Progress: Basement Bedroom Window Well

3 min read We made  big jump forward in basement progress this week with the jump start on the new egress window.  From first thing Monday morning to late Wednesday we made some pretty dramatic changes to the south side of the house!

The basement currently has five small windows just at or below grade.  In the new design, two will be in the unfinished basement – and we’ll just pop in some better insulated replacements, two will be in the den and they will get new deep window sills set in with the vent soffit running around the ceiling edge and then there’s the bedroom window … it needs to be expanded dramatically to allow the required amount of air ventilation, natural light and a safe way to escape the house in an emergency.  Continue reading “Progress: Basement Bedroom Window Well”

Progress: Bathroom Framed and Roughed In

< 1 min read Putting in the floor plates and wall studs was an exciting first step to building back the rooms I’d spent so much time demolishing. Hooray for new spaces!

We got the walls of the new basement bathroom done and had the plumbers back to do the rough in.  It is really starting to look like a room with the vent and supply lines in and especially with the shower enclosure installed.   Continue reading “Progress: Bathroom Framed and Roughed In”

The Secret to (Warm) Success: Insulating behind new Basement Walls

3 min read Part of the reason I decided to entirely tear out the existing “finished basement” was aesthetic: it was incredibly dated with an unpleasant drop ceiling and an unfortunate layout.  I could have kept some parts of it however, if it hadn’t been totally un-insulated.  I can do SO MUCH BETTER than that.

I did part of this insulation work a couple of weeks ago – to make step one before framing the walls for the new bathroom – and the rest is still on my agenda.  I’ll be insulating the south and east walls next.   Continue reading “The Secret to (Warm) Success: Insulating behind new Basement Walls”

Progress: New Pipes, Water Heater and Softener, and Utility Sink

3 min read This phase is all about win-win changes.  By updating the supply plumbing for the main floor I can improve the time for hot water, get bette pressure, save energy, AND win and extra 1 1/2 inches of ceiling height!

In order to start the next stage of basement progress, framing up the new walls, I needed the plumbers to come back and move some old pipes out of my way.  At the same time they replaced a bunch of aging equipment and re-located the water heater to make a more efficient pipe layout!    Continue reading “Progress: New Pipes, Water Heater and Softener, and Utility Sink”

Ack!! Flash Flood: water in the basement

2 min read I had literally not had the full den and bathroom areas covered in subfloor for ONE DAY when intense overnight rains (and some bad drainage) scared the pants off me. Here’s how I IDed the source of the water seepage and fixed it. Thanks rainstorm, I guess.

I came down in the morning to grab a tool and found water on the floor seemingly seeping out from under the sub floor.  HORRORS!  I ran around to check the windows for leaks – nothing – and the walls for cracks – again nothing and the ceiling for drips – nothing again.  What could it be?   Continue reading “Ack!! Flash Flood: water in the basement”

Tap in the SubFloor, One Tile at a Time

3 min read The old basement walls were built from the vinyl tile flooring straight up to the ceiling and attached to 2×2 furring strips that were bolted straight to the painted concrete walls. I want to improve the insulation of the basement and also the air circulation so that no mold will form in dead air cold spaces. First step: install a DriCore sub floor system.

I’m working with a dry basement (generally) but I did notice a little mold on the back of some of the knotty pine and drywall I moved from the original “finished” space.  The walls I took out had been built from the vinyl tile flooring straight up to the ceiling and attached to 2×2 furring strips that were bolted straight to the painted concrete walls.  I want to improve the insulation of the basement and also the air circulation so that no mold will form in dead air cold spaces.   Continue reading “Tap in the SubFloor, One Tile at a Time”

Back to the Basement: Getting up to speed again after some outside work

< 1 min read Having taken a little break, it’s time to get back to work.  I had a little trouble positioning myself on the “what’s next list” so I worked backwards:

Having taken a little break for, first, the MREA, and then successive visits from my BFF and a group of out-of-town family, it’s time to get back to work.  I had a little trouble positioning myself on the “what’s next list” so I worked backwards:  Continue reading “Back to the Basement: Getting up to speed again after some outside work”

Progress: Pouring the Concrete Slab was Pretty Easy!

4 min read I poured a mother freaking 28 square foot concrete slab in the basement this week … and it really wasn’t that hard. Here’s how I did it (hint: I roped my parents into some of the extra manual labor!)

I admit, this was one of the tasks I’ve been most excited about … and afraid of.  I could, of course, have asked the plumbers to repair the slab they tore up when their work was done but I’ve never worked with concrete before and wanted the chance to try my hand.  When I saw the size of the hole I had a few second thoughts in the end it was a really fun time to fill it back in.

With the right tools (another post) the job was really pretty simple. Continue reading “Progress: Pouring the Concrete Slab was Pretty Easy!”

Progress: There is a Huge Hole in the Basement to get at the Under-Slab Plumbing

2 min read Two weeks ago I took the most dramatic step yet in bringing the basement plans to fruition.  A crew of plumbers showed up at 8 in the morning with jack hammers and tore up a big patch of concrete slab in the basement.  

This is step one of removing the ridiculous open-to-the-laundry toilet and shower arrangement.  They carted off the broken basement floor chunks, removed the old plumbing and then did  the underground rough in for the new 3/4 bathroom. Continue reading “Progress: There is a Huge Hole in the Basement to get at the Under-Slab Plumbing”

Progress: Basement Measuring, Mockups and Making Final Checks

2 min read With the plumbers incoming the next day to tear out the concrete slab and old pipes, and lay new ones, time for a good old fashioned mock-up with blue tape lines and visualize it one more time.

Having finally (mostly) cleared the deck in the basement I took a moment to revel in the bare walls, exposed floor joists overhead and swept-clean floor.  Then I got out my laser measure, a pair of tape measures, a sharpie and a roll of blue painters tape and marked the location of the new bathroom walls (and fixtures) on the basement floor. Continue reading “Progress: Basement Measuring, Mockups and Making Final Checks”