Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The Never-ending Basement.

I have just spent the last two days trying to make a push to finish the basement of the San Franciscan so that I can move on to the upper floors.

No such luck, every time I think I'm nearly there my punch list grows and grows.

One of the main things that still needed doing was all of the trim work, windows, doors, baseboard and some of the cornice. I still haven't glued all the walls together due to the bathroom making the space hard to work in so trying to get baseboards and cornice in the right place was a challenge! So I started with the windows & doors. :) Nothing like a bit of denial to get things moving!

None of the basement windows came with interior trim so I made my own with popsicle sticks and my trusty easy cutter. I chose Popsicle sticks because the trim in the rest of the San Franciscan is plain not the routed kind you see on most miniature doors and windows.

I spackled these windows within an inch of their life to close up all the gaps caused by the walls being ever so slightly deeper than the window depth. The roof beams received a spackling 😜 after I saw this photo. 

The baseboard went right along this wall until I realised I needed to pry a section off to allow for the kitchenette units to be flush with the wall. *rolls eyes* My new motto is - Always have to make things harder than they need to be. ;)

The interior walls and the floor board are not attached yet, so the baseboard was a challenge. This little section between the front and garage entry doors is a little high, but not terrible. I'll probably leave it as is. The trim that came with the doors was the routed kind so I turned it over to have the flat back facing out. :)

To decide where to place the baseboard I traced the walls with the floor in place then lifted the outer wall assembly and the interior walls away and glued the baseboard to the line. The cornice along the interior walls will be spackled once the wall is glued in. I'll probably get to that today.

The garage has been trimmed out and spackled (ceiling done after this photo was taken) I finally removed the tape from the window plexi.. unfortunately I only did it after I installed the windows. Again, making it harder than it needs to be.. the only way to go in my opinion. Insert magic words here.

The back of the bathroom wall created a challenge with the angles and inaccessibility. Again a trusty pencil outline of where the wall meets the floor proved invaluable.

A bit of spackle and it will look quite professional. :D  Kitchenette is coming along too. 

The little under counter oven is a 1:16th Elf Miniatures kit. I chose the 1:16th because it was 1.5 inches wide which is the exact width of the Houseworks drawer kit I wanted to install it on. And well it's a kitchenette.. no need for a full sized oven. The tenant is lucky he has one at all! 

After I extended it's height a little (just a piece of wood attached to the top of the plexi and covered with the kit's metal finish) it was a perfect fit for the cabinet with the large drawer left at the bottom for trays etc. 

It looks good from afar but far from good.. lol, this kit and I had a tug of war of epic proportions. It was all going swimmingly, the metal trim was easy to install.. but then trying to glue the little knobs on without getting glue everywhere.. not so much.. $%^%$#%%$%##@!!! Many magic words and several hours later I've lost two of the knobs.. they've flung off into the nether regions of the craft room never to be seen again... (well, at least until I vacuum.. then I'll find them quick smart! *another eye roll*).. I also lost the little printed digital clock..no big loss there, I'll just print another from the Interweb. :) End result.. I got glue everywhere and have scratched the surface of the metal trim trying to remove said glue.. I mean, really!!! But honestly, I don't even care... It's going in, because there is no way in hell I'm going through that process again... I like these kits, but they are well beyond my skill or patience level.. Next time I'll pay them one million dollars to construct it for me. (in monopoly money of course. :p)

I'm testing out counter-tops as well and will extend it over the mini fridge to create an under counter fridge. This counter-top is just made of balsa planks stained in Honey Oak. I was originally contemplating a marble top but I feel like with the brick floor the basement should be a little more rustic, perhaps slightly "industrial loft" but softer.. I may give this a bit of a white wash to tone it down or try something else. I'm open to suggestions. :D

The back-splash will probably be some sort of subway tile and will likely go about half way up between the counter and the window height, then some open shelving and maybe one upper cabinet at this end...

I'm also contemplating a loft bed in the front corner to give the tenant a dedicated sleeping space and more square footage for living. It will require a rethink on the lighting plan though, which is why it is still not installed!... The chandelier I spent so much time creating shades for will not actually be used if I go ahead with the loft. lol

I'm getting there.. but not as fast as I'd like... I really am itching to get a start on the house proper. There has been a lot of prep work behind the scenes on that front so hopefully it will go faster than the basement! 

Here's a reminder pic of the outside with the the doors and windows finally finished. :)

 On today's agenda, glue in that straight interior wall (not ready to commit the bathroom assembly to permancy yet.), add door hardware and possibly window hardware.. (still contemplating how to do that on these push out windows or if it's even necessary.) Decide on the loft once and for all and then commit to a lighting plan and execute.... Is it possible... maybe. :D


  1. I'm so happy that you found time to work in this awesome project again! I love the plain trims using the popcicle sticks - I think they look more realistic than the grooved stuff would have looked in here. The baseboard is looking fabulous too! What a feat to have to trace the floor, take the walls down, affix the trim, them put the walls back up keeping fingers crossed that it all fits! Nice work!
    The kitchen unit is looking great! It fits so nicely in the space, and you've managed to include everything an efficiency apartment needs! I had trouble with those tiny oven knobs, too. It was stressful! I can't really see the burners too well. My kit for Elf included the "glass top" surface. Are these gas hobs? They look a little bit tall to me. What do you think?
    I like your idea of rustic counter tops and if you go with these I think they'll be great! I used 1/8" x 1/8" basswood once to make butcher block counters. I stained half in a slightly darker color than the other half, then laminated them together between clamps. It turned out nice, so you may want to do something like that too. Let me know if you do and want some more detailed info about the process.
    I vote for some pulls painted black to add a nice detail to the push-out windows. I also love your idea for a loft bed! You can always save the light fixture for upstairs!
    I love seeing the garage and exterior photos - everything looks so life sized! And the shots from inside make me so excited for the rest of the project to be revealed! I hope you find lots of time in 2018 to work on it!

    1. Thanks Jodi! You inspire me to get back to it every time you post. :D I was afraid the gas hobs looked a little large and you have confirmed it for me. They are the ones that came with the kit but they are very high, I'm not particularly happy with them. I might try to fashion something myself or just order a different one. :) As usual my non-committal self has not glued anything down so I could easily change it out. I am really leaning towards a loft bed, just need to figure it out. Managed to get the door knobs onto the doors this morning so.. baby steps.. :) Of course, I've hit a snag as always.. I bought a bunch of key holes from Bindels Ornaments but do you think I can find them in that hell hole of a craft room! lol.. Also, it's about a thousand degrees here with 2 thousand percent humidity.. I do all my painting outside.. so that's fun.. When did I move to the surface of the sun!... Upshot is paint dries very quickly.. downshot is paint dries very quickly! haha.
      I agree some pulls would be nice on the windows. I will see what I can come up with. Thanks for keeping me motivated during my crazy work schedule.. reading your blog has been a little ray of sunshine in a sea of crazy. :)

  2. Great job! That basement unit is so neat. I love all of your ideas.
    I think my motto is "I like doing things the hard way", I see you share in that thinking as well!I would never had guessed that you had any problems, as the result is perfect.
    Happy Tuesday to you, I feel like I'm time traveling since it is still Monday here.;0)

    1. Thanks Carrie! Right? Why do it the easy way when you can do it the hard way?? Crazy idea! :D
      My husbands family and friends always ask us how the future is when we talk on the phone. Cracks them up every time. :D

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  4. This looks wonderful! I really like how your kit turned out and I so can sympathize with the ELF kits. They're lovely but they require so much patience!

    I'd go with open shelving for your uppers because you have those lovely clean lines and beautiful window trim and cabinets will block them off. Whereas open shelves we get to see all the little things and you can make them as rustic or contemporary as you like. Maybe to match your awesome counter top?

    1. Thanks Sheila. I appreciate your suggestions.. I think you are right about the open shelving. Don't get me started on another rant about the Elf kits. lol

  5. I am right there with you on the hardest way of doing something. But hey, we get there in the end right? It is looking great Sam, and I can’t see any scratches on the oven. Sometimes it is just worth paying the money for some things isn’t it? Hope your Christmas break is a good one.

    1. Thanks Shannon.. and no kidding.. next time.. I'm buying a ready made. :D