The owners of this suburban two-story home in Urbandale, Iowa came to us because they wanted to finish their partially framed and insulated basement. They desired removing a closet in the basement bedroom to allow more room for guests and space where children can play. They also wanted to add a wet bar where there was currently no plumbing. Last on their list, an area in their utility room held wasted space, and they hoped to recapture it by adding cabinetry storage. A smart basement remodel got underway!
Addressing First Problems First
When we first visited the house there was an area in the basement bathroom floor where the concrete had been previously opened to modify the plumbing. Through this hole we could see the ground beneath the concrete had settled nearly one foot after the concrete floor was poured. This left approximately 4 feet of the basement floor suspended in the air around the perimeter of the foundation.
We determined the cause was most likely a result of the original home builder backfilling around the foundation in the winter with frozen dirt that was not compacted. Because it did not pose a structural risk, we worked with the homeowners to have foam pumped in under the slab to fill the void and hold the existing and new plumbing lines in place. Once the foam was pumped in, we moved on to modifying some of the existing work and finishing the rest of the work started by the original builder.
Extending the Home’s Style
The homeowners asked for the basement to be an extension of the upper floors of the home, specifying they wanted to fix some of the decisions they now regret making while the house was being built. Keeping in mind their home’s transitional style blending traditional and contemporary, we used a flat panel door and drawer front on the new cabinets. The style is further defined by the hardware, giving the cabinets a flexible style. The cabinets then become more of a back drop for the furnishings around them. The same cabinet style was used throughout the basement with each room having a different color associated with it.
To increase the dual function of the bedroom — both guest room and play area — we built a custom murphy bed that also has two desks that can fold down for work-surfaces.
Finishing the Finishing Touches
This project is nearing completion within a few weeks. A new exterior door is being installed and flooring will be finished soon. The painter will be coming to finish his work and then the last details will get installed including the cabinet hardware, some remaining light fixtures, and bathroom accessories (e.g. towel rings, robe hooks, etc.).
Once complete, there will be a final walk-through to catch anything that needs to be touched up, and then the final clean-up will occur. The homeowners then will be able to enjoy their beautiful newly finished basement.
Watch for the final reveal of this basement remodeling project in early May as we turn this mostly unused basement space into a fun, functional extension of the home.
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