Showing posts from February, 2014

Diving into the Laundry Room

On to the laundry room.  I've had mixed feelings about this for, well to be honest - since the day we bought 173.  It's complicated, cement, electrical, plumbing, carpentry etc etc... This room's going to take just about every (near) skill I have.  I have no delusions...this is a basement laundry, it'll never have that ultra-finished look to it, but we're looking forward to it looking better than this:
See that lone, hanging light bulb?  Besides the window, that's the only light in the room.  And here's a shot the other way: Not much better huh?  So this weekend I dove in.  Part of the problem was deciding what order to do things in.  Well, nothing could get done until the appliances were out of the way.  For that, and for the first time ever, 173 has a hand truck, I suppose that was going to happen eventually, I'm just not getting any younger. Moving the washer and dryer revealed a shocking mess! Look at this will ya??!! Enough of that...the loose conc…

Gettin' at the Workshop (and a little foray into the Laundry Room)

As I mentioned the other day, I was having a hard time getting motivated to get back to the walls.  A lot of stress this weekend left me rather disinterested, but at the same time I wanted to be busy and at least plug along.  Here's a shot of the east wall in the laundry room, the same wall that's shared with the workshop.
As I got to the far end near the door to the cold cellar, I ran into a little snag: It seems that this old board had seen better I cut off the lower section and figured I'd splice a piece in. Also, the concrete behind that board crumbled quite a bit, so the cold cellar will get some attention too. Here's a shot of the east wall looking into the workshop.  The concrete bonding agent has already been applied. A couple hours later the cement went up... Then this afternoon, the first coat of Drylok: And just for fun, here's a before and after (although it's more of a progress shot): At least it was a little progress!  Getting closer to …

Snow, Slow and Trapped

I don't mind winter, as a matter-of-fact I rather enjoy winter.  I could do with a few less sub-zero temp days, but I do enjoy it...the crisp air, that cozy feeling in the house, the snow... Okay.  The snow.  I do love the snow, but in the last two days we've had a total of 20".  That doesn't bother me too much, except that we had a family situation this week and there was no way to make the trip.  Thankfully, dad's improving so the stress factor sure has been reduced!

I did take the involuntary shut-in time to get some more work done in the basement.  Thing is, I just couldn't get motivated to get started on the walls again.  So I puttered around, started looking for ways to make more space so I wasn't crawling over everything all the time.  One of the things that helped was this work bench.  I have a home made one in the workshop, but the main part of the basement really needed one too.

This one came from Home Depot.  It was $69 and was essentially pre-…

Fixing the Workshop Floor

So, this was the cause of it all.  It sounds like I'm complaining, but I guess I'm really not...after all, 173 will have a fresh new laundry room when it's all over.  The other side of that is...I just wasn't mentally prepared for it!  Anyway, these are the boards that got eaten by some kind of bug rotted out and needed removal before continuing with fixing the basement walls:
Here's a closer look...those boards crumbled in my hand: Cleaning out the sawdust dirt: All cleaned out: I'd forgotten how much concrete we laid when 173 got a new basement floor.  And every bit of it was made one bag at a time, and carried down from outside in 5 gallon buckets. The wheelbarrow is under the back porch, and in this weather there was no way in the world I was going down there to pull it out for one bag of concrete.  This $5.95 solution was the perfect choice! And there she hour later the floor is fixed. Here's the "artistic" shot: Now, back to cementi…

“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.” - Picasso

After my little electrical mishap the other day, the last couple evenings have finally seen the destruction of the laundry room/workshop wall. There really wasn't a great angle to get it all in, but here's a shot of the little wall behind the furnace (I even added an arrow in case you couldn't pick it out):
The little wall gone, time to move on to the main wall. Again, an arrow to help out:

And here it is all torn down.

I have no idea what the beaver boards said in this case. But let me tell you something...this wall was built to last! It was three layers...under the beaverboard was this thin balsa wood-like layer, all nailed to 1x8s! And when I say nailed, I mean about a thousand three inch railroad spikes!
See that electric panel hanging down from the main beam? That provides the service to the kitchen upstairs, and half the laundry room. Half. Anyway, it was nailed to the wall, so - no wall, no support. The weight of the cable itself nearly tore it down. So I had to c…

Man - O - Man! It Doesn't Pay to Rush!

Turn off the electricity.  Turn it off, check it, double check it, then proceed with caution!  If you're in a hurry - check it a third time!  Or else you'll be doing the Uncle Fester!
Yep, got home from visiting my folks and thought I'd quickly take down the wall between the laundry room and the workshop.  Then I realized I hadn't removed the light switch and the fuse box.  It's kinda cool, I have the workshop on it's own little fuse box, nothing simpler than pulling down the lever to cut the power.  On top of that, the fuse box is about four feet away from the junction box and the switch!  How convenient!  So I removed the switch box, then took the cover off the junction box -Ah!  Two simple screws and I'm on my way!  I started to remove the top screw and POW!  I blew a hole in my screwdriver! That's not the first time I've done this, heck, it probably isn't even the 12th time I've done this. But it sure does freak me out when I cause thes…

Don't Ya Just Hate It When...

Before I get into this, I wanted to take a moment to document one other thing I did on the west wall of the basement.  When we bought 173 these many years ago, I noticed that there was a hairline crack in the foundation just under the main beam.  I've always kept an eye on it; the crack really looked quite superficial and it never got any bigger.  But I figured, while I was doing all this work down there anyway...I'd put in a floor jack.   It probably isn't doing much, but I put it in nice and snug, so maybe!  Besides, for $50 it gives me a little peace of mind - even if it turns out to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors! Now onto the meat of this post (not to be confused with the one pictured above!).  Over the past few weeks I've been (relatively) flying through fixing and painting the basement walls.  I mean, just the other day I finished the main portion of the basement, then I had half a wall left in the workshop, then onto the laundry room!  I was flying!  T…