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GrampsX9

The Two-And-A-Half-Generation Household

387 posts in this topic

Note: More than once, this thread contains a trigger.

I have two DD’s and one DS.  The DS has a wife and three children.  This is about that family.

DS’s mortgage payments were stretching him to the breaking point.  So at their suggestion (with lots of love and hugs and GC company), I bought a large house and invited them to move in with me and just pay the utilities.  What would be a reasonable freedom of movement for a GF in the house?  Obviously not entering bedrooms uninvited, and there may well be additional restrictions, such as enter only the ground (middle) floor, and knock before entering.  But also obviously, it seems to me, more freedom than:  In this house, GF, stay in your hole until you are invited up.

I know, it’s whatever the parties agree to.  But more basically, before negotiating, what would a reasonable person expect?

I notice that the DIL’s mom comes in with her and even goes up to the third floor, and presumably into bedrooms.  Their excuse is that she is helping clean.

I am autistic and about 12 years old socially.  I get along well with children and am profoundly depressed that I have been cut off from the GC’s.  (And God only knows what DIL has said to them about me.)  Other than socially, such as money management, I am an adult.  I’m usually good at spotting a scam, but I missed this one.

Again, did I have unreasonable expectations?

Edited by RoseRed135
to add tirgger warning

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10 minutes ago, GrampsX9 said:

I have two DD’s and one DS.  The DS has a wife and three children.  This is about that family.

DS’s mortgage payments were stretching him to the breaking point.  So at their suggestion (with lots of love and hugs and GC company), I bought a large house and invited them to move in with me and just pay the utilities.  What would be a reasonable freedom of movement for a GF in the house?  Obviously not entering bedrooms uninvited, and there may well be additional restrictions, such as enter only the ground (middle) floor, and knock before entering.  But also obviously, it seems to me, more freedom than:  In this house, GF, stay in your hole until you are invited up.

I know, it’s whatever the parties agree to.  But more basically, before negotiating, what would a reasonable person expect?

I notice that the DIL’s mom comes in with her and even goes upstairs, into the bedroom area, and presumably into the bedrooms.  Their excuse is that she is helping clean.

I am autistic and about 12 years old socially.  I get along well with children and am profoundly depressed that I have been cut off from the GC’s.  (And God only knows what DIL has said to them about me.)  Other than socially, such as money management, I am an adult.  I’m usually good at spotting a scam, but I missed this one.

Again, did I have unreasonable expectations?

Maybe.

However, I think it's reasonable to ask if your son had unreasonable expectations.  I would consider that there might be "strings" if I was moving into a large house, my space was 75% of it, and I was only paying utilities,

I think BOTH parties needed to discuss the expectations prior to moving in.  This isn't all on you.

ETA-  Is this cut off new?  I didn't get that in your previous posts.  Are you cut off from the GC you are paying the mortgage for?   If so, SMH,  whose being unreasonable here.

Edited by skipped

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23 minutes ago, skipped said:

ETA-  Is this cut off new?  I didn't get that in your previous posts.  Are you cut off from the GC you are paying the mortgage for?

The GCs never enter my apartment, even though I have openly invited the whole family to come down any time.  DS says to me, no GCs here.  I have been invited to some quick, formal-seeming meals upstairs.  After a quick meal, when I get the hint and return to my dark hole, I've chatted briefly with a GC or two, but that's it.  And now it seems that even the meal invitations will stop because the DIL is deeply offended that I sent a photo book of this family to her parents without her permission.  (The photos are from previous years.)

Edited by GrampsX9

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I don't think this is going to work out.  It would be bad enough living in a "hole" , but walking on eggshells 24/7 would take me over the edge.  OK I can get that DILs upset you sent a photo book to her family.  Is this a one time offence?  And if it isn't why would she move in with you, unless she is in dire straights?    Just how easy is she to offend?  I couldn't stand to be that close to a person who easily gets offended and then takes extreme measures (not letting you ever eat dinner with them ever again) to punish you for your offenses. People do wrong things in a relationship and you discuss them.  The punishment should fit the crime.

In the last thread people were making this all about a "landlord- tenant" situation.  If it is one, I wouldn't get into a huge argument with my landlord and expect my lease to be renewed.

You are being generous. Financially this is a great deal for them.  They seem to be the ones making all the rules.   I would be upfront with my son, voice your dissatisfaction with your "living in a hole", (I'd omit the walking on eggshells but for me that would be as big of a part as the "hole" I was put in.  , and your general dissatisfaction with the living situation and that you can no longer live like this.  If he wants you to accept living in conditions you can not tolerate, he only has his own interests at heart.  Tough do do if he gets mad about it.

Give him 6 month notice of the  termination of the "lease" 

  I'd give him the best deal I could financially afford on the house.  Maybe he could rent the "hole" out.  .  But I'd be out of there.  If I could afford it, I'd be out of there tomorrow, rent an apartment and give them 6 months to figure out what to do.  That seems generous to me.

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Skipped, thanks for your interesting ideas.  I've considered taking my own life, but your way of terminating the arrangement may be better.  It indeed has turned into a landlord-tenant situation because I no longer seem like part of the family  I committed the photo book crime after we all moved in.  DIL is very easy to offend because she is overprotective of her children and herself.

The core, "upfront" discussion with my son has yet to happen.  I hate those discussions when we are yelling at each other.

Edited by RoseRed135
to remove trigger notice since there is now one at the start of the thread

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Hi Gramps.  It was very generous of you to provide a large home and only require your son's family to pay utilities.  However the living arrangement will not work long term.  Maybe have a family meeting and discuss the arrangement and simply explain that although you love having them in the home that you only having access to your tiny portion of the home you bought is just not working for you any longer.  Maybe come up with a 'common area' that is for the entire household.  That way there could be some intermingling.  If they have a problem with that, then it's time to figure how much more they can pay to offset your inconvenience.  I'm sorry but if I bought the house you would not find me stuck using use a small portion of it.  

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I will ask if this is a "legal" two family unit?  Is so, there are other options on the table.  If not, it is a little harder to fix this situation as it stands now.

I can't imagine how hard it is to live in the same house as other family members without working out the logistics before finalizing the arrangements.  Many newer homes on the market now do have a second family room/den on the upper floor with the bed rooms.  Does your house have these accommodations?  If so, maybe you could have full use of the ground floor living area to give you some above ground/daylight living space.  It might make it easier for the rest of the family to hover when entering the home.

Good luck reaching a happy compromise.

 

Edited by SueSTx

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2 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

  DS says to me, no GCs here.  

 And now it seems that even the meal invitations will stop because the DIL is deeply offended that I sent a photo book of this family to her parents without her permission.  (The photos are from previous years.)

So DS told you the GC aren't allowed to visit you in your apartment? Have I got that right? Did he give you a reason why?

About the photo book - Some parents are very sensitive about anyone else sending out pictures of their children or themselves w/o their (the parents) permission. That you sent photos to her own parents seems harmless enough to me, but she may just be upset at the general idea that you would send them w/o permission. Or perhaps there are some pix she doesn't want her parents to see?

Either way, I'm sorry about this. I hope it doesn't lead to an end to the dinner invites though. Or, if so, that it's just a temporary "break" until she cools down.

Have you tried apologizing?

Edited by RoseRed135

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3 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

I have two DD’s and one DS.  The DS has a wife and three children.  This is about that family.

DS’s mortgage payments were stretching him to the breaking point.  So at their suggestion (with lots of love and hugs and GC company), I bought a large house and invited them to move in with me and just pay the utilities. Agree w/ other posters that this was very generous of you. Kudos! What would be a reasonable freedom of movement for a GF in the house?  Obviously not entering bedrooms uninvited, and there may well be additional restrictions, such as enter only the ground (middle) floor, and knock before entering.  But also obviously, it seems to me, more freedom than:  In this house, GF, stay in your hole until you are invited up.

I know, it’s whatever the parties agree to.  But more basically, before negotiating, what would a reasonable person expect?

I notice that the DIL’s mom comes in with her and even goes up to the third floor, and presumably into bedrooms.  Their excuse is that she is helping clean. If it's any comfort, this is probably not just an "excuse." DIL probably does have her mom help clean. It's certainly not unheard-of for a your wife- & - mother to ask her own mom to help out w/ this chore.

I am autistic and about 12 years old socially.  I get along well with children and am profoundly depressed that I have been cut off from the GC’s. Since you do have dinner w/ them periodically (so far), it doesn't seem like a total CO (cut off) to me. I take it you mean that there time w/ you has been cut back, as was discussed in the other thread? Trust me, you're not the only GP who has ever come to these boards complaining that they don't get to see their GC enough. But since you tell us you're "about 12 years old socially,"  I imagine it's even more frustrating for you than most. I feel for you. (And God only knows what DIL has said to them about me.)  Other than socially, such as money management, I am an adult.  I’m usually good at spotting a scam, but I missed this one.

Again, did I have unreasonable expectations? Not "unreasonable," IMO - just not very well thought through. Same could be said for DS and DIL.

 

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The only problem I see with your expectations is that you didn't TELL your DS/DIL what they were. Please don't ever expect anyone to read your mind. That's at the top of the list of how not to get what you want. Don't assume anything. ASK

Also, talk to a tax attorney (not an accountant, an attorney) about the tax implications of your DS paying a set rent amount along with the utilities. Depending on where you live utilities can be higher than some mortgages and you need to see everything on a spreadsheet. 

Touchy DIL's shouldn't be quite so touchy when they are taking advantage of your generosity. Discuss this with your DS as well. Did DS give you a reason why the kids aren't allowed to come to your apartment? Unless there is something in your background that would call your character into question, there is no valid reason for them not to be able to visit.

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On 9/21/2017 at 4:02 PM, GrampsX9 said:

 

...  I've considered taking my own life, but your way of terminating the arrangement may be better....

The core, "upfront" discussion with my son has yet to happen.  I hate those discussions when we are yelling at each other.

Gramps, I hope you always look for positive solutions rather than the very negative and  final one of suicide. If you ever again find yourself thinking about that, please call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800 - 273 - TALK. 

About that "core, 'upfront' discussion with (your) son" - Do you think you two can agree to  just talk - w/o "yelling at each other?"  Maybe just each express your feelings about the living situation, at first, and then sleep on it? IOWs, take the pressure off that first conversation. If you sense that tempers are beginning to flame, you could end the discussion for that day and return to it when you're both calmer.... Food for thought...

ETA: Another thought concerning the living arrangements - Would it be financially feasible to add a separate wing to the house for you? No doubt, this would amount to another apartment. But you would be able to make it more comfortable, it would have better windows/lighting, and you wouldn't feel as if you were being kept in a "hole' in the basement.... Just an idea...

Edited by RoseRed135

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7 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

I know, it’s whatever the parties agree to.  But more basically, before negotiating, what would a reasonable person expect?

I notice that the DIL’s mom comes in with her and even goes up to the third floor, and presumably into bedrooms. 

Their excuse is that she is helping clean.

7 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

The GCs never enter my apartment, even though I have openly invited the whole family to come down any time.  DS says to me, no GCs here.  I have been invited to some quick, formal-seeming meals upstairs.  After a quick meal, when I get the hint and return to my dark hole, I've chatted briefly with a GC or two, but that's it.  And now it seems that even the meal invitations will stop because the DIL is deeply offended that I sent a photo book of this family to her parents without her permission.  (The photos are from previous years.)

Many people are protective of their children/themselves, please explain what over-protective DILs do?And how that relates to offending her?  My MIL was over-protective, about everything, but not offended by others actions.
You said:  I know, per arguments with DS, that they see it as a landlord-tenant relationship.  
 
What did you expect? When did your son tell you the arrangement was landlord-tenant? If you didn't have any discussions beforehand that laid in rules/rights/responsibilities, do it now.  Don't argue. Just say what you do want and what you will live with. Don't drag in the red herring of dils mom on the third floor (how do you know?) Don't force your son/dil into making excuses/talking about MIL, that won't play well, imo, with your DIL.

Going on the assumption that all 3 floors are about the same size and the basement is finished out with a kitchen and bath: I'd say you rent the upstairs for 2/3 of the going home rental that size and location. Most rentals I'm familiar with, the water-garbage-trash mowing-pest control, are all paid by the landlord - so, I'd ask them to pay 2/3 of the assumed rental amount (realtors know), 2/3 of heat, lights, power and their own cable/internet if they want those services. The reason I propose this ^ is because we recently purchased an upper floor rental with an un-rented walkout basement. The upstairs rent is $$ including utilities, the basement rent when finished appropriately and nicely, would be the same $$ according to our realtor. There are many positives to lower floor walk-outs, even partially subterranean, with well-windows.

We are transforming basement with paint, lights etc. It's all easy, relatively cheap, you might do the same, even if only to increase the home value in case you prefer selling.  Then you can be a landlord or sell easier.

As I said in the prior thread, I wonder what you receiving rental payments triggers - it may be part of the family member provision of the IRS code pertaining to rentals, before you proceed - maybe get explanation of what's applicable.

Edited by JanelleK
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Thanks for the replies and the many ideas.  I may not get around to giving a full response to everyone.  One key question that was asked is whether DS gave a reason for no GCs in my apartment.  No, he didn't, and I should have asked why.  I will when I get the chance.

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Totally ok not to give a "full response' to every post, Gramps.

I think it's a good idea for you to ask DS why your GC aren't allowed in your apartment. When you do, I hope you let us know his reply. If so, we may be able to help you sort this all out.

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15 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

About the photo book - Some parents are very sensitive about anyone else sending out pictures of their children or themselves w/o their (the parents) permission. That you sent photos to her own parents seems harmless enough to me, but she may just be upset at the general idea that you would send them w/o permission. Or perhaps there are some pix she doesn't want her parents to see?

Either way, I'm sorry about this. I hope it doesn't lead to an end to the dinner invites though. Or, if so, that it's just a temporary "break" until she cools down.

Have you tried apologizing?

I might try apologizing if I can find a way to do so without justifying her reaction.  I hope my son continues our weekly meetings in my apartment, scheduled for 9 a.m. every Sunday morning.  I will ask him then why no GCs here.  However, I can guess.  (1) They are Mormon and I am not,* and (2) DIL is super protective and probably fears that I may poison their minds in some way.

* I do not want to start a discussion of religion, that is best left for a separate thread, or perhaps it's banned here.

As for DIL's reaction to what she calls "candid" photos:  This was an expensive book, the maximum Shutterfly size, over $100.  The photos are sweet, intimate, and candid by my definition (I'm not sure how she defines it) -- informal and sometimes uninhibited.  For example, one of them shows her rolling down a hill with the rest of the family.  That photo and almost all of the photos in the book were taken by other family members or friends long ago, and shared with me.  They even shared photos of their very young children in a bathtub.  (I did not use those photos.)  But over the years, DIL has fallen in love with ComiCon and other ways of dressing up and posing for a photo.  So now she wants herself and family to be in only posed photos.  I made the mistake of posting, on Facebook, two photos of them walking to, and walking from the nearby church.  They are nicely dressed and at a great distance on the sidewalk, barely identifiable.  Yet DIL and DS (probably just following her lead) were offended by my posting these pics on Facebook!  Other members of my family agree with me that they overreacted.  But they are absolutely unswayed in their attitude.  I find this totally weird, and that's one reason why it's hard for me to apologize.

But back to the photo book.  I ordered two copies, one for them and one for DIL's parents.  While I was working outside, DS walked out and, in front of me, dropped their copy into the trash.  But too late, the other copy was already on its way.  Now that DIL's parents have received it, SILENCE.  If I'm lucky, DS will come down for our Sunday meeting and rake me over the coals.

Edited by GrampsX9

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Photos shared in any capacity is a touchy point in many families.  for instance, my own daughter hardly ever shares pics on fb.  SIL shares more often.  I would never share a pic simply because she doesn't.  Never shared anything verbal, but I just won't go there.

I take my cues from my own adult kids. 

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This relationship sounds strained. It sounds to me like DIL and son wanted to pretend that it wasn't when they suggested that you move in together.  Thus all the hugs and kisses before the move,  To me the strained relationship is just as much an issue as your unsatisfactory accommodations.  IMO adding an IL suite would be putting good money after bad.   Even if they were  to pay their own fair share of the rent, there is no way I'd want to continue this living situation.  It's bad enough having strained IL relations from a distance. I wouldn't want them in my face.   The only thing them paying their fair share of the mortgage would improve would be my feelings of being used.

Edited by skipped
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Gramps, I get the distinct feeling from what you've shared thus far regarding your circumstance/s is that you're determined to make "it" work- But if it doesn't, please understand that you would not be the first parent/grandparent to stop "providing" for their adult children and grandchildren in any capacity- Not out of spite or retaliation but because what's being provided isn't in reality necessary and/or doesn't necessarily support healthy family dynamics- 

I Googled: autistic adults taken advantage of- Evidently, it's not uncommon- I encourage others to perform the search (or similar) in an effort to understand and offer support- Here's an exact quote I stumbled upon, "Left unsupported, many are taken advantage of, manipulated or abused-" Isolation, also an issue- 

The view of/from the basement- Prior to the move, no doubt, the basement looked beautiful- Now, it looks different- It's not the basement that's changed-

And, Gramps, your life is precious- I think most people experience what's called the "Dark Night of the Soul" at some point in their lives to different degrees when perceived views of life, themselves included, collapses- Sometimes it makes one "feel" suicidal, however, suicide is not the best response to a collapse because these collapses are fleeting- And while passing through these temporary phases can seem positively frightening, they give way to looking at the world anew, with a fresh set of eyes- But if at any time you feel you "will" take your life please reach out for help: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

    

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One way to maybe bridge what appear to be gaps in relationships is to share an interest that one feels passionate about- Obviously, photographic passion has yet to work just yet- So, I suggest coming straight out and asking to go to ComicCon with your daughter in-law along with asking permission for you to photograph her experience there- My daughter summed ComicCon up in 2 words: "My People!"- She had an absolute blast- 

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2 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

I I made the mistake of posting, on Facebook, two photos of them walking to, and walking from the nearby church.  They are nicely dressed and at a great distance on the sidewalk, barely identifiable.  Yet DIL and DS (probably just following her lead) were offended by my posting these pics on Facebook!  Other members of my family agree with me that they overreacted.  But they are absolutely unswayed in their attitude.  I find this totally weird, and that's one reason why it's hard for me to apologize.

 

Thanks for explaining further about the photos. It looks as if this is on ongoing issue (or has now become an ongoing issue) since DS and DIL complained earlier about the FB pix. If it's any solace at all, it's not really all that "weird" -  we hear this kind of thing often on these boards. Increasingly, people are objecting to photos of themselves/their family being posted on FB by anyone else. So it's not just happening to  you, if that makes you feel any better.

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Also .. you might not feel like you can "spread out" in your own home at this point in time, but there's plenty of room here to do so- Maybe share a recipe or two- I'm always looking for recipes that guys like since both my husband and son seem to gravitate towards liking to eat food that I don't like to .. :)

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2 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

I might try apologizing if I can find a way to do so without justifying her reaction.  I hope my son continues our weekly meetings in my apartment, scheduled for 9 a.m. every Sunday morning.  I will ask him then why no GCs here.  However, I can guess.  (1) They are Mormon and I am not,* and (2) DIL is super protective and probably fears that I may poison their minds in some way.

* I do not want to start a discussion of religion, that is best left for a separate thread, or perhaps it's banned here.

 

IMO,  it's better to stay off the subject of religion here. No one is likely to convince anyone else of any different religious POV that they already have, so what's the point? In most cases, I imagine it will only serve to inflame some members.

However, GP.com does allow the discussion of religion up to a point. As the administration states::

"It is not against any GP.com rule to mention God, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Manitou, or any deities in their posts, as long as it's not putting down that religion or any other religion and as long as it's a positive message. Users can accept it or not, as with any statement or any topic covered in a forum."

I agree, though, that a discussion of religion doesn't belong in this thread. The question here for me is, why would the difference in religion affect whether they let their kids come down to visit you or not? Have you said anything to or in front of the kids  that seemed to criticize their faith or promote yours? Or do they just tend to keep the kids away from anyone who doesn't share their religious beliefs? Also, does DIL generally worry about people "poison(ing)" her kids minds?

Edited by RoseRed135

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7 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

I made the mistake of posting, on Facebook, two photos of them walking to, and walking from the nearby church.  They are nicely dressed and at a great distance on the sidewalk, barely identifiable.  Yet DIL and DS (probably just following her lead) were offended by my posting these pics on Facebook!  Other members of my family agree with me that they overreacted.  But they are absolutely unswayed in their attitude.  I find this totally weird, and that's one reason why it's hard for me to apologize.

There are four problems here, to me. One - is DS a mindless twit who only follows his wife? Really? I don't feel that way about my kids and they surely would hate it if I did.  Two - why are other family members involved? Talking about people is gossip and most people hate to be talked about (particularly if they are not there to defend themselves).  Three - of course they are unswayed, it's their opinion and they have a right to their opinion, that's not weird, and a real apology would be a nice gesture. Four - many people absolutely detest Facebook posts. Seeing unauthorized posts of themselves and/or their children causes unending problems that can't resolve because the offending photos (in their opinion, the opinion that matters) are already out there on the internet.

4 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

The question here for me is, why would the difference in religion affect whether they let their kids come down to visit you or not? Have you said anything to or in front of the kids  that seemed to criticize their faith or promote yours? Or do they just tend to keep the kids away from anyone who doesn't share their religious beliefs? Also, does DIL generally worry about people "poison(ing)" her kids minds?

Rose worded this well. I was thinking the same, but couldn't find the words. As long as nobody ever criticizes my faith or evangelizes to me and mine, I don't care what religious beliefs they hold. I know, without a doubt, what our family faith involves - all between the individual and God. I also wonder why/if DIL actually feels the kids minds can be poisoned.  ETA: Our area has a significant number of Mormons, they seem very family oriented and have quite a positive community outreach, it seems to me.

ETA: Mame is correct a life coach could be a great resource for you.

Edited by JanelleK

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A large segment of my DH's family is practicing Mormon. Managing that in a secular world can be a challenge. Add in touchy personalities and you have a lot to deal with, especially if your community has a large Mormon population. As with any "majority" group, there can be significant exclusion and possibly judgement toward those not participating. 

One thing you might consider is a life coach for yourself. Age isn't a factor. This coach would help you navigate life in your own best interests and find things that work for you. 

By all means continue the Sunday meetings with DS. Make a list of things you want to address (keeps you better focused and less likely to lose your temper). 

 

 

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20 hours ago, JanelleK said:

We are transforming basement with paint, lights etc. It's all easy, relatively cheap, you might do the same, even if only to increase the home value in case you prefer selling.  Then you can be a landlord or sell easier.

Janelle, as I pointed out in the old thread, this basement is already "transformed".  It sounds just like the basement you are "making" -- window wells, warm-brown concrete floor, creamy-white walls.  And will your molding and ceilings be bright white, like mine?

But I can tell you from personal experience that, no matter what the color choices, there is almost no way to make an underground basement as bright and cheerful as an above-ground floor.  Unless you go hog-wild with artificial lighting constantly on in every corner, darkness dominates 24 hours a day.

(Made slightly darker by my tendency to turn lights off when I'm not using them.)

Edited by GrampsX9
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