Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The basement

This will the first in what will probably be a long series of posts

I had a house once. And the basement was dry. And I was happy.

Then I moved to a house in Collingswood NJ (Exit 4). And the basement leaked and leaked and leaked. And I was not happy.

I and then I moved to exit 42A. Where I am happy (but not because of the basement, which leaks)

Truth be told I suspected something was fishy when I moved in.  The paint in the basement looked just a little too new for my liking, like they were hiding something.  At that time the NJ disclosures on real estate were just taking hold. and the sellers were just a scooch evasive when describing the "issues" in the basement.

All things considered the basement wasn't terrible though.  everyone played down there for quite a few years it was a great place for the toys to get dumped, particularly legos, playmobils all of the stuff with little teeny parts that my sisters got for the kids when they were little.

(Note to self buy presents for sisters kids that have LOTS of teeny weeny parts. paybacks are a bear.)

But it is now time for some renaovation. 

Things have gradually deteriorated down there. 

The leaking which was confined to a few small spots in the corners of the basement have gotten progressively worse.  There is mold on the exposed walls.  It doesn't help that Krissy thinks it creepy.

On top of that everyone is starting to get older and they  need someplace where they can hang out with their friends, watch tv, and speak poorly about me.

I had budgeted for this when I bought the house outright, but two things happened:

This wedding thing has sapped my renovation budget.

A little thing called Alternative Minimum Tax caused my tax bill to be a lot bigger than I thought it would be.  (I have a lot of tax deductions, lets just leave it at that)

So its become a  bit of a do it yourself project.

The steps

1. Clear out the old basement finishing.  This mainly consists of clearing out a lot of paneling and furring strips plus ripping out the old drop ceiling.

Alex and I have been working on this for a week o so now.  Its going pretty well, we have the ceiling tiles down and we are starting to take the lovely paneling off the walls.  We also removed the lovely sofa which you see in the picture.

Aside from the beer bottles which almost bonked Alex in the head when he was taking down ceiling tiles,  its been pretty straightforward.

2. Getting the whole basement water proofed.  This is the most expensive part of the job and the one I can't do any of myself.  Hopefully we can get it done in September after the honeymoon is over.

3. Cleaning and repainting all of the block walls.

4. Putting the walls back in again.  the old drop ceiling will be replaced with a new ceiling and the floor will be tiled.

5. The goal is to get it all done by Thanksgiving.  Of course coming from someone who has been working on the same sofa for five years I would take that with a grain of salt.

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