Saturday, February 7, 2015

Making Progress - the basement

Although there are a lot of areas in the house that are getting a lot of work, the basement is by far the biggest project. Since it's a large basement, our contractor characterized the work we're doing here as essentially building a house within a house. Kind of daunting when you think of it that way, but he's right - there's a kitchen/bar area, a bathroom, and several other rooms for dedicated use throughout the space, just like what you'd have if you were building a house from scratch. 

The stairs to the basement had to be re-built in order to bring them up to code, so the photo here shows our new staircase (it's really hard to take good photos due to the low light in the basement, sorry): 

It was amazing to me how quickly the guys put this staircase together. I realize they do this sort of thing every day, but it was still very impressive how quickly and perfectly it came together.

The stairs open up into a hallway, which is what you see at the bottom of the stairs (the top of the photo below, since the photo was taken looking down). 

Right across from the stairs to the right is the bathroom:

The shower has been installed, and the other plumbing is roughed-in, with fixtures to be added in another month or so. It's actually a pretty good-sized bathroom and we're going quite a bit more modern in here than the rest of the house, so I'm really excited to see it all decorated and put together. 

We've had a team of electricians working in the basement practically every day for the past couple of weeks. There is SO much electrical work to do down here. We're adding about a million recessed can lights, as well as several other fixtures and of course all the electronics needed for the TV equipment, etc.  

Between all the lighting we're adding and the clean new windows, the basement should start brightening up soon!  

Next to the bathroom is the craft room. It's basically a big box, and will be finished either in a fun color or with some sort of detail on the wall. Still deciding.

Continuing past the craft room is the bar area. 

This view is from the TV/Family area looking at what will eventually be the bar. This area has been tweaked a few times as I try to get the design just right. It's important to me that it look like a bar and not just like another kitchen in the basement. It's surprisingly hard to do when working with a full-size refrigerator and lots of cabinets! But, I'm happy with where we landed on this space and think it will look great once it starts coming together.

Here's the current design, with that window on the back wall above being the back of the bar:

I think the backsplash will be mirrored or shiny tile to give it a different look from the kitchen and the cabinets will be stained wood. 

Something like this could be cool:

We're having the bar area custom-built since I have some specific design details in mind and really want to make the most of the space we've got. Fortunately our contractor has access to some phenomenal woodworkers and the cost of having a fully custom-built bar was pretty comparable to what semi-custom cabinets would have been. The front of the bar will be about 10 feet long, so there's plenty of room for 4 barstools, and will look really modern/industrial.

The framing for the TV and fireplace unit is complete as you see in the picture below: 

The middle section where the TV and fireplace go protrudes 4 inches beyond the bookshelves, which will go on either side. This entertainment unit is being built by the same craftsman who is building the bar, which is great. The bookshelves will be stained wood and the middle section will be painted. 

The last section of the basement is this area, which is the game area, looking through to the exercise room. The saw below is basically right where the ping-pong/pool table will go. 

Next week drywalling should start in the basement and it will actually start looking like a finished space. Can't wait!

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