The weather is getting warmer and we are getting a little further along.  This month we tackled some indoor and outdoor jobs.

  • Framing our basement walls
  • Started the 30′ long retaining wall
  • Filled in the random drainage access in the basement
  • Started to clean up and remove scary electrical
  • and some outdoor fun…of course!



Blue Walls

This month we started the process of framing our basement walls.  We aren’t able to frame all of them as yet since there are a few things that need to happen before we can finalize all of the framing locations: new windows cut and installed, replace in-slab plumbing pipes, replace electrical…and a few hundred other little items (reno snowball…sigh).

We were able to frame about half of the basement with our fancy Bluwood.  Why the heck is our wood blue?  Well, we have an old house, with an old foundation that isn’t guaranteed to be the most watertight.  In an effort to reduce the possibility of mould growth we decided to go with lumber that has a coating that resists moisture absorption and fungus growth.  We are taking other steps to make the house dry and safe, this is just one of many to come.  Bonus of this wood, if we ever had a flood (god forbid!) we wouldn’t have to reframe the entire basement because our wood would likely be able to resist any harmful growth.  So…our walls our BLUE and we love them!


The Start of a Retaining Wall

Part of our basement renovation includes the addition of windows on the side of the house.  Currently there is just dirt and lawn there but we need a 3′ deep window well the length of the house to allow for our windows.  So the shovels come out and we start digging.

[cut to the end of that day]

Hand digging this trench that is 3′ down, 5′ wide and 30′ long is a BAD idea in soil that is 60% rock! We are going to call in our favourite man & machine…the mini digger to finish the job.

Our wall is going to be made of 4×4 pressure treated wood with a built in flower bed to give the basement windows some nice greenery to look at.  Our goal is to shield the view from the basement from any unpleasant or cave like feelings.  A little plantlike will go a long way here.

Lowes had a sale on pressure treated wood so Adam and I went on a Friday night date to pick up the materials and save a little money! Nothing says ‘home renovator’ like Friday nights at the lumber yard.  So romantic!


Random Drainage Hole

When we bought the house there were many things we couldn’t see behind the walls and clutter.  A random access hole for our drain tile was one of them.  When this house was built, having access from inside the basement was normal since the basement was never intended to be finished living space.  These days though, real estate is so expensive we can’t afford to waste precious square footage like our basement so we must take care of this gapping hole full of water.

We connected the pipes best we could with some Big-O and then covered them with drain rock.  The next step will be to seal up the hole with some thing that will stop water from entering the house.  I feel some caulking will be in order.


Electrical Clean Up #1

Another item that we couldn’t fully see when we bought the house was the disastrous mess of electrical that had been covered up by makeshift basement renovations.  Almost every electrical run in this house has been cut and new lights/switches/plugs added.  In theory this isn’t that bad except there were so many random additions and changes that our basement looked like a sea of junction box land-mines on the ceiling.  We can’t just cover up junction boxes when we finish the basement so here starts the task of tracing each circuit, removing excess electrical, and eventually requiring the entire house.

Believe it or not, these pictures of the electrical are improvements! Eeek!