Year 1- Move in and Paint: This year we took it easy. We had to paint our new house since the main colors the previous owners had used were bright fuschia and navy blue.
Year 2- The Fence: We have over 1/3 acre and we live on a corner lot. That was a must
Year 3- The Secret Room: During year 2 of living in this house, we literally found a room when we took down part of a wall. Year 3 we spent the money to get it into real living space…STORAGE! Year 4- The Floors: This was a big one. We replaced almost every floor in the house. The main floor, kids rooms and basement got wood floors. The stairs and master got high cut carpet.
Year 5- The Yard: Ok, so in theory it was the yard but we couldn’t seem to get all of our ducks in a row to get that one done. So, we are taking the money to bump up the basement. And thus begins our saga.
When I finally realized that the yard makeover was not going to materialize, instead of wisely saving the money until next year, I thought of another project to throw our money towards. The basement.
The previous owners of the house had finished our basement in a really strange style. The basement had lighting, but only on pull switches. It had electrical outlets, but only in the theater area. The basement was framed but was covered with outdoor pressed wood siding. I know strange. When we first looked at the house we walked down into the basement and it looked like a cabin. I wish that we had taken picture of the first draft of the basement but, in all honesty, I didn’t want to remember the shape that it was in originally. Amazingly enough, we had made the basement nice and workable. We have had family over a lot and have hosted events down there. So, we weren’t in dire straights with the basement.
So, we decided to take baby steps with our basement and start with just the electrical work. We needed the lights to be put on flip switches and other more electrical outlets around the rest of the basement. I have my sewing room downstairs and need more than an extension cord and several surge protectors to run my machines. We are on a tight budget and wanted to keep it as low cost as possible. So, Harvey and my brother worked on taking down the siding walls to expose the area for the electricians. When the wall were brought down, we discovered that there was no sheetrock. NONE!
This led to us thinking it was dumb to put back up the old siding. We got an estimate and the nice sheetrock guy felt bad for us and didn’t want us to put the old stuff back up so he gave us an AMAZING deal. Easily half of our other estimates. He noticed that we have no HVAC downstairs and we can’t add it because of the layout of our house (complicated story that I still don’t even understand.) So, we installed wall heaters instead.
This lead to insulation. The prior owners had really cut corners and put up 1×2 in the theater room with no insulation. It would be very costly to change them to the standard 2×4 so, we opted for the ultra thin insulation (another unforseen cost) at 4x the cost of normal insulation.
When we were ready to take down the siding from the ceiling (yes the ceiling had siding too) we found that the ceiling was not framed at all. So, this meant the hiring of a framer. As long as the framer was coming, it was worth our time and money to have him frame off a bathroom and utility room down stairs. This actually lowered our sheetrock costs. We are however waiting to put in the bathroom until another mega year. The framer is a nice guy who is throwing all sorts of perks in like fun little nooks and arches at no additional charge.
So all should be fine and dandy right. Oh you are so wrong my friend. This whole thing should have been done 10 days ago and so far the only thing that we have done is the majority of the electrical (no finish work) and a small portion of the framing. We have family coming into town in two weeks and the big BYU vs Utah football game party to host. My entire basement is in my family room and my garage. I have no idea where anything is. I am getting hat orders and have them on back order because I have no clue where my fabric is and even if I did, I couldn’t get to it. Plus, we are now almost double our original budget (which however, is still extremely low considering the cost of normal basement remodels.)
So, when you see me wandering the streets in my bathrobe and murmuring incoherantly, please point me back in the direction of my house. I am sure that in the end, we are going to be grateful that we did this whole thing. I just can’t wait until it is OVER!