Basement reno: well, well, well

Disclaimer: I'm not the type of blogger who posts about every little thing when it comes to a renovation (really, do you care about every stupid drywall piece we looked at?). I feel that you all (is anyone still here?!) deserve a proper before & after of the major basement projects when that time comes. Also, Mr. FC is doing a lot of the reno along with our wonderful general contractor (read: keeps costs down) on top of his day job, so that might mean periods of silence when it comes to talking about the basement reno. Thanks for understanding and for dropping by so faithfully!

Our Labor Day weekend was all about the basement window wells. My primary concern with our basement renovation is that I don't want the final space to feel like a basement, you know? So this means lots of recessed lighting (to come) and pushing the window wells outward to help eliminate that claustrophobic feeling.


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It's backbreaking work, digging. I should know because.......well, I watched from the sidelines, but I can practically feel how brutal the digging must have been. If you've ever taken a shovel to dry, rocky, clay-ish Colorado soil, then you know what I mean. It took the two guys Mr. FC hired two days to do the majority of the digging--they were phenomenal.  Along with our general contractor, Mr. FC dug some more, lined the wells with landscape fabric (to keep the weeds & such out), shoveled in load after load of gravel, heaved pressure-treated 6in x6in x 8ft wood pieces into place, and hammered away until his body was numb. It's a good thing we only have two window wells.

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I don't usually talk all mushy about Mr. FC.  We're not a mushy, sappy sort of couple.  Though he rarely reads this blog, I just want to give him a shout-out.  He is the architect behind our renovations.  What he doesn't already know, he learns.  His day job is in the corporate world but he doesn't mind doing manual labor and such because sometimes he's cheap.   Without him, we'd still be sitting in a house smelling of dog pee, mice poop, and suspiciously like a meth lab all rolled into one. Bravo, babes, bravo.  I can't think of anyone I'd rather vacuum up mice poop with, seriously.
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P.S. Look what I found: a list I made as soon as we were handed the keys to our fixer-upper (circa 2007). Have I ever mentioned that one of the first things we did was swab the walls with a meth lab testing kit for meth residue? (Why we didn't do this before we actually closed on the house is beyond me.)  We just wanted to be absolutely sure, as there were a few weird signs (metallic odor noone could quite place, dodgey-looking previous owner, decrepit house, leftover Bunsen burner). The results were negative.  Awesome.

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P.P.S. Just kidding about the Bunsen burner.

30 comments:

  1. OMG I am amazed by how great those window wells are. This is what sets you apart from other renovators and bloggers - you look at the overall appeal - right down to the window wells. I would never have thought to do it, but it's amazing.

    And you know, you're not an attention whore (to steal a term from my favorite blogger...um, you.). That's another thing that sets you apart. Love that about you. Though I am sad I won't get a play by play of your drywall tape picking.

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  2. I love your reno blogging.

    Funny about the meth testing. We have a rental house (which we lived in ourselves for 11 years) that recently burned up because our renters were growing LOTS of marijuana and overtaxed our electrical system from the 1940s. That's the bad news. The good news: we had good insurance and now we have a brand-new house. And we're going to be super picky about new renters...amazingly, none of the weed went "up in smoke." HAHA

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  3. ahaha Bunsen burner!

    It looks fantastic!

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  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We have the same ugly window in our basement and I have no idea what to do with it. Now I do! Thank you so much.

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  5. That's classic! I have yet to buy a meth house!

    Kelly

    p.s. LOVE how the window well turned out. And I could totally see flowers and green things overflowing into it in the summer.

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  6. I love the wood--I've never seen that before but it's going straight to my inspiration folder. We have a guest bedroom roughed in in the basement and the egress window view is sooooo blech.

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  7. Mr. FC looking to teach some other DH's out there? Please? Cherry on top?

    Looks fabulous!

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  8. I love it, that looks beautiful.

    Tiffany
    Peace, Love and Chocolate

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  9. Wow! That's an amazing change. It looks sooo much better from the inside and lets in an amazing amount of natural light. Kudos to you for having the vision to change something like that. A lot of us would be stumped by that project! Angie xo

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  10. You guys never cease to amazing me with the quality of your upgrades! Seriously nice work.

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  11. Oooo.. ths is such an "Income Property" moment! Loves it!

    What are you planning to do with the basement? Guest room? Well-deserved man cave for Mr. FC? Playroom for future Freckles Children? *gasp*

    Bravo to Mr. FC. He's a keeper ;)

    LB

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  12. I love you, I just thought you should know. ; ) You never cease to bring a chuckle to pouty face. Aren't corporate hubbies by day DIYers by night sexy? I have one of those too.

    OMG, "meth test order online?" LMAO.

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  13. Love the wrinkly old list and love the new window wells. Nice work, Mr. FC!

    jbhat

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  14. Holy Carp! That looks AMAZING!

    I seriously LOL @ "I should know because.......well, I watched from the sidelines..."

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  15. 1- I totally get you on not posting every little step.

    2- Those window wells look AWESOME

    3- In case of fire, you could actually escape out of those window wells.

    4- Those window wells look AWESOME!

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  16. LOVE the transformation you and the Mr. are having done! Kudos to your main guy for helping out and kudos to you for managing! ; )

    Can't wait to see it progress, FC.

    :D

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  17. This is something that I would have never thought about doing! Granted, we don't really have basements in Texas, but the improvement is astounding. And a sweet shout-out at the end... :)

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  18. Lets in so much light! GREAT job! =)

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  19. Looks amazing - you definitely get a ton more light!

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  20. Hey chick! Just making sure you're ok with all the Colorado fire craziness. : )

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  21. @ Joi: Aww, thx for thinking of us, girl! The fires are raging not too far from us but we're OK. Close enough that we can see & smell the smoke, but far enough that we don't have to evacuate.

    Our home's been coverd by a fine layer of ash though!! All those poor people who've lost their homes....my heart goes out to them.

    Thx for checking in! LOVES YOU!!

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  22. Wow, I'm not quite sure I ever thought I'd say this but um, those are some hot lookin window wells. Color me impressed, Mr FC!

    And seriously, thanks for leaving out the excess details. I always laugh at some of the big blogs that try to give me a tutorial on something ridiculously easy, like picking my toenails.

    Sorry for that visual.

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  23. Yay!!! I am SO relieved you, the Mr., and Hiro are fine. I was very worried.

    The situation appears so sad on tv. :(

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  24. This is such an amazing project - you always have the best ideas and such great taste. I would love to do this to my yard!

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  25. That is crazy awesome. We have gross window wells just like you with bigger windows, so I would love to do something like this. Probably won't, though! haha

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  26. Your window wells look amazing! I've never seen anything like them.

    And what a husband!

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  27. You guys are amazing. The transformation is phenomenal! My fiance does not understand the concept of the blog world, so I rarely tell him about projects online, but this is the second time I have had to show him pictures from your site. (The first being the paint color on your house!)

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  28. WOW now that is so cool...i love how it turned out and gave me an idea! :)))))))

    www.madebygirl.com
    madebygirl.blogspot.com

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  29. Wow, those new window wells are ahhh-mazing! And a very physically demanding project. That's nice of you to give your hubby such well-deserved kudos. :) I can definitely say this is the first transformation of this sort that I've seen!

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Let's get weird up in here.
xoxo
~Freckles Chick~