Monday, November 26, 2012

My New Basement is Awesome. // Jen J.

Forgive me if you follow me on Instagram because I am just whoring the shit out of my new basement and Chevron wall.  I am just so proud of it.'s the back story.

In 2007, I purchased a new construction townhouse.  It is one of those townhouses where the house sits on top of the garage so the first level of my house is part garage and part basement.  This setup makes for a tiny basement; approximately 200 square feet.  At the time my house was being built it was a $6,000 upgrade to have it finished.  My dad chimed in that $6,000 was a racket and he'd finish if for me.  At the time I valued (and still do) my parents opinion because I was young, single, broke and buying my first home.  Needless to say, I took my dad up on his offer.

Five years later.........

We just got around to doing it.  Now it isn't like my dad has been sitting idle.  And keep in mind he lives 6 hours away.  Over the past five years he's installed ceiling fans, trimmed my windows, hung chair rail, and helped with the kitchen back splash.  The list goes on and on.  However, over the past couple of years his participation has slowed a little for two reasons.  1) I now have a live in boyfriend and 2) recently he has had some major health issues.

Finishing the basement was well beyond the skill level of the boyfriend.  But THANKFULLY my dad is finally doing better health wise so the time has come to finally wrap this baby up.  Let me be clear I never pushed the issue and finishing it was his idea.  I don't want to sound like a slave driver.  The fact is, he likes to do this stuff and he is a man of his word.

We started in August with the framing and adding of electrical outlets and recess lighting.  Before this picture the basement was just cinder blocks, puffy insulation and was filled to the gills with crap.
My dad said that he would do everything but the drywall work which he hates.  I don't blame him.  That shit is heavy and messy.  I had to find a contractor which was not an easy task even with my Angie's List subscription.   Unfortunately, this took a couple of months and drywall was finally completed mid-November.
After the drywall was complete it was a mad rush to get it primed and painted because my parents offered to come for Thanksgiving and finish the rest up.
So the BF and I dedicated last weekend to painting, priming and making a chevron wall.  Our wrists were both about ready to fall off but we got it all done.
Here are my dear parents working on the floor which - surprise, surprise - I purchased from Costco.  After installing the flooring it was time to hang and trim the doors, and then add the floor boards.  And then boom we were done!  From drywall to finished product in a week.
Mudroom portion of basement.
Fitness studio.
 The bench and hook set is from Pottery Barn and I spent entirely too much on it.  But I wanted it and it seems like really good quality.  However, a cheaper and very similar version can be found at Target.  The rug in the picture is not staying.  I just ordered a 3X5 rug and a runner in this pattern from West Elm.  
Camden Stripe Handwoven Rug 5'x8', Indigo
With the chevron wall, I wanted something simple.  Now I am in the market for something awesome to hang my car keys on.  Any ideas??

In total (sans Pottery Barn purchase), it cost about $2,000 to finish the basement for a savings of nearly $4,000.  Granted, I had to wait five years.  But having the opportunity to bond with my father over the buzz of a miter saw made the wait worth it.  I truly love looking around my house and seeing his labors of love.  On top of that, he gets shit done right.  The first time.  I certainly don't want to leave my mom out either she's the best little helper.

....wait for it, wait for it.  I am about to make this post fitness related.

As you can see above, I now have a little area for I am dubbing my fitness studio.  (I am going to add a DVD/TV combo.)  Thank you, Jesus! - because this anal bitch just hated doing my videos in my carpeted living room.  I hate wearing shoes on carpet and because of the friction I feel like I can't get a good foot pivot during kickboxing.

For a while now I've debating on whether to ditch my $100 a month membership to the Y.  It costs that much because the BF and I are both on it and I can go to any local Y.  The truth is with all these Jillian challenges, I've been going less and less.  And the BF only goes when I go.  On top of the Y, I typically practice hot yoga at a studio twice a week at $10 a class.  In total, I am spending $180 a month on fitness related activities.

I am a little hesitant to give it up now because it's getting colder.  But in the summer, if it's nice out I am always playing outside.  Hiking, biking, softball, a stroll around the neighborhood.  You name it, I frolic.

So I want to hear from you.  Now that I have my little studio, do you think I should quit the gym?  Have you been successful without a gym membership?  How do you keep things interesting?


  1. First off, happy thanksgiving and it sure seems like you had a good one! ...but unless you use your membership its seems a lot to me, especially with all the dvds out there -which I know you use too! And you should be able to take those extra classes (hot yoga) without a membership.. although I hate running outside in the cold :) ..make sure your getting your money to work for you! Just think of all the extras you can buy a Costco each month with that $100+ you're spending and not using at the gym :)

  2. Congrats on finishing your basement! It looks awewsome!! You are so lucky to have such a supportive and talented family to help you out! Lucky girl!!

  3. We just canceled our y membership after 12 years. I run outside and was only using it for kids Korner but now the hubs watches the mini's. just try it. If you're working out at home it doesn't pay. Don't get me wrong I love the y. The basement looks awesome. Really wanted to do a chevron wall somewhere too. Thks for sharing

  4. I was successful at home when I first started working out. I did everything at the house. Now that I have a gym membership I go there 4-5 times a week and if I try and workout at home I dont do so well and I kinda get lazy. Its just all up to you on how you do at home.

  5. Here is a link to a fun and easy DIY I made for my keys.

    Also, I pay $70/month for my gym membership and it is worth every penny. In my opinion, you can't put a price tag on health and fitness....I am very motivated by classes and pay for my membership just for those classes because I know they will get me there. The day after Thanksgiving I was at the gym at 9am for 2 hours of amount of time I would never spend working out on my own!

  6. I have lost all of my weight so far without a gym. I think it's a scandalous waste of money that I could use on shoes. What I really want to say is that I love your dad. I miss my dad, whose handiwork is all over my house and my heart. You need to love that guy up as much as is humanly possible. That is all. Hugs.

  7. I have lost more weight not being in the gym than being in the gym. I however, am spoiled rotten and literally have everything I could possibly need in my basement. I have a recumbent bike (which I don't like but the Husband loves.) I have a treadmill (which is currently on it's deathbed but will be replaced when the sales start in oh, about 4 weeks!) and we have one of those awesome total gyms that's solid and I can use on my own without feeling like I don't even know where to begin or what to do with it!
    I would take the money that you've been investing in your gym membership, get a treadmill (or your cardio machine of choice) and then when it's cold outside or raining or doing whatever it's doing that makes you even contemplate not going outside to get your sweat on, you don't have that excuse! You don't have to leave the house, no one has to see you AND you can get caught up on your TV shows if you have your PVR down there too!!!
    BTW, I'm totally jealous of your basement! I think it looks amazing and I would have done the same and spent the crazy money on the Pottery Barn stuff too!!

  8. Wow basement looks great, love the chevron wall! For me I can't give up the gym because I have only a 1br apt, so only a small space on carpet if I move the coffee table for at home workouts. But you might be able to pull it off (I could one day with a treadmill and maybe a weight day)

  9. Skip the gym. I get a great sweat in all the time, and have never had a gym membership. There are SO many cheap DVD's out there. You can also try hundreds of FREE workout videos. I'm about to start the Warrior 90 challenge in a few days. Should be fun!

  10. I would quit the gym and save that money for your own fitness equipment. I got my treadmill from Walmart 2 years ago for $300 and it still works great.


Pin It button on image hover