Monday, February 9, 2015

Basement Upgrade - Week 1

In my last post, I mentioned that I had recently started a new work schedule that gives me Fridays off so that I can work on my latest project. Now that the project is underway, I'm so excited that I just can't contain my elation.

I'm finishing my basement!

The work space ready and waiting for walls.
Okay, to be completely honest, Dad and I are finishing the basement, with him taking point, as he is in possession of the know-how and the power tools we need to complete this thing. And what we're doing is the first of several phases. But I've lived in my house for 5 1/2 years now, and for about 5 years of that (hey, a girl has to settle in first before she starts trying to upend things), we've been discussing the options for making the basement a livable space, rather than just storage and place for bugs to go to die.

I fully recognize how truly lucky I am to have a Dad who is both willing and able to take on this project with me. Extra bonus - he's one of my absolute favorite people on the planet (I am a Daddy's girl, no lie), and this means that I get to spend a lot more time with him than usual!

Georgia playing "The Princess and
the Pea" on top of the stacked
deck cushions.
On Wednesday, we finally "broke ground", though not literally, since it's all interior upgrades, and not an addition. Dad arrived while I was at the office, and proceeded to clear out the space we would need while fending off attacks from Georgia, the four-legged menace who decided that since Dad smells like their boy cat, he must be the enemy.

Wednesday night, it was driven home to me that there were a lot more decisions to make than I had previously pondered (and let me tell you, there's been a lot of pondering in the last five years)! More than just, where do you want the wall to the bathroom to be, there were questions about door size (larger than average to make access to the utility/laundry room easier), closet orientation (important to have a closet opening in the room so that it could technically count as a bedroom), window seats (our answer to a spatial issue), etc. But the outline was laid out, and work was ready to begin.

Thursday, I knew I wasn't going to be able to help much, between my long office hours and my standing choir rehearsal obligation. Dad had been reading the manual for his new hammer shot (for nailing the frame to the concrete floor), and was all set to start. He was still hard at work when I stopped by the house to eat and pick up my music, but there was a door frame to show for it!

Then on Friday, the real fun started, since I had the whole day to help and get my hands dirty. Despite all of the theater, dance, music, crafts, etc., I have no qualms about digging in and getting messy. Growing up, it wasn't uncommon for me to spend hours weeding the gardens with Dad or running around barefoot in the woods. The smell of sawdust is the smell of home. So I was excited to get involved!

Cutting studs down to size.
At first, I wasn't much help, because I wasn't really sure what I could contribute, but when I mentioned to Dad that I'd always been a little nervous around power saws, he put me in charge of the miter saw and measuring and cutting studs. Nothing like conquering a fear (or at least a mild trepidation) head on! Before long, I was whipping out the studs as fast as he could nail them to the header! 

Dad speculated that we had probably done a bit of overkill, and that the wall was perhaps more solid and more tightly in place than necessary. But I think our family motto should be "Built to Last." I mean, my 91-year old grandfather is still living in the house he built himself around 1955, and it's still solid and lovely.

With some troubleshooting, a trip to Home Depot for supplies and brainstorming, and a break for a birthday lunch (he really earned it this year), we got two walls up before it was time for Dad to head home. But the fun continues later this week, where we tackle such challenges as a door! And another door! and a window! And a really long wall!

There be walls here!
I can't wait...

All content and images are ©The Casual Diva, except where otherwise noted. Content may not be republished without prior consent of the author.

No comments:

Post a Comment