First Roadblock

By , January 27, 2010 13:12

Groundwater LeakSo the first roadblock has been encountered – well two really.  The less tangible one was that I got hit by the sickness that has been knocked down everyone in the family by me so badly that I could hardly breathe, let alone work, for a few days.  Thankfully, that seems to have cleared up in the last two days and we’re back on track.  The more significant issue is water.

So the basement has been entirely dry since the day we’ve moved in.  After the grinding and crack filling of last time, I continued on to follow the current suggestion by the American Building Sciences institute of the best way to insulate and finish a basement.  This involves fixing extruded polystyrene to the foundation wall and completely sealing in the cement from cold joint to sill cap.  Done … until the rain came.  On Monday of this week the temperature jumped to 50+ and the rain came pouring down.  Unfortunately, you can see what happened near the soil stack exit.  The hydraulic cement was not sufficient to keep the ground water out because of poor drainage!  As my sister would say, “Francis Mahoney!”

This raises a whole lot of problems.  The obvious answer (and I knew this), was that the drainage near here needs to be solved.  If I dig down 4-5 feet and lay some slates, tar around the pipe, and then put a square of insulation above it, that should take care of the problem.  Right?  The problem is this: I won’t know if it took care of the problem until the next major rainstorm or until the Spring.  This leaves me in a bind.  How can I continue on this section of the basement knowing that there might end up being a leak behind my new wall.  This is a definite setback … no smile this week.

Let’s Get Started

By , January 19, 2010 11:25

Fill Cold JoistA day late!  Can you believe it?  I’m posting this on Tuesday instead of Monday.  🙂

Since there was no loud and resounding opinion as to whether I should be doing the basement myself or not after the last post, I’ve decided that just to spite you all, I will attempt this monstrous project by myself.  Hopefully this will lead to lots more updated posts as I slowly progress through the pain, frustration and excitement of actually making something happen.  I figure if I can build a halfpipe or two, I should be able to finish as basement – minus the electrical work only.  I’m also toying with the idea of having a professional to come in and do the mudding, but I’ll make that decision as I get closer to the date.

First off … I’ve done the budget and planning part and right now my costs come in looking pretty good.  I’m going to keep track of every screw and nail and I’ll let you know how much I went under or over at the end.  Let’s just say that we’re looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 2x4s and 130 sheets of drywall.  Does that give you an idea of the scope?  What are we looking at?  Something like this …

So the first steps are already done.  I’ve cleaned the entire space in preparation for the project and finished my “waterproofing”.  I use the term waterproofing lightly because I didn’t actually go to the trouble of installing a below-foundation closed drainage system (although I did have someone come in for an estimate).  As the basement is dry as a bone after four years and it’s a walk-out with a slope away from the house, I’m guessing that the french drains in place already will keep us dry.  Time will tell.  In the meantime, I used a grinder to grind out all the hairline cracks (from foundation shrinkage) and fill them with filler and hydraulic cement.  Let me tell you, cement dust stinks.  I also used a polyurethane expanding foam to fill in the cold joint.  Waterproofing?  Check.

We’re on our way.  Smile!  🙂

The Hudson News

By , December 16, 2009 09:21

AngelicWell first of all, the big news around here is that our little Ellie Belle has decided to go mobile.  It just happens to be the forearm crawl, but it means that pennies and poisons need to be kept up off the floor.  I guess it also means that a little more vigilance is in order around stairs and small objects.  With the newfound mobility comes exploration and the unwillingness to be picked up for even a second.  It also results in Thing 2 yelling, “Ellie!!  NO!!!”

Thanksgiving has come and gone and Thing #1 has turned five years old.   Birthdays are a big thing around here and T1 not only loves the planning and excitement, but he wants to call everyone and sing them Happy Birthday as well.  Happy Birthday Jakey!

Jake’s birthday and Thanksgiving means two more things – winter and SNOW!  We’ve had our first two storms now and the boys have found the absolute magic once more of sliding on tubes and playing in the snow.  The first snowman has yet to be built, but you can be rest assured that there are many prayers for “sticky snow”.  For now, the green grass has been transformed into a winter wonderland.

Lastly, the Hudson News reports that there is great dilemma in the Allan household.  While there was much planning and hoping to finish the basement for guest quarters, the contractor quotes brought a little sticker shock.  The question for you all is this: should they outsource the work and contribute to local Hudson employment, or should half-pipes be replaced by basements and the project be tackled by Danny.  Comments are very welcome!! 🙂

We’ve Moved

By , September 2, 2009 17:17

IMG_4630.JPGIn July, we had one house. In August we had two … and today, we’re back to one again. While I wouldn’t wish a move on anyone, it does force you to go through everything you own and determine what you want to keep and what you don’t. The first 90% of your things are nicely boxed up and labeled appropriately, and the last 10% are simply thrown in the closest available box and sent on their merry way. Fun fun fun! For those of you who look for us on Thurstons Dr, you won’t find us there anymore. We’ve moved … 🙂

Sunshine at Last

By , July 6, 2009 20:38

On His OwnSo the sunshine has finally broken here in Hudson after 26 straight days of rain.  Obviously, this requires us to be outside for all waking hours as we renew our levels of Vitamin D.  I know that there is rain in the forecast for tomorrow and the next day, but I can live with that as long as there is sunshine too.

Saturday found us down in Wakefield, MA where we were able to relax for the 8th largest Fourth of July parade in the United States.  My only complaint?  While there were lots of marching bands, clowns and fire engines, it was completely lacking in bagpipes.  There was not one bagpipe in the entire 2 hour parade.  It just wasn’t a real parade in my books … Apparently, they replace bagpipe bands with American muscle cars.  Oh yes, I have a second complaint – candy.  No one was throwing out candy.  Give me a parade on Foord street anytime.  Regardless, the boys had lots of fun and Jake happily blew his one note trumpet with all the bands as they went by. Smile! 🙂