Lower Level 
Home Location : Minneapolis, MN
Home Built : 1936
Photographer :  Heinz Richter, GMP Photography

Summary :

A large amount of work was done to achieve an update in the lower level of this 1936 home. Plumbing pipes were moved, electrical updated, insulation added, exterior drainage and HVAC were altered. The laundry room is now a welcoming well-lit space and provides a large amount of storage. Family room spaces are now defined with flooring, and feature handmade Alder cabinets. We improved traffic flow, lighting and installed a new Marvin Egress window. Handmade cabinets and electrical added to the second floor bathroom seamlessly integrating with the original bath style. These areas are now well-designed and sensible spaces.

Awards & Achievements :

See other projects we did on this home :
Client Testimonial :
Linden Hills
We have used Orfield for two other projects and have been overwhelmingly satisfied with their work. Orfield Design far surpassed our expectations.

Scope & Objectives :

Their major reasons for doing this project was to have a family and laundry room that they enjoyed using, have a finished overflow pantry area for their kitchen items one floor above, and have storage for their many craft projects. The kids couldn’t handle the dark, scary basement anymore, with pests and insects getting in through the block walls and continual dampness. They wanted the space to be fresh, inviting and clean, but at the same time functional and well lit.

  • To start, we stopped the water on the outside of the house before it got into the basement. On the exterior we dug a trench and installed catch basins and drain tile with electrical heat tape to prevent freezing in winter.
  • The original 5 panel horizontal raised doors received a lot of abuse throughout the years, and therefore we filled, repaired and reconditioned the interior doors, with additional doors and wrought iron hardware to match.
  • All walls and ceilings were old lath and plaster. This was removed and walls and ceilings were insulated and sheet-rocked. Old door jambs were too thick, so trim extensions were applied instead of furring out the walls.

Basement Family Room and Stairs Up:

  • A 4” plumbing stack and waste pipes were moved into new locations to allow for the new cabinet plan.
  • Handmade cabinets were important to our clients for displaying collectibles and for functional storage. Details such as Alder wood with bead board backing and exposed wrought iron hardware add visual interest. A movable entertainment cabinet was created in order to allow for furniture layout flexibility and entertainment storage.
  • For additional light, we installed a 2 wide Marvin wood Ultrex egress window and window well, in addition to installing a multitude of recessed lights.
  • To facilitate direct traffic flow and to maximize furniture and audio/visual layout, we moved the existing garage door entrance. To match their 5 panel horizontal original doors in the rest of the basement a custom order TruStile 20 min fire door was fabricated to match. This door cost over $1200.00 but the consistency of the details was important.
  • HVAC ducts were run down the walls and through cabinet toe kicks to help improve heating efficiency.
  • All original asbestos floor tile and mastic was tested and abated throughout the basement. In the family room, the flooring was split into two parts; Amtico Spacia was laid due to the traffic pattern between the garage entrance and door to hall stairs. This was for ease of cleaning and created an arts and crafts area in the long room. On the other side of the family room, Shaw Couture carpet was installed to designate comfort in the entertainment area. This carpet was also installed on the stairs up to the 1st floor to deaden noise. On the stairs, the handrail was replaced with returns to code.

Basement Laundry and Storage Rooms:

  • A waste pipe was moved into the wall behind the washer and dryer for sheet rocking. Water meter access was decoratively concealed within new IKEA cabinetry.
  • The 1st floor water filter fridge line was moved for owner ease of access
  • The plumbers supplied and installed a condensate pump to eliminate pipes to the floor drain which were in front of the washer/dryer. This drain was then run to the laundry sink. This removed the annoying hose they tripped on previously.
  • Due to the owners tall height and the basements low ceilings and mass of ductwork and pipes, all ceilings were sheet rocked except mechanical ducts and pipes were left exposed but painted.
  • The flooring was Mannington Realistique which provided for a nice finish appearance but also remains easy to clean.
  • To reduce cost of handmade cabinets, but achieve a nice clean appearance and a variety of storage, the basement laundry room was finished with IKEA cabinets and Nevamar laminate countertops

2nd Floor Bathroom:

In the second floor bathroom, they had absolutely no storage, yet didn’t want to do an entire bath remodel because she loved the retro look of the 1936 built homes original pink and black tile.

  • To address this need, we designed and built handmade poplar cabinets to paint without changing or affecting any tile. The linen has overlay doors with exposed hinges and open shelves that precisely envelop the window. The window sill and apron were removed, and a new Absolute Black Granite countertop with sill extension was installed. We also enlarged and provided a matching recessed medicine chest over the sink. In addition, a new bath fan, heat lights, sconce lighting and additional outlets were installed.

All the owners’ requirements and wishes were satisfied and these areas are now well-designed and sensible spaces.

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