If you have been following my blog, you will know that I love to name my projects. This project, that officially wrapped up this past week, was a dream to work on. From working with my clients and their children (who have a very strong French background) to work with my group of trades. I always love to see a project start and equally love to see if complete. This basement development was no different!
Basement Development: the plan
I first started working with my clients September 11, 2017. That was when I met the Mrs.and was able to see their space. It was also during this time that I was able to get a grasp on what they were looking for in terms of changes. Here is what the basement looked like when I went to visit.
I actually wrote a blog about our entire process which you can read here. In the end, we ended up with the following plan:
The Large Ticket Items
This particular home is a bungalow so there are only two floors. What I love about a bungalow is that the basement tends to be very spacious – and this home proved that. With having a large space, it is typical for a bungalow basement development to cost more as there is more square footage.
Plumbing and Electrical
When the old T-bar ceiling was removed, it gave us a good look at all of the existing electrical and plumbing. There was going to be more work for demolition of electrical and it was clear that we would not be using anything ‘old’. A new panel was installed which made the Mr. of the house very excited!
For this basement development, the plumbing was a huge bump in budget. Once the t-bar ceiling was removed, my plumbers could clearly see the plumbing for the upstairs. As any good plumber would do, they informed me of what they were seeing and offered suggestions on how to fix everything. The decision was made to make everything right. And when I say make it all right, I mean ALL. From the bathroom upstairs (which we had to access from the bedroom upstairs) to the kitchen plumbing, it was all looked after.
For this basement development, windows were on top of the list from the very start. While the old basement had a great number of windows, they were dated and needed to be replaced. When it was decided that an additional bedroom would be added, in addition to the daughter’s bedroom, we needed to ensure at least one of the windows per bedroom met egress code.
In order to widen the windows, we would have needed an engineer as well as would have needed to have significant work done. Instead, we chose to make the windows larger in the bedrooms by going taller.
While the Hopper window meets egress and was a good budget choice, the hinges are actually not that great. The Hopper window fully opens or fully closes. There is no in-between. As such, I am working with my carpenter in conjunction with my clients to come up with some kind of propping mechanism if the kids wish to get some fresh air into their bedrooms.
Normally, flooring is a good chunk of the budget, but not a huge chunk of it. This basement development was a bit different in this area. It was decided early on that LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) was going to be the flooring that we would use. My clients are very active, they have two very busy children, a large dog, and a cat. They were looking for something that was durable and could stand the test of time.
I love LVP as it is so durable and there are some really nice options. The floor itself didn’t eat up a huge portion of the budget, but the floor prep – that was another story! Years ago, my clients had a flood in their basement as well as they did some renovations (by removing part of a load bearing wall and installing a beam). Once demo, framing, and drywall were done, it was evident that we were dealing with a significant uneven floor. I had a company come in to see what their thoughts were. I presented options to my clients on how we could address the floor. Although the decision was to self-level the entire floor, in my opinion, it was the only decision. If there was no self-leveling, part of the floor would have left dips and valleys that you would have been able to feel. In the end, 63 bags of self-leveling were used to get the floor perfect! There is not one area where you can feel a dip or a valley. While it’s easy for me to say as it wasn’t my money, this was by far, one of the best decisions my clients made!
Basement Development: Interior Choices
In trying to keep with what was going on upstairs with design, the basement was not going to be a mirror image, but it was going to flow with the rest of the home.
The upstairs of this bungalow has a French flair to it. Although it is not French Country, it does have a French influence. The family also speaks French and the Mr. is from France. Knowing all of that, I suggested a style of interior doors and hardware that would fit perfectly. We chose to go with Oil Rubbed Bronze hardware as well as a beadboard door for the interior doors and bathroom vanity. The end result is amazing.
In all of my digital renderings, I had used a drywall ceiling and for most basement developments, we do a drywall ceiling. My clients really wished to have access to their ceiling just in case they needed to get access to plumbing or electrical. I am personally not a fan of the ‘standard’ T-bar ceiling and I knew that the standard T-bar ceiling was going to take away from the design. In looking at options other than dryall or T-bar tiles, I presented an option that would be functional and damn pretty! For this basement development, we used a ceiling made by Embassy. And while my carpenter needed to do some additional strapping for the ceiling (due to the joist being so unlevel), the ceiling provides my clients access as well as adding a beautiful touch!
For this basement development, we went with a number of custom selections.
Desk and Closet
For the daughter’s room, there was a ten-foot wall that my clients wished for a floating desk. My lovely cabinet maker did a fantastic just in building the desk. There is an area for the daughter to get ready in the morning (left side) and a dedicated space to do her homework (right side). Due to another load bearing wall, we utilized the space under the stairs to create a very custom closet for the daughter. For such a tiny space, there sure is a lot of space!
Oh, this shelf! My clients found a really cool local company to make this shelf. Together with Nicholas & McNeely they created an absolutely stunning piece. This shelf required work prior to the drywall stage. The end result is clearly a feature piece (in addition to the feature natural stone wall).
Fais de beaux rêves: How this basement development turned into sweet dreams!
When I asked my client how the first couple of nights were with both kids downstairs, she said it was great. She no longer needs to tip-toe quietly in the morning (to not wake their son) and their son is happy being close to his sister. How great is that! And while this entire process started in September of 2017, you can say that everyone in the house will be having fais de beaux rêves!
Thinking of an upcoming renovation and don’t know where to start?