Bargain Basement

Our exterior doors arrived as scheduled. The delivery truck backed up to the front of the house and we ran the ramp right through to the first floor. We’ll install them sometime this week, the last pieces to the puzzle of a fully dry enclosure.

Carson and Terry unload a door.

Carson and Terry unload a door.

On the first and second floors we continued to build insulating walls and frame around windows… but for the most impressive progress since I last checked in, I turn to the basement. Sitting forgotten for a month and a half while we chugged along above ground, the basement needed a good sweep to remove all the sawdust and bits of foam and spent hardware that collected there, and Kiara and others cleaned up down there admirably. Next, the floor slab needed some TLC to fill in the low spots, which on rainy days retained puddles even after we built the floors above. Colin and Terry did most of that work yesterday, mixing up several batches of Quikrete and taking great pains to trowel and screed it smooth and level.

Once we finish the basement floor, no one will ever see that the patch is a different color.

Once we finish the basement floor, no one will ever see that the patch is a different color.

Today the new concrete had set enough to commence interior wall-building. Terry as always took charge of chalking layout lines, and he did that so efficiently it was hard to keep track of the steps. One thing is for certain, though: you need to be good at unrolling a tape measure dead straight without any guide. At one point Terry came upstairs and worked out the location of a laundry chute so he could transfer it down to the basement laundry room. (“This is my first laundry chute,” he explained. Aww.)

Terry and Colin built enough walls downstairs that several rooms are taking shape, particularly the bathroom and the mechanical room. They also built a plumbing floor: an array of floor joists raised one step (7½ inches) above the slab that creates a space underneath for running pipes. I didn’t help to install the plumbing floor, and I can only marvel at how nicely it came together. Eventually the plumbing floor will extend over about half the basement footprint, not because the basement contains a lot of fixtures but because the owners don’t want lots of random steps to go up and down. Reasonable enough… the ceiling is plenty high so even I won’t have to worry about headroom.

Plumbing floor all framed beneath the downstairs bathroom.

Plumbing floor all framed beneath the downstairs bathroom.

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