There used to be a wall there | Phase Two of the Basement Renovation

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Yahoo! I LOVE it when things start to come together, don’t you?

Remember last post, when I talked about why I’m taking my time easing back into the blog and projects (vacation, sick, drama in the blogosphere?) – well, I realized that one of the other reasons is because my project space has been a DISASTER since the beginning of March. All my stuff is scattered all over the place and without a ‘home base’ to set up in, it isn’t fun to do stuff.

But as of today, we start to turn that corner πŸ™‚ YIPPEEE!

Let’s talk logistics and Before pictures.

The back half of our basement has long been a thorn in my side. Buckets of space, but SO badly laid out. And if you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know I’m a major fan of ‘using what you’ve got’ – and that includes space in your house. (BTW – have you watched that new show ‘The Expandables’ on HGTV Canada? Those people speak my language!).

The main room was cut in half – well, almost half – by a random wall with a random, non-standard size door way that wasn’t centred and wasn’t straight. It drove me bonkers. I did give it a bit of a facelift to make it useable for me. Remember this? Studio Space After Phase One

I painted the space white, added a bit of colour to the once dark black and peeling storm door, popped in a couple shelves and cabinets and covered up the awkward door to the laundry room with a curtain. It did the job for a few months.

But if you really want a BEFORE. This is what the house looked like before we bought it. (This isn’t my stuff).Craft Room BEFORE

But the space still needs more if we’re going to maximize its potential. We need this space to work HARD for us. And even with my mini-facelift, it was still always getting cluttered and un-organized.

So we made a list of all the things we need from the basement, or would like to store in the basement:

  • tools (including power tools and battery packs)
  • cleaning supplies
  • brooms, mops, vacuum
  • off-season coats (seriously, this house has ONE small coat closet…how is that a thing??)
  • craft supplies
  • wrapping supplies
  • paint and paint stuff
  • photography and photography stuff
  • a table top work space
  • a spot for the kitty litter that the dog can’t access (ewwww)
  • the ladders (step and 6 foot)

I think that’s everything. It helped immensely that we’d already done KonMari on this space, so we were fairly aware of what we had to squeeze back in.

Then we made a list of the things we thought we could do to the space to achieve our storage and utility dreams:

  • Address the random wall to open up the space
  • Bring in some floor to ceiling, wall-to-wall, closed storage
  • Finally refurbish our way cool, rescued set of industrial lockers
  • Lay vapour barrier and a ‘working’ floor over the concrete to make it warmer
  • Bring in deep drawers for organizing craft supplies
  • Add in some high and wide open shelves for paints
  • Create a wall organizer just for mops and brooms and the vacuum

One Saturday before vacation, we set to pulling down the wall. The main objective was to open the studio space up into the laundry area. We started by consolidating all our stuff into one main corner and covering the delicate stuff with drop cloths (paint brushes and/or things we didn’t want getting dusty at all.)Pulling down the basement wall

We ended up pulling all the dry wall down (it was ripped and damaged in many places). You can start to see how this essentially gives us one big long wall to work with for storage!Dan pulls out the drywall

The surprising thing we did next was build OUT the left portion of the wall. Before, it wasn’t quite two-feet wide. Hardly useable for any sort of shelving or storage unit. With the right side completely open, it let us bring that side of the wall out further – so that it’s now about 3 feet wide. The bonus is that once it’s all drywalled, it will disguise the washer, dryer and sink area a bit better and serves to really define the two spaces. I will also be able to use the back side to store all our mops and brooms on a peg board organizer.We pulled this wall out furtherYou can see that we haven’t moved all our stuff out yet – that’ll be a beast! But the green tape on the floor is marking where our new floor to ceiling storage units will go! A whole EIGHT FEET of them! We hummed and hawed over whether to do a custom ‘open’ shelf solution using closet inserts, then we thought about going with the high-end Ikea closet solution (too $$ for us given shipping) and then one day, walking through The Home Depot, we spotted unfinished cabinets on sale. They were EXACTLY what we wanted. So we pulled the trigger and ordered four of them.The wall is gone!

(For reference, where the tool box is sitting is exactly where the old wall used to be). One storage unit will house cleaning, one for overflow tools, one for off-season clothing and one for ‘whatever’.  The beauty is they come pre-assembled and they are delivered right to our door. No Allan Keys Required! ;P

We obviously need to do the floors first, but I’m so happy that we saved money on those units. They will likely be the most expensive thing we put into this space, until we replace the appliances. I think once we’re finished down here, I will do a budget breakdown for you. I’m definitely tracking my pennies closely πŸ™‚

For the floor, we are going to attempt a plywood-looks-like-planks concept. Why? Because it’ll be totally fine if it gets scratched and because if one day I want to put a real floor over it? I can.

So there you have it! Our construction zone!

Can’t wait to start bringing this all together πŸ™‚




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