Monday, February 3, 2014

Demo-mania! Chaos in the basement

Because we're not doing that much with the walls in the living room, there's not much to see there in terms of chaos and destruction (although there is a *ton* of stuff being stored up for use elsewhere) other than a few holes for A/C ducts.

However, the basement is another thing entirely!


The walls have been ripped out, the ceiling torn down, crazy (and sometime illegal) wiring replaced with rational modern cabling, and more. The ceiling was a particular trial, as white acoustic tiles were glued to this dark over-ceiling, which appears to have been made of plaster reinforced with a wire mesh -- it had to be cut to bits with a saw before it could be pulled down. Luckily, there are healthy wooden joists underneath, and getting that ceiling down has made it easier to sort out the electrical mess, upgrade the lights and so forth. Glad my guys were willing to do it!

As for the walls, everything behind the paneling looks fine, but the framing is basically flush against the foundation walls -- a set of old-school shims are all that keeps it all plumb. basement_right Basically, just enough room for some wiring and not a lot else, but luckily we don't need much else! The pipes to the kitchen run in a small soffit, ducts can fit between the joists, and the rest of this will seal up with drywall into a nice swath of civilized living space -- you just have to project your imagination a bit right now to see it.

Lesse, what other adventures? Well, we took out the furnace and all the radiator last week during one of the coldest stretches I've ever experienced in Philadelphia. (Water was turned off anyway, but still, hard not to be a little nervous! Our pipes at home froze that week.) Demo went fine (see old furnace at left), but the contractors had to bring in big space-heaters to keep themselves warm while they continued their work (at right).

furnace heater2

Anyway, the HVAC guys are cutting holes and running ducts, and I see big boxes in the living room that appear to contain a furnace and an A/C condenser, so presumably we'll be back to some level of climate control soon. Then it should be time to finish framing around this stuff (other framing is already underway, which I'll discuss soon) and then we'll head into rebuilding and beautifying, instead of destruction and chaos. Can't wait!

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