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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Terrace Level Renovation Completed

Renovated terrace level space in our home!
Since June, we have been working on a major renovation project in our terrace level (aka basement or lower level).  I reported on the beginning of this project in this posting - link to post.  Since then, I have been providing some information about the "process" and also a recent posting on the mostly-completed bathroom link to bathroom post.

Today, I am showing the rest of the space - it is at about the 95% point in terms of completion including furnishings.  I think it will never be at 100% because I want to exercise the continued option of changing things out and modifying the details.  Decorating should never be static!

I'll start with a brief summary of the project.  We started in early June after hiring a general contractor who we've used for two other major additions/renovations.  Like all our projects, the end result came in over-budget (many because of changed/expanding requirements) and took about 45 days longer than the initial projected.  Having said that, we are VERY HAPPY with the space and how it works for us and would change very little.  I will end this post with some suggestions on how to save money and get the best value on this type of renovation - advice we did not always follows.

This is a view of the main "media" room area which includes a large-screen TV to the right.  
Another view of the same space looking at built-in media cabinet, display cabinet and TV (we have noted how out-of-date our TV is and may have to spend just a little more for a new one)! 
Built-in Bar area including refrigerator behind door on right.  The backsplash is a mirror.
This is a glimpse of the adjacent "pool room".  The only change in this room was the addition of the surrounding flooring to match the new floors in renovated space.
Detail - Built-in bookcase next to stairwell. 
Detail - Hall table just refurbished with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue. 
As you can see, the space is totally transformed and we are already loving doing our TV-watching down here.

Saving $$$ on renovations - our lessons learned including some things we might do differently if we were to redo:

  • Since our general contractor worked on a cost-plus basis (very common when you cannot predict everything you're going to run into), we saved money buying some items ourselves such as the wallpaper for the bathroom, as well as light and plumbing fixtures (the latter bought on-line for further savings).  We probably should have pushed to do more of this and save more money.
  • Since this was not totally "raw space" before (had been done when house was built in 1988), we kept the existing doors and bathroom cabinet (painted a new charcoal color and given new hardware).  We also did not replace the shower tiles since they were in good shape and the cost would have been high.
  • We chose to create a built-in media cabinet to house all media components and the surround sound equipment we had already been using.  The contractor and his electrician sub developed the specifications including communicating with the cabinet-maker.  This proved to be problematic and the communications were not ideal.  Next time, we would ask the contractor to bring in a media center expert to coordinate all elements and we might even skip the built-in cabinet for a stand-alone.  It turned out be pretty expensive and while we like it, we could have bought a very high-end model that we could take with us if we ever moved.  
  • We were refurbishing this area adjacent to space that had been newly added (by same contractor) in 2004 and already had high ceilings and nice trim.  We worried about the results being out-of-sinc with each other.  To alleviate that, and at not significant additional cost, we had the flooring sub add a border of the new floor in this space and were able to keep the old carpet - just re-tacking it back in place.  This was a winner!
Those are some of the highlights - I'm sure other things will come to mind but the end result was great and we were very pleased with the outcome!  

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