When we bought this house, one of the things that appealed the most to us was this extra living space downstairs. Our house has a split floor plan, with bedrooms and two full baths upstairs, a living room, kitchen, and dining room on the main floor, and then an extra bonus room downstairs that walks out into the backyard. We knew that as the kids got older, we would really love having an extra room to use.
Originally, we planned to turn this extra room into a playroom of some kind for the kids. But as the renovation progressed and we realized how awesome this room was going to be, we eventually turned it into a “family room” instead of just a playroom for the kids.
In the short few months that this room has been usable, we have already gotten so much use out of this space. It feels like it doubled the size of our house, especially when we have guests over. It gives us a space to be with adults and for the kids to and out with kids, without each of us getting in the others way.
We bought a new couch, entertainment console, and game table and chairs for this room, and we have loved each of them. The couches are super comfortable and the game table has been a dinner table, a work table, a puzzle table, a cards table, a Lego table, and so much more in such a short amount of time already. I like it particularly because of it’s height. It keeps things just out of reach of the dogs.
So, let’s stop talking about it and let the pictures do the explaining in a little before/after photo session:
First, the wall came down. There was a little kitchen behind that and Chris took the whole kitchen out so that we could bump out the bathroom.
Then, the fireplace came out. Goodbye, fireplace. He also took the walls down to studs and pulled up all the nasty carpet.
Then, we found black mold. Ew. So that had to be taken care of and the leak that caused the mold had to be fixed.
Next came the really difficult stuff. Chris moved the plumbing that originally connected to a small kitchen to a different wall so that we could change the shape of the bathroom. This involved JACKHAMMERING INTO THE FOUNDATION OF OUR HOUSE. I’m really glad he did that part while I was at work one day.
See where that darker concrete is? That’s where the bathroom wall was originally and it backed up to the kitchen wall on the other side. Chris removed that wall, moved all the plumbing, and then replumbed the new bathroom.
Once that was done, he rebuilt the new bathroom to be twice the size of the original. It now also has two doors so that you can access the bathroom from either side, making it really nice when you’re coming right out of the pool.
Bean even got in on the renovation action. He and Gracie both helped with different parts along the way. They were so proud of themselves!
When the plumbing was finished, Chris moved on to putting the room back together again. Starting with duct work. He ran all new AC ducts through the room and replaced all the electrical, which was outdated and needed a major rehaul. This included installing new can lights in the ceiling and a really great sound system that pipes in through the ceiling, walls, and even outside onto the deck. He also scraped the popcorn ceilings. Hallelujah!
New walls started going up after that, and the room began to take its new shape.
He even gutted out the utility closet downstairs and turned it into a storage closet for beach towels, outside toys, pool games, board games, and puzzles.
Then, we spackled. And we spackled. And we spackled some more.
(We also bought a satsuma tree, which lived in our construction zone until the weather warmed up a bit and we could plant it outside. So, forgive her in this next picture. She now lives outside in our backyard and is growing beautifully!)
Next, Chris replaced the old, sliding glass doors downstairs with new french doors. This was one of the most expensive parts of the project. French doors are expensive!
At this point, I started to get itchy. It had been almost a year now and the room still wasn’t finished. To settle me down a bit, Chris painted the downstairs to give me some kind of aesthetic something. In the end, we decided the room was a little too light colored for the rest of our house and so we changed the color eventually. But for a while, this was just the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel that we all needed. We had walls that could be painted. YAY!
After the walls were painted, we installed flooring. We took FOREVER to pick flooring. We needed something that would look good, be okay getting a little wet since this room was right off the pool, and was cost effective. We settled on this laminate flooring. Normally, laminate isn’t great with water. And ours can’t SIT in lots of water for long periods of time. But Chris sealed each board we installed with a waterproof caulking to help the water from absorbing into the boards and the padding. So far, it has been great.
This floor was easy to install and went down quickly. Even the kids helped!
With the flooring in, we realized we needed a darker color blue. When we got the new paint up, we moved on to furniture and even sprung for a new TV. (At this point, go big or go home, right?) When it all came together, Chris and I were both completely in awe. Neither of us could believe he had done it all himself! He’s always been handy, but this really tested every kind of skill he has and it all came out beautifully!
(Ignore the crooked shade. That still has to be replaced. We also have custom curtains coming… as soon as my seamstress will get her ass moving… MOTHER… Also, the pictures are dark because of the lighting, but the room is actually very light and bright during the day.)
(Daisy is my model.)
About a month ago, we laid sod in our backyard and replaced our old, decrepit fence that was falling into our neighbor’s yard (sorry, Mr. Andy…). And now the outside looks just as fresh as the inside!
Houses are always a work in progress, and ours still has a long way to go. (Coming up next – a new foyer and entryway!) We still need to finish tiling the bathroom and finish out the storage closet downstairs, and in the near future our pool is going to have to be refinished (heaven help us and our bank account). But the house has come a world away from where it was when we bought it five years ago, thanks to my handy hubby.
So, for now, we will pretend not to see the old, dingy carpet upstairs or the God-awful ancient solar panel on our roof that doesn’t even work anymore and we will just sit in our new family room and run through our new grass and I will be so thankful for the hands and the boy who gave this all to me.