ER STAT! | Bower Power
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ER STAT!

2011 September 20
by Katie

The biggest room in the basement is called the ER.  It’s short for Entertainment Room…but it might as well be EMERGENCY room because this thing looked like the victim of multiple paint and drywall crimes.  Napoleon (what we call the previous owner of our house) really REALLY loved rag rolled rooms…as seen here, here, and here…and the kitchenette/bar area that was opened to the ER was yet another space that received this love-you-to-DEATH treatment.  Seriously Napoleon…stop taking those crazy pills and put down the paint rags.   

Let me remind you of how these two spaces are connected before we move on…

The entertainment room is one of the largest spaces in our entire house.  Even though it is in the basement, it has ten foot shallow coffered ceilings and lots of natural light (due to the walk-out and many windows).  It was also one of the dirtiest.  Apparently, this is where there was water damage in 2009 from the Georgia Floods…and the ceiling had water come through it and this far wall…so we had to have our inspector check for any mold (all clear!) or structural damage (clear again!) but there was a fair amount of aesthetic fugliness that needed addressing. 

The front side of the house is where the entertainment room opens to the kitchenette.  Also, there is a door (far right) that leads to the storage area that wraps around the front of the house.  Weird design but plenty of space for us to put EVERYTHING.  Also, you can see that in the kitchenette area there was a partially built bar…and a strange hole.  We called the hole affectionately “the pass-through”…because we figured that they used it to pass through stuff from the storage area to the bar area.  What were they passing?  probably red rags to paint yet another hideous room.  and maybe beer.  it is a bar afterall.  We also thought they might have had a fridge or freezer or a grill back there and would pass through necessary ice/drinks or hotdogs…maybe condiments.  or kegs.  Yes, we have vivid imaginations. 

You may remember that this space suffered quite a bit more torture when we were going through the process of buying it.  We had made an offer with a single contingency…that the electrical had to be working and up to code.  Later we found out that the bank had agreed to this and had to shell out upwards of $20K to get everything up to code.  I am still thanking my lucky stars for that contingency.   I’m pretty much officially a bullet-dodger.  Put it on my resume.

Unfortunately, the people who addressed the wiring weren’t that hot at fixing all the holes they put in the ceiling.  (and yes, that does look like a creepy face in the insulation above Cole’s fingers – EEK!) 

They were supposed to patch them all and repaint but as anyone who has done drywall work before knows…it’s TOUGH.  So they, like Tara Reid’s first plastic surgeon, botched it. 

Okay – so that was what we were working with…shoddy patched ceiling in the ER and a weird pass through in the kitchen.  Basically the Frankenstein of basements.  Tall, dark and not so handsome. 

The very first thing we knew would have to happen was to seal up that hole. 

Jeremy attached some 2x4s from the back (here’s the view from our storage area) and then simply attached the drywall. 

No more pass-through.  Sorry hotdogs - no shortcuts for you!

And then I got to thinking….that bar is kind in the way.  It’s in the way of this room.  The space could really be so much smarter if the whole bar was gone.  We could utilize it better.  And let’s be honest…we aren’t really bar people….we are more like island people…minus the tan.   

So after a little mudding, we slept on the decision to remove it all together. 

And then one morning I walked downstairs to find that Jeremy had agreed with the plan of demolition.

In the process he also accidentally knicked a pipe.  He even told me, and I quote “I knew I had to be careful because I could nick it…but then it just happened”.  For a perfectionist & non-plumbing pro like Jeremy, this was a nightmare.  He ended up calling my brother (who is a master plumber in Alabama – his ad is on the sidebar if you need an honest plumber!)…who walked him through what he needed (thankfully it was a SUPER easy fix). 

So here is the rag rolled room – ready for painting.  As you can see, the tile didn’t go under the bar…so we have to come up with a temporary solution for the wedding (coughrugcough).

And we also had to REMUD all the ceiling holes.

Can I just say that sanding joint compound is my LEAST favorite thing to do….out of everything in the home improvement world…that it is like eating a dog doo and maggot sandwich (you are welcome for that visual).  It’s awful.  

But at last, we had it semi-ready for paint…that’s up next folks.  GLORIOUS PAINT! 

Have you guys been prepping rooms lately for a makeover?  Any drywall redo haters out there?  Or perhaps you just want to say that you are glad to hear that us Bowers accidentally bust more than just dance moves every once in a while? 

p.s.  My Pappap and Mummum come to see our house today for the first time…and I am SO excited to show them.  They were very influential and encouraging when we went through the entire house buying process…so to finally introduce them to it is like showing them a new baby :)   Wish us luck!



57 Responses leave one →
  1. September 20, 2011

    I’m pretty sure all the trim in your house rules. Even the basement has wainscoating. Ridiculous! We need to finish the drywall in our garage. The builder only did one coat of spackle to pass fire codes. I’m not doing it myself though. I’d rather spend mt time doing something else!

  2. September 20, 2011

    Frst: LOVE the new header! I just so happened to make a little flag banner last night and posted about it on my blog today!
    Second: Wow, from the pics of that shower you threw for your sister, I can’t believe you went from this to that! Your hard work paid off! Y’all have a beautiful basement!

  3. September 20, 2011

    Katie, love the new look of the blog! Super cute!

    I don’t think I ever realized how HUMONGOUS your basement is. It must be awesome to have all of that storage space! Our townhouse is closing in on me every day, and seeing your space it’s getting worse! That’s an awesome winter run-around space for Will!

    That drywall fixing looks like a nightmare. I too dread drywall work like the plague! We built a new townhouse and the builder came back after a year to “fix” all of the nail pops that had come through on the walls and ceilings (there were close to 200 throughout the whole house). Their definition of fix is to smack the screws back up with a hammer, throw on some drywall mud and leave. No sanding, no painting. I could have cried! We were left with speckled patches throughout our house (ceiling, walls) and even on walls we already painted (did I mention I might have shed a tear or two?) We have HUGE strips of mud where they fixed seams in the vaulted ceiling and fixed tape issues. For the past year we have slowly worked through the house sanding (HUGE MESS) and painting these spots to blend back in to the ceiling. I’m not sure who dreads it more, me or my husband! I feel your drywall pain!

    Can’t wait to see the paint color you chose! (Also, is it weird to say that I am excitedly waiting for your sister’s wedding? I can’t wait to see what fabulous ideas you guys used and how awesome it will be at your house? I feel like a guest sort of!! Tell her congratulations and best wishes!)

  4. September 20, 2011

    I love the details in the room – like the wood beams on the ceiling and the wainscoting on the walls. The trim around the windows and doors is wonderful, too! I can’t wait to see the finished room (although I think we caught a peek from the bridal shower post…) with the walls painted and furniture added.

    By the way, I love the new look of the blog. The header is so adorable!!

  5. September 20, 2011

    I like your new banner (header? insert proper term here :) )! And oh my goodness I can’t wait for the pics of your basement all painted!

    You guys are getting so much done! I really hope it’s starting to feel more like home. A good external deadline always helps to get things rolling :)

    I’m sure the wedding is going to be beautiful!

  6. September 20, 2011

    Yikes, that IS a creepy face! Good decision about the bar – that space will be way more functional. I can’t wait to see this room painted!

    P.S. A new baby?? ;)

    • September 20, 2011

      A new baby = our house. No news yet – we are seven months and counting :(
      xo – kb

      • Karla permalink
        September 20, 2011

        I’m sorry, Katie :( we just hit the 24 month mark :( it doesn’t get any easier. good luck to you!

    • lisa permalink
      September 20, 2011

      i thought the same things about new baby.

  7. September 20, 2011

    I can’t imagine doing all that drywall work! I know it’s going to be well worth it when you share the final reveal though. I’m still super jealous of your basement…we have a crawl space, which I consider a fancy way to say dirt under the house.

    Love the new header btw! :)

  8. September 20, 2011

    Love the new header! It caught my eye right away!

  9. Tara permalink
    September 20, 2011

    Just a few things:

    1. Love the new banner – seems very you.

    2. You are the funniest person on the internet. I think the blogger who wrote about Beyonce the chicken may have beaten you that day, but you have since taken back the crown.

    3. You house is HUGE. How do you keep it clean? Please tell me you have a cleaning person!

  10. September 20, 2011

    What program do you use for your floor layouts?

  11. September 20, 2011

    Is this where you are going to have the wedding ceremony if it rains? Im so excited to see what your family is going to do for the wedding. My 1 year anniversary was Sudnay. I love outdoor fall weddings. Best of luck to your sister, boots and cole.

  12. September 20, 2011

    That basement is riduclous. In a good way of course. I also agree that you’re the funniest person on the internet. I can’t wait to see what color you decide to paint that bad boy…. Also, hopefully soon you’ll actually be showing a new baby to pappap and mummum, just sayin’!

  13. September 20, 2011

    eek the new blog design is SO CUTE!!!

  14. September 20, 2011

    eek the new blog design is SO CUTE!!!

  15. Miranda permalink
    September 20, 2011

    I can so relate on the drywall sanding! My husband has sinus issues, so when we went room by room replacing the drywall in our old house, I was stuck with all of the mudding and sanding. I did NOT do a good job, and many tears were shed. I finished my last wall in July (Lord willing) and am so thankful that we’re done with that stage. Now to just hang shelves and place furniture to cover up my mistakes…

  16. Sara permalink
    September 20, 2011

    That face in the insulation is mega-creepy!

  17. September 20, 2011

    I HATE HATE HATE messing with holes in walls! The guy who owned our house before us turned one of the bedroom into an entertainment room and hung 6 speakers on the walls. When it was time to turn it into a nursery we had to patch all of the holes. I’m envious of people who have flat walls. All of the houses I’ve ever seen (maybe it’s different in different parts of the country?) have textured walls. It’s SO tough to make it match!

  18. Caroline permalink
    September 20, 2011

    love, love, love the new blog design! and the basement. although it currently looks like a CLUSTER. or it did…before all the patching & pipe breaking. i cannot wait to see the somewhat-finished product (at least more clearly than in the bridal shower pics!).

  19. September 20, 2011

    I love the new blog look :) Good luck with painting!

  20. Ruthie permalink
    September 20, 2011

    KB- I love the new look! “A blog about nothing” Is this a Seinfeld reference? I always joked with my hubs that I would name my blog that! Too funny!

  21. September 20, 2011

    I don’t know why, but the second you ripped out the bar and patched up the wall, I thought CRAFT ROOM. I think I’m just high off sewing a pillow this weekend (which is a big deal for me) so every empty room I see makes me dream of a craft room. I can’t wait to see what you do with all of that space. It’s HUGE! So much potential!

  22. September 20, 2011

    The ceilings are BEAUTIFUL! Hopefully you leave the beams white and not paint them some crazy color :)

    Also…the flooring – are those tiles? or wood? or wood tiles? or tiles made to look like wood? Ah so confused! haha.

    -Meg.

  23. September 20, 2011

    OMG… I have a headache just looking at all the work that basement needed… I can hear my husband’s excuses already and it’s not even my house!

  24. Courtney permalink
    September 20, 2011

    Love the new look of the blog! And you’re basement is about 10x bigger than my house. But that’s okay…I’m only a little jealous.

  25. Randa permalink
    September 20, 2011

    1. Love the new blog header!!!
    2. The Frankenstein comment cracked me up
    3. You & Jeremy’s mad home improvement DIY skills are so inspirational

  26. September 20, 2011

    I love the new banner and background!
    You are doing a great job, tackling small things one at a time, in such a huge house!

  27. Elizabeth Mann permalink
    September 20, 2011

    Oh my word do I hate sanding too! Besides the fact that I suck at it. Can wait to see it finished.

  28. September 20, 2011

    1. I really like your new banner. Very cute!

    2. Is that red or purple or scary burgandy in the basement?

    3. I have seen several people say this, but holy cow, that is a huge space!

    4. Your “to do list” on the side- is that a widget or custom? I’d like to do something similar.

  29. September 20, 2011

    Digging the new look of the website. Yellow and grey are my fav combo! And can’t wait to see how the ER turns out. All of that trim and moulding are going to look gorgeous against something that isn’t poop+blood. yeah, i said it.

  30. Michelle N permalink
    September 20, 2011

    Can’t wait to see what color you plan to paint the basement. Looking forward to seeing the finished room. I love the new header looks great! I also love the 4 you made for Sherry and John. I’m totally stealing the idea and trying to make my own using 5…hopefully it will turn out as good as yours. Fingers crossed.

  31. September 20, 2011

    I agree- I hate hate hate mudding and taping drywall. That sanding dust gets everywhere, and is a complete mess! We just had to patch our Laundry Room for the third time in 4 months (a long story that includes the DIY Network show Bath Crashers coming to our house to build a new Master Bathroom), and I was complaining so loud to myself that you would have though there was an episode of New Housewives playing in the room. Thank the Lord that’s over. http://oneprojectatatime.blogspot.com/2011/09/patching-drywall.html

  32. Laura permalink
    September 20, 2011

    nice new little pennants up there! may i just say I am extremely jealous of your beautiful home, even with all the nightmareish fixing you have to do.. you are doing an amazing job!

  33. Hallie permalink
    September 20, 2011

    I call my grandma mummum too! I had never heard anyone else do that :)
    Love your blog and your house!

  34. Megan Ann permalink
    September 20, 2011

    That is one big room. We just painted our 800 sq.ft. basement. Tell Pappap and Mummum to grab a brush.

    Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the size of your house and how it makes every project more time consuming and expensive? I ask because we bought our huge house about a year and a half ago. I love it but I really didn’t realize how the size would affect my DIY dreams.

  35. September 20, 2011

    Can’t wait to see it painted! We are having drywall nightmares at the moment. Our laundry room had layers of damp-damaged wallpaper on the walls that needed removing followed by shoddy messy drywall with holes and botched patch jobs everywhere. We’ve brought in the professionals to help us get it ready to paint. It is the WORST job out, I totally agree with you!

  36. September 20, 2011

    Another drywall hater (although we call it plastering), absolutely agree – worst job ever!!!

    The blog is looking so cute! :)

  37. Ange permalink
    September 20, 2011

    Hooray! for banner change ups. It always puts a smile on my face when you check in on your “old faithfuls” & BAM ch..ch…ch…changes! It’s too cute KB good job. I noticed some of the changes to the basement too, in the shower post, but I love when you walk us through the process.

  38. September 20, 2011

    Liking the new header and color scheme! Yellow makes me happy! :)

  39. September 20, 2011

    I love your house so much!!

  40. Beckie permalink
    September 20, 2011

    LOVE the new banner. All my fav premier designs fabrics ;-)
    And girl, you make me tired just looking at all you’re doing! Hope you and Jeremy get your own bit of a relaxing ‘honeymoon’ after the wedding!!

  41. September 20, 2011

    Not only are you up to this ER project. It looks like you also added a new banner. It looks so cute & made the page brighten up! Love it. :)

  42. Stephanie permalink
    September 20, 2011

    After a super long day of work and class and not feeling well, it was refreshing to see a new post to read! My husband doesn’t have the slightest clue why I would want to read a blog of someone that I don’t actually know, but you and your family bring me great joy! (Creepy?) So, thank you. Really.

    Also, love the new blog header!

  43. Cordia permalink
    September 20, 2011

    Hate fixing walls too. Did you all use the premade drywall patch or mix up some yourself?? We have been fixing cracks in our plaster walls since we moved in and it is hell, especially learning the hard way that there is a correct way to do it and a lot of the cracks have come back out!! We patched out bathroom months ago but have yet to sand the second coat. We are going to try using the damp drywall sponge method to eliminate all the dust and hopefully make it easier. We are not good at it either. Getting a smooth even coat of the patch is not easy! Videos of pros make it looks so easy and it isnt. Guess having the right tools too makes all the difference.

    • MichelleLG permalink
      September 21, 2011

      @Cordia,

      We just bought our first home (a 1930s farmhouse) with plaster walls that needs some patching. Since you have some experience here, would you be willing to share what was the WRONG way to patch the cracks (which resulted in them coming through again)?
      Thanks so much!

      michelle

      • Cordia permalink
        October 21, 2011

        Well, from what I have seen online and from experience, just patching over cracks with the drywall patch may result (did in our case) in the cracks coming back out, especially with changes in temps/humidity. I read the correct way to do it is to score the cracks (open them up by running a special putty knife type tool down along the crack to take the pressure off the crack). Then fill with caulk below the surface, then plaster over that and apply drywall tape over it and add plaster on top of that and smooth out. It is a ton of steps and if you dont plaster well, you wont have a seamless wall if you make it too thick, etc. Needless to say I am no professional at it. There are also some other methods using some kind of crack fill that bonds the plaster and lath back together, but it is a pretty tedious process- googled it. I would say you need to use the mesh or smooth drywall tape after caulking and plastering to really help keep the crack from coming back out. I didnt use the caulk in the cracks in my bathroom b/c I read that after the fact, but did use the tape. I havent gotten back to work on it, but hopefully it will turn out better than other rooms where I didnt do that.

  44. Ashlye Bickston permalink
    September 21, 2011

    Recently I started looking at homes online and came across foreclosures. I don’t really know a lot about the process and knew you went through it, so maybe you could have a post in the future about your experience with it? Was it worth it?

  45. September 21, 2011

    Adore the new header!

    Tara Reid… hahaha, that was funny!

    Sanding is the worst… it’s the only thing we hire out for when remodeling. But with it being a patch job, we’d end up doing it ourselves, but what a nightmare!

    I’ve tried and tried to see the creepy face and can’t.

    • September 21, 2011

      Look at the insulation right above Cole’s peace sign on the right…eeeK!
      xo – kb

  46. Erica permalink
    September 21, 2011

    I am on your team with sanding drywall. It is the worst thing ever. And the people who do drywall can do it way better and faster than me.

  47. Susie permalink
    September 21, 2011

    Oh, Katie — I am SO one million percent in agreement about drywall replacing/patching. It is my absolute most hated home repair/renovation task. Everything about it just blows. Sorry — excuse my language, but seriously, it’s just awful. However, on a more positive note, your basement will be whole again and will look fabulous, so it’s worth it! Keep going — you’re making great progress!!

  48. Lexie permalink
    September 23, 2011

    We had one of those hallway/storage thingys in my house growing up, and it was the BEST place to play. My sisters and I loved playing hide and seek through there and later telling scary stories and then taking our friends back through it as well. Random and strange, but they are some of the greatest memories I have of my childhood home. :) Maybe Will and future sibs/cousins/friends will make you crazy running yours someday, too.

  49. Lisa H. permalink
    October 3, 2011

    “What were they passing? probably red rags to paint yet another hideous room.”

    LOL. I love your commentary. You’re absolutely the funniest blogger I read.

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