Progress: a (pretty painless) mini patio for the back yard

2 min read I’d thought my next move was to start framing in the new mudroom between the house and garage but then I remembered … it will never be easier to move the pavers from front to back than right now.  

I did a quick about face and prioritized putting together my (mini) patio project.  I’d had something like this in mind for a while but had to make some quick executive decisions about size  and proportion.  Continue reading “Progress: a (pretty painless) mini patio for the back yard”

Progress: Basement Bath and Bar Sink

2 min read Progress continues in the basement with the final plumbing work. Its about to go on hiatus, however, when I turn my attention outside for fall.

The basement isn’t quite finished but I made some great strides forward to prep for the final plumbing work down here.  I also introduced myself to the Ikea kitchen system which gave me a few moments of confusion and then turned out to be even more straightforward and hackable than I’d hoped. Continue reading “Progress: Basement Bath and Bar Sink”

Progress: painting the basement walls and ceiling

2 min read Painting has always been one of my favorite home improvement activities.  My mom changed the wall colors almost as often as she changed her mood and the whole family was always permitted (expected) to help out as needed.  

Spreading paint onto my newly drywalled basement was a deeply satisfying several day process, fueled by color energy and audio books.  The one down side was that, without the final electric installed and with the new sheet rock ceiling blocking my ability to hang lights from the rafters, it was a bit dark down there.  Continue reading “Progress: painting the basement walls and ceiling”

Progress: The basement drywall is in!

2 min read The drywall was hung, taped, and textured and now its ready for me to get on with painting. I have a quick decision to make. Help!

While I was upstairs, ripping out the wall-to-wall carpet, the drywall crew was downstairs turning the basement spaces back into rooms.  It’s very exciting to see the work progressing.  Continue reading “Progress: The basement drywall is in!”

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”

Exterior Progress: Nearly done with North and South Gable Ends

6 min read I spent the (spectacularly hot) week of my birthday pushing forward on the painting progress.  Knowing I’d have someone around to spot me, I planned to do the high-up, platform work on the south gable. 

I got started on re-painting the house last fall right after we the sale closed.

The tired green color and peeling paint were about equally unappealing to me and I wanted them gone.  Plus I wanted to get some plantings in to replace the hedge I tore out and I knew that new plants wouldn’t appreciate drop cloths, ladders and the general tramping around that painting a house takes.

I knew it was going to be a tough job, made a little tougher by the lead paint underneath the green – which meant I’d need to follow proper safety procedures when scraping and sanding and the year was getting cold fast so I committed to just doing the front face of the house – the east – for the fall and coming back to the rest this year.

Continue reading “Exterior Progress: Nearly done with North and South Gable Ends”

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”