Our basement is pretty nice. It is pretty much a full-height basement. Its dry and there is plenty of room for storage and utilities. We even have an 80-bottle or so “wine cellar” made out of terra cotta blocks. (Not that we have wine around long enough to store it 🙂 )
The only thing we wanted to change related to the basement was the stairs. When we bought the house the stairs were in the front of the house (front left as you are looking at the front door). That part of the house has steel beams with a cement floor, except for this space where the stairs went down into the basement.
There were a few problems with the stairs themselves. The head clearance was VERY low. And if you didn’t watch out you’d hit your head on a steel beam. OUCH. This area of the house also seems like it was the main entrance to the house for mice. Just grouse…
Our goal was to move the downstairs 1/2 bath to the location where the basement stairs were. So my brother-in-law from Hayes Home Improvement helped me by opening up the area under the stairs to the second floor and adding a staircase to the basement there.
In this photo you can see the stairs going to the basement behind this wall that we were removing.
Gary started by framing out where the stairs would go in the basement. Then he cut out the required space out of the first floor.
Next he put in the new stairs. In the photo below you see he still had pretty low head clearance, but he improved it by moving that back and adding an angled header to reduce the chance of whacking your head. I don’t even have to duck to go downstairs.
Gary framed out the wall and left me a space to install a door to the basement. I move the switch for the basement lights to the other side of the house, which was a good project.
Next I tore out the old stairs and brought them to the dump. They were pretty grouse. We removed all of the sheetrock and insulation too.
Once the stairs were removed I built a frame and added a sub-floor to cover the area where the stairs used to be.
Stay tuned for the next step, which is to install the 1/2 bath and a walk-in pantry in this space.