Let’s talk about the basement.

But first, the weather. It’s 92° and ridiculously humid out side all this week and as much as I want Sean to jump on building the new fence; I also don’t want him to die of heatstroke on my new lawn. So…

He started excavating the basement. Remember the basement? Here’s what it looked like yesterday.


Grainy iphone pic, sorry. PK just left town with my camera cord so I can’t use the ones I took from my Canon.

Sean and Jonah (his employee and expert shovel user) started to breakup the uneven concrete floor and explore what we need to do to underpin our foundation. Our current ceiling height is a little over six and a half feet in some places, but shorter in others. Successive previous owners poured different concrete pads at different times and also over existing pads, so it’s basically a hot mess down there. Luckily, since we have central air (thank the gods!) the basement is a comfortable 68° and the boys can work safely without fear of melting. The only thing they have to be afraid of is the cat, who is pissed (whatapun!) that they moved her litter box. Also, spiders. And the creepy efflorescence from the moist brick walls (eeewwwww.)

I’m actually super excited to get started even though we have two other unfinished projects going on, namely the Garudio (garage/art studio) and the back yard fence. It’s really too hot to expect them to work outside in this weather  so as long as we are making progress on something, I’m happy. The rest of the floor will have to get broken up with a jackhammer and then the boys have to somewhat tediously, fill 5 gallon buckets and pass them through the front window to the sidewalk where they get dumped in back of Pete’s truck. Normal people would probably rent a dumpster and have it hauled away, but we are trying to be low profile about this project, so we’re doing it the hard way, load by load, to our local landscaping services place that accepts concrete. And by we, I mean Sean the contractor, Jonah, and Pete when he gets home from work.

Dealing with the basement will mean dealing with a few plumbing and electrical issues. Our electric box looks like an octopus on steroids and that has to be dealt with before we run power out to the garage. We will also…

– build a french drain system to a sump pump, like this.


– pour a new slab and add flooring (probably engineered wood which is suitable for damp locations) We are going for a finished ceiling height of about 8 feet or slightly below. I also like the laminate flooring that Jen used in her recent basement reno.


-replace all the windows, some of which are glass block, and drywall the walls. Our basement has 8 windows! Lots of light.

-Add a bathroom. Probably just a shower, rather than a tub shower combo. Like this


-build  walls around our furnace and move the hot water heater in the furnace room

-build  a real laundry room, like this


That’s the plan! Not sure at all how long it will take. Maybe done or close to done by Christmas? There are a lot of different elements to consider, and other things to finish up.

I’m so glad to have something to distract me while we wait to get results from our Frozen Embryo Transfer yesterday. The transfer went really well – we transferred two good looking embryos and have on left that’s still frozen, in case we do want to try again. I feel fine – a little frustrated by my 10 lb lifting restriction which is basically impossible to comply with because of Lucy, but I’m doing my best to just take it easy and stay cool.

ps. More pictures of our basement in all it’s disgusting glory here.

p.p.s. an inspiring basement reno  – start here. befores and afters here

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