Basement Reno: Week 9

There was lots of progress last week. Bathroom tile was completed, doors were installed, and most of the new windows were installed.

Day 46: Contractor finishes laying floor tile. Grouts both shower and floor.



Day 47: No work.

I do some drywall patching in the bathroom. Then another coat of PVA primer, followed with two coats of eggshell finish paint in the same color as the rest of the basement (Martha Stewart Popcorn from HD).

Day 48: All the doors and windows are delivered! Doors are installed.

Day 49: The rest of the doors are installed. First window is installed.


Day 50: More windows installed. All the trim is delivered.

Things are really starting to take shape and there’s a rumor that we might get electrical installed and hooked up this week.


Basement Reno: Week 7

Week 7 has been the week of drywall finishing. Everything is covered in an amazing amount of white dust. I’m not even sure where it comes from. As you can tell it’s fascinating.

Day 33: Drywall finishers come back and do a second coat of mud. It looks way worse than the first coat and I start to have a minor freak out. Another guy comes to finish installing laundry room ceiling. He hangs one sheet and then everyone leaves: ceiling still not finished.

Day 34: Drywall finishers come at 7 a.m. and tell me they will be spraying the drywall texture. Keep in mind the walls look like total crap. Cue major freak out. Call the contractor and let him know he has to get here immediately. Turns out drywall guys were not doing any texture, just sanding and doing a third coat of mud. So I look like a bit of a jackass and my contractor now fully believes I’m insane. Also get a long lecture from contractor about “trusting the process” and that everyone is really busy and life as a contractor is very hard in such a great construction boom. My heart aches for him.

Day 35: Decide the walls look really good already and that I don’t want orange peel texture sprayed. Drywall guy says it will be another $2500 for smooth walls. We find a middle ground: one more coat of mud over any imperfections and no extra charge. We take on the liability of it not looking perfect after we get paint up. Cross fingers.

Drywall in laundry was not hung because they figured we want our electrical run through the exterior wall to the box before they hang drywall over it. What a novel idea! I brought this up to the contractor last week and nothing as done about it but this week after I asked, he called the electrician. Electrician comes over first thing and spends 15 minutes running wires to the outside.

Finish guys come back and do another coat of mud. Patch guy comes and finishes hanging laundry ceiling and drywall under stairs. Patches any holes created by electrician in stairwell.

Clean up guy comes and takes any scrap as well as cleaning all the joint compound drips and puddles off the floor.

Day 36: No work.

Day 37: Contractor comes to check out drywall job. Agrees that it needs a good sanding and calls drywall guy. Drywall guy sends the project manager over with a 4 inch sanding sponge. He sands for 20 minutes and leaves. Looks as it did before he got there.

I’m so sick of dealing with these guys that I decide I’ll just sand myself. One of the poorer choices Ive made in my life. After 6 hours of sanding it looks pretty good and is ready for paint.

Day 38: We prime the hallway and ceilings with Kilz PRO-X PVA primer for new drywall. It goes on pale gray and dries chalky white. Color change =Tons-o-fun!

Day 39: Finish priming the rest of basement. Test out 3 colors: Benjamin Moore China White, Moonlight White and Glacier White. China white is too beige, and the other two are too yellow. So we are back to the drawing board or paint chip board. White paint is harddddd.

And some pics:

The hallway before primer:


And view back at the hall from the great room:


Great room with primer:


Great room after a coat of primer:


It’s really starting to look like a finished basement! Next up: deciding on a paint color and painting and the contractor is going to start on the bathroom tile.

Basement Reno: Week 6

Day 27: Monday-Contractor makes mistake scheduling insulation inspection for a second time. No work.

Day 28: Insulation inspection finally happens. Contractor plays plumber for the day and moves a pipe into the ceiling in preparation for drywall. Also installs blocking to support floating vanity in bathroom. Doesn’t turn water back on to check for leaks. I notice one leak in the newly replaced pipe.

Day 29: Drywall is installed. Installers can not finish because of another leak in the newly replaced pipe.

Day 30: Contractor comes in the afternoon to fix his “handywork” on the pipes. He replaces all the leaky joints with compression (no solder) fittings. Everyone collectively cross your fingers that they hold. Another guy comes from the drywall company. He and his kid haul off the scrap from the installers. He also installs corner bead and Hardibacker cement board for the shower (some in mosaic pieces). No one comes to finish installing drywall ceiling.

Day 31: Drywall screw inspection happens despite the drywall not fully installed. Inspector takes no note of the laundry room ceiling being 3/4 exposed and happily signs off the inspection. (Permits are a total joke and I will never permit a project again).

Day 32: Saturday- Drywall finishers show up at 7 am. Tape and mud drywall. It looks terrible and I’m hoping things get better after this first coat. I also notice that finishers tape the cement board in the shower with paper tape and joint compound. And drywall ceiling in laundry is still not up.

Drywall in bedroom/office 2:


View from bottom of stairs looking towards living room:


Living room and wide doorway to office:


Looking back at the living room from the office:

doorwk6You can really see where the soffit goes up a little to not block the doorway in this pic.

And last but not least…the wonderfully crappy cement board installation:

cementboardNote how the cement board doesn’t even continue to the shower pan (bottom right corner). Nor does it cover the lip of the shower pan like it should. Contractor promises to fix this. I feel like I’ve heard that before…

So onto week 7 we move. I think we’re in for a lot of drywall finishing which means lots-o-dust, but one step closer to a finished space!