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: 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”

Minimizing Waste in Demoltion

3 min read Any remodeling project is inherently more or less wasteful. “Out with the old and in with the new” means that something is being tossed and new resources are being consumed. Here are the steps I took to keep limit the landfill content produced by my basement demolition.

From an ethical standpoint, I think remodeling is better than building new and even remodeling should always be justified by improving utility and energy efficiency to offset that waste.  From a design point of view, the new work should be not only more aesthetically pleasing but more multi-functional – future proofed as much as possible.

I apply these ideas to all the design work I do, and I’ve been trying to use the same principles during my physical remodeling here. Continue reading “Minimizing Waste in Demoltion”

Progress: Basement Demolition and Discoveries

4 min read After a long winter of being distracted by design work and other projects, I got back to the fun of tearing apart the house again a few weeks ago.

[Actually I began some exploratory demolition by pulling down a few ceiling tiles at the end of January, only to be delayed by a the sudden memory that the building inspector hadn’t NOT said that the ugly acoustic tile ceiling could contain asbestos.  I decided to play it safe and took a sample over to the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene for testing to confirm that it was safe.  Thirty eight bucks and three weeks later I got the all clear and was ready to head back down the basement stairs.] Continue reading “Progress: Basement Demolition and Discoveries”