Our new home has plenty of quirks. Some are fun and some are annoying and some simply need to be fixed. The closet in our basement was one such quirk.
Our basement is nice and could be finished. If you were under 5 ft tall that is. A closet was put in our basement at some point, it was deeper than a regular closet with no light other than what came in through a small casement window.
Ultimately it was a lot of wasted space and the drywall had water damage and potentially mold. It needed to go, but we did need a place to store winter coats and stuff.
We discovered a foundation crack covered in mold and mildew when removing the closet. The floor also needed patching. The job I thought would take us a couple of weeks ended up stretching out to months as we needed everything to dry out well before we could repair it.
Initially, I had planned to break down a bunch of pallets and use the boards to make a rough wall. As it turns out, breaking down pallets is hard work! And I was losing nearly half the boards to splitting and breaking when I removed the nails.
Then, this spring, Jason took several nice logs to a sawmill and had them milled. One of which was a black walnut. I decided the walnut boards would be perfect for building my closet wall!
Jason created “studs” for me by tap-conning 2×4’s into the basement wall so I could screw the boards to them.
Jason cut down the walnut tree summer of ’18 and we milled it spring of ’19. The boards only air-dried for 2-3 months before I put them up. Essentially I built the wall with “green” lumber.
I predrilled the holes and pushed the boards tightly together. So far, they haven’t split, but they have definitely shrunk. You’ll see in a bit!
I added a bench on one wall, and also a hanging basket above to hold hats and gloves.
The basket for hats and gloves was made by using plumber’s tape to hang a clothes rod from a floor joist. Then I stapled chicken wire to the back wall and rolled it forward and stapled it to the clothes rod.
On the other side of the window, I used the same method of plumber’s tape and rod to make a short clothes rod.
Under the hanging clothes rod, I added a small shelf and then screwed down 2 plastic baskets. I’m pretty sure they would’ve been dumped out on the floor 90% of the time I didn’t screw them down!
This is the view we have now looking down into the basement.
I love how open and “airy” our basement is now. The formerly hidden window is now open to view and lets in lots of daylight!
The project isn’t quite complete though. I have a few boards that need to be planed down for trimming out the window.
And next spring I plan on moving the boards together again to close the gaps made from the lumber drying. I’ll also trim out the ends and corner with some of the lumber we have left.
I love seeing a project finished the way I saw it in my head. That doesn’t always happen you know. 😉