Basement Reno – Before and After

My fiance and I moved into our first house in August 2008. The house was built in 1974, and we bought it from the original owners, so everything was in fairly decent shape. The basement was partially finished, with cement floors, wood paneling, and the old upstairs kitchen cabinets (a reno they did at some point) hung everywhere. The wood paneled half of the basement was insulated, but the laundry room side was not.

Completed Basement Reno

So of course it’s been a long time since I posted, but I figured I’d finally put up the pictures of the completed basement. Even these are now a few months old, but all that’s really changed is my desk isn’t quite as neat. All in all, it’s worked out great, and we spend a good deal of time here. With just the two of us living here, it’s very functional as an office / TV room.

Carpet Installation

So as usual I’m a bit behind blogging, but a couple weeks ago I finally had the carpet installed. This is pretty much the end of the construction phase. The carpet was one of the few things I was wise enough not to do myself, so I don’t have a ton of pictures of the progress (also I was on a conference call most of the morning while it was being put in).

Media Wiring, Part 2

I finished up all the jacks for the media wiring – the cables for which I ran back in March (see Media Wiring, Part 1. I also finished terminating the network cables for the basement (10 drops). Since I was rushing to get them in before the insulation was done, I didn’t actually label any of the wires. Luckily, I have a wire tracer, which is an extremely handy tool for these sorts of situations.

Finshing baseboard

Back to something I hate doing: trim. I spent some time trying to decide how to finish the fridge cubby hole, then ended up using some stop molding for the edges (the baseboard I had was too thick, and too large for a tiny space you shouldn’t really notice), and some corner guard for the end. I sanded it down so the edges extend out a bit and are rounded down.

Laundry room bulkhead

Once again, I am quite far behind in blogging my progress, so I’ll try to create some posts to catch up. For this one, I figured it would make more sense to show it through several stages over time, to explain why things were done the way they were. In the corner of the laundry room, I have a bulkhead that runs a 4″ dryer vent up and outside. I also have an air conditioning line that runs outside, and happens to drop down lower than my ceiling will be.

Presario Power Button Hack

A friend brought over a Compaq Presario x1000 with a temperamental power button (which took many many presses to turn on), so I agreed to have a look. First thing I did was disassemble it, which I didn’t really document. I took the back (partially) off, which I don’t think helped – really, the bezel above the keyboard (where the power button is) is important, and a couple screws in the back to take the keyboard off are probably all you need.

Cat litter room/door

As I mentioned yesterday, there is another door which is access to a little room built for cat litter. This basically came about because we were trying to figure out where to store the cat litter (right now it’s in the kitchen, which is terrible). The laundry room is an obvious choice, but it’s not really that big, so having cat litter would be a bit inconvenient there. My girlfriend also wants to be able to hang black clothes in there to dry without them getting white cat hair all over them (eg, shut the door).

Installing Doors

I’ve been busy getting all the doors painted, hung, and finished. There are two almost regular size doors: one for the bathroom, and one for the laundry room. There is also a bi-fold closet door in both the bathroom (leading to electrical panel, central vac and under-stairs storage) and another in the laundry room going into the furnace and hot water tank area. There’s also a couple smaller doors that I had to cut down.

Plumbing fixtures installed

In the laundry room, I used some ready-to-assemble cabinets from Home Depot, and some off-the-shelf laminate counter top from Rona that I had them cut at the store. The sink came with a template, so I traced that onto the countertop with a sharpie, use a hole saw on the edge to start it off, and then cut out the shape with a jigsaw. Almost constantly, the box stores have different promotions going on (eg, I bought the cabinets during a 10% off all kitchen cabinets sale), and I’ve tried to take advantage of these as much as I can.