Before we start any big project we'll contact a few contractors to give us quotes to have the work done. It just gives us a rough idea of how much things cost, and usually, how much we'll save doing everything ourselves. When we looked at sheds last year, we ended up spending $2,000 less building our shed than buying pre-fab and got a shed 3x's the size. For one week's worth of work, it was obviously worthwhile.
When we first started considering the basement all we really wanted was another bathroom. But in order to do a bathroom where it made most sense, we'd need a hallway. And then that hallway would have to tie in with the existing den, which is fine right now, but its paneling would look pretty shoddy next to a nice new plastered-wall hallway. So we considered re-doing our den, but in a gradual "staged" plan.
We priced out a DIY bathroom job, got a few quotes to have some-to-all of the work done for us, and then went next door to check out our neighbor's complete basement reno after we mentioned that the basement is next on our to-do list. Walking down their basement stairs was like walking into a brand new home. Everything was clean and level, the woodwork was white and new and didn't have years of caked on paint, and painted over paint drips from 20 years ago. Then our neighbors told us how much they paid. And we damn near fell off the beautifully refinished basement stairs. In a good way.
So we called their contractor and drew up this little sketch for how we thought we could best use the space.
our current configuration. But just to give you an idea, this is how the den will change:
A walk-in pantry/closet will be added at the bottom of the stairs where S's unused desk currently lives. That heating duct (the second in this room) will be re-routed to my sun room office.
bolder colors inside the closets like we did for Feeney's room. Just for a little fun.
Last year's big projects were the fence and shed, this year it's the basement. Do you plan out your projects by year, budgeting for one big project each year? We'll have plenty of little projects along the way, but this will be our huge deal for the year and we can't wait.