Recently I wrote about the project of converting my basement into a living space. That project is 80% complete and I have moved on to another huge project, i.e. reclaiming my workshop.

It turned into dominoes. Lovely and I invited her adult grandson to move in with us. He would need space for all the belongings he inherited (like fully furnished nine room house , and a 2.5 car garage). I made comment that his furnishings would become extremely dusty if they were to be stored in our basement. I used the entire basement for my wood shop-intarsia studio. I advised them that I would not allow the move to occur unless I were given the opportunity to separate my shop from the remainder of the basement. All of these ideas have been percolating in my mind since 2008 when phase one progress stopped.

I chose to proceed with phase two by separating the shop and to complete the unfinished 2008 effort. Looking back it would have been much more simple had I just walled off the shop and stopped.

Along with construction there began the process of culling the many possessions accumulated over sixty years of home ownership, and inheriting the leftovers of three prominent family members. My rule became one of disposing of most stuff, but If I were still undecided it would conveniently go into my shop space for future disposition. We call that “kicking the can down the road.” It did allow me an unfettered area to complete the house in the house project.

The time has arrived when I can no longer stand the mess I created in my sacred space. Lovely left town for a few days, and left me on my own. We kissed goodbye and she left for her sabbatical, and I descended to begin the “great transformation”. She has been gone for six days now and I am working day and night to finish this project. I can truthfully state that progress is being made, but I am still far away from having a model shop space. At least I can begin working “in” while I work “on” the space I allocated for myself. All I can say is that I have slept quite well this past week.

Here are some photos of the shop:

What did I learn from this project?:

  1. I will never make it as a contractor.
  2. The best decision I made was to hire a professional taper to finish the H-I-H walls.
  3. Throwing away stuff is heart wrenching but also cathartic.
  4. I will never make it as an electrician, (thank God my son-in-law knows enough to be dangerous.)
  5. I should trade spaces between my shop and the H-I-H space. All of a sudden I feel cramped in my dream space.
  6. I must limit materials to that which is being worked on, and leftovers will be disposed of immediately upon completion of the project.
  7. Dust collection is a seriously needed luxury.
  8. Limit projects to works of art only.
  9. All tools must have a designated storage space.
  10. Never leave tools out on the bench over night.
  11. Using scrap pieces of drywall to finish a wall only makes taping a larger job

The Recreation Area, Bathroom Entry is on the Left
The Dining Space Looking into the Entry Hall, Kitchen is on the Left


4 Responses

  1. This is looking good. I would love a finished basement, but in Louisiana, that’s a swimming pool.

  2. Looks great but I could never be in a basement place with no window for fresh air.

    • You are right, but most of the time I will be spending there is when the temperature outside is below freezing and I avoid the fresh air.

  3. I have to say that the effort you are putting in is inspiring.

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