Basement Renovation: Weeks 1-3

Our long awaited basement renovation has finally started. Things have been a little spotty the past couple of weeks but there is a lot of progress. I thought I would blog in a journal type format (recovering scientist here).

We had the asbestos ducts removed by a remediation company at the beginning of May. It took about a day and a half. The renovation got delayed a few weeks and started in the middle of June.

Day 1: Demolition. All the wood paneling was removed. Demolished old fireplace. The fireplace turned out to be an original brick fireplace under all that plaster. We were sad to see it go once we found out it was an original, but it will open up the room and it would have been a real bugger to remove all that plaster from the bricks.

basement fireplace

Day 2: More demo. Plaster and lathe ceilings and walls are removed. Concrete floor is jack hammered to expose under ground plumbing.

Day 3: More demo. Wall between living room and hallway is removed. Dumpster is full.

Day 4: Cut foundation for egress window. Dig outside window well.

Day 5: Egress window gets installed. Contractor installed wrong window and it will need to be changed out. (No window well installed yet, just a 4 ft. deep hole next to the foundation for the past 3 weeks).

Day 6-7: No Work.

Day 8: Plumber lays out underground plumbing and removes old basement bathroom plumbing. Severe storm hits dropping 2.5 inches of rain in 40 minutes. Unfinished egress window well fills with water and starts to enter house. Luckily concrete and dirt from egress removal prevent water from getting deeper into the basement.

Day 9: No work.

Day 10: Framers begin to frame out exterior walls. Plumber installs new PVC underground plumbing for the new bathroom and floor drain for utility room. Also replaces part of old cast iron stack with PVC.

Day 11: Underground plumbing is inspected and approved.

Day 12: New concrete floor poured in bathroom and utility room. Plumber works on getting existing copper pipes for upstairs bathroom into the joist space. One and only upstairs shower stops working.

Day 13: Interior walls are framed. Plumber fixes upstairs shower faucet. Apparently when turning water off and on in houses with old galvanized pipe sometimes some debris from the pipe gets kicked up and wreaks havoc on shower cartridges.

Day 14: No work.

Day 15: HVAC guys start running trunk lines for furnace. Electrician puts up boxes and can lights. Electrician also comes back and works all day Saturday wiring the new circuits.


Framing for the new bathroom (right) and utility room (left).

Egress window and bedroom

Egress window and bedroom


Bathroom framing

This newspaper was stuffed in the ceiling.

This newspaper was stuffed in the ceiling.

Our contractor hopes that all the rough-ins will be completed by the end of next week and ready for inspections. We’re crossing our fingers around here.


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