What? It’s Monday and no pretty pictures to ease the transition into the working week?
We’ll get back to the usual high bar of style tomorrow – but today let’s talk about how that bar is raised. Last week, I posted on the evolution behind one of the Design Star spaces, and its transformation from blank canvas to show place. But as everyone knows, there is a huge variation between reality shows and reality. How do you get the look, without a generous budget, a carpenter, painter and installers?
I took on a basement family room reno single-handedly to discover the answer(s) to that question for you – and committed to make it as green as possible. High marks for initiative here, but the proof will (or will not) be in the out come.
The basement posed an intimidating inventory of problems and wish list that did not go hand in hand – plus several unwelcome surprises such as contractor grade tile installed directly on plywood, (surrounding a wood burning fireplace!), cupped hardwood floors, (in a basement?? Really??) surrounding said tile, bad wiring and – best of all – double padded carpet duct-taped to a cement floor entombing world best incubator of mold!!
Renovations is not for cissies – nor for absolute perfectionists. The floor above is 100% green – sand down, white washed with 2 coats of water-based white wash, and cover in (so far) 4 coats of water-base polyurethane. Doing it yourself is a process that begs indulgence. Is my floor perfect? No!!! But will you see it, without crawling on your hands and knees to inspect? Absolutely not – and I saved a bundle and have control over the quality and result.
Let’s have a snap shot of the big picture – how am I doing mainly on my own so far? (acknowledgment must be made to family assistance is aspects of demo). Pictures say a thousand words, but numbers never lie…
Let’s have a look at the project check list:
Hmmm….the check-list above reveals the reason for the image short-coming. Allot of demo has taken place, and I am allot further than I was when I began but all those lovely finishing processes remain unchecked to date.
Have I given up or slacked off? If you are a weekend warrior I bet you get asked this allot. Contractors dedicate full days, full-time to projects – they don’t do much research ( or at least qualified contractors don’t…) So why not leave it in the capable hands of qualified professionals?
Cost. People on a budget can make the room that makes it home, too – and i am dead set on proving this.
Let’s review some of the high points and what I have saved so far:
Wait – why not recessed lighting and proper new drywall ceilings? Unusual answer – whether done by a pro or DIY, the demo of the existing plaster ceilings would have been detrimental to a family member who suffers from acute asthma and allergies. Covering the old ceiling with wainscoting provides a fresh update with no health hazards.
Re-wiring and removing the old unsafe track: about $400 including fixtures; 2.5 days labor
Calling in an electrician for the project: about $900 including track, 1/2 day labor
* My son is a subcontractor with electrical experience and this was not a complex job. I recommend at any cost, that professionals only deal with sub-structural plumbing, gas at any elevation and electrical – SAFTEY FIRST!
Installing wainscoting ceiling with custom cuts: $307.97, including brad-nailer, 3 days labor
1 day of labor for my contractor – $1200 – approximately 1 day including setting up tools and cleaning up on site.
Filling in around the what were they thinking corner pipe support of the offset fireplace wall, to create a 3-sided firebox to tile:
Cement: about $200, 3 days labor
My contractor: about $1500 including materials and labor.
Custom mantle and installation work – I am guessing here. The wood cost will be around $300.
It adds up fast – my project cost thus far could have exceeded $5600 by up to 20% – I have saved almost $5,000 so far, and spent about $600 of my budget which is about $3000, not including the gas fireplace which will be installed in this room at a later date and will double this figure but save on energy use and be greener in application than burning wood.
I am learning quite allot, and will share the steps with all of you as I go – as well as some DIY Green decor projects.
I can’t wait for the big reveal!
- Interior Design Trends 2012 – Green Design on a Budget – Part 1 (redoitdesign.wordpress.com)
- Make Your Ceiling Fabulous! (littlelindiline.wordpress.com)
- Before & After: The Chamberlains’ Modern Addition (apartmenttherapy.com)
- Wood Floors – A Lighter Approach! (redoitdesign.wordpress.com)
- Design Star – Top Designs (redoitdesign.wordpress.com)
- DIY Green Basement Remodel – The Saga… (redoitdesign.wordpress.com)
- 10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Basement (doorfly.com)
- Interior Design Trends 2012 – Green Makeover a Budget – Part 3 (redoitdesign.wordpress.com)
- Design Star – The Moments…. (redoitdesign.wordpress.com)
- Room With a View / 10. (strataflora.com)
- Fireplace becomes an eye-catching focal point for family room (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- From Daydream to The Bohemian Zen Love Den… Spicy! (skybluewithdaisies.wordpress.com)
- Michael Moeller’s Bachelor Pad Project in the Sky House Tour (apartmenttherapy.com)