Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Down Under

The basement journey started with planning...lots of planning. Well, actually not lots. My boyfriend and I are fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants kinda folks and we actually should have done more planning. I think our original sketch was on a napkin.

Anyhoo - I fully encourage extensive planning if you wanna undertake such a task as basement remodeling. And nowadays there are even programs, websites and the like that would walk you through the entire process. And I also promote getting permits - although we didn't. In fact, you might wanna hire a contractor and crew. Just be aware though, even if you hire out, that doesn't mean that you automatically have permits. And if you ever go to sell your house with a self-renovated space, the inspector will require you to have all electrical, building, and plumbing up to code. WARNING: DO YOUR RESEARCH!

BUT if you don't wanna risk it or if you just like the taste of danger - then continue reading.

This was our original floor plan for the basement. The stairs lead down to a landing area between the future "bedroom" on the right and our current workroom on the left. If you hang a left, the hall takes you toward the back of the house where we would like to have a hangout space - a "man-pit" as some like to say.

In the great state of Georgia, in order to qualify as additional square footage, the area must be enclosed and have air conditioning and heat. To increase the number of bedrooms, the add-on must have a window and a closet. So it was only natural to make the room to the right of the stairs a bedroom.

After some discussion, Jeremy and I decided our budget and also how to tackle the project. We only wanted to do one room at a time. (We I have a problem with taking on too many at once.) The bedroom was the lucky winner.

The room needed sealing from water and insulation. done.

Now on to the details. In the floor plan above, you can see we added a closet. Why there? Well, the doors prevented it from being placed against the wall with the stairs behind it. And if we placed it on the wall closest to the rec room, then the window would be in the corner and that wouldn't make a lot of sense. Practically speaking if we did it long ways on the window wall then we would have a hard time fitting all the furniture in. Aesthetically this wasn't the best choice - seeing on how you would enter the room and see a wall right in front of you. But then I thought, heck what a great place to display some Etsy finds or have a small luggage rack for guests.

The light gray area is where we had to work around the ducts.

The yellow dots are where lights will go. Jeremy suggested recessed lighting and I agreed. It would be perfect for a basement where headroom is a commodity. We also decided to put a few in the closet - just in case we end up putting a small desk in there. I love it too when there is enough light to actually identify what you are putting on. Why two? Actually we were just going to do one but the stud down the center prevented it. So double the pleasure - double the fun.

The blue squares show switches for the lights. One switch for the closet lights. Two for the overhead.

The red squares indicate outlets. All electrical work needs to be up to code. Here's a website that lists Georgia's code and amendments. Go ahead and read up on what your state requires - it will save you time in the long run. Outlets are pretty easy to determine. Just imagine your furniture layout - lamps, chairs, beds - and it is easy to say "hey yea, I would love an outlet here to dry my hair or plug in this lamp or charge my phone." Just be needy. It will come to you. Jeremy stuck one outlet in the closet for me because of my OCD. What if we have a charging station on a closet shelf? Or what if I would like to charge my dust buster outta sight? And let's be serious - a girl can't have TOO many outlets!

So those are our plans. If you wanna see how it has been coming together - click the BASEMENT labels to catch up. And if you have any other questions about renovating down under, let me know - I always need great ideas on what to post next!


Emily said...

Thank you thank you! Still can't believe you're doing this on your own!

tohearn14 said...

okay, off the subject, but I am confused...I just started reading your blog (BTW, really like it!) and wondering why you refer to your man as "boyfriend"...I thought you got married?? :)

Bayjb said...

I am so not talented or skilled enough to redo any room outside of painting or redecorating. But I love that the original design for the basement was on a napkin.

Katie said...

Hi ya'll - Thanks for the support - we will take all we can get!

And for those of you that think you can't do it...it is surprisingly simple. Since we are armed with Google these days, even the most amateur renovator can do it. And if you ever want to share your project here - I would love to have guest hosts at Bower Power.

XO - Katie