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Add Value to Your Home By Cutting Large Holes in the Foundation

If you haven't guessed by the title we finally put egress windows in the basement.  Here's the quick backstory.  Our house only had two bedrooms on the main floor.  There were a couple of partially finished rooms in the basement that the previews owners had used as bedrooms but were far from legal.  After reworking the floorplan multiple times we decided to build our bedrooms back to back with a mirrored layout that would allow them to share a single egress window well.  After digging a huge hole in the yard we started with this small window opening.
Luke used a demo saw to cut our new hole.  As you can see the new opening did not completely overlap the old window.  We took advantage of the huge hole in the foundation to bring in 86 sheets of drywall.  Someday we will finish the basement and won't have to bring them down the stairs.
It did not take long to frame in the opening and install the new egress windows.
I took advantage of a few days of good weather to build the window well and backfill the huge hole.  Obviously we still have trim to finish and I have to texture the foundation, but we've accomplished a lot in just a few days.
From the inside you can see the old window opening was only 18"x30"
The basement is so much brighter with the new, larger windows. 
 After framing the bedrooms you can see how the egress windows will fit into the floorplan. 
 Eventually I'll build window seats in the nook under the egress windows.  But first I need power, drywall, etc.


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Our New House - It Might Just Be Home

I recently announced that we had sold our home in Helena and will be moving to my hometown in July.  We did some house-hunting over Easter weekend and I'm please to report success.  We are in the process of buying our latest home: I know you can't see it well behind the trees.  I'm so excited to have actual trees on the property.  The house itself is nestled against the base of a hill which will block our views of the sunset but the east-facing front porch should offer some wonderful sunrises.  And here's a sneak peek of our view.
I won't be posting any more photos until we've actually closed on the house.  Closing is still two months away and a lot could change before then.  Still, I look forward to sharing our latest project.


We sold our house last week.  This may come as a surprise since the house wasn't even for sale. We weren't planning to move.  Everything in the house was designed with the idea that we would be living here for years.  But sometimes God makes it abundantly clear that He has other plans.  In the course of just a few days Luke was offered a chance to move to his company branch in my hometown and we met a family looking for a house in our neighborhood.  And now our house is under contract.
Closing is scheduled for mid-July so I will have a little time to recover from having the baby, but until she arrives I've been packing up all our non-essentials.  We have already started looking for our next home; maybe it will be a home we get to enjoy for decades.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Family Room Before and After

When we bought the house the basement was classified as unfinished. The previous owners had made a haphazard effort to convert some of it into living space, but the carpentry was so bad that you would have to be drunk to consider it livable. From what we have heard about the previous owners drunk was probably how the work was done. Anyway, this space at the bottom of the stairs was used as two bedrooms; one directly in front of you and the other through the door to the left. We moved the bedrooms to the far corner of the basement so they could share an egress window well and used the two bedrooms as one large media room. The tray ceiling hides the pipes for the radiant floor heat and also distracts the eye from the beam running down the middle of the room. While we needed the tray in in one spot for practical reasons running it all the way around the room created a nice visual effect. The basement stays comfortably warm from the radiant heat for the 1st floor but we also added a ga…