We’re doing it, readers. One baby step at a time, our basement is coming back together. Now, don’t get your hopes up and think you’re going to see everything back to normal just yet, we’re a long way from that. Here’s the current progress update.
The cracks in the workout room are all sealed, so that’s one for the win column. Simon kept going along the driveway side wall and has gotten as far as the cubbie area under the stairs. This cubbie originally housed all of our painting supplies, most of which we inherited when we moved in. Side note: Dan emptied out the cubbie for Simon to get in there, and only about 1/3 of the total number of paint cans and supplies are actually for colours we used in our house. A trip to the dump is in our near future. Dan smashed up all the cupboard shelves that were in there, and ripped down the fibre board/wood paneling to expose the foundation wall for Simon. You could see the hintiest hint of a crack just underneath the window, heading in the direction of the wall that goes under the stairs. The crack turned out to not be that big, but it required ripping down some wall to see what was there. Here is a pile of what came out from under the stairs:
PS, you’ll notice that the wall in the workout room has been stripped of all the studs. It turned out the sill plate running along the floor was too rotted/damaged to re-use, so Simon took it all out and replaced it will a metal piece. A lot of the studs could be reused, so there shouldn’t be too much material cost to get this room back to studs and insulation.
Also pictured above is the central vac that was hiding in a cubbie under the stairs. We knew it was there, but we haven’t touched it since we moved in since we have Cornelius (robot vacuum) and a standard vacuum for sucking up all the dog hair in our house. Fun fact! When they installed the central vac system in the cubbie under the stairs, they removed crucial support for the landing/stairs and didn’t replace them. Neato! Simon has since ripped out all of the central vac bits and pieces and added reinforcements to the cubbie area so we won’t fall through the stairs. Now that all the central vac equipment is out of there, we will probably eventually cover up the hose holes for it that are around the house. No rush on that task.
This is the cubbie area, as viewed from the workout room, with the wall removed. The crack that needed to be sealed runs from just under the window to slightly under the stairs. Check out all the fluffy insulation that was packed in there:
We will put shelves back up in this little area, maybe a touch nicer than what was in there before, and use it for storing tools, paint, and general house fix-it stuff. The wall will also be going back since this opens into our future powder room.
Here is the workout room as of today:
We’re also investigating replacing five of the basement windows right now. We hadn’t planned on doing it this soon since we’re figuring it will cost enough money that it will be painful for us, but if we don’t do it before putting the studs and insulation all back together, we just have to rip parts of it down again to do it later. The two windows in the workout room are on the list for replacement, and so is the small window in the rec room, the tiny window in the mechanical room, and the window in the laundry room. We’re currently waiting for a price to come back to us from Dan’s sweet sweet construction hook-ups for (fingers crossed!) builder pricing, but no news on that yet.
We’re also thinking of down the line when the powder room enters the scene, and that required some re-worked plumbing so the window could be replaced. The black pipe that is running diagonally across the ceiling used to be right up against the window:
A roll of green painters’ tape and I roughed out a plan for Simon to work with as he is finishing up the work for us:
The plan is to completely remove the weird ghetto closet (pictured in the right of the picture), and then create a little powder room to keep the most possible floor space in the workout room. We’re undecided about building a linen closet-type thing back into powder room, since the closet currently holds all of the tools and they will be going in the under-the-stairs cubbie eventually.
We also wandered around Rona today pricing out some simple bathroom necessities to help cost out this project. A low-flow toilet will run us $150-200, and the exact same vanity we had at our rental place (which we liked a whole bunch) is only $97! Bam!
Facto two-door vanity
We can get the bare essentials in here for a few hundred dollars. We’d like to tile the floor, and then just paint the walls. Sounds easy enough in theory, but we’ll wait to see if other surprises pop up as Simon carries on his work.
Also, Oscar doesn’t like all the happenings in the basement. He much prefers hanging around at the top of the stairs, staring at me: