Something that I want to do since I'm going to the trouble anyway is to make the exterior something that's easily redressable as "spooky". The stone veneer idea is one that lends itself rater easily to that while still looking nice in the off days, or at least I think so. Then again, I'm easily swayed to the spooky.
Doing that while still being practical is an interesting concept. It takes a set designer's eye combined with a construction enthusiast's knowledge thrown in with a cinematographer's lighting skills. Luckily, I am all three. Now if I can just pull it off.
Cleaning out the basement has a lot going with it. The basement isn't very tall, maybe 7-1/2 feet from floor to finished ceiling (not including hot-water pipes, beams, and electrical conduit), which doesn't make it very useful for building a lot of stuff. It also doesn't have a good access: the stairway is sort of two half-stairs that switch back on each other, with the closest exterior door being a single-width door on the landing. Anything that goes into or comes out of the basement needs to make it through that funky bend and past the neghbor's fence. It's not glorious by any means, but it's not all that horrible either. I've built 8-foot set flats in the basement and managed to get them up and out with minimal cursing.
It does however have a certain claustrophobic charm, in that Blair-Witch-Basement kind of way. And I do have a certain desire to "decorate" the claustrophobic basement to allow for easily creating certain types of sets, like perhaps a spaceship interior (think the engineering decks on the Nostromo), or perhaps a dungeon tunnel or ancient Cthulhoid tomb, or catacombs. Standing generic set pieces that could be repurposed for different things. It would still have to serve purpose as a basement and workshop and cadaver storage, but I think it could probably do that without a whole lot of uber-angst. At least I think it could.
That's still a ways off. There's a lot to do yet before I can reclaim the basement as something like that, including the complete revamping of the hot-water heating system to get rid of the damn pipes that hang down so fucking low. And that's lower on the list than many things already, it's just there in the back of my mind as something cool.
There are still many, many bags and boxes and bins of stuff that need to be out of the basement before I can even think of it. Well, not before I can think of it obviously, but there's a whole lotta steps between here and there.
And the thinking about it, that just feeds more and more into the making-a-movie thing.
Carrot. Stick. Marmot.