The ball really got rolling yesterday at 7:30am when the contractors showed up to begin the basement renovation. Tearing down walls, rewiring the current lights, and adding additional lights were on the docket. We got everything set before having to run out the door to get the baby to day care and us to the office. All day, I kept my phone within grabbing distance in case the contractors called or texted. Maybe I watch too much HGTV, but I had a pit in my stomach waiting for that “We have an issue . . . ” call. Thankfully, it never really came. The electrician called mid-morning and asked about lighting configurations, locations, and the (unplanned) installation of an access panel in the ceiling. The access panel needed to be installed to bring the basement electrical up to code.
In talking with various contractors I knew that we’d need a solution on fixing the holes in the floor once the walls came down. The easiest, and most affordable, solution was to use the flooring located in two adjacent closets to fill in the holes in the bar area and replace the flooring in the closets with something new or similar enough to what was removed. To that end I went to Home Depot and bought two cases of flooring that almost matched what was currently there.
Hey, it’s going inside a closet, it ain’t gots to be a perfect match.
When I got home yesterday though, I learned that the flooring I bought was too thick to match what was there. The way one guy described it, “What was here was the lowest grade. What you bought was the best. What we put in was middle-of-the-road.” That was an interesting lesson in flooring. For me at least. Luckily, what they ended up putting in is an even closer match to what I bought that it’s virtually seamless.
Needless to say, I was really excited to see the work after I got home. I practically sprinted from the car to take a look. What I saw was amazing. Although unfinished in several places and more electrical still to do, it matched my vision to a tee.
This is what the closed off portion of the basement looked like before we moved in. If you remember from the last post I called the enclosed room the “weird room.” Here is what the space looks like now:
Standing a bit further back from the perspective of the picture above, you can see how different it looks. We had wondered about the use of this room ever since we first looked at the house. Shaped odd, power outlets high on the walls, and no, that’s right no air registers really made this room something of a conundrum. After talking with the contractors, they confirmed what I had guessed, namely that the walls we just removed were put up by a previous owner to make this area a bedroom/living area. The high outlets were probable placed there because of a countertop which was removed. I bet if they had never put up the walls to begin with, they could have asked a lot more for the house. Another good lesson in long term planning when it comes to owning/selling a home.
Here is a close-up of the lights we had installed that will be above the bar. We’ll put vintage Edison bulbs in them when all is said and done.
In the last post, I asked folks to email me thoughts on their own renovations, home bars, or what I’m currently doing. My friend Sylvan from Tasty Libations emailed and strongly suggested we not scuttle the sink/plumbing from the plans. Has he stated;
“You won’t miss the money after a few months, but you’ll regret not having the sink every. single. time. you need to wash something. And every time you do use it, you’ll smile.”
While I don’t disagree with him, at this stage of our finances we just couldn’t make the sink and plumbing work without sacrificing something, which, quite frankly, is higher on the priority list such as the backbar cabinets and seating. But the option for adding a sink is always there in the future. Of course, we may have to find a new location for it since the countertop will be one huge slab of granite, but it’s still an option. While it does suck a bit, we also get a bit of luck on the sink front.
If you look at the photo above (sans walls) you’ll notice two columns. The one on the left supports the ductwork in that particular bulkhead. The one on the right was a bit of a mystery. Does it house anything other than support for the cross beam of the house? Most likely it was structural so we couldn’t move it, but was it hiding anything else? Maybe something like . . . plumbing?
This my friends is what we found. Apparently it is the main drainage pipe for the entire house. If you look closely at the bottom third of the pipe you’ll see a 1.5 inch pipe nubbin. (I’m pretty sure that’s a plumbing technical term.) Our contractor said that at some point there was a sink within the vicinity of this pipe and that nubbin was where the sink drain connected to the main drain. HUZZAH!!! Of course, unless we do some more investigative demolition, we don’t know where the water for the sink came from. But the point is, we have a pipe! And for future projects that could come in quite handy.
That’s it for this update. The next update should have the space completed and ready for back-bar cabinet installation and the bar itself. Cheers!