Basement renovation – part 6

Has it been two years since we demoed the basement? We are getting there real soon. Hubby is not amused. But we have come so far! We passed the final permit inspection today. I mean this is IT. We got signed off on the line “Okay to Occupy” on the inspection record card. If we stop everything there is still to do, we can drag some furniture down there to get comfy.

And yet, the ordeal is far from over. Let’s backtrack from the last blog post.

Plumbing – complete

After passing final inspections for electrical and mechanical, I got right back to work to finish plumbing. The IKEA sink and drain connections were quite a challenge. I figured it all out in 2 weekends.

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Plumbing hack: IKEA bathroom sink drain connections

I spent two weekends installing the IKEA Odensvik sink and Godmorgon cabinet in the basement bathroom. It’s super tricky. I researched several postings online before starting the install.

The most difficult part is assembling the sink drain connections. The cabinet has two drawers that do not occupy the full depth of the cabinet in order to provide some space for the plumbing connections. That little amount of space trips up a lot of people. After I saw photos of this hack, I was somewhat hopeful that I can make it work. However, the waste line for my sink is pointing straight out, no 90-degree elbow as shown in those photos. And my guess is that almost everyone else is in the same boat. I read several other postings about cutting into the back of the drawers. I was determined to avoid that trouble. Here’s the end result of my hack:

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Basement renovation – part 5

Several months have gone by since my last post. We are at the stages of finish work and it feels like this will take longer than the rough-in. Partly because this is when decisions have to be made for everything visible. We sampled 6-8 paint colors before deciding on two of them. Other finishes are decided by looking at internet photos which often give me much anxiety. What if I don’t like the items when I finally see them in person? Returning internet orders incurs shipping costs but not so for the ship-to-store option like Home Depot as long as it’s not a special order item. Otherwise, I clicked the button to say “buy” and crossed my fingers that everything will work out.

We have ceilings!

One of such internet adventures was the ceiling grid and tiles for the family room and office space. We had contractors drywalled the ceiling in the bathroom but I want to keep the rest to be accessible for future upgrade of electrical or plumbing repair (a frozen spigot has already given us an important life lesson back in January). Traditional drop ceiling does not work well for the low ceiling height in basements so I did a lot of research on alternatives and decided on CeilingLink. This PVC product comes in a few different shapes to accommodate the room perimeter, stairway openings, and other box-arounds.

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TEDxPortland highlights notegraphied

I used to collect quotes and carried them around in a day planner. That habit stopped when day planners went out of style. Recently, I discovered Notegraphy and it quickly became my favorite app for collecting quotes. After attending last Saturday’s TEDxPortland, I decided it’s time to put the app into high gear.

A morning of emotions

TEDxPortland started off with a bang by Aaron Draplin’s talk in light speed. He was spitting out words of wisdom so fast that I could barely get them written down in my notebook. I managed to capture the best one:

Aaron Draplin: Invent your life!

Nong Poonsukwattana was the perfect speaker to follow Aaron. Her personality is as big as his and her life story grounded all of us. She left Thailand to get away from her abusive father. She worked 7 days a week at Thai restaurants and then opened her own food cart. Her parting words for all of us are the simplest of the day:

Nong Poonsukwattana: Make it big!

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Basement renovation – part 4

A lot had happened since the last post. More framing went up, insulation was completed and passed inspection, drywall has also been installed. We are now ready for paint!

The additional framing and drywall was done by a contractor. We did the insulation just in time for a wacky winter. In fact, before drywall went up, the foil-faced foam boards were reflecting so much heat from the recessed lights that it felt like a sauna in the basement! Prior to installing the foil-faced foam, we had to install furring strips over the built-it plastic studs of the InSoFast panels as required by the inspector that approved the initial framing. It was a boat-load of work to install the furring strips but it was a necessary step for installing drywall over the metal brackets from the seismic upgrade.

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