Now that our addition is complete, I want to show you how it all happened. Here is our "before" picture. Our house has a raised foundation, so it had a slanted dirt crawl space underneath. From the moment we bought this house, we wanted to dig down a few feet and turn it into living space. With 6 kids and just 3 bedrooms, we really needed it! There was a wooden platform which we put storage on - the boys removed it before construction started and used some of the wood to make a fort.
We started talking to contractors a few years ago. We had to scale back what we originally planned to do. Instead of using the entire downstairs (which would involve deeper footers and a retaining wall - all very expensive), we would just do the front half. On Friday, May 9th, construction began! We were so excited! First they enlarged the outside door so they could fit the excavator down there. Levi camped out on the back fence, watching all the excitement. The other boys ran home every day to see the progress.
They took out a ton of dirt! It took about a week to do the excavation. We had to leave the house for two of those days in case there were dangerous exhaust fumes from the excavator. Chloe and I hung out at my mom's house.
Next came demolition. They took down the cinder block wall between the addition and the staircase leading from the garage up to the rest of the house. It was so loud, and I loved it. In fact I've never been more excited to hear power tools and pounding right under my feet!
They also cut out the windows
with a HUGE round saw.
I loved it already. It was bright and spacious and certainly didn't feel like a basement.
The boys got home just in time to see the massive chunks of cinder block crash to the ground.
We especially liked this guy - he was really funny and reminded us of Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs.
Next came cement! I'm telling you, we got excited about everything. I was constantly texting pictures to Dave at work.
They removed the old supporting beam and built a temporary one a few feet further back.
There's the new cinder block wall for the new support beam.
Next they prepped the floor for the cement.
Yay, more cement! This one showed up before Dave and the kids left for work/school, and they didn't want to leave.
They poured cement under the stairs as well. We'll use that as a food storage room, which we'll access from the garage.
This went very quickly.
This guy stayed the rest of the day, smoothing it all out.
After a day or two, we were allowed to walk on it! The boy on the left is one of Dallin's best friends, Nick. He just moved away :(
Now on to framing! They built the support wall above the cinder blocks and took down the temporary support wall. We were grateful there were no major earthquakes before then!
They framed around the windows.
Then they divided up the rooms. They had to put the bathtub in before they framed it or else it wouldn't fit.
It was really starting to take shape - here come the walls!
We were happy to have the windows installed - our house felt a lot more secure!
After framing came electrical, plumbing and heating/air. Those parts were slower and less amazing to watch, so I didn't take pictures. Insulation took all of one hour.
Drywall went up while Dave and the boys were at scout camp. Another major transformation!
Now it was our turn to put in some work. We did most of the painting (he had the professionals prep the baseboards and door frames and spray the doors and cabinets). We went with choice A (Wool Skein) for the walls. It took us about a week to get it all done, and we saved about $3000 by doing it ourselves.
The carpenter guy built this great big cabinet in the bathroom. This was Dave's idea, since there was plenty of open space behind the bathroom wall.
This is my favorite bathroom ever. I love the modern tiles and cabinets.
Carpet! It is the softest, plushest, most beautiful carpet I've ever walked on. We can't wait to replace the carpet in the rest of our house with this stuff! As you can see, Dave installed our surround sound speakers. We still need to paint the covers before we put them on. He also installed the projector on the ceiling. Kristen got new couches, so she gave us her old one. It is super comfortable, but we will eventually want to get something bigger for more seating.
I love this light fixture! In fact we loved everything down there so much we decided to move our bedroom there and give the 3 oldest boys our master suite upstairs. It's a very small bedroom, but it's like a little retreat, separate from the rest of the house. We love it!
There are so many things I love about the bathroom. I love the granite counter top (which our contractor gave us for free because it was leftover from another project!), I love the light fixture, and I love the rectangular sink and modern faucet. It was so fun to choose these things! It was cool because Dave and I went to Sacramento for a business trip and stayed in a nice hotel. We loved the bathroom so much we took pictures and sent them to our contractor. It was good timing because they were about to order them!
We asked them not to texture our theater wall, and we painted it white. Dave needs to put together our other shelves (they sent us one black and one white, so we had to return the white one).
We have thoroughly enjoyed watching movies down there! We couldn't be happier with the whole project. It took about 4 months and came in under budget. Thank you Rob Potter! It's a dream come true.