Newly finished basement!

lisalmNovember 25, 2006

We FINALLY are just about done with our basement renovation project. Our contractor started late last winter and finished in the spring. It's taken us this long to paint it ourselves (a huge job--it's about 900 sq. feet, and we had to prime everything, paint ceilings, walls, trim, and tons of doors--we're also new to painting so weren't so speedy). We recently finished putting down carpet tiles.

Here's what's down there: 2 main rooms, a large playroom, and a media/guest room. They are divided by two sets of pocket doors. Each set of doors is comprised of two 3' doors. So there is a total of 12' that can be either open or closed off. The pocket doors and pocket door walls that they tuck behind also hide two structural posts. The pocket doors and the other door to the media room are solid to help sound proof.

Ceilings are drywall--we like the clean look. Since the house is new construction, we had a lot of height to work with, and the contactor was able to bring the ceiling height below the heat runs to create a flat ceiling (nothing boxed except in the stairwell.

The little built-in was created from a niche that was already there. The cabinet was special ordered from HD--brand is Premier. The bulletin board was made by the contractor to cover a door he put up over an electrical panel. I hated how the door looked, so I had the idea to cover it with cork. Below it is my kids' art table and chairs. Sofas in the play room are old and can be climbed on, lol. We still need more toy storage--are looking for a unit to fit on a wall without baseboard heating (probably the wall by the stairs).

The sofa in the media room turns into a king bed. It's super comfy, as it has no bars and the mattress is foam. The sofa is by AU furniture, the "child" company to American Leather. They make a great product. IMO, they are the best sleepers out there.

The t.v. is a 46" Sony rear projection t.v. It's roughly 3 years old (bought before flat screen prices really started coming down). Because it's really deep, the contractor built a drywall enclosure for it--basically, the walls where the shelving units are are built out 6 inches so that the t.v. can be recessed and not stick out so much. DH bought good audio equipment and had thick speaker wire strung behind the walls--music is his thing.

The fridge niche could handle a bigger fridge, but we might not have been able to get it down the stairs. In fact, the entire sofa had to be taken apart, and our green play room sofas may be stuck down there now!

The bathroom's cabinetry is also by Premiere. Counter top is silestone from Shower tile is Daltile from Home Depot. The toilet is Toto and the faucets are Kohler Forte.

Carpet tiles (Tesserae Spectrum by Miliken) are throughout the whole basement. We installed them ourselves. We are debating whether we should pull them up and put a sealer on the concrete floor. DH found something that's actually approved for concrete floors (a different brand than Drylock which doesn't appear to be recommended for basement floors). The carpet tiles were a bit of a task for such a large area. It was challenging to cut through the thick pad, and we had a lot of cuts to make around edges and doors. The overall look is pretty good. We notice some seams, but they aren't awful and may vacuum out over time.

We are still needing to decorate--are thinking of framed movie posters for the media room, and neduia some child-friendly art on the playroom side. And nice pillows for the media room couch.

Thanks for looking.

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Here is a clickable link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Basement photos

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 9:37AM
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I like your choice for the paint color.

In photos 5 & 6, I see a brown door with white trims on one part of the wall. Is that the electric panel? What did you used to cover it?

I would appreciate the help.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 10:34AM
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Yes, that is the electrical panel. Here is the story with that: the contractor first covered it by cutting down a hollow core door (same as he used for the closet door--white with the panels). It looked really bad up there. I had the idea of turning it into a cork board for my kids' art projects. I ordered thick cork (in a big sheet) from a place on line, and my contractor attached it to a piece of plywood and then attached the plywood to the door. He trimmed it with quarter round, and there you have it. I am not sure why he put the white molding around the whole board, Frankly, it's not really necessary and might look even better removed. I'm still trying to decide. I may paint the quarter round a fun color (like red) for the kids. Their art table is below, so I think it will look "planned" to have a cork board above it.

Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 2:35PM
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Looks great.. Did you use the same carpet tiles for the steps? How did that work out for you?


    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 12:31PM
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No, no carpet tiles on the steps. It wasn't recommended, and now that I've worked with them, I'm not sure how we would have been able to do that well. We had stair carpet installed. It's also a frieze. We just brought a carpet tile into a carpet store and matched it up as well as possible. It's certainly not a perfect match, but if you weren't looking for it, you probably wouldn't notice.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 1:02PM
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You have a very nice basement. The play area will most likely confine toys to one space rather than throughout the house.

Ours is more for entertainment than family as we are empty nesters now. Your pocket doors are a nice touch. We used French doors to get wide openings because internal wall space was not available for pockets. And the sconce is nice too - something overlooked by most. We still have to build the bath - probably another winter before tackling that.

Enjoy the space.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 2:26PM
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First congrats and good choice , TOTO all the way babe!

What was your criling hieght and what is it now?

Your stiars, did they turn like they before or did you construct them like that? Can that only be done with higher height basements?

Good job with sheetrocking in the windows, I always wondered how it looked because my windows are like that too.

Super work, and what was your estimate on the job?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 8:45PM
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Isn't it nice to have all that extra space? Love the cork board idea and the pocket doors and the bath turned out beautiful!

We used the Legato carpet squares in the playroom and the gym and I was really happy with them. The only problem is my 5 year old knows how they are and will pull them up so he can draw on the concrete with his chalk!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 9:41PM
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I like the paint and carpet color. Would you please tell me the name of both colors.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 10:44PM
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Thanks for the nice comments.

To answer some of the questions:

ekoreilly: the ceiling height is almost 8' (maybe 2" shy). We had a lot more height in some areas, but large heat runs would have had to be boxed, and they would have gone down the center of each room. So we sacrificed the extra 8 inches to have a level ceiling. It feels nice and high down there, especially for a basement.

Yes, the stairs originally took that turn. We had to have them redone, though, because the landing was too narrow (once the drywall was up). The rise of each step was left the same, but the tread was cut down 1 inch/stair to allow for a reaonably-sized landing. We technically may be breaking code on the staiar tread. It may be something like 7/8 inch too narrow. But the inspector didn't notice, and it feels quite safe walking up and down.

The estimate (which included the whole bathroom minus some of the fixtures) was approximately $40 K--maybe a few thousand more in the end with changes/upgrades. This included digging a sanitary pit for the bathroom. It's a little more than we originally hoped to spend, but we really wanted to get the bathroom done at the same time. We did paint and carpet ourselves.

legardhome: that's reallly amusing (re: your 5 year-old and the carpet tiles. I think my 5 year-old knows they are tiles, but he hasn't tried to pick any up. My 3 year-old would be the one who wants to chalk on the floor. Shhh. Don't give him any ideas.

baoknguyen: thanks. We like the colors too. The paint color is Benjamin Moore's Monroe Bisque. It's 100% downstairs and 50% in the stairwell. We used a flat finish, which I already regret. I very much wish we'd went with either scrubbable matte or eggshell. The walls are looking bad already, and we've only been using the space for 3 weeks. The carpet panels are Miliken Tesserae Spectrum, and the color is called Snowflake.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 3:01PM
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I have been researching for what seems like forever about tesserae. I have found so much conflictin info about it and the carpet cushion. I did manage to get samples of the tesserae esentials and found the padding to be not that great. I'm having medical problems, which started shortly after moving into my home which has hardwood and ceramic tile. in regards to comfort and cushioneyness, how would you say the spectrum compares to traditional broadloom carpeting? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 7:04PM
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I find the Spectrum pretty cushy. we have ours right over concrete. It's maybe a slightly less cushy than traditional carpet, but that depends on the pad used under the broadloom, of course.

We looked at the Essentials first and were underwhelmed. I agree with you entirely--that pad was so-so at best. The Spectrum is better. See if you can order a sample from somewhere, and you'll feel better about it.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:09PM
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