Party Time

I can’t believe just how beautiful it was here in SLC yesterday.  About 50 degrees, clear skies, clear air, and a strong feeling like I should be out on the golf course.  We hosted a Valentine’s Day dinner (thanks for coordinating, Amy!) yesterday for all my Utah family.  It was really nice to have the group up here at our house this time and save us the > hour drive to my folks’.  We had a potluck dinner of soups including homemade chicken, taco, and potato, as well as lots of side dishes that were to die for.  I am getting hungry just thinking about it.

Today was a federal holiday so I put it to good use and spent $$ at Lowes.  In three different trips.  We are at the point where we have to start thinking about insulation and you just can’t haul a lot of that around in normal cars.  I actually borrowed a tank Suburban from a guy in our ward and even that couldn’t hold all the crap I needed.  I can’t believe how much insulation this basement is going to need.

I also replaced both windows in the basement today.  The guy I borrowed the Suburban from came over to show me the ropes since he’s replaced the windows in his entire house.  I couldn’t believe how fast we got those fellas out and replaced — about 15 minutes each!  It’s exciting to have energy efficient windows down there that you  can actually see through.

We also finished all rough electrical today.  “We” is defined as Mark Ellett (Jen’s dad) and myself.  It’s really defined as “Mark.”  I don’t have a strong desire to learn electrical beyond what I already know, which is mainly hooking up new switches and outlets.  I don’t want to design a system; I don’t want to pull the wire; I don’t want to drill the holes; I don’t want to pay for it….  I am really lucky to have a father-in-law who is 1) able to help and 2) willing to help.  I’m also lucky to have my dad who provides help over the phone for me and my myriad of questions and is willing to help but our spatial separation make it difficult for him to get up here much.

Things we did today:

  1. Got all cable (entertainment) routed and working
  2. Hooked up CAT5 and phone (the CAT5 wasn’t as straightforward as I would have thought…”match up the colors” the instructions snidely say…well, what if the colors from the cable don’t match the colors on the plate???  Judy Wimmer).
  3. Installed bathroom fan/light
  4. Got all electrical wires pulled, stuffed in boxes, and stapled to studs
  5. Replaced two windows
  6. Bought all insulation
  7. Finished all blocking in preparation for sheetrock
  8. Figured how much sheetrock I need to buy this week
  9. Gulped when I realized we’ve already spent 75% of our budget without buying sheetrock, carpet, radiant heating, tile, or paint…
  10. Cut my hair
  11. Hung a new towel rack in the master bathroom

Okay, so the hair thing was about a month overdue and had nothing to do with the basement.  Neither did the towel rack.  I think I just realized why I only saw about 10 minutes of the Olympics today.

We have a goal to hang the sheetrock on Saturday.  I am not looking forward to this task.  In fact, I originally planned to contract this out when we first started the basement finish.  After reading #9 above, you’ll realize why I’m doing it myself.


2 thoughts on “Party Time

  1. Jess – Looks like your basement project is coming along nicely. Hanging sheetrock is the easy part, finishing it can be a pain. I hired mine out when I did my basement and the crew was done in a few days.

    I know exactly what you mean about the budget. I think sheetrock and carpet were in my top 5 for costs. I did a gas fireplace which was an $$$ splurge. If you are doing a suspended ceiling that can be pretty spendy too. Drywall is much cheaper for a ceiling but not convenient for access should you want it down the road.

    I did a series of podcasts where we talked about finishing basements. If you haven’t tripped across it yet check it out at

    Good luck and if you have any questions feel free to drop us a line.

  2. Wow – you got a lot done! Keep up the good work!
    And thanks for letting us come to your house for the dinner. We had a lot of fun. And it must be a toss up – long drive or messy house from a lot of guests…

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