Blog/House Hiatus & Basement Progress

It was a busy spring, summer and fall around these parts without a lot (of house work) to show for it. Between our two wonderful boys, a couple of great weddings and a few trips here and there – we were busy! But with the rain returning and the leaves falling comes the desire to get back on the saddle and tackle some house projects. But before we finish up the dining room (who are we kidding, we’re nowhere close), or paint the office, we have to get our basement in order. It’s tough tackling these projects if you can’t even find your tools to begin with.

A great side-benefit of organizing the basement is that the kids will be able to play down there during the rainy months (can you say bike races?). So while there is definitely some more work to be done down in the forgotten floor, I have to say that I am excited about the progress. But like all projects, they don’t go as intended. The plan was to remove the old crappy shelving and work benches and replace them with new (home built) benches. Throw up some pegboard and call it good. Easy enough.

What a mess. Before removing the old shelving or previous ‘work area.’

I had just installed the cabinets on the right but had not tackled the work space at the far end.

Some previous owner decided they should insulate the basement foundation and installed the insulation with a metal backing. Don’t do that! It essentially traps any potential moisture in the foundation in the insulation. Knowing this, I make it a point to remove said insulation any time I get the chance. When I did it this time, I discovered that the skim coat/parging on the interior foundation had separated at some point from the foundation and bowed out (read: will interfere with pegboard). So without thinking, I started removing these sections. Doh.

Loose debris removed and ready for patching.

While hardly a structural concern, these 100 year-old Portland foundations aren’t exactly like new. There was quite a bit of loose debris behind those sections and I gently removed nearly 4 gallons of material. Not taken care of and this could be a problem. Once cleaned up, I went about filling the holes and skimming them.

In the process of learning how to work concrete…

Finally I got around to actually building the benches and the originally intended project. Typical spiral effect…

New work benches and pegboard installed.

Looking left.

Looking right at new benches, pegboard and “new” cabinets.

Everything has it’s own place! I’ve got plenty of bench space and everything is within grabbing distance. And I’ve got speakers! No more excuses to put off the rest of the floors now.

Basement Organization

Our basement is in serious need of cleaning out. To much of just about everything. The one thing we were short on was good storage.

Old basement storage.

Honestly, I think you would have had to try really hard to build shelves that were worse than these – bad news. Luck would have it that my mom and her husband just bought a new house with a ton of cabinets in their new garage that they didn’t want. Enter my frugalness combined with serendipity and you have a sweet new basement.

New storage.

Still organizing, but a huge improvement.

The cabinets are in pretty good shape all things considered. I had a few random cabinet boxes left over and built a base for them and created a little pantry storage underneath the stairs too.

Under stairs storage.

While the shelves that I removed were horribly constructed, I was able to salvage quite a bit of the wood. From this, I will be building some work benches. That combined with getting rid of a bunch of old and unused stuff should make this a halfway decent work space.