Basement Reno: Week 4

Closing in on a month of renovation and lots has happened. All the rough systems are in, which is a lot, being that we completely replumbed, rewired, and reducted the basement space.

Day 16: Heating ducts are installed.

Day 17: Dryer is vented to the exterior. Bathroom vent fan is installed. Plumber refuses to work because of huge mess in basement.

Day 18: More HVAC ducting and venting. Contractor comes to clean up huge mess created by framers and other trades. Contractor grinds out hole for new heating duct in upstairs bath, and removes wall behind sink to allow plumbers access to upstairs bath sink drain. Plumber reruns gas line to furnace, hot water heater, and upstairs stove.

Day 19: Plumber runs new PEX piping to basement bathroom. Framers frame out soffits and my dreams of a basement with decent ceiling height die a painful death. After plumber leaves, we notice the wonderful smell of natural gas.

Day 20: Electrician finishes wiring new circuits and removes sketchy old electrical. Plumber finds and “fixes” leak in the gas pipe they ran on Day 18. Plumber finishes plumbing for the downstairs bathroom and installs vents for the drains. Replaces old galvanized piping with PEX and new frost proof outdoor faucets. Plumber leaves around 1 p.m. and the wonderful smell of gas is back again.

Day 21: Electrician returns to wire some floor outlets upstairs than will run off the basement circuits and runs power to the furnace. Plumber returns and hopefully fixes the gas leak for sure this time. Blames it on paint caught in the threads of the pipe. Plumber also replaces old lead drains for the upstairs bath with PVC.

Progress pics for you viewing pleasure:

utilityroomFurnace and hot water heater in new utility room. Hopefully the water heater will move back about a foot to give us a bit more useable space. This room will be behind two bypass closet doors.

NewdrainWe had an old cast iron stack (the vertical part) and multiple lead drains. Everything was replaced with PVC to meet modern code. It also allows the drains to get up much closer to the ceiling.

Rough-ins for the new shower

Rough-ins for the new shower

hallwayLooking into the basement from the stairs. The soffit to the right ended up being about 6 inches wider than we wanted but we can live with it.

And now the soffit we can not live with…

doorsoffitWe have a wide door way (72″) separating two large rooms. The heating trunk line dips 3″ below the doorway where one would walk through the doors (look in the doorway above the window). Once drywall goes up the ceiling height is down to 6’1″ at that soffit. Not great when a 6’1″ person lives here. We are going to try and talk with our contractor to see if anything can be done to remove the obstruction at least in the doorway. Fingers crossed.

ventfoamI also learned the HVAC guys are not much for masonry. They stuffed the exterior bricks back in the hole and spray foamed them to “secure”. The bricks are loose and spray foam doesn’t hold up great when exposed to UV light.

And if spray foam mortar isn’t your thing…

siliconeductSilicone sealant also works. I have asked for this to be fixed with real honest to goodness mortar.

And lastly our upstairs bathroom became a casualty of the reno.

upstairs bathThe back wall had to be cut out for the plumbers to access the drains, and a new hole had to be cut for a new heat duct. We are planning on replacing the pedestal sink with a vanity from Ikea so there won’t be too much patchwork going on in here.

That’s it for week 4. Sounds like not much will happen this coming week besides inspections (rough electrical, plumbing, HVAC and framing and insulation). But if all the stars align drywall will be going up on Friday. Fingers crossed as always.



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