Adventures In Homeowning
Part 2 : Ripping Up Fake Wood

The Basement

Before we moved in, the basement was in bad shape... almost entirely due to the carpet. By the time we were all moved in and unpacked and settled... it was the best room in the house. Now, it's somewhere in between.

The stairs leading down... kinda dark, brown, ugly. The floor almost bleeds into the wall. This was before we called EMPIRE TODAY. They're the carpet people.

The flash helps, but we picked out some light blue carpet that goes lovely with the brown wood paneling. And put some art on the wall.

And here's the whole thing, pre-move. Tristan rolls around in the filth. Those orbs you see in the picture aren't light flares or spots on the lens... they're part of the layer of grime that covered everything in that room (actually the wood paneling is in good shape). Notice the open patches of tile around the bar and the big square in the middle of the room. I incorrectly thought they were there in place of carpet, but the carpet actually was cut out there because the tile is covering the entire floor underneath the rest of the carpet. I thought we had to put new carpet in and leave the tile... but no! We covered all the tile up.

We were still working on bedrooms upstairs so we lived down here for some time... two beds and a couch/TV and then just piles and piles of stuff. Tristan's little craft table becomes his breakfast nook.

You can actually see the carpet in this one! Everything is more or less where it should be... mini-studio, CD racks, computer, secondary living space... April '06.

Rock. Studio detail, with bookshelf and brick.

Computer detail.

Bookshelf detail. July '07.

Here's the bar, with brick accent, before it became our attic.

And there's the pile that's there now.

Laundry room... more (different, much older) paneling on the walls...

...which is connected to the utility room... pictured here before we added our pile of tools and parts and stuff.

And there's our hole. The home inspector was slightly troubled by this hole in our chimney... this is the flue from the furnace where it enters the chimney, hence leaving some space where possibly carbon monoxide might escape. I convinced a guy at work to help us patch this up properly, but he kinda forgot about it and so did we, and it's still there now... held up by that 1x4. We'll get to it eventually, as long as we all don't asphyxiate. We DO have a CO detector.

The basement bathroom, which is just downright scary. The floor underneath that tile on the right side of the toilet is way too soft and feels like you're gonna step through the floor. We have never used that shower and the toilet is only used in emergencies... We keep the door closed 24-7. And that seat cover (which we inherited) is long, long gone.

We discovered a leak in the basement in July of 2006, completely (and luckily) by accident. It was all happening in a corner of the floor with very little foot traffic, but we ripped up the carpet and found puddles and puddles and lots of water-logged padding and tiles. All that space used to be tiled, but they just pulled right up - they were supposed to be (and at one time were) glued down, but the water negated that. It was not fun.

Zoom out, trying to dry it out. It was made worse by some poor grading in the floor that pooled the water in that space. But it also kind of confined it to that area, I guess. I thought I figured out that the water was actually dripping down from our fridge directly above, due to a leaking water line (for an icemaker) but that was a ruse from a slightly overfilled drip pan. We finally got another good rain and some more leakage and then I ripped up some paneling and drywall and found this...

There was actually a very old crack in the wall of the basement. It had been previously repaired with some kind of epoxy or sealant or something, but it failed. We didn't know about this and the repair looked so old, there's a possibility the previous owner didn't know about it either. It was a pretty big crack, which is only peeking out of the bottom of that panelling.

Close up of the small space I first excavated. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the whole crack before I sealed it myself. The very bottom of the crack is in the grayish area in the middle of the picture, which is that color due to whatever was used to seal it. September 2006.

I had to rip up a lot more paneling and drywall to expose the entire crack, and then I sealed it back up nicely with some silicone whatever. This has stopped 95% of the water from coming in, but there's still some slight seepage from the very bottom, where the two-by-four meets the floor. I'm gonna have to cut that out and patch the crack and put another chunk of wood in there to keep it spaced. I think I just figured out how to do that... picture taken in July '07, well after the repair.

I had to move the CDs over to the other side of the room when I rearranged the studio and such.... I finally now have enough rack space to put them all away, I just have to do it. Steph bought me that awesome wood rack back in Xmas 2005... yeah, I know.

And Mike D sent me this awesome custom-made sign for my birthday in 2006!! Sweetness! It lets you know how to get out of the basement. This is good for Steph because now she hates to hang out down there unless she's using the computer. She says it stinks and it has some lingering odor, I admit. The laundry room also has a leak (but this one we knew about because the previous owner told us) and that funky rain moldy smell can kinda stick around. I'm sure there's another crack under the wood paneling in that room, I just have to get in there and dig around for it. I will... someday. After I finish fixing the other one.


On to Part Three