Basment Renovations

When we bought our home last June, the basement was just one big open space. The garage is under the house so when you opened the garage doors you could see the entire basement. Michael and I both agreed that we wanted to finish the basement pretty quickly after we moved in so that we could close off the space and use it as a big entertainment/play room. We also really needed a place for our food storage and other items.

Before we made an offer on the home, we called up my dad (who has finished a number of basements in his lifetime) and asked if he would be willing and able to help us finish it. Of course, he said yes. So as soon as the house was ours, we booked some flights for my mom and dad to come. My dad flew in at the very end of August and spend the entire month of September working on our basement. We spent the first few days he was here making our plans and ordering tools and materials. As soon as they started arriving, he got to work. He worked from about 7:30AM-5:30PM every day except Sunday, taking breaks only to eat lunch and to run to the store to get more supplies or tools (ok I was usually the runner. Home Depot and I became very acquainted). My mom flew in on my birthday, September 12th, and spent the rest of the month with us too, helping in the basement when she could, or helping take care of the kids so that Michael or I could go help.

(from the non garage side of the house)



 (from the garage side)

 (stairwell from the basement to the main floor)

It was a lot of work. At times I worried I was killing my dad. The poor guy was on his knees all day . . . I wanted to help more, but it was often just not possible. By the time the kids went to bed, and I was free, my dad was ready to be done and relax. So weekends were when Michael and I were able to help the most. Though when mom came, that really helped a great deal. One of us was finally able to be down with him helping during the day which made a difference.

(the first photo is from right after they put up their first wall . . . let the hard work being!)

Framing Progress


As time went on we realized that things were going to take longer than planned. Ultimately we decided to hire out the mudding, taping, and sanding of the drywall, and boy am I glad we did! I didn't realize how labor intensive and messy it is. While the crew was working on the basement, my dad helped us finish a play room upstairs in the kids room. I got to help with the mudding, taping, and sanding in that little room and that was more than enough for me. Not fun. We also had time to stain our deck!

(we worked all night until 4AM trying to finish it all before the mudders came in the morning)


My dad spent 3 weeks working his hardest to get as much finished in the basement at possible. During the last week of September, for their final 5 days, we planned a fun vacation to the beach as a thank you for all their hard work. We spent 5 amazing days in Seagrove, Florida, relaxing and enjoying the beautiful Florida sun, weather, water, and sand. It was the perfect way to end their stay with us.
I will admit, I was feeling so overwhelmed when my parents had to leave. The doors hadn't arrived yet, the floor and trim wasn't done, the shelving wasn't installed . . . the list of "little" things to do was long. And while we had gotten so much done and the walls were finished and painted, there was still so much more to be done. I just wasn't sure how we could do it all. I knew I would only be able to do a little each day and that it would take quite some time. I just wanted it to be done (My anxiety was getting the better of me). But we just took it one day at a time.

We spent every Saturday and many evening working together in the basement. I spent nap times and any other free time I could find down there working. We learned so much about being a home owner and building in the process. Michael and I are now confident in hanging doors, and I am pretty good at cutting, installing, caulking, and painting trim and doors. We worked hard and the basement slowly came together.

In November my parents met us in Charleston, SC at my brothers house for Thanksgiving break and for my nephews baptism. After our week there, my dad came home with us for another week and helped us with lots of the finishing touches. We put in all the shelving in the storage closets and bookshelves, he helped us replace light fixtures, put up drywall in the garage, built us a tool bench, and so much more. It was one productive week. By the time he left all we had left to do was cut and install the banister pieces. It was much needed and appreciated visit. I can't even begin to describe how amazing it was.


After he left, the moving in began. Before Christmas came we were all moved in. We didn't have furniture or anything down there, but the closets were full, my storage room was organize, and my craft room was organized to perfection. I instantly felt a huge weight come off my shoulders. It felt amazing. 
MOVING IN . . . 




Best of all, the kids loved it. They still love it. We have slowly gotten furniture and the room has come together. We still need some wall decorations, and the banister still isn't in . . . but we love our basement!

I can't thank my parents enough for all of their time and help. They really are amazing. I feel so richly blessed to have them in our lives. They have taught me so much, and never stop teaching me. I love them so much!!!

1 comment:

Pam said...

This is awesome!! Great job!