Basement Progress and Next Steps

About 1 year ago, I decided that I’d do a little work around the house while my daughter was in the hospital and my wife was gone. It’s not like I had anything better to do with my time, I figured. (I was right)

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Well, that laundry room renovation uncovered a whole trove of problems (some of which are still being fixed) and I spent the rest of the time last year ripping out (un-finishing) the entire basement. That was fun, because I like to destroy things, but it also opened up a whole new can of worms. We now had a blank slate and we could do anything with it, so what would we do?

We decided to change up the area completely, and that started with removing everything from the old basement. Old lumber was salvaged, as was anything else useful. Everything else was put in the dumpster behind my house. Once we had a blank slate, we decided to open up the space, so we had a contractor remove and 8″ thick wall and replace that with a steel I-beam. Engineering work was done by friends for a few beers, but we did have to pay the contractor to pull over 2 tons of concrete out of the basement. Now, we’ve got an entire blank slate, but the basement is still getting infiltrated by water. We’re working on fixing that.

Since our appliances are old (furnace & hot water heater) those systems will be replaced, as will the plumbing while I have easy access. All of that will be done after the new framing goes up, which will (hopefully) be started soon. As is traditional on these projects, a simple fix of the laundry room has morphed into replacing the plumbing, all downstairs electrical, furnace, hot water heater and more.

Since this is most likely going to be a rather expensive process (and we’re already $3,000 in) I’ve been very slow to buy things and have been looking for coupon codes everywhere. We have a Home Depot in our town, and they typically have some good sales and coupons, so I’ve been looking around there. Unfortunately, I havent found any sales on anything we need quite yet.

We are hoping to make quite a few efficiency upgrades with these updates, including a version of Mr Money Mustache’s Radiant Heating system, as well as a new, far more efficient water heater than the one we have now. I’ll also be eliminating waste that I’ve found (such as a heating duct that mysteriously was heating the area under the front porch – also known as the front yard) and other spectacularly wasteful things that the person who “built” this basement out did.

All in all, this is another fun (to me) project, and it should take up the majority of the summer for us. Things should be much easier to work on now that the baby can kind of take care of her self and doesnt need constant supervision, but I’m still not that optimistic that I’ll have a finished basement at any time in the year 2015. Ive been looking to get back into projects like this, an I’m going to be documenting quite a bit of my work for future posts. I’ve got one planned for basic wiring, and I’ll probably do one with basic plumbing as well. There may even be one on how to lay the radiant electric mats in bathrooms, though i’m not sure we will go that route. There are a few other things I’m considering as well that may make for good DIY fodder for the soon-to-be-improved DIY Page.

Image: Flick’r User JD Hancock