Adventures in Home Improvement

Jami and I just finished* our biggest home improvement project to date: remodeling our basement. The front room was changed into a lovely, liveable family space, a bathroom was added, the laundry area was improved, and the “true” basement was closed off, so that we didn’t need to stare at our gardening supplies every time we did laundry.

The transformation is pretty dramatic:

Stairs Beforestairs
(Stairs to Basement, Before and After)

Front Room Before
(Front Room Before)

front room front room
(Front Room After)

Laundry Before
(Laundry Area Before)

laundry room.
(Laundry Room After)

drying rack.
(Basement Before)

true basement
(Basement After)

Probably the biggest change though is the bathroom. Before we had a toilet behind some particleboard walls…
"Bathroom" Before

in the middle of the renovation, we had a huge hole in the ground…
the future bathroom

and now we have a beautiful full bathroom:

sink. shower.

There was a real learning curve with the project. It required a lot more hands on management then I expected (and could probably have used a little more than I gave it). It took twice as long as expected (note to self: for future projects, always double what the contractor tells you). It was very stressful – more stressful than we even realized until it was over and we found ourselves totally giddy to have our lives and our house completely back.

But there is also a real sense of accomplishment. We paid cash for an improvement on our home that is significant and lovely. I learned how to apply for permits and get inspections. We were a team who accomplished a major, stressful goal (and still liked each other when it was over). I got a lot of practice in standing up for myself, for our vision, and for our budget. Sometimes I think home ownership is one big assertiveness training course!

Now we get to relax and enjoy our new space. Someday soon we may even be able to furnish it!

*and by “finished” I mean: paid for, organized, and stressed over.  Oh, did we stress over.

Adventures in Home Improvement

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