Thursday, October 20, 2011

Basment Reclaimation

Things are a foot in the Nestingen household.  Its amazing what a whole month free of travel will do for an avid DIYer's to-do list.  For the sake of brevity, suffice it to say we've been busy.  Our tradition of last minute, ah hell why not projects has been holding true.  For a little background we have two cats (had 'em since we lived in a 450 sq ft. studio in a less than desirable portion of St. Paul) and one very large dog.  The cats have not historically done well with change, when we bought the house they were certain there was a boogey dog around each and every corner and proceeded to mark their territory thus.  Then we rescued said boogey dog from our local shelter (see pic - below he's all brawn and no bite, there are glasses of warm milk with more ire than our dog) and the cats proceeded to lose there furry little minds and bladders all the hell over our basement.

Boogey Dog

Culprit #1
Culprit #2

My upbringing is such that when an animal continues to exhibit poor behavior, that animal has forfeit its breathing rights.  That was my upbringing, my experience is; i like my cats, and ending their furry little existences over some urine would have put undo stress on my marriage, soooooo they had to stay.  The basement carpet on the other hand HAD TO go.  We had been talking about updating the basement for a while, the flooring was a sticking point.

All pet mess aside, carpet in a basement in our neck of the woods is a poor idea, please refer to our post " A little Wetness problem solved."  Our house is damn near 50 yrs old built in a swamp - it will get wet, it's not up for debate. Couple that with a kiddo  (by the way another one on the way in Feb. so, well, we have been, er....cough cough, busy? I digress) and the subsequent messes generated  and carpet was as good a flooring choice as broken glass, that is to say a poor choice.  Becky got wind of a linoleumesque product that was supposed to be all things to all people and hold up to every thing short of a nuclear war.  I was totally against anything linoleum. When i think of that particular flooring, I think of shag carpet, Nascar races, and grits with more cigarette ash in them than actual corn meal. I did not want a plastic floor underneath my bar and pool table.  My hand was forced however when I arrived home one Friday to see Becky acting as if she was intensely interested in my day, how it went, what went on, what I would prefer to do for dinner... I knew this level of interest could only mean one thing.  There was a project underway I was not privy too.

Sorry for the crappy photo, Basement post carpet removal pre refinishing
After a bit of coaxing she admitted that she had in fact started to remove some of the pad from below the carpet in the basement as an exploratory exercise. What she found was encouraging, the carpet came up neatly as did the pad, with the notable exception of the edges (those sucked bad). All in all the removal would be a quick project.  So after a quick discussion off we went on the demo. I had to get up close and personal with the brunt of the ammonia soaked pieces of carpet to get them out of the basement, throughout the entire process, I was mentally beating the hell out of myself for not doing it sooner, it was gross.

Once the carpet was removed we had to revisit the flooring debate. At this point I was worn down, so we went Becky's way.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that Becky's way turned out to be a pretty nice solution. It comes in vinyl planks that are look good as any wood laminate product out there, the install is fastener free, and tool minimal (pencil, tape measure and tin snips, that's it), and to top it off, totally water proof and tough as hell.  If the cats get incontinent, it won't seep in and create a smell, if the kid gets creative with his paint, it won't stain, just wipe it up. Win, win.
Getting Started Putting Down the Flooring, REALLY EASY

The install was a breeze- roughly 6 total hours of work from start to finish, easily the least amount of work to change ratio I've ever been a part of.  We painted the walls prior to putting the floor down, and decided to finish off the look with a prefinished white baseboard that looked sharp against the dark floor and walls.  I am finally able to showcase the guitars that I play (poorly) and the Adam Turman posters that are the chosen art of the basement (I don't like to plug things unless I can really say I support them, Adam Turman does awesome work, he did a great poster of a great beer and great pin up girls, sorry, but I like his stuff) . 

Post Base Board and every thing back in place 

Behind The Bar

WA LA updateed basement. We didnt go too nuts, no wall moving, no real carpentry work, just surfaces, but it makes a huge difference. We love it.  Now we just have to toss a massive party to break it in.

And now for no reason, a kid in a pile of leaves.