Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Saving the worst till last (basement, part 1)

All the time we worked and fixed and beautified the living areas throughout the main part of the house, the basement lurked. Um... can a basement really lurk? Perhaps it simply brooded. That does make the basement sound rather menacing, but there was so very much that needed to be done, so much that required fixing, that it felt that the (partially) subterranean level was laying in wait. Laughing.

Once again, "before" pictures appear to have been beyond me.

When we first moved in, the basement was divided up into far too many pieces a number of spaces: stairs, hallway, bedroom, full bath (shower), laundry area, storage area, workshop. Yikes, that's a lot! Especially if you consider that only two-thirds of the house had basement underneath. Very early on, we removed the wall defining the storage area to make the workshop bigger, and a few years later when a small flood that did in the bedroom carpet, that became more of a catch-all room (okay, truth: it had been a catch-all room since day one, but after removing the ruined carpet we decided not to do anything else with it). What we actually used was the laundry area and workshop - the remaining space, not so much.

Oh, and there was a slight problem with dampness and mildew, too - ugh! To try to alleviate that, we did some bits and pieces - removed the shower from the bathroom, removed / cleaned / replaced paneling in the bedroom and hall - but basically we left it alone.

Huge problems to overcome prior to selling the house:
* seal the walls
* remove the bathroom (to open up the space a bit)
* turn the former bedroom into a rec room
* put up some sort of ceiling in the "finished" portion
* install new flooring (dealing with asbestos tile again - with a fair number of loose and broken tiles)

With just about a month until our drop dead date (what we'd picked for having the house go on the market), we started on the basement in earnest.

All that, and words are simply inadequate. Once again, no true "before" pictures, so here are a few "early during"

Bathroom being dismantled:

Switch for the light in the laundry area - it's hanging in space here cause we had to remove the wall it was in.

After the bathroom was gone, we moved the washer, dryer and chest freezer so we could get to the walls and scrub scrub scrub, then coat them with drylock. Two coats of it. What, overachievers? Us?

Oh yeah, yet another reason we had to do something about the floor - the floor drain under the washer was in a ... pit about two inches lower than the rest of the floor. Grey areas on wall are where we'd already painted the drylock. Laundry tub sink has been removed (plumber had been in and made appropriate adjustments for washer drainage).

You can see the edge of where we'd applied the drylock at the left side of this picture (that is, if you can tear your eyes away from the mesmerizing two-tone under the stairs area).

Here's part of the workshop - see how bad that old tile was?

When we bought the house, this had been the basement bedroom. Several years earlier we had removed a small closet that had been in the corner where those mats are piled.

Hallway area and stairs.

Next up: during!


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