Finishing the Basement, or at least Starting it

Our house has 1,500 sf unfinished basement. It’s always good to buy a house you can fix up in some way, improving its value. Finishing a basement is a project that can add a lot of value to a home. In our area, because of its natural beauty, most people have basement “suites” to let out to tourists for the summer or more often used as a B&B rental. The greatest draw with ours was that it was a walk-out basement with a view.

Basement view to the east

Basement view to the east

Whatever we did to it, I wanted us to be able to alter it easily if we wanted to turn it into a rentable space if we ever needed additional income. For now though, we want to use it as a family room, guest bedrooms, a bathroom and a storage area. The first thing we addressed was ventilation and light. All the windows were fixed so we couldn’t open a window to get the ocean breezes in summer. Basements need fresh air. We added a pair of sash windows matching the dimensions of the windows in the living room directly above.

Before

Before

Kerr works on installing the new sash windows

Kerr works on installing the new sash windows

Once we had the windows in, we got the drywall done. It had been partially drywalled but the ceiling wasn’t done. It is usual to do the ceiling first so the heavy sheets of drywall are supported by the wall sheets. But there was nothing for it but to do it in reverse. Before we closed up the ceiling, we stuffed sound insulation in between the floor joists to help deaden the sound from above. What we learned was that this wasn’t sufficient. Live and learn. You can hear every footstep and dog toe nail click from upstairs. In the guest bedrooms, I will do something different. There is a product called Resilient Channel Soundproofing which are metal straps which mount the drywall just a bit away from the structure so the vibration doesn’t carry through the wood. I’ll let you know if that works any better.

Drywall goes in

Drywall goes in

We painted the walls in Benjamin Moore’s “Lulworth Blue” and the ceiling in “Navajo White”. It’s a very pretty combination. We found a great deal on lights at Home Depot. That meant a trip on the ferry and a drive into the city but we couldn’t pass up a deal like we got. Track lights normally $139 on sale for $39. Heck yeah!

New windows, drywall and paint make a big difference

New windows, drywall and paint make a big difference

Next time: Concrete Screw up.

Smiles,

Laurel

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