Basement Studio Renovations

Welcome to our NC home studio renovations page ... if this is not where you intended to go, you still have time to get out now...

Until recently this was a "work in progress" page so I hope you'll forgive me if some mess remains. We have now completed most of our renovation projects and I have taken some time to put this together for our friends and family who have expressed interest in what we have been doing this year.

This year we decided to redo the kitchen and screen in part of the deck to keep out most of the bugs and some of the pollen, etc. in order to enjoy the use of the porch more. The kitchen makeover involved replacing the flooring, appliances, cabinets and lighting (that's all, to quote Rocky)... So, I got to thinking about how I might make use of some of the "old" cabinetry rather than demolishing or donating them and decided to use most of it in the studio to replace all the metal shelving that was currently holding all my "stuff". This turned into another project in itself...

The studio is contained in the large, open section of the basement that is essentially two-thirds the size of the upstairs and has no vertical structural support columns. Within this area is a separate bathroom which works out great when I'm totally engrossed in some recording effort and don't want to "lose the vibe" by having to go upstairs to one of the other bathrooms. The remainder of the space (about 1200 square feet) is all open, with the furnace occupying one corner. The rest is recording space, bookcases and storage. Until the renovations, most of my "stuff" was held in steel racks of varying colors and sizes - effective but really unattractive, to say the least. The availability of the outgoing kitchen cabinets made for some interesting alternatives.

The following section provides the progress of the updates made to the studio. These would include the replacement of the furnace (and A/C system) which was also updated this year (2015).

Replacing The HVAC System (April, 2015)

When an issue arose with the first use of the (original - 1989) air conditioning unit in late March, we had the service company do a full inspection of the entire system. The A/C unit was beyond any realistic repair and had to be replaced. After looking over the furnace (also original) the company mad the statement that if we were thinking of updating/replacing the furnace within the next five years we could save up to $800 in labor by doing that at the same time as the A/C. Since we'd had an increasing number of issues with the furnace and the cost of propane was a major item during the winter, switching to a heat pump unit made a lot of sense (especially since it could save us up to 50% of our propane usage each winter). So we did them both.

As it turned out, that was a very good decision as a major crack in the heat exchanger was identified upon its removal from the old furnace housing! So we lucked out for sure.

Here's what that process looked like...

Day 1 - The New Equipment Arrives (May 27, 2015)

note crack in the old heat exchanger...

Day 2 - Install New Furnace Equipment (May 28, 2015)

Day 3&4 - Install New refrigerant and Fuel Lines and Complete (May 30, 2015)

Now that the HVAC system work was completed it was time to prepare for the big studio "make-over". That meant first I had to unload the steel shelving and move it out before the other cabinetry could be moved into the same space. Here we go!

Day 1 - Unload And Remove Steel Shelving (June 14, 2015)

Day 2 - Begin Moving In The New Cabinets (June 17, 2015)

Day 3 - Begin Moving Cabinets Into Place And Secure Them (June 18, 2015)

Now comes the really hard part. I made myself the promise that instead of just putting all the "stuff" away I would do some serious "weeding out" of the items no longer in use or needed by anyone known to me at this time. Those items will be sold on eBay, donated or simply discarded. The remaining items still being used will find appropriate storage in the new cabinets and a detailed inventory list will be created and maintained so that they may be located quickly. This is going to take some time... I will post progress photos as progress is made - wish me luck!!!

Day ?? - Current Appearance (September 1, 2015)

Not a great deal has been cataloged and put away but at least enough that you can see the countertops of some of the cabinets. Slowly, the remainder of boxes will be explored and their contents distributed to the appropriate cabinet or outgoing box. For now, it looks like this...

That's about it for now; as always, you can send your comments and suggestions (maybe other, related links I might enjoy) to the address below... Have fun!


Send comments to:
Changes last made on: Sunday, January 3, 2015 at 3:50pm