Sunday, March 30, 2014

And Then There Was Light!

And heat... In the basement.

When we first toured our house, we had spent the day running around town looking at all of the homes on the market within our price range. This place was the second to last on the list and it had been a long day already. We walked in the door and Justin (hubs) said that this was it! It had a relatively big backyard, enough bedrooms to squeeze our big family into, and a finished basement. We were sold! We ran, and re-ran different sales price scenarios, compared it to our budget, and made an offer.

Fast forward to inspection day, when the inspector informed us that there were no HVAC ducts in the basement. What?! How did we overlook that major fact? Justin is pretty handy, so we thought, "no problemo!" We were confident that we could tap into the main line ourselves and add a few vents.

Fast forward once again to the day after closing. We stood in the HVAC isle at Lowe's for what felt like an eternity, staring at the couplings and flow reducers and all the other pieces/parts you could possibly imagine to find in that section of the store. We solemnly came to the realization that we had noooooo clue just how to do this the right way.

We wrote another check out to the HVAC guys, and now have a set of pretty little vents in the basement.

Having some heat in the basement when it's been 19 degrees outside has been nice. The fact that this house had two living spaces was a must for us, so it has to be a functional space. The kids having their own space to go and play, and not freeze their little butts off, has been well worth every penny.

Now, what's a finished basement if you don't have decent lighting?

When we moved in, all that was in the basement to provide light were two of these guys hooked up to either side of a soffit.

Not only did they look a little dinky, they didn't really scream, "warm and cozy basement", to us.

Yet, again, we thought, "no problemo!" We started this project with a ton of confidence. Justin got the recessed lights up, wired, and the first half of the basement went off without a hitch. He then ran into some funky wiring on the second side of the basement and we were caught calling in another professional. The electrician was able to quickly identify the issue, work his magic, and left 15 minutes after his arrival. Perhaps the quickest buck (or a lotta bucks) that guy ever made! At least we know our house won't burn down because of some crazy electrical and I guess it's well worth the peace of mind.

Look at those pretty lights!

Okay, so it's a little hard to take a good pictures of lights when they are on. But look at all of that quality light! Please excuse the mess, this whole space is still a major work in progress.

The light and heat has made the basement much more enjoyable and we're glad that it's a project we tackled quickly. It's not super fun or pretty, but it was kind of a necessity. And now those ugly directional lights are outta hear!

These little projects in home ownership have honestly been a bit humbling. Between the plumber needed in the bathroom, and the electrican and HVAC guy needed for the basement, I'm super glad that we didn't pick the house that needed a ton of renovation. At least this place was move in ready!

Prior to home ownership, I felt like we could take on anything. After moving into this house, we have been hesitant to take on anything that could potentially end in disaster if we messed it up. What kind of projects have you decided to leave up to a professional?


  1. Yeah, air ducts are a complicated part of the house to DIY, so getting the HVAC guys to do it for you was the right decision. A lot goes into getting the right materials for the ducts as well as properly installing them to make sure that dust and grime don't accumulate too quickly over time. Overall, looks like you did a great makeover job for the basement!
    Dennis Day @

    1. Thanks, Dennis! We certainly are glad we called the pros in for this work and have absolutely no regrets.

  2. I’m glad your frustration about the HVAC didn’t force you to find another house. You’re very lucky to have a house that suits the needs of your family, including a special place for your kids to play. It’s been a while, and I do hope you’ve been scheduling regular maintenance and checkups for your HVAC. I’m sure your pros are willing to visit you again, to make sure your vents are working efficiently.

    Adam Payne @ Williams Mechanical

    1. Thanks for the tip, Adam! We haven't had any check ups yet, but will plan to do that.