Basement renovation – finale

Almost 7 months has passed since I last blogged about the basement. Well, it was really a labor of love and a marathon. During the moving-back-in phase, we completed a few major finishing touches.

IKEA cabinets redux

Hubby and I had a boat load of experience installing IKEA kitchen cabinets (at least for the discontinued Akurum series) from the kitchen remodel several years ago. For the basement, we installed a bunch in the study and the family room. Per the previous post, I made my own countertop for the study. Once the countertop was complete, we moved onto installing the drawers and doors.

The final frontier was an undercounter freezer. It took quite an effort to level the freezer because the entire basement floor is sloped towards the floor drain in the utility room. The other issue I ran into was the freezer door handle. The handle that came with the freezer is a piece of ugly plastic. I measured the distance between the preset holes on the door, searched online and found that a sliding glass door handle would fit. The piece I need is part of a package for the locking mechanism of a sliding glass door. It costs less than $20 so I took a chance on it and the black metal handle looks great.

Designing the cabinet area with the freezer in mind was inspired by hubby’s paleo diet and my repulsion for a giant freezer. I am quite pleased with the final outcome. We recently joined a meat buying club hosted by a local rancher and picked up some awesome grassfed beef, pastured eggs, etc.

The other set of cabinets to finish is in the family room. It was a long and narrow space. There used to be a set of homemade cabinets in the same space. The craftsmanship of the old cabinets was really bad so I am glad to install some nice looking ones. In terms of the countertop, we cut down a piece of IKEA laminate countertop to fit. It took some time to cut the countertop according to the contour of the uneven walls but I very much prefer setting the countertop against the wall without any backsplash. Once the drawers and doors were installed, this set of cabinets are complete.

So close yet it’s so far

Besides the cabinets, there were still a bunch of miscellaneous tasks. In the bathroom, I installed towel racks, a towel bar, a toilet paper holder, plus two hooks. Those items took a while to purchase because I cannot find a single series of products that fulfill the looks that I want for each item. I also ended up ditching the glass shelf of the IKEA mirror plus shelf combo and kept the mirror with some other generic hardware.

The other work we completed in the last few months includes covering the cement floor in the utility room with interlocking PVC tiles. We could only work on the floor one section at a time because most of the space is taken up by tools and other crap from the renovation.

Unpacking is another challenge all on its own. We stored most of the stuff besides the large furniture in the attic. Hauling everything down two flight of stairs was a ton of work. While we unpacked, we also purged a bunch of stuff we don’t need. In fact, I am blogging on the second day of a garage sale. Business is slooooow on Sunday. Saturday morning is really the golden time for garage sale.

Besides getting organized, I think we are pretty much done. There are a few other things I like to do in the utility room, however, none of them is urgent.

The final word

The remodeled basement is a real blessing this summer when the temperature constantly rose above 90 and even 100 degrees. The occasional work from home is also more pleasant because a lot of light is allowed in through the egress window. In addition, getting the home theater system back in shape validated all the electrical work we’ve done on our own. Turning up the volume while watching movies is a blast. All in all, we are enjoying the fruit of our labor!

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