The Project – Part 1

The goal was to get E some private space of his own.  Since he got here, he’s been sleeping on a blow-up bed in the basement, where my office and meditation room is.  Our house isn’t huge, approximately 1800 sq ft, a 2-storey box with 900 up and 900 down.  The basement, aside from the med. room and a tiny pantry, is all open.  The furnace and water heater are kinda smack-dab in the middle, along with a brick chimney and there are built-in floor to ceiling cabinets and a workbench courtesy of the first owner/builder along the entire south wall.  Where the stairs come down, there’s a little alcove that we were planning on turning into a permanent sewing storage area, but it got the bed after there was a small leak in the tub plumbing recently:

alcove (640x480)

We thought if we put up a new wall from where the stairs are, back to the head of the bed, then knocked out that other wall on the right side of the bed (which is the back wall of the pantry), then we could give him a little space of his own.  Here’s a shot from inside the pantry:

pantry3 (480x640)

In the photo above, the bed is just on the other side of that wall of shelves. Standing in the middle of the pantry, I can easily touch both walls, so it’s not a large space, but if we extended the back wall, it would become kind of an L-shape and at least give him a door he could close.  So, with all that in mind, we got started with demo:

demo (640x480)

Look fast, folks, because you probably won’t see this again any time soon!

demo2 (480x640)

Also, that old saying, “They don’t make ’em like they used to?” It is SO true in this house.  That little add-in wall was tongue in groove, folks.  Tongue. In. Groove.  Amazing.  We saved all the wood and who knows what it will become, but it definitely has too much history to waste.  

And after a couple of hours, we cleared out a space that let us see better:

progress (640x480)

You can see the L shape, and we envisioned that E would tuck his bed into the alcove and use the other space for a chair, and G was furiously searching Pinterest for drop-down desks that she could attach to the side wall there by the door.  Then, what do you think happened? We started talking.


takeover (640x480)

is what’s outside the OTHER pantry wall (the 3rd and 4th walls being the outside walls of the house).  The built-in workbench butts up against the pantry wall, and most of the stuff on top was inside the pantry before we started the demo.  This was our sewing/art/creative area that honestly hadn’t been used in a while, so it was just collecting things. So, after we got the original space cleared out, we pulled back a little and decided if we knocked out the other wall:

wall2 (480x640)

…we would end up with a much larger space:

space (640x480)

As you can see, even though we will have to leave the support posts up, the L-shape is gone, leaving more of an actual room (nearly 10 x12).  We moved the door unit forward, and will frame out up to the built-in workbench, which  will remain, leaving E a work space for homework, etc.  All spaces around the stairs will be closed off for privacy.  And, the BEST part was that at the Habitat for Humanity Re-store we found…wait for it…

Glass bricks!  So, the dividing wall on the workbench will be translucent, allowing light from the south window over the workbench to filter in:

blockwall (480x640)

There’s still a lot of work to do on finishing, etc., but he’s moved his bed into the space, and we’ve put up some bamboo and fabric curtains that I used in my office during the winter before we got the gas heater down here to keep in the heat from my little space heater.  He picked out the colors he wanted, helped (some) with demo, construction and painting, and most of all, when it’s done, he will have an actual room of his own.  He even got to argue with gramma G and they managed a compromise on the carpet he wanted (bought from a discount store).  Best of all, we get to keep our main basement area (and my t’ai chi space) and have put the sewing space back where it was, minus only those few feet under the stairs.  We still have a workbench that’s plenty big enough, I managed to move the pantry food into an empty cabinet across from my desk, and all around it was a win-win for all concerned.

More photos to follow later.


7 thoughts on “The Project – Part 1

    • He helped with demo and some of the ceiling painting (white) and picking out things he liked. We have to wait on getting the drywall, etc., so not much going on at the moment. Step by step…

  1. I am always envious of women who can do their demolition and carpentry. I don’t generally try for fear that whatever I do it won’t be perfect. My partner on the otherhand is fearless but maybe a bit too much. She starts with an idea in her head but doesn’t do much planning or research but she has more guts than I do!

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