Lesson Learned: Never underestimate the will of a man and his best idea.
One area of the house that needs a big makeover is the basement! The previous homeowners had the space split up in to a kid’s bedroom and a space that was just simply wasted. Jason reallly wants the basement to be all opened up so he can sit on a nice sectional and have a space to watch Football (Soccer to you and I), golf and well any other sport he can find. I have trained him well– he knows the main floor living room is where I watch my cheesy Bravo TV :).
That being said, the reno of the basement was Jason’s TOP priority on the list of to do’s in the house, AND not to mention this was the BIGGEST project on our list. So, here was my logic: the basement reno was too big to take on in the first week of living in the house, therefore the two of us would focus on other smaller projects for a while.
But wait there’s more! My logical thinking knows no bounds! The size of the project wasn’t the only thing that scared me about this reno- I knew ripping into sheet rock would create a HUGE mess, a mess that would stay put until I cleaned it.. ugh. It’s in my nature to like things clean, neat and tidy and everything about this project went totally against that! Buttt much to my surprise, I had no choice when this project would be started…
This is what happens when I leave Jason alone in the house for an evening…
Within the first week of living in the house, I finished work and went straight to my soccer game-leaving Jason alone for the first time at home all evening. Nothing wrong with that, you say? Funny, I had a bad feeling those walls in the basement were calling to him, begging to be ripped down. But, as a lovely significant other, I trusted all would be alright and dropped the “feeling”. Soon enough, I finished my game and opened a text to see a picture of Jason’s first ever “Selfie” captioned “Demo Evening”… I’ll let you imagine how I felt when I opened it.
My hour long drive home was slightly nervy wondering what I would come home to. Don’t get me wrong…I trust him to do any projects as his Dad taught him well growing up on the DIY/Handyman front, but I know he’s not one for keeping things tidy when he works.
As I opened the door I was greeted with Jason’s awful singing (sorry hunnie), empty beer bottles and dust.. lots of dust. The basement walls were 80% gone and just some of the studs left to be taken down. Jason called it a successful evening.
I asked him how all of this began and his recount makes verrry little sense to me…
“Wellllllll I walked down stairs to go into the garden (back yard) and saw the hammer on the ledge. My need to know whether the walls were load bearing walls or not got the better of me so I smashed a few small holes to check. And one beer led to another and all of the walls were coming down. But don’t worry I took a few pictures for your blog (very classic Jason )”.
When he says one beer led to another he means it, I counted 7 empty bottles and a half empty one on the ledge!
The basic tools we used for this demo: hammer, jab saw, box cutter and drill. Make sure the walls you are about to take down are not load bearing, this can be simple to tell but if you are in doubt PLEASEEEEE consult with a professional.
To take sheet rock down, you can be like Jason and just start hammering away, but I would recommend using a saw to cut out big sections. Using the drill and hammer, you can remove any screws and nails in the sheet rock or studs which makes disassembling much easier.
Here are some pictures to give you an idea of his progress!
A productive Tuesday evening that was for him!!
A warning to be had. Jason likes to wear flip flops at all times, including during demoing walls. I DO NOT recommend this at all. Daredevil he is!
It took us a total of 3 evenings to remove all of the walls and to clean up the mess!
The next step was to put up new dry wall on the walls and plaster them, along with repairing the ceiling. Oh- and we had to figure out a way to remove the popcorn ceiling! We had been quoted $1400 by a plasterer for the ceiling alone, which we did not have the money to spend. I will be posting again soon with the progress of the basement as well as a tutorial on how to take down and replace popcorn ceilings!!