It took roughly six years from start to finish, give or take months of procrastination and other distractions. The end result, though, was worth the stress. The house is less than 900 square feet, so having a large open-concept family room in the basement is a huge bonus. There is no wasted space down here. Even the cellar under the porch has been converted into a finished storage room.
A versatile space
While I originally envisioned this space as a large party room with a bar and pool table, life changes. We can set up the largest portion of the family room as a cozy seating area. A home theater system can be placed at either end. The bar area is also a decent size in its own right. A fridge plugged in the corner provides convenient cold beverages to visitors, or to us when we are working in the home office.
Cozy home office / computer room
The home office is small, but at 12 feet x 8 feet, it has the same square footage as our smallest bedroom upstairs. There is enough room for 2 large book shelves, one small book shelf, two file cabinets and our computer. It’s cozy, but since we don’t use it for business, it is more than adequate. And with a lock-set on the door, we can control access to the room when our daughter is older.
Brighter and less cave-like
The suspended ceiling is higher than the one that was originally there, and with recessed lights (on dimmers), there is plenty of headroom and light. Compared to the old dark wood paneling, the cool green walls are fresh and light and make the space feel larger. This is definitely not the cave-like basement typical of so many homes from its era. I am very pleased with the final product, and I do believe that I have earned some bragging rights!
The transformation of the basement is dramatic when comparing pictures of the progress.
View from front of house
While the camera angle is different, it is easy to see the difference painted drywall makes over the dark paneling. Despite the fact that the new partition walls divide a larger portion of the basement, the room looks bigger.
From the clutter of construction to finished
The Stages of the Home Office
Project officially completed: March 2003. This was when I drove the final nail into the final piece of trim. That was the same day that we entertained an offer on the house after we had put it on the market in order to buy our next home. However, by that time we had been using the basement– especially the computer room– for about 15 months.
The Basement Renovation
- Basement Floor Plan
- Hiding Stuff
- The Window Workaround
- Installing the Doors
- The Stairway Transition
- Finishing Under the Stairs
- The Laundry Room
- The Pantry
- A Diary of the “Home Stretch”
- The Finished Basement