The Basement: Step 1 of 587

Hey hey!! I’m SO excited about some work that started around these parts today. SO. EXCITED.

This may not be the most beautiful post to read, but it is beautiful one to write! We have finally, after eight years of saying it…started taking some steps to finishing our basement.


OK, I know some of you are shaking your heads and saying “Geesh woman, more pictures of cement walls and floors?!”

But I am so excited.

So bear with me.

Very little has been accomplished so far, but when you’ve waiting eight years for something this big, it’s the little things that make you giddy. Well maybe not you…but me. And it was the smallest thing we did today has rocked my world.

A few weeks ago, I shared the very rough plans I came up with for our basement:

See that area in the top left? That one is the space that I’ve been trying to figure out for months.

I want to fit all kinds of STUFF in that small area. Our sump pump is over there, so I knew it would be a great spot for the washer and dryer, but I wanted it to be a REAL laundry area – with plenty of space to fold and hang.

And birds singing and butterflies twittering about. Cause it’s going to be that amazing.

It also has to house the exercise stuff, my craft table and supplies, AND all of these:

Approximately 85 storage bins.

OK, not that many. It just looks like it. (And I’ve even gotten rid of some since this pic!)

The guys that are doing most of the work in our basement came by last week to discuss where to start, and one of them looked at the space under our stairs. Until recently, it looked like this:

That space under the stairs used to be the spot where I stored our extra doors that I’ve taken down in the house.

I hung muslin along the wall to hide the not-so-pretty, and the Bub’s toy shelves were along the wall too.

We’ve since rearranged a lot of things down here and gotten rid of a LOT of things and I moved all those doors to the crawl space.

Because of the little change they made today, it now looks like this:

Do you hear singing? No? Just me?

Not cute at all. But TOTALLY functional. Well, it will be. :) It took the guys all of two minutes to cut down a stud (around the corner) so I could get bins inside.

WHY did I not think of this before?

They’re putting another doorway in tomorrow, at the end to the left up there. So I’ll have two spots to access everything underneath.

I cannot even believe how many bins I got in that space!! It’s all of my Christmas stuff (except the trees) and some other storage bins.


It won’t be quite as easy to access everything, but I am SO OK WITH THAT. I figure I need this stuff twice a year – once to get it out, once to put it away.

I can deal. I am more than happy to deal.

I still have a few more bins, and they will go in another storage spot we thought up today.

Here’s the layout with the minor change that’s going to give me a storage closet:

new layout

See the red lines? That little spot in the corner will be a storage room. A STORAGE ROOM people.

I could cry.

It will actually be a bit wider than what you see on the layout.

All along I had planned on all of those bins being stacked around this room like they've always been. I didn’t think it was possible I could get them all away, out of sight.

But that little corner was the perfect spot, and uses the space more efficiently. It only took us a couple months to figure it out. :)

If we were paying a company to come in and do everything start to finish, they would have come up with this from the start I’m sure. But we’re piecemealing this project out – little bits at a time. So I’m the contractor. And it takes me some time, obviously. ;)

I am crossing my fingers that the storage space will be big enough for our mongo Christmas tree bags and the few additional bins. (If it’s not, I’m purging more stuff.) I’m also hoping that if there’s room, I can maybe install some shelves around the room for extra paper goods and supplies:

It doesn’t look like much now, but tomorrow…well, it still won’t look like much. But it will be framed in, so it’s progress and that’s all that matters.

They’re starting by framing out this area because that big black wire on the floor is going to a new electrical panel that will be dedicated to just the basement. We had no more room on our house panel so it had to be done. We also just wanted to have all of the electrical for the basement located in one spot.

They are going ahead and framing out the bathroom and the storage room so the panel can be installed. And with that all up, then I can figure out the size for my laundry room.

A real. live. non-mudroom. beautiful. laundry room. (With some exercise stuff thrown in. Maybe.)

I could die.

I have a plan for my craft stuff that I hope to show you soon. I was going to wait till the basement was finished to do it, but I came up with what I hope is a brillz idea, so we’ll see.

We’re hoping next month we’ll go ahead with the rest of the framing of the basement. Can you even believe it?? I wonder if I should say those words out loud…I could jinx myself.

We’re doing it all in phases – paying the guys to frame it out, then do all the electrical, then plumbing, hang drywall, flooring and trim work. I think they’ll do all of it except for the mudding and taping of the drywall. (I want that to be done by drywall-only folks, so it’s done really well.)

So, it will take a while. I’m guessing six months, but it very well could be longer. We hope to budget some towards it every month till it’s done.

This way, with me overseeing each step, it’s going to be MUCH cheaper. Not as cheap as if we did it ourselves, but much better than paying a contractor to organize it all.

I think it will be fun.

And I could be losing my mind. :)

All I know is I’m expecting a whole lotta disaster before it gets better. It’s already started -- my hubby’s below-ground office that usually looks like this:

Now looks like this:

And I know that’s nothing. I’m already preparing for the dust that will cover the entire basement.

Oh happy day!!!

So there’s step one – really all it is so far is that I’ve figured out storage solutions. But I think the first step in this process will go down as one of my favorites. I’m SO happy I won’t have to look at bins for the rest of my days. :)

Have any of you taken on a project like this yourselves? Have you ever acted as the contractor instead of hiring it out? Taken months to do what could be done in a few weeks? Any advice for me?

All I gotta say so far is, WHOO!!

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