More walls, more room (Townhouse #5)

Ever since I realized that I couldn’t excavate the whole basement and that I’d have to cut the family room off right at the back of the stairs, I’d been struggling with unsatisfaction with the resulting size of the room.

But I hadn’t wanted to move the bedroom wall to enlarge it because I still thought that front space was going to be a bedroom. I wanted to at least compensate whoever had to sleep in the basement with a large space to make up for it.

But when I finally came to terms with the fact that that would never be a (legal) bedroom, I realized there was really no reason for me to keep the wall where it was. Though I groaned at the thought of causing myself yet more work, it only made sense to push that wall back and enlarge the family room.

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It only adds a bit under 3′, but it makes a lot of difference.

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The family room now feels like a nice-sized room and the “office nook” feels… smallish. :/ It’s about 10×12 now. Which should be big for a room in a townhouse, but the ceilings are so low that everything feels a bit cramped.

At least this new wall is built with a PT stud on the bottom (the other wasn’t) and straight (the other wasn’t) and plumb (the other wasn’t.) Even if it did cost me a half a day’s labor. I’m sloooooooow.

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So what’s left for the basement?

  • concrete leveling, as much as possible
  • stairway: risers, banister and rails, staining and finishing, drywalling over wood framing
  • stone “feature” wall to be left unfinished: concrete patching, parging/smoothing and painting
  • electric: can lights, outlets, separating rooms into their own switches, etc (right now the entire basement is on one single switch at the top of the stairs).
  • current finished walls: electrical wiring and then spray insulation filled behind (serves both as insulation, sound barrier and vapor barrier)
  • opposite as-yet-unfinished wall: framing, electrical, spray insulation, drywall
  • flooring: laying down moisture barrier or dimple mat, covering with luaun or 3/8″ ply, and laying (hopefully, if it’s level enough) vinyl plank. And if it’s not, carpet. Though I do hate carpet in a basement. Then trim. Ugh. I don’t like trim.
  • painting, painting, painting. I even have to paint the ceilings. I’m going to do a “white-out” – where everything gets painted over, even ductwork and electrical wires and spiderwebs and stuff. Keeping it naked – without drywall – actually makes it legal living space (according to a basement specialist contractor). Who knew. If we had a “finished” ceiling with drywall, suddenly ceiling height codes would apply and we would all go to jail and pay a million dollars in today’s monopoly money. I’m going to have to learn to use a paint sprayer. I hate learning new tools.

Rest of the house:

  • more painting
  • more patching
  • more painting again
  • painting forever
  • ugh so much painting
  • changing a shower head
  • half bath in the kitchen area (contracted out)
  • railing up to the second floor (contracted out)
  • railing on the “basement window” triangle
  • probably more painting.

 

 

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