ITD's Loomer, wife Cindy transform outdated basement,
claim remodeling award from 'This Old House' magazine

Tony Loomer is beginning to feel right at home. But it took a lot of effort.

Loomer, 39, a training specialist for ITD’s Human Resource Development section, and his wife Cindy, 38, moved into a classic ranch-style home in 2004 with the intent of adding their personal touches – basically a complete remodel.

Their basement transformation was ambitious and innovative. Early this month the project was featured in the July-August issue of “This Old House,” a publication about restoring and remodeling homes.

Loomer is a long-time subscriber to the magazine and watched as the annual edition dedicated to readers’ projects cycled through his mailbox every year. When he saw an invitation to submit entries in the magazine’s contest, he nominated two of his home remodeling projects – their kitchen and basement. The latter was accepted and earned a $1,000 prize along with a prominent place in this summer’s edition.

The magazine sent the Loomers a video camera so they could narrate a brief tour of the project. It is included on the magazine’s website.

The current issue is available at local bookstores and home improvement centers, Loomer said.

The Loomers spent two years remodeling a 3,100 square-foot, three-bedroom house. Built in 1958, it is located on Mountain View Drive overlooking Garden City.

Most of the work has been completed, but with proceeds from "This Old House" magazine, Tony and Cindy plan to embark on another project – adding another bay to their two-car garage. After that’s accomplished, they might begin looking up –adding a second story that includes a master bedroom suite.

The existing home includes about 1,600 square feet on the ground level and a 1,500 square-foot basement. After remodeling about half of the basement to “make it livable,” they attacked the second half of the basement, a room of about 14 feet by 30 feet.

It included replacing a traditional fireplace with a gas insert, new slate around the fireplace, wainscoting, custom bookshelves, new electrical wiring and lighting, surround sound and a built-in flat screen television.

The Loomers did all of the basement remodel, as they did on the rest of the house. “We’re not afraid of tackling anything … We’re pretty good at working on stuff together,” Tony explains.

He has no formal training in home construction but learned cabinetry in high school. The only part of their home remodeling they handed to outsiders was carpet and granite installation.

Tony moved to the Boise area after graduating from Walla Walla College. He taught computer classes at New Horizons, a private executive training center, before joining ITD in 2005. He teaches classes in computer applications for HRD, including Excel and digital imaging.

When she’s not engaged in home improvement projects, Cindy manages the Boise Heart Clinic at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center.

Published 7-23-2010