So here's the evolution of the basement.......
This is what we started off with. The stone cellar that was original to our 1940 house. Stone walls, gravel floor, about 6 feet deep. (I had to duck my head under pipes and ducts when we went down there.) (More about how bad it was down there in this post.)
Beams were slid under the house and sat on cribbing and jacks while the old foundation walls were knocked out from under it. (More here.)
Footings were poured for the new foundation walls.
The new walls were formed and poured.
The walls had to cure for 3-4 weeks before they could support the weight of the house.
Since the house was above it, the new walls could not be poured to the full height (there would be no room to get the concrete in there). The final 2 feet were completed with concrete blocks.
Then the drains for plumbing were laid, and the floor was poured.
A real floor!
We opted to have two egress windows installed. (Only one is required.) They are in opposite corners of the basement and supply a lot of natural light. We decided to have two because we want the boys' bedroom to have one, but thought in case home-schooling laws get more strict at some point, it would be good to have one in our school area as well. (We also have a small window in a 3rd corner, in the laundry room.)
The new stairway was installed under our existing stairs to the 2nd floor (eliminating a closet in our bedroom).
That mess of wires hanging down in the above photo is them tearing out the existing "spider web" of electrical wiring and streamlining it.
I [heart] straight lines. :)
Paul framed in walls for future rooms so that we could go ahead and put in the necessary electrical outlets and switches.
Putting walls in actually made the space seem larger. I think it was because it defined the distance.
We stained the floors on our own. I'll try to detail the process in a later post.
The floor after being waxed and buffed.
Ooh! It's shiny! :)
Paul finished and painted the entire laundry room (while I wrangled babies). He did a fantastic job, despite "not being very good at painting." (I know the truth now!)
We splurged and added a second staircase off the back porch. I didn't like the idea of having to tote my laundry to the south side of the house (where our main stairs come up) then back to the north side of the house to hang them. Not to mention any messes, etc, getting tracked through the main house when we need to run to the basement to grab something. The stairs also access the freezers.
The stairs were made by Goddard Manufacturing in Logan, Kansas. I can't recommend them highly enough. They were so friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. We met the owner, Jerry, and the men that make the stairs when we went to pick it up. They obviously take pride in their work and our satisfaction.
The stairs take up approximately a 5'4" circumference. But this isn't totally lost space, as we can store things under the stairs. And it feels very open. I love them!
This is the opposite view of the laundry room. There's a lot going on in this picture, but where the clothes are hanging will be the wall and doorway to the downstairs bathroom. The sink is outside the bathroom to save space, and also so I can use it for laundry. (We were going to get more of a utility-type sink, but I found the vanity, sink, faucet, mirror cabinet, towel ring, towel bar, toilet paper holder, and light fixture on Craigslist for $125. I thought that was too good of a deal to pass up.)
To the right of the sink will be a "sump closet". It has the sump pump and the sewage pump in there. Paul put up shelves. Right now they are kind of all-purpose shelves, but I'd like to add some over the freezers for my canning stuff, and save the sump closet for cleaning supplies.
Paul has hung sheet rock on the stairway. It's not completely finished, but it keeps kids from falling off the stairs. On my list of priority projects, this one is pretty low. (Remember what I said about the 20-year-project?) Our builder is supplying nicer treads and risers.
This is the view from the schoolroom area to the laundry room. To give you perspective, the chairs are piled at the bottom of the stairs as a blockade to keep Gideon from climbing while I was working down there.
The brown coat is hanging in the doorway of the future bathroom.
(All the boxes are a fraction of what's left to unpack of all the curriculum and books I inherited from our parents, since we now have space to store it.)
Janice (my mother-in-law) and Elizabeth (my sis-in-law) came and primed and painted the green for the schoolroom all in one long night. I missed getting pictures of that process.
This is the schoolroom area. (Ugh - see all the dust floaters? I have got to get the air purifier down there!) We have to have two tables because Nathan feels that he has to "help" Jacob constantly.
These are my curriculum shelves. Pretty much everything I need for now through high school, and very little of it purchased new for my kids.
(And I'm already wanting to move things around. Once you start using a space, you figure out how it will work better, and I found that out after a week.)
This is standing in the schoolroom area looking toward the boys' future room.
The bed looks like the slave quarters, I realized, when the man came to hook up our thermostat and Nathan was asleep down there. I put the bed down there so that I can split the boys up so they can actually nap. We have kids all over the house at naptime. Zadie and Gideon wake each other up, so she sleeps in our room, while Gideon is in the crib in her room. One of the boys will sleep upstairs in their room, and the other in the basement. And sometimes they will all be asleep at the same time!
The boys' room will actually have two rooms. Here I am standing in the outside room where they can study or play, and have it still be "their area" but can be a little more "public" if they have friends over or something. I am looking toward the doorway (note the base boards on the floor) of where their beds-and-dressers room will be. Under the stairs will be a closet.
For now, it's Paul's tools and materials room.
So that's the tour of the basement. We would like to have the walls completed and the bathroom functional by next year. We have kind of our immediate, 1-year, 5-year, and 20-year goals. :)
But for now, we are living in it, and loving it!