Thursday, October 21, 2004

Extreme Basement Makeover

We're finally doing it...we're finishing our basement. We'll take this baron, cinder block lined enclave and turn it into a warm and cozy family place. I say warm because part of the plan is to build a sauna where we can melt away the cares of the world. I'd love to be able to do the work ourselves but I'm no pretender when it comes to matters such as this and I think it's best left to the pros. Keith will be doing the cabinets and bar for us while his friends, Dan and John, will do the rest of the work.
Dan is a former Northwest Airlines mechanic who began his remodeling business after being laid off several years ago. John is also a laid off airplane mechanic and together they come highly recommended from Keith.

We had a garage sale a few weeks ago and were able to part with all sorts of stuff we'd been storing in the basement. It actually looks pretty nice down there now without any clutter.

Today was day one of the project. They mapped out some room dimensions on the floor then left to go shop for supplies. I think one of the first things they plan to do is to punch another sump drain in the concrete on the opposite end of the basement from the existing sump basket. That was my idea in an effort to help prevent any water damage from future heavy rains. It also affords us the protection of having an extra sump pump online should either one fail. I'll need to get a battery backup for at least one of them though for those times when you lose power during a storm. It's the nature of the beast I suppose when you finish a room below ground and the potential for water damage is there. We're investing too much to not try and do all we can to protect it.

Another big obstacle they'll tackle early is to remove the support post which is in the way but does serve a vital function. You can see it in the photo above. The post is positioned on a seam in a 26 foot beam which supports the main level. The plan is to jack up the main level and remove both the post and beam while replacing them both with one continuous 26 foot laminated beam. It will be nice to not have the post in the way.

There is so much to do to pull this whole project together. Tammy and I will be doing some stained glass for the cabinets Keith is making. We still don't have a design figured out, much less an idea of what we'd like. I began work on a stained glass lamp to hang above the bumper-pool table. We're making the same 18" Tiffany reproductionTulip lamp we made for Don and Dorothy. Yea, I know...it's not your typical pool table lamp but I think it'll look nice.

I spent last week trying to figure out what to buy for a TV. We initially bought a 50" Sony but then Tammy got to thinking that a little bigger might be better. Keith agreed and so I canceled the order and continued shopping. I stumbled upon an online Sony forum and found that they'd organized a buying group. I was able to buy a 60" set though the group for $900 less than I would've paid at BestBuy. It was delivered today...it's a monster! I came home from work to find it sitting in some free space in our family room. I couldn't get over how big it is. For all its size though it weighs just a little over 100 lbs.

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