Friday, March 08, 2013

DIY #3: Basement Rec Room

Our house has a lot of space. Much of the space, like the uninsulated sleeping porch and wood-walled room in the attic, is only somewhat useable. The “rec room” in the basement, though a large, appealing extra space, has been completely unusable for various reasons, namely crumbling asbestos tiles and all around dismalness. Itching for another DIY, and needing some runaround space for the girls during the winter, we decided to tackle this room as our next project last month.

Painting the wood paneling and the ceiling was pretty easy. We also painted the bureau thing that covers up the water and gas meters, which stick out of the wall. But then we had to address the asbestos-tiled floor. First, we talked ourselves into just carpeting or tiling over it. But some research led us to believe that this wasn’t the safest choice, since many of the tiles were already broken. Andrew sent a sample away for testing, and the asbestos was confirmed. So we decided we had to have the tiles professionally removed. This made our DIY much more expensive than we’d hoped, but it had to be done at some point, so we just did it. Then we got carpet-by-the-foot at Home Depot and laid it down ourselves.

A related part of this DIY was getting a new water heater. Our old one still worked, but it was ancient, and every time the plumbers came for another reason they painted scary pictures of us coming home after a weekend away to find fifty gallons of water flooding our basement. So we just did that too.

The end result of this project is a useable room that will become even more useful once the girls are older and want their own space to watch movies or hang out with their friends, or whatever. (Of course we’ll be adding surveillance cameras at that point.) For now, it’s a gloriously empty playroom. For the first few days, when the girls went down there, they just ran around like crazy, screaming. Which, in the winter, is exactly what we need a space like this for.

Estimated time: less than 3-5 days
Actual time: 2 months
Number of trips to Home Depot: 3
Tools borrowed from neighbors: 0
Professionals called in: 2 teams (asbestos removal, water-heating)



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