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My basement workshop: I officially have a plan!

Sep 23 2016 -
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It finally happened guys! I broke out of my basement funk! What was my basement funk you might ask? Well, despite all of my trying, I was still pouting on the inside about this basement not becoming what I had first planned for it to become. This kind of thing happens all the time (I’m aware of that) I am also fully aware that this basement becoming my workshop is far more awesome then this basement becoming a rental apartment. This is actually one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me! But I was still pouting… in fact, this pout lasted a good six months. I just couldn’t help it. We spent SO much time, effort and money to make this a legal basement suite and then boom… not gonna happen. It just sucks. I hate undoing anything. I hate waste. The thought of it all just made me want to throw up! So, I pouted (on the inside) and basically ignored the basement. I was literally waiting myself out because no matter what I said or did to myself, there was absolutely no forcing this girl to be happy with this situation regardless of how many pep talks I gave her. (Yup, referring to myself in the third person AND talking to myself.)

UPDATE: December 15th, 2017. Joe and I are now divorced. I will not be deleting blog posts like this one as it is still a diary to some extent of my past and that still matters to me. I wish I had been more honest about how things were going to you guys here on the blog… I thought things would get better. There was always something: once this happens then he won’t be so angry… But, eventually, he ran out of excuses and I had to face my reality that I was wrong about Joe in every way possible. Grandma’s house is completely mine so now it can actually become what I dreamed it would be on all those late nights alone when I was renovating it. Happiness does not always come the way we expect it to, sometimes it even takes a broken heart to get us there, and I still believe in happy endings!

The sad, tear-filled, horror story of our basement, how we wasted so much time and money for nothing and now have a new renovation plan for a workshop.

Well it finally happened, I broke out of my basement funk and I am now, truly, stoked about my basement workshop! Honestly, it is clear I just had to grieve and beat myself up for an allotted amount of time over what happened here. Remember how I mentioned that I gave myself pep talks to try and hurry this along? Oh yeah, LOTS of pep talks, it didn’t work. I’m stubborn and no one knows it (or is more annoyed by it) then me but I seem to finally be on the other side of it now. This all started with my going down to the basement, sitting myself on the broken steps (yup I gotta fix the stairs too) and staring at the wall. Yeah, you read that right, I stared at a wall but it was a VERY specific wall. In fact it was the wall that gave me the most trouble and really hurt my back when I was framing in this darned dungeon. It is a wall that cuts the main room completely in half and created a bedroom for our future tenant. I sat there, staring at it, thinking about my limited supply of materials, thinking about how much work it ended up being for me to put it up, thinking about how Joe had mentioned I should take it down but I had refused because it had been such a pain in the ass for me to put up on my own, thinking about what on earth I was going to cover it with. And then it all became clear and my basement funk evaporated. I got up, grabbed my favorite hammer (his name is Max) and I took that wall down. I was no longer in mourning, no longer fighting for all the work I had already put in down here instead, I was glad to do whatever I had to do to make this my basement workshop even if it meant taking down hard work. So, I started REALLY thinking and planning, this included my wandering around our barn and my wood pile in our garage, taking stalk of my materials. Because, I am absolutely determined, that this basement, after so much wasted money, is not going to cost us another darned thing! This is going to be my biggest frugal challenge, I can only use what I have on hand, everything must and will be recycled unless I have absolutely no other choice.

The sad, tear-filled, horror story of our basement, how we wasted so much time and money for nothing and now have a new renovation plan for a workshop.

And that includes: no sheet rock. What?! Yup, you heard me, NO SHEET ROCK. You have never met a person more sick of sheet rock then me. I’m tired of buying it, moving it, hanging it, taping it, mudding it, sanding it, priming it and painting it. I never thought I would say this but dammit I sure wish I hadn’t thrown all of that old paneling away that we ripped out of my grandparents’ old bedroom! We hung what sheet rock we had left down here after the house renovation and still have a little pile of random remnants of various sizes but that’s it and that’s going to be it as far as sheet rock goes. What do I have in mind? Well, I have several piles of barn wood and a friend down the road who owns a palette making business offered my husband a large pile of broken pieces for free. I also have a stack of plywood/closet doors/interior doors with absolutely no purpose.

This is gonna be weird, Folks, I’m covering the walls down here with basically everything I’ve got and hoping I have enough. There is still some yucky work to be done down here too, we need to pour cement where we had jack hammered out the slab to install the entire full bathroom and sub pump. Joe showed me where he keeps his concrete tools so I can do it while he’s gone, first I need to haul some dirt down here to protect the pvc from the pipes and fill in the deepest places so I’ll only be pouring a few inches of concrete. Then I can get the tub/shower installed along with the rest of the bathroom and then (only then) can I fully finally cover all of the walls – from there I can install the kitchen. Yup I already have all of the cabinets (got them free – they’re in the garage too) so my basement workshop is going to include a full kitchen which seems so silly! I need to just keep breathing reminding myself how spoiled I am to have a workshop kitchen and not think about the waste heck I’m even going to have a full-size refrigerator and, regardless of how silly it seems, it is pretty cool to have a beer refrigerator and an extra stove even. Good grief.

The sad, tear-filled, horror story of our basement, how we wasted so much time and money for nothing and now have a new renovation plan for a workshop.

So, what does that mean for the blog? Well you guys are coming with me on this journey and I sure hope some of the recycles and free ideas I use can help you too! This basement might end up very weird but, in the end, it will be all me in every conceivable way and it will also take me into the next step of my journey: I will now have a real place to start refinishing and building furniture all of the time! And no more worry about having to work around our cars out in the garage!


So, here’s the plan: The laundry room/closet off of the bedroom is now going to be for all of my extra wood pieces scraps etc. I’m going to build kind of a knee-high “gate” in front of it, to help hold it all in there. The bedroom is now gone, opening up the entire main “room” for me to build the workshop table (on castors) of my dreams: I have a six x four foot barn door that I’m going to make it out of! The “kitchen” will now be entirely workshop, the sink will be our dirty sink for cleaning brushes and nastiness: no more using our kitchen sink for that stuff!! Yay! The kitchen cabinets are going to be for long term storage but first they will house all of my paint and stains etc. No more worrying about it all freezing out in the garage!! Yay! I’m going to put my miter saw and table saw on either side of the staircase right when you come down stairs to make it easy to move the table saw out into the middle of the room if need be and it will give the miter saw the most space on either side of it the basement can offer. I also have another barn door I’m going to use for the bathroom that will slide but I’m not going to buy hanging door hardware for it instead I’m going to make my own in the cheapest way possible. I already have a little door I had set aside for the utility room off of the bathroom but because I won’t be using any other doors down here it means I have even more doors left over from the renovation that I can use to cover the walls with!

Wish me luck guys! The first jobs to do down here are (of course) the least amount of fun, I need to fill in the slab with concrete so I can get the bathroom installed and then I need to totally cover the walls which also means I have a lot of wood to hall down here!

Planning my frugal basement workshopMake money by shopping online by using Ebates!

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  1. Jenny Young
    September 24, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    I cannot wait to see it as it comes along! It’s very hard when we have to re-adjust Our plans amd start over but then often we’re so much happier in the end.

    • September 25, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      Jenny thank you 🙂 I absolutely agree and hope so much that this turns out cool!

  2. Sue
    September 25, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    WHEWWWW… you make me TIRED Girl!! haha This looks like it’s going to be a fabulous workshop (drooling with envy here), and I can’t wait to see how you go about it. Post ALLLLLL The pictures you can, I love seeing works in progress, and I know this project is gonna be a “Good un’ “…..

    Wish I could come help you (if I were only 20 years younger.)

    GOOD LUCK~!!

    • September 25, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      Sue i make myself tired! lol I just keep thinking I’ve got two big jobs that won’t be much fun to do and then it will all be fun jobs like building shelving and putting in the kitchen! Thank you!!

  3. September 26, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Sometimes things work out for the best even when our heart feels otherwise. I know you’ll enjoy your journey and be totally thrilled wth having a work area! Looking forward to seeing your progress:)

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