Basement library complete

Here’s the after to Tuesday’s before, with my row of Bestå shelves from Ikea fully assembled. The doors went on Monday night, and the books went in the last few nights. I’m still waiting on one glass door and a few DVD organizers for the small shelf to the right, which will help with the clutter there.

The hardest thing about the shelves is probably just deciding where to put them to maximize storage. The shelves that meet the bottom of the glass doors need to stay fixed, and there are LPs behind the bottom doors, so that dictates the position of two shelves; and there needs to be another fixed shelf about a third of the way down for stability. But there are a lot of options for the other shelves. I ended up doing something I swore off years ago: sorting books by size and spacing the shelves accordingly. I bought five extra shelves for the units I bought (comprising four 75-inch bays and one 50 inch bay), and I think I still need to buy one or two more extras.

Bonus: click through on the photo and look at the “original size” version on Flickr, and you can get a pretty good look at the titles in my library.

Basement update: bookcases are in

A quick update on our basement project: it looks like we’ll make our deadline. The picture to the right shows a stage in the completion of the project, with the Bestå bookcases mostly assembled and the Flor carpet in.

I was able to finish the carpet with about an hours’ worth of work on Sunday. I was pleased with how well it came together and how solid it seems now that it’s settled in for 48 hours. Oh yes–and it’s bright too! Hoo boy. But it works in the otherwise slightly dark basement room, and helps set it aside as a “family” room as opposed to our more formal spaces.

The bookshelves were pretty straightforward too, though assembling three sets of shelves takes a little time. They’re cam-locked standard Ikea frames, just like a Pax closet or Akurum kitchen cabinet, or just about any other flat pack furniture, so the timely part is in leveling them so that the doors will line up properly, and in securing them to the wall. I was luck and hit studs going into four out of the six locations that were recommended as anti-topple points, so between that and the fact that the frames were screwed together I think we’re in business.

Since the picture was taken, I’ve finished hanging the glass doors on the front of the cabinets and have begun loading in the contents, which will take a while. I’ll post one more update when the shelves are all loaded in.

Basement progress update

We’re bound and determined to finish the basement project before the middle of next week. Why? Well, we’ll have both my parents and my sister visiting, and we only have one currently usable guest room… so it’s crunch time.

Fortunately, Lisa and Esta decluttered a lot of stuff and painted a lot of the basement last week, and Lisa and her Mom and I finished it over the last few days. So today was finishing day, beginning with a quick trip to Ikea to buy the bookshelves (detouring around the big fireball on Rt 128). More on the shelves tomorrow.

I bought a door to replace the water damaged one last weekend, and did a trial hanging of it today, mortising the hinges against the door and the frame. (Whoever hung the last door didn’t bother to mortise the hinges, just screwed them into the frame directly.) Then Lisa started painting the door, and I started laying the carpet.

We’re using Flor tiles for the carpet, and it’s kind of interesting. They come in boxes of 18 inch square tiles, and you start laying them down the center of the room on both axes, get them lining up as you like them, and then start filling in the four corners that are left. The tiles float above the subfloor, and are joined together by “dots”–essentially large stickers with heavy duty adhesive that join the corners together. It all goes very easily, until of course you get to the edge of the wall. Then the swearing begins. While Lisa put a coat and a half of paint on the (thankfully preprimed) door, I got about a wall and a half done along the edge, including the fireplace, before we had to knock off for the night.

Tomorrow’s job is to finish the carpet tiles, hang the door, and assemble the shelves. Then we can load the books and records back in, and find out how many books I have to find another home for. We won’t have a new sleeper sofa by Thursday, but we’ll have most of the room done, and that’ll be something.