We made big strides in basement demo on Day 2. And it feels SO good to have a whole pile of free lumber ready for a good DIY project. All credit goes to Pete for this one – I helped out a little bit by removing plumbing, sorting lumber, and making dinner (so domestic), but the demo was happening in a tight space and he did the heavy lifting and nail removing to get us to this point.
The whole plan of demolishing part of the basement came from the desire to create a new work bench and storage unit for all of the tools that have been living in my dining room. They’ve taken up housing there since the spring when we built the deck, but I won’t be sad to see them go (no tools necessary at dinner parties). Conceived purely to minimize expenses, we decided to remove an unfinished half-bath from the corner of the basement so that we could use the lumber for our new project. And in addition to taking apart the basement for free lumber, I’m really opening the space up for usability.
On Day 1, we did some basic job preparation by removing some electrical outlets and lights you can read about that here, and we started Day 2 by disconnecting plumbing from the sink. We bought a few convenience-related plumbing tools, and the disconnect couldn’t have been easier (or faster!). We turned off the water to the house to be safe, and used a brand new pipe cutter to trim back the two pipes that had lead to the sink. No welding was necessary, because Pete found some great pipe caps that latch right onto the ends of the copper piping (he chose SharkBite, which worked really well for us). No leaks! (And now I have free beautiful copper piping that may make it’s way into the storage unit or a future project… the wheels are turnin’.)
We got a serious amount of wood from the walls surrounding the bathroom itself. In addition to a dozen 2×4 boards, we saved some larger 1×10 and 1×12 boards (hmmm shelves?) and a bunch of hefty 2×8′s that were in the floor. And, there just happened to be a great piece of heavy-duty plywood in the house when I bought it that might serve as a nice tabletop.
Hello people of Earth. It’s Pete chiming in here (as I’m going to do from time to time). We also ended up with a pile of disgusting toilet-water-soaked, rotting, moldy 2×6′s from around the gross toilet that the previous owners mounted right onto this poorly built, raised floor. When you stood on it to “do your business” the entire floor and toilet tilted toward you, AND it feels like your foot was going to plunge through the floor. I had to leave the toilet and the flooring around it in place for now because I was finishing up late at night and it’s a giant mess waiting to happen with one pull of the wrong nail.
What’s next? Well, I’m still considering removing some extra paneling from the area beneath the stairwell (not shown in any of these photos, but it might make a nice place for open shelving). Other than that, we’re ready to start designing the storage unit!
The basement rehabilitation is in full effect! By updating the layout down there, we’ll be rewarded with 567 sq. ft. of more usable, functional, and friendly space (and we’ll have a much better way of organizing tools and gardening supplies). Not so long ago, I posted some photos of the basement “before” we had a truly actionable plan of attack (check that post out here) and now, I’m sharing a follow-up post to give you a sneak peek of our work-in-progress, and more importantly, a road map for the overall plan.
It really would have been fun to show you the blank slate with photoshopped laser blue lines demonstrating where new construction would happen (HGTV anyone?) but instead, here’s a marked up layout of the floor plan, illustrating what’s going on in the basement:
I’ll update you as we make progress, but here are some initial photos from the demo (sorry so dark, I wish there was more natural light down there):
Little blossoms appeared exactly one month and one day after starting the paper white bulbs in the kitchen windowsill (I quickly wrote about that here). Since I’ve staggered my bulbs (I started another 6 around December 15th and still have another half-dozen to let loose), I’ll surely have blossoms into early spring. I’m downright giddy, and arranging and rearranging them every day. (I’ve even brought them up to my bedside table at night, am I crazy?)
Gardening note: The bulbs that I saved from last year are struggling, like I expected. The brand new bulbs are growing like crazy.
P.S. Last year, I found (and picked) blossoms in my yard on March 17th. That’s only 2.5 months away, people!