Basement Part 1: The Situation

Just like Mike, The Situation, on Jersey Shore our basement is funny and welcoming at first glance but then really shows its more obnoxious sides after you spend some time with it. Don't judge us for watching (and loving) that show - it has provided many entertaining breaks during demo.

So here's the situation with our basement remodel project. It's the first major DIY task in our house beyond painting and minor hardware switchouts. It will be completed by us primarily, though we have called in an awesome ex-Union dude named Jim to cut up the concrete, Gordon the trash guy to haul away the debris (that apparently Chicagoans are not permitted to take away to a dump themselves), and Pete the Plumber is visiting us on Saturday to lay in the below-concrete drain lines. Other than that, we are the dog and pony in this show.

Matt worked in residential construction I had my past life in residential architecture (for clients with far grander budgets than have we) and later in hospitals. To us, this seemed entirely adequate for "moving a few things around." To illustrate what I mean when it comes to obnoxious things in the basement, let's go on a tour, shall we?

When you get to the bottom of the steps, you are greeted by my sewing desk on the left, dog beds behind the couch immediately ahead, and the 2nd full bathroom in our house on the right. So far it's not too bad - a wee crowded by the finishes are neutral and hey, there are some windows with good light. Overall, the joint looks tidy.

Behind the bathroom door lies more generally new stuff. There's a shower tucked in at the left and a linen closet tucked in at the right, under the stairs. On the topic of "tucked in" you'll see the toilet and sink pushed in the back corner. With all this smooshing, this bathroom still took up approximately 50 sf of the ~160 sf of living area in the basement. That's a bad ratio, friends.

Moving along into the main open area you can look back and see the bath on the left and the corner of a useless closet on your right. It's useless because it's 4 feet high despite the full sized door.

Turning to the left you can see we've had to place the couch on a weird angle just so that more than 2 people can watch the tv in the corner. Lil Monster's home is crammed in behind the chair and under the (sturdy) bookshelves. There's the door to the back storage room and beyond that you can probably see a small rectangle, which is the dogs' door to bathroom freedom.

If you go into the storage room, our laundry area is to your left, complete with spray-painting box and a beer from previous projects. Note the washer is, again, crammed in the corner and the dryer is in front of it, facing a different direction. Now I'm not one to complain about in-home laundry but I will say this configuration does not motivate me to wash clothes.

To finish the tour, if you can squeeze yourself in to the right and around the back wall of the bathroom, which juts into the storage room, you can get to the hot water heater, furnace, and a few shelves of storage. Our little nugget of a house has a surprising amount of storage space but this layout is not really optimal.

Where does this leave us? Obviously in a state of eager demolition! Stuff is movin' down here and part 2 will bring demo pics and floor plans. But now that we've shown you around, what do you think? Are we nuts for ripping up a perfectly acceptable space or is the existing "design" of this level truly unacceptable?

1 comment:

  1. Demo that space! If you and DH are unhappy with it keep going until it's just right. I can't wait for the day that we have a house so that I can change the things that drive me crazy in my space. Be brave! It's going to look great.


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