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Blog Cabin

May 16

Tag Along With Chris Grundy

Have you seen the quickie vlogs Chris Grundy has been filming at Blog Cabin 2012? If not, please pop over to the DIY Network Facebook page to join in the lobster bake and meet Alison Victoria from the Kitchen Crashers crew (onsite as we speak, beautifying the heart of this midcoast Maine home).

On a completely different note, I noticed a conversation brewing about basement access. A very secure exterior door offers the only access to this storage space. Take a look:

Blog Cabin 2012 basement access

  • Posted at 11:36 am on May 5, 2012
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142 Comments

  1. Hmm, now that's an interesting door height! Are we talking final version here?

    DBCoop on May 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm
    • So if there are any problems to be dealt with in the basement we have to look for three foot high workmen ? And train our dogs to fetch stored items from the basement ?

      izzyguest on May 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm
    • Looks like that's it for the door to basement.
      I wonder if they are going to paint the board on the window or leave it like that? Good brick red would be nice to match bricks around it. Help keep wood from rotting out so fast and make it look better too.

      home_girl on May 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm
    • Do they have building codes in Maine?

      Jeff on May 16, 2012 at 5:37 pm
    • yes they do, but don't mean people alway follow them. That's how trouble starts

      home_girl on May 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm
    • I was hoping they would dig out for a walk out. Yes and the board is a sight .

      straightalk on May 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm
  2. I live down south where basements nearly do not exist, but is it normal to not have access to the basement from inside the home, also? The 'only' access is from outside? Mary, help please. Thank you!

    CarlaB on May 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm
    • CarlaB I seen folk close off the basement from the outside the home, but this is the 1st one I seen from inside the home. I couldn't understand the reason for that either.
      How sad, I think this house is meant to be a lived in year around home, and not just a summer house. And turned back into a working farm with the wonderful extra luxury they added here. Way things are going, one needs land for growing food and things to help with cost of living.
      A nice basement like this would be a great plus for that, but makes it hard with only that small entry from out side.

      home_girl on May 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm
    • Some farm houses do have only outside access, but the door to it is normally built at a slant with stairs on the other side to bring you down. Bunker style. Sometimes it will be a double door opening. This does make me wonder if the cellar is more of a crawl space and you can't stand up to full height.

      UsContessa on May 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm
    • i agree..this looks like a crawl space which is fine, but access should be from inside.

      schim1926 on May 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm
    • Its not a crawl space. Full standing height. Cement floor.

      Jeff on May 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm
    • I grew up in the South and we always had a basement with indoor access.

      izzyguest on May 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm
    • It seems like just another cost-savings measure that really doesn't make sense. In the middle of a winter blizzard, when the power has gone out and you need to do something with the heat system, you'll have to go out into the storm or sit there and freeze, because, oh yeah, they also deemed it unnecessary to have a whole house generator. Back to the drawing board guys!o.0

      Windsmurf on May 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm
  3. That a long way to go to get things out of the basement. Food from the freezer, canned good from the storageshevles/pantry down there and what ever else one plans for the celler.
    With deep snow that door will get blocked fast unless you keep it shoveled out. If there was an inside entry you wouldn't worry about keeping it shovled out. Once fall havest was in you wouldn't need to worry about the outside door. Well at less you can get to it from the out side.
    Unless the new owers was only going to use it for a vacation home, then everything is fine, the way it is.

    Shame they couldn't put stairs to basement from inside the house.Could of made them to turn just like ones going up. Go in where the nook is, then turn and go down where landing is. The celler is nice and big and could be used for a lot of things, but without a proper entry, I can't see that happening. Wasted space, how sad…. unless one can't stand up down there, then that would be different.

    home_girl on May 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm
    • The new home owner will have to put in the stairs now and yank out whatever is currently planned for that "nook". It is a full height cellar, now it is essentially useless.

      Windsmurf on May 16, 2012 at 5:45 pm
    • I absolutely agree and am very surprised at such a decision! There were stairs to the cellar before! Expensive to remove and now, for the winner to restore! Huge bummer and poor decision-making …somewhere…again.:o:(o.0 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on May 16, 2012 at 5:55 pm
    • I thought the heating, water, electric etc. controls were down in the cellar. How woulde a person maintain, service and repair these? How to get to the cellar from outside in q storm or power outage could be a nightmare. Am I wrong about this? Pat

      Patricia Green on May 17, 2012 at 11:34 am
    • Patricia, I don't believe you are wrong at all! I believe that whoever made the decision to remove the internal access to the cellar and to these important utility controls is wrong, wrong, wrong! What were they thinking? There WAS access via stairway to cellar! It was torn down by Knickerbocker. I cannot see the new homeowner struggling during a storm and power outage to the pint-sized cellar door, at the far side of the house, to enter a darkened cellar and try to deal with the control panels or handles…. What I see here is a logistical nightmare–that's all!:So.0:@ Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on May 17, 2012 at 11:44 am
    • Living in maine I'm saying 'what the heck's wrong with these people?' his is a terrible decision basement access is critical! So the winner, if they can afford after they pay the taxes on this prize…can either get rid of that silling "message center" and put in steps to the basement OR excavate a bulkhead! Either way is expensive!! But what upsets me more is NO GARAGE! Dumbies – we get terrible snows in Maine … duhhh! Did anyone think about that. Oh sure, you could use the barn across the street – just what I want to do is walk in snow/ice from across the street w/groceries to the front door. Poor, poor design!

      Mary on August 15, 2012 at 10:15 am
    • Oh Mary, I agree with you! What is more surprising is that the design/build company was Knickerbocker, from Boothbay Harbor! They should've insisted upon these important issues, being knowledgeable about the area!!!o.0 I just don't get the dreadful mistakes! When Hubby and I were back in Maine a couple weeks ago, he took pictures of the under flooring of the barn. It has been reported that the barn is not safe right now for parking a car or tractor and such, so that has to be added to the to-do list of the winner! Those photos are posted on Maine Blogger Home_Girl 's website http://www.yourespecialtoo.com and scroll down to a Blog Cabin photo link she set up. It also has a photo line-up of my "money tree" I planted so we could "remodel and secure the barn and fix all the Blog cabin mistakes." Well– in my dreams haha!!! Good luck to you!xD<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on August 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm
    • Thanks for the pictures – LOVEEEE your money tree:D What do you think taxes well be. I'm figuring around 5900 yearly; depends on appraised value – guessing that would be around 4500?? I'm wondering about that well water too!! They said they would test and condition – I know alot of wells are toxic! Well good luck too you too!

      Mary on August 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm
    • I'm not sure what the taxes will be and haven't put my head to it. I figure the first year, the winner will expect to pay about 35% of the ARV, which DIY is saying is $699,500.00. That's the house land and furnishings. I personally think it's a bit high but it is what it is. Then there's State and local taxes. I haven't checked those out yet. Property tax in Waldoboro, as I understand it is high. It's on the waterfront. On that well, I'm unsure that it is potable and there was lots of erosion around the cement covering. I'm glad you liked my money tree! Ya gotta laugh sometimes–it's good medicine! All the best to you, Mary! :D Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on August 15, 2012 at 8:33 pm
    • You can't even get a normal size freezer through that opening. There is absolutely no graceful way to enter or exit through that opening, never mind if your over 50, and not too flexible. Maybe the owner could build a bulkhead over the opening, but some excavating will be required for a normal sized opening.
      I think most people would prefer to have less flash upstairs and indoor access to this area if indeed money was the deciding factor.

      AnneEliseSouth on May 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm
    • "I think most people would prefer to have less flash upstairs and indoor access to this area if indeed money was the deciding factor."
      Wow, you hit the nail on the head. And speaking of hitting heads…..

      Lea on May 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm
    • There was nothing wrong with the orginal, great looking double stairs. They had stairs going down to the basement from under those double stairs. The K group messed that up long ago. Mister Grundry and crew are doing their best with to fix the mess the K group made of the house. Many of us know that. They other big mistake the K group made. Taking out the "real" fireplace and adding sliding door all over the back end of the house.

      Hawkweed on May 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm
    • I have not visited the blog in a while with so much happening in life… this is such a shock. I have missed much! But this is just not right. This is going to be a nightmare to get in and out of. Very poor planning on someones part, or else they just were not thinking of us at all. It must have made it easier on the builder to do it this way , but what about the poor winner? Especially if the winner is older?

      moon_lady on May 20, 2012 at 8:55 am
  4. It would be nice to hear why they felt it was better NOT to have access from the inside??!! It would help in alleviating our disappointment. I think trusting that they have the best interests of the new homeowner in mind is all we can do at this point……

    joanlife on May 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm
  5. Mary, this is a true disappointment about the basement access. What if the heating goes out in the middle of winter, when there is likely to be 3' of snow blocking the entrance? How is a repairman supposed to access all those neatly positioned pipes? At least include a trap door and ladder for emergency use!

    MNLass on May 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm
    • Well all said and done not much we can do, most of the house is all ready done, but kitchen, two bedrooms & bath up stairs. So unless they put a trap door in the nook to the basement, looks like it's up to the new home owers to change it, if that's what they want.

      home_girl on May 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm
  6. Given the size of this door, I can't believe this will be the only access!

    mommyto8 on May 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm
  7. Sad.

    Wonder how one opens that door? Does it have a lock? Water tight?

    The OSB sheathing used to cover the old window cannot hold up to moisture. It will rot fast. Must be temporary.

    Lots of DIY projects for the winner of this home. Cash option would be nice.

    Jeff on May 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm
  8. As long as the heat pump/air conditioner is not running.

    Jeff on May 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm
  9. If they put that type of seating all the way around, it will block off the view. Hopefully they don't do that. It reminds me of the porch seating they used to build many years ago. I'm not a fan of that look, but hopefully they don't mess this up too.

    Windsmurf on May 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm
  10. I feel like all I have to say are negative comments, I am sorry. I just don't understand how a design firm that is supposed to be from Maine can have made so many bad design decisions, wasted money where not needed (non-functional chimneys), and skimped on things that were needed (access to cellar and generator). I am just frustrated and disappointed. Well here's hoping the winner is a 3-4 foot tall person who has virtually no storage needs and doesn't can or freeze anything. Of course, if they are so short, they won't be able to see the view if the outdoor deck seating above is extended around the perimeter of the deck. Maybe one of the crash crews can throw in a periscope. I'm sure the DIY crews doing the inside and outside areas will make everything look good, but they can't change the non-functionality that has been designed in. On a more positive note, the green color is growing on me.

    Windsmurf on May 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm
    • Oh, and unless I am blind, there is no door handle on that little shortie door and no key hole so what is securing it? Is it nailed shut? Will the winner find the skeleton of the last guy still down there, you know, the guy who lost the bet and had to nail the door shut from the inside.o.0

      Windsmurf on May 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm
    • Maybe that's what they mean by "very secure" (no door handle or way to get in) LOL

      ksmort9 on May 16, 2012 at 6:40 pm
    • My thoughts exactly!

      peachdoctor on May 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm
    • The handle is small and on the part you can't see. Looks like it's one of those thumb push down kind that has a lever on the inside that lifts up when you push down on outside. Anyway, that's what it looks like to me.

      If you look at picture here you can see it, it's that black spot.
      http://blog.diynetwork.com/blogcabin/2012/05/03/n

      Looks like it got a fresh coat of painted too. Door this small how would you get a freezer in there unless it's a very small one.

      if you look at the cam pictures you can see that the seating don't have backs. With that part being so high off the ground, I think that it's there for safety reason too and don't block a view.
      new cam photo up now, can see fire place ….

      home_girl on May 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm
    • Well said.

      izzyguest on May 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm
    • LMAO!

      Lea on May 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm
    • ha ha, Windsmurf—I wonder why a periscope was not included in the house warming gifts ? You crack me up ! I wish I could say that the green siding was growing on me….it will be camouflage for any green algae or moss that grows on the planks, so that's a positive……

      LLColeman on May 18, 2012 at 12:45 am
    • Windsmurf
      I am with you:( I guess all we can do is cry in our beer?:So.0 This is a cute home but I feel this KG really missed the boat out of this harbour-right from the get go?
      I really hope next year's BC Cabin has a different attitude-getting back to it's roots? This has been mentioned by more than one blogger over this year.

      ruffybc on May 18, 2012 at 8:02 am
    • I agree with you Ruffy….. I can't understand why DIY would let K-Group make the decisions they have made during this reno……and I certainly don't understand why they would omit the stairs to the cellar/basement? If this is true.. That's a whole third floor and would be a wasted space..
      I'm thinking they have boxed off a small place in front of that door and can only be entered from the outside. Mary said a very secure exterior door offers the only excess to "this storage space". First of all, why would she call it a storage space, if you can't get through that small door to store things?
      Doesn't make sense to me. I guess we'll find out when Mary wants us to know!
      I hope the next Blog Cabin will be a real "Blog Cabin," built from ground up in a beautiful setting maybe by a stream or overlooking a mountain…I liked the very first BC in Tennessee, we had more input and felt that we were a big part of the outcome…. don't you? All the money they are spending on this Reno, can you imagine what could be built on a smaller scale…Maybe the winner would be able to keep it..JMT……….Have a good day!!

      Jennie/Florida on May 18, 2012 at 11:08 am
    • Scripps (DIYNetwork) pay the bills so, ultimately, they call the shots, not the 'K' group. DIY is responsible for the design choices.

      Last year the architects left the job before completion. Maybe what DIY need for their shows and what is best architectural practice or appropriate design don't always go hand in hand? None are wrong, just some are more suited for what is needed for the TV than others. Possibly it's to accomodate the skill sets of their presenters. It seems that since the HGTV people took over this show it's been less about building a cabin and more about the presenters. More 'cult of the personality'?

      Sally on May 18, 2012 at 11:38 am
    • @ Sally, I think you are absolutely correct.

      basincrew on May 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm
    • It does seem that way.

      Lea on May 21, 2012 at 4:23 pm
    • JENNIE
      i fully agree with you-they would have been better to just start from scratch:( I have not paid attention lately-lost interest for now. I missed that they do not have stairs to the basement-unbelievable! so it is being treated as a crawl space/storage-really? I wonder what the problem is? very strange:(o.0

      ruffybc on May 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts from DIY Network series will be on hand to rebuild the 1920s lakeside house that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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