The long-awaited day has finally arrived!!! After waiting about two months for the media center to be delivered, we were finally able to get started on our basement renovation project this week! This is the first major home project that my husband and I have undertaken together, so it’s both very exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. In case this might be helpful to any other first-time-house-renovators, I thought I would share a little bit more about our experience so far.
I knew from the beginning that the basement renovation was going to make a huge difference to the square footage of our home, but from very early on, I was totally daunted by the prospect of having to choose a contractor. In my head, I imagined all sorts of potential horror stories, and my husband and I were both so inexperienced that I didn’t have a lot of confidence in our ability to choose the right one. We met with three different contractors; my husband and I both had a reasonably strong positive feeling about the first contractor we met with, and after meeting with the others, he pretty quickly became our first choice. So far, I am really pleased to report that we are very happy with the company (Housing Solutions) that we’ve been working with. The main contractor has been really reliable, responsive, and a pleasure to work with. He’s communicated very clearly and effectively and really listened to all our needs and concerns for the project. I have a feeling that this is a relatively “small” job for his company, and yet, I feel like he’s taken us really seriously and given us his full attention. Obviously, we haven’t seen the finished product yet, but at least based on our experience so far, I think we’ll be pleased!
The second aspect of this project that I’ve been very anxious about is the fact that this is essentially our design. We didn’t choose a contracting company that offered fancy design services (that would have been way beyond our budget anyway), and I figured that this was a simple enough job that we could do it ourselves. And yet, I still have found myself second-guessing things along the way, especially since we are choosing to renovate the basement differently than anyone else in our townhome community. However, as I am seeing the walls going up (or coming down!), I am actually gaining a lot more confidence in this design and in my ability to envision the space.
And now, here’s some in-progress photos! Here is the main space, all framed out, at the end of the first day or two:
The really exciting part was when they took down this awkward partial wall under the stairs. The contractor had originally been unsure if they could take out the entire wall or if they would need to leave a post, but it turned out that they were able to remove the whole thing! You can see how the space looked before in the photo on the left:
And here it is at the end of week one, with the drywall up and some of the lights installed! This is the main area, which will be the media room/play area. The recessed part of the wall is where the entertainment center will be installed. We chose to set it back into the wall 6 inches, so that it wouldn’t stick out into the room so far, and it would look a bit more like a custom built-in.
Also, you can see here that the utility room has been walled off now, and there is a door to that area by the stairs:
And this is the office space! They removed the partial wall and added the wall to close off the laundry area. There will be a large bi-fold door there. We also had our washer and dryer stacked and moved into the corner, to maximize space in the laundry closet.
And that’s it for now! It should be done by the end of next week, and I can’t wait to share how it turns out! Stay tuned for the next update soon!