he spent some time planing it down.  This wood was nothing short of GORGEOUS.  I don't even know if as a male I can describe a finished woodworking product as such but that's the only word I can think of. This natural wood was excellent.  In the end I didn't have him varnish/stain/seal it or anything.  The natural wear was absolutely perfect.  Wait till you see how it turned out. 

In the meantime while Brent was working on that, uncle Jeff moved back in and well.....

You can see how the cabinet/bed space is beginning to come together.  The recessed area will be for the bed as you'll see later and the bench has two piano hinged doors to open and store toys underneath.  This is great for the boys. 

Right before Jeff moved back in our basement he dropped off the wood out at my dads house where he has a giant vacuumed paint booth to get the finish as Eddie would say....Reeeeaaal Nice. :) 

This would also be the part I remind you that It was July, high 90s, 70%+ humidity.  These pictures showed about 1/3 of what my dad ended up priming and painting.  Uncle Jeff standing with the closets here gives you an idea as to their height and storage capacity. 

So let me say this. As we finished unloading my dad basically had the physical/mental decision to:

A) Have a heart attack
B) Have a stroke
C) Go Cain and Abel on me
D) Move out of the state
E) Remove me from the will

Well he's in too good of shape to have either "A" or B happen......thank you Grandma Zeller.  As a professing believer in Christ praise the Lord "C" wasn't even an option.  Mom would never in a million years let him take her from her grand-babies so bye bye "D".......which leaves us with "E".  I only have to work until....I die....but hey, I have expertly primed and painted trim and closets that will store my kids toys and such for as long as they're under my roof!  Yeah that was worth it.....I think. 

Ok So this phase has it's own chapter I feel like.  Below is an inspiration pic for the doors to the storage and utility rooms.  Circa the old days in school where the doors had the letters painted on them.  Simple right, find an old door, restore it and label the glass.  Easy.....not even close. These doors basically put Kim in one corner and me in the other in UFC #210 and let's just say I'm the untrained guy wanting to crawl out of the cage.

I'll save you the pure boredom but let me sum these doors up in a couple words.  Old doors + unknown lead paint + power sanding (outside thankfully) + kids around = lead scare/paranoia.

Got that???? So yeah we in essence had to use paint stripper which is pretty much more toxic than the lead paint to remove the paint outside, then a process of wet sanding it where Kim was really ready to kill my type A OCD after we visqueened off the area and'll see.

Utility door below:

Storage door below:

Dane's paranoia:

Personally I think she looks pretty sexy in a respirator....I know I know, typical male. 

*side note - her hands aren't actually that big. :) 

Yeah so when you see those HGTV shows where they say they restored an old door.......this is it right here.  Looking back the $500 we saved was probably not even worth the time and effort.

As we were working on that Jeff had the closets installed and got our awesome trim up and around the doors.  I loved the detail we went with here since the walls were so linear.  

Here is a shot of the murphy bed before the wood was primed and painted by my bride. 

So here is the final touch up stages of paint and trimming out before the carpet and furniture arrived.  I actually discovered in this stage that while I absolutely abhor painting I found caulking to be extremely relaxing.  

You can get an idea of the color scheme here and that we ended up painting that beam black.  It really pops and we are glad we did it. 

So there you have it.  The last painstaking steps before the furniture and carpet arrived.

Up next - the finished project.