Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Renovation progress report: the finish line . . .

So we're just about at the end of our renovation project; Juan Pablo will come by tomorrow and  shave the bottom of a closet door -- and then I'm sure he will be so glad to be done with us and move on to his next miracle-making project.  The worrisome part of this of course is that now it's up to us (us!) to do the last few things that will make the basement picture perfect.

Here are a few before and after shots -- so you can really understand how ecstatic the husband and I are about this makeover. Because, really.  Without evidentiary proof, no one would believe what a hellhole of sloth, despair and shoddy construction the place used to be.

What started out looking like this -- and you need to imagine this cabinet vomiting puzzles, games, Legos, broken crayons, Polly Pockets, random batteries and empty soda cans . . .

. . . went through an unfortunate phase of looking like this.  This explains the delicate scent of mildew that ever-so-gently used to waft through our basement.  It also may explain the ongoing breathing difficulties of both the tall boy and the sunny girl.

Juan Pablo to the rescue!  He washed the walls, then coated them liberally with a water-resistant sealer/primer.  You will notice that he also framed the walls so that they could be insulated.  Maybe this winter we will not have to resort to cowering under blankets and comforters -- and warming our hands over electric space heaters.

For real, y'all.  We were like some kind of twenty-first century Dickens novel, except what the hell, people?  The husband makes a fine living, and we pay the bills, and it should not be 55 degrees in our basement!

Here's the same corner now. 

You see why I'm giddy, right?

As I think I may have mentioned a time or two, there was no bathroom on this floor of our home, because a rustic, Daniel Boone-esque wet bar is much more practical.  But we really wanted the tall boy (and our guests, while the tall boy is away at school) to have the ability to go about their daily ablutions without having to climb two flights of stairs and climb over all of the accumulated girlie items in our other bathrooms -- by which I obviously mean laundry and blow dryers.

The dilemma here was that the best space to put a full bathroom was where a water supply was not.

But is this the kind of problem that can stop Juan Pablo?!  Pish-posh!  Just give the man a jackhammer and look out!

 Some people call this scary, but I call it progress!

All better now!

You can see here (temporarily covered with gravel) the path that the sewage drain takes from what will be the toilet and shower drain to the main drain on the other side of the house.

And here are the copper pipes for hot and cold water for the sink and shower -- running above what will be the ceiling.

Juan Pablo's tile guy is an artist.

  Here's the finished product.  I just love it, don't you?

 And now Harry Potter the tall boy has been sprung from the cupboard under the stairs, which was actually a junk-filled guest room, furnished with leftover furniture from the grandparents or college or the dump.  This picture shows the former bedroom in a pristine state that was so rare that it's really just a lie.

God, I hated this room.

The closet was a do-it-yourself affair, and some former homeowner felt it was important to have quick access -- through the closet -- from this back bedroom to the storage room.  Maybe it was a speakeasy! As an added bonus, there was one electrical outlet in the entire room.

Now that's a closet!

This will do nicely for the tall boy!

So that's our renovation -- and that's why we're so stinkin' happy about it!  We still need to bring back our bookshelves and my mom's old upright piano, and hang a few pretty things on the walls.

But we sure do love it!


  1. Wow, stunning. --Christine

  2. That's an incredible transformation! I would imagine it is a bit scary while it is being renovated - will it look the way you envision it? I think it looks great.