The Basement Epilogue

If you’ve been here before, you may have heard a little something occasionally about a certain basement renovation.  You know, just a casual mention here and there.  Mostly about how it was ruining my life and aging me beyond my years.

To clarify, I’m referring to the basement renovation that started last August 20.  The one with a five-week time frame.

The one that was not, in fact, finished five weeks — or even five months — later.

The one that was finished eight months later.  And by “finished,” I mean for the most part, and as good as it’s going to get without litigation.

Just a mere eight months.  The same time frame it takes to erect an entire subdivision.

During six of those months, I had no laundry machines.  I might have mentioned that a few times.  This meant no ketchup or tomato sauce for my kids.  I also had to consider catheterizing my son overnight.

I’m just kidding.  Partially.  {We totally had ketchup on special occasions.}

For all of you who stuck with me through this, I feel like I owe you the final update.  Plus I need a place to channel my fury.

OK, so let me just pre-empt your questions right here about how five weeks became eight months, and how we could allow this to go on, etc.  The questions where you make me feel like a jackass.  It’s OK — I’m used to these questions.  I would ask them too.

I won’t bore you with the lengthy details of what went wrong.  Suffice it to say when you start messing with the foundation of a 100 year-old house, it may not always go well.  It may in fact come to pass that, in certain places, your house essentially is resting on piles of stones and not a true foundation, per se.  And it may come to pass that the mason who is handling this sub-contracted portion of the job is one slippery motherfucker.

We’ll leave it at that.

I have to wonder how people with those pretty home renovation blogs don’t carry around the same rage that I have.  Clearly, I wasn’t cut out for this.

I mean, I just wanted some extra living space, new laundry machines and room for a wine fridge.  And I didn’t want it to look like the set of a horror movie anymore.  Because here it was.

I mean, tell me this does not scream Poltergeist or The People Under the Stairs to you.

So the project was to be fairly straightforward.  More space.  Better laundry room.  A new bathroom.  No horror movie vibe.  Oh, and better water drainage — which is where the foundation issues began.  And once they started, it was like a domino effect.  On crack.

Let me show you what I mean.

See this?  Not really what we signed up for.



There was also a lot of this.


Which led to a lot of this.


And, of course, there was this.  Week in and week out.


Which brought me back to this.

It was kind of cyclical.

When we heard that we needed brand new multi-ton steel beams inserted under the length of my house  — to hold it up — I moved on to this.

Because the espresso martini fixes everything.

Except this.


But, eventually, we got there.  Even if our patience was shattered.  Even if we called bullshit on every HGTV family ever filmed for one of those shows.  Even if we considered the earn-your-law-school-degree-from-home approach.  Like a prisoner researching his case and trying to get parole.  The two scenarios were not dissimilar.

And now, we have a shiny new basement.  No dumpster in the driveway.  No house shaking as the new beams were moved beneath the Earth.  No ladder to get downstairs.  No profanity spewing episodes (OK, that’s not really true).

Here are some before and after shots.




I’m considering moving down there and making it my apartment.  Forget the Man Cave.  This is a Mom Cave.  Mostly because of the ease with which I can move between the laundry machines and the wine fridge.

Now that it’s all said and done, do I love it?  Yes.

Will I ever complain about doing laundry again?  Nope.

Am I still pissed off about the insanity of the project?  Absolutely.

But — and I know this is crazy — I see how people get the renovation bug.  I do.

In fact, we’ve decided to take our residual renovation rage and channel it to another project this summer:  The Kitchen.

Why get comfortable, right?  And yes, we’ll be using a different contractor.  And medication.

I mean, how bad can it be?

{Crazytown, Party of Two:  Your table is ready.}



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  1. Kristin says:

    But it looks so lovely! We’re in our sixth month of bathroom renos here. We were told eight weeks. Ha! HAHA!

    I’d totally move down there…it looks cozy and lovely. And it that a fully functioning hang-out kitchenette? Love it! I am NOT sharing this with my husband. If he wants to start another project after the bathrooms are done, I’m moving into the Marriott Residence Inn. They serve Breakfast and cookies.

  2. Glamamom says:

    Wow! The “after” sorta makes it all worth it, right? Sorta? Kinda? Maybe? Having been through a reno on my apartment and currently undergoing a $200K project on the foundation of the building (I know), I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I’ve blocked out most of the reno, sort of like child birth. Give it a year or two, you’ll sorta, kinda, maybe forget tpp. Enjoy that awesome new space. And your clean clothes. xo

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